Plenty can be said about evolution while viewing these images of 387 million year old Devonian brachiopods. I’ve been digging them up and photographing them for a long time and have been fascinated by them for a variety of reasons.
They first appeared approximately 550 million years ago.
Over that long expanse of time perhaps as many as 15,000 different types have existed, thus the variety of shapes and sizes that these images suggest.
Today, believe it or not, there are some 300 to 500 species that are living descendants.
They are some of the earliest examples of multicellular organisms.
Invertebrate marine animals.
Today, the aforementioned reference to evolution, despite all these brachiopod facts, has more to do with my own personal evolution rather than that of the brachiopod.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am spending much more of my time painting – mostly large (5’x6′) canvasses – hopefully somewhat expressive endeavors. The impression of brachiopods remains so deep in my psyche these days that I keep gravitating toward them often when I pick up a brush.
A friend (yes, that’s you, Ken!) recently suggested that I share a work in progress and show some the various stages of a current piece. So here we go. The image above (a pair of brachiopods) was the start – a dark, scratch filled attempt at capturing a certain foreboding, primeval sensibility. It sat for months before I realized that it was time to make it something more.
So what you see from here are various stages displayed chronologically.
Tentative movements breaking out of that earlier monochrome feeling…
…turning into some bold, somewhat garish color – with the intention of eventually muting those colors down…
…step by step until its current state (below). I’m not sure where this adventure will wind up. But then that’s the point for me – exploring and evolving!
Thanks for the visit. I hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the curtain!