ridged like the shell of a snail: a whelked horn.

6" x 6"

140# hot-press watercolor paper

India ink, acrylic paint, paint marker, pen

The moment I saw this word I knew I had to paint one of Tyler Thrasher‘s incredible crystalized snail shells. This one, in particular. He is perhaps my favorite account on Instagram, and the only way to find out why is to go follow him on Instagram. He creates unbelievably mind-blowing amazing plant animal science-y awesomeness and hilarity and you’re missing out. Seriously.

Whelked = ridges of snail shell. Not much to say here otherwise. I’m not into realism, although I can’t say I’m happy with the depth/shadows/lighting on this, but my goal was to finish it while on vacation and be done. Hard stop.

I’ve been exceptionally busy with multiple businesses and long hours since last fall, so I simply haven’t been making time to paint because that’s the season of life that I’m in. For this I just wanted to have fun messing around, creating a funky representation of this super cool thing by this super cool guy you should follow. The background was done months ago, but I didn’t have time to work with the actual paint, pen and markers until I was on vacation in June. That gave me a great jumping off point to get back into making things, and some of this was completed in an airport.

I often recommend keeping many paintings going at once, in different stages of completion, because when you have a moment, and you’re in the mood, it can help get you working with your hands again. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to look at a blank canvas, particularly if you feel like you’re out of practice. After working on this piece I was ready to start a brand new painting (landscape) while on vacation.

Go make stuff: it’s good for you.

Whelked mixed media word painting by Sarah M. Schumacher