Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scientific Intuition: Lessons in Fundamental Neuroscience, the landscape and Ramón y Cajal

A busy and an inspiring month in the studio.  I am advancing many works while simultaneously enriching my practice by auditing a Fundamental Neuroscience class.  The drawings I am posting are comprised of completed works and drawings that are in progress.  I continue to increase my understanding of Ramón y Cajal and his work by intertwining my study of neurons, the landscape and the portrait.



Fundamental Neuroscience class notes, ink and pen on paper, 11" x 14"

Landscape study at the Nelson Atkins Museum, marker and pen on paper, 11" x 14"

Silveria Ramón y Cajal bathed in Goethe Color Theory, acrylic and ink on paper, 11" x 14"

Fundamental Neuroscience class notes, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Landscape study by Cooper Library, marker on paper, 11" x 14"

Santiago Ramón y Cajal bathed in Goethe Color Theory, acrylic and ink on paper, 11" x 14"

Drawing in progress:  Fundamental Neuroscience class notes, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Drawing in progress:  Fundamental Neuroscience class notes, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"


Intellectual work is an act of creation. It is as if the mental image that is studied over a period of time were to sprout appendages like an ameba—outgrowths that extend in all directions while avoiding one obstacle after another—before interdigitating with related ideas.   

-Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Drawing lessons with Wilbur Niewald and Don Quixote

I spent the afternoon drawing with (& drawing) Wilbur Niewald in Loose Park after Lloyd Schnell's funeral. Later, I met with Don Quixote in the PA Gallery of the Nelson Atkins. A comforting respite to the afternoon's events.



Dawn Hunter, "Wilbur in Loose Park," marker on paper, 11" x 14"


Dawn Hunter, "Wilbur in Loose Park, 2," marker on paper, 11" x 14"


Dawn Hunter, "Don Quixote, PA Gallery - The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art," graphite on paper, 11" x 14"


Dawn Hunter, "Don Quixote, 2_PA Gallery - The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art," marker on paper, 11" x 14"


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sometimes summer is all about the work!

Spending days immersed in the subject of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.  Long days in the studio, coupled with visits to the NIH, has brought forth a flourish of creativity.  Examples of new work posted below.




New image on accordion book cover.


New accordion book pages below:




New drawings created by me through the study of Ramón y Cajal's work at the NIH:


Marker and pen on paper, 11" x 14" 2015.




Marker and pen on paper, 11" x 14" 2015.

Friday, July 24, 2015

More Summertime Drawings

My accordion book is becoming more developed in the narrative, color and cover.  There is also a continued intensive investigation with Cajal's drawings.  Each day in the studio brings deep thought and greater understanding of Cajal the subject.  I end each day feeling enlivened and inspired.

Below is my artist book on Cajal in progress with some of samples of the recent pages:















Study of Cajal's work, marker and pen on paper, 16" x 20"



Study of Cajal's work, marker and pen on paper, 16" x 20"



Summer Sun

Bend low again, night of summer stars. 
So near you are, sky of summer stars, 
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars, 
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl, 
So near you are, summer stars, 
So near, strumming, strumming, 
So lazy and hum-strumming. 

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summertime drawing board with Ramón y Cajal


My drawing of Ramón y Cajal's drawing of the retina June 9, 2015, ink and pen on paper, 11" x 14."



My imaginative and surreal portrait of Ramón y Cajal Summer Solstice, June 18, 2015, ink and pen on paper, 11" x 14."


Summer Solstice details below:







Summer Sun
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Picking up where the previous pages left off...

New images within the visual narrative of my ongoing accordion book project about the life and times of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.  The process has been immersive, so for today there will be more images than words.

Accordion book pages open, graphite and ink on paper, 5" x 13"

Accordion book pages open, graphite and ink on paper, 5" x 13"

Collective detail of accordion book pages, graphite and in on paper, size variable

Accordion book pages open, graphite and ink on paper, 5" x 13"

Collective detail of accordion book pages, graphite and in on paper, size variable


If a photographic plate under the center of a lens focused on the heavens is exposed for hours, it comes to reveal stars so far away that even the most powerful telescopes fail to reveal them to the naked eye. In a similar way, time and concentration allow the intellect to perceive a ray of light in the darkness of the most complex problem. 

Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Neuron Nests and Branches


When Cajal was a child he would steal and raise baby birds from their nests.  He would also collect baby bird nests and pay his playmates to collect them, too.  He would make detailed drawings and notes about them, and when he was done, he would return the baby birds to their mothers.  These activities were the beginnings and the psychological foundation for his scientific research.  Additionally, birds were important symbols of strength and resilience to him throughout his life. 

New Nests and Neurons, graphite and ink on paper, 16" x 20"


detail, New Neuron Nests


Like an earthquake, true senility announces itself by trembling and stammering. 
Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Graphite and ink on paper, 5" x 13"


This image portrays the "branches" of the neurons juxtaposed with an image portraying self reflection near the end of his life. Cajal describes in his last biography written at the age of eighty, his fears of neurological deterioration and his self awareness of it in old age.

It is a page from my accordion book project about Cajal.  Each fold out or open page is 5" x 13," and contains a unique drawing. This work is an ongoing evolving work that chronologically through the fusion of Surrealism and Romanticism, portrays his childhood imagination and biographical events from that time.

Other images from the accordion book are featured below from beginning to its current end.  This project is ongoing, so other pages will be added.