Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Common Player In Our Microbial Life

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
It might come as no surprise that one of my favorite items in this world to consume is beer. Not only do I love the taste I also believe that, if handled with care, beer is part of a healthy diet. Oh and before I forget I love how a few of them make me feel. Let's face it that is really why we all love alcohol. As dangerous as it can be treated well it is a marvel of human manipulation of our environment.

But do we really manipulate that environment as be we believe. Many brew masters would beg to differ and give almost all of the credit for a great beer to the little fungus known as S. Cerevisiae. Otherwise know as yeast. Yup it is this ubiquitous critter, it literally is everywhere, that turns ordinary grains into the stuff so many of us adore.

Still that is something that many of us hardly ever consider. Just how intertwined we are with this fungus. It has the dubious distinction of being the most studied life form on the planet, and yet we know very little about it. The question is have we adapted it to our purposes, or is it adapting us to it's? I mean lets face it much of our grain production in this world goes to producing beer and bread. The very thing S. Cerevisiae wants to chow down on. Many contemporary anthropologists currently believe that agriculture began in order to secure a steady beer supply. Interesting huh? For me it simply seems to be a wonderful and thriving symbiotic relationship.

This drawing here is an attempt to capture the essence of the yeast doing it's job on the beer. The vegetation in the left corner is a hop, that which gives beer it's distinctive taste, and of course I needed to add an electron. After listening to a physics lecture on biological machinery the electron became the symbol of life for me.

I hope you enjoy the art and thoughts.

Thanks, Doug
The Opinionated Artist

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shine Right Through 1

Pen & Ink Fine Art By Doug Ashby
As the time went by I began to feel it.
At first it was not brilliant, just a tiny spark.
The path then was very one way.
One way, but absorbed in a manner I did not comprehend.

As time went by you became more capable of letting us know.
Each day that passed witnessed an unyielding push forward.
As each day passed you began to shine the light back to us.
And I began to feel what I had given freely.

As time gets closer to a resolution the path is two way.
For I know that it is meant to be this way.
That our light, our love, needs to shine on you,
As well as your light shines right through me.

The title of this artwork is derived from a song I first heard while watching a movie with my wife. The not so great movie was "Admission", the song however is called 'Shine Right Through" by Correatown. Almost instantly I had a strong feeling about what this song was about. Or more accurately what it meant to me. This feeling helped me to understand more fully a difficult, and at this time, ongoing situation in my life. I say difficult, however, at the same time this situation is also bringing much joy and educating me about this world, this life, and myself, in ways I never considered.

This artwork is the first of three I am planning. At this point I do not wish to say more about it. I want to let the next little bit unfold.

If you like the artwork and words I wrote about it then do stay tuned for the next two drawings. There is more to come from this path.

Thanks, Doug.