Orchard Swallowtail Airstream Butterflies
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
2M ago
As a medical and scientific illustrator of 43+ years I am charged with telling stories with accuracy and observed detail. As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with minimalism and ornamentation. The art I produce currently in mandalas and panels is less centered on strict realism and more about interpretation and a celebration of nature as I find it and think about it. And it is joyful for me; how wonderful if you find joy in it as well! The 2 butterflies pictured in this panel are orchard swallowtails, Papilio aegeus, that are muted gray and white with black veins and yellow cresce ..read more
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Boundaries of the Brain
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
9M ago
I continue to push the artistic boundaries of my sometimes barren always hopeful bountiful brain. I am not always sure where my focused artistic intent will take me and am always open to the mystery path that is serendipity. In those moments of indecision and exploration, I believe it is important to embrace authenticity and revel in a sense of joy in the process of making our own art, art that visualizes playful childhood memories, and makes us whole. The ornamental and decorative Chiva artform celebrates the lives of the people of South America, specifically Colombia in the form of art on ru ..read more
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Greetings from Biodiversity
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
I have been on a curious and wonderful nature journey for most of my life—it came into focus sharp 10 years ago when I began exploring mandalas. During the day I am charged with bringing other peoples research, educational concepts, and pursuits to life by being a visual editor and storyteller. As a seasoned medical and scientific illustrator I must be faithful to anatomy and science and be as exact as I can within prescribed parameters. It is engrained in my DNA. Then there was the Ah-HA moment. This same honed story telling approach from my professional life can be concentrated into my perso ..read more
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Life Musing on AI
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
Life has been busy lately with thoughts of the future, teaching and client directed artwork, family and friends, and, of course nature. It seems to be a seesaw motion up and down, back and forth, looking for clues that have brought me to this present point in my life. Indeed musing but I was alerted with an epiphany today. I was naively aware of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on daily life in both good and detrimental ways and had not given it too much thought. ‘Naïve’ being the operative word. Members of the Association of Medical Illustrators are discussing the affects of AI and ..read more
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Little Brown Wren
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
I was out in my yard yesterday morning and happened to watch a truck drive down the street; a little wren was hit by the truck and killed. The bird was lifeless. I cupped the bird in my hand, carefully cradled it, and spread its wing feathers, and, focused on the moment. I found a spot in my garden and laid the little wren to rest. Carolina wrens generally pair bond for life and may visit the same nests that they have used together in prior years. I was struck profoundly by this moment. Seeming to be fearless, these small stubby birds are always ready to stand up to any bird-bully in its neigh ..read more
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What You May Not Know About Me
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
I have loved little cars for as long as I can remember. As a child, I looked forward to every birthday and every Christmas in hopes of adding to my collection. My grandmother knew exactly what I cherished; she gave me Matchbox Cars of Yesteryear and a number of Corgi sports cars. When I was old enough to earn an allowance, each week I would ride my bike to Veach’s department store, hurry down the stairs to the toy department and look at the Matchbox cars atop their colorful boxes under glass with awe. I still own a few of my original little cars, those too prized to be entered into the sandbox ..read more
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Comfort Zone
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
Nature has always been my comfort zone. I had a remarkable high school art teacher, Pauline Ronald, who allowed me to complete art assignments through images of animals that I found as poorly reproduced photographs and old paintings in library books. There was no internet and resources were not great growing up in an Indiana town. I had hoped that I could become a scientific illustrator, which in time I accomplished, along with becoming a medical illustrator. Faithfulness to visual communication through subject and story (think surgical atlases) and in the genre of nature–organism and habitat ..read more
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Searching for Crabs
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
When I was a young boy my family took a summer vacation to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my late father’s favorite place. One afternoon my father and I walked along the sea wall drinking chocolate milkshakes (made with vanilla ice cream also my father’s favorite). I found a Styrofoam cup and a long piece of stiff wire and was convinced I could catch little crabs down below us in the water. The laws of plastic and physics and the intelligence of my intended nature targets made this activity virtually impossible. It was a short-lived endeavor but continues as long lasting love for all animals small ..read more
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South American Chiva Art
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
1y ago
As is my nature, I have gone off on a romp into another area of indigenous and creative ornamental art. Over the past few months I have been creating animals and plants with a combination of a variety of geometric forms and repeating designs including triangles, diamonds, teardrops, squares, ovals, crescents, dots, lines, and outlines paired with bright colors. These are the creative tools of the artists and artisans of the South American artform known as Chiva Art. A diverse list of the biodiversity subjects I have lovingly decorated includes multiple mandalas and nature panels displaying exa ..read more
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Remembrance of Craig Gosling
Phelps Mandalas Blog
by Tim Phelps
2y ago
My chosen professional career would not have been possible without Craig Gosling my first and probably most important mentor. As a young liberal arts small college art major graduate who wanted to become a scientific illustrator I was directed to the Medical Illustration department at the IU Medical Center in Indianapolis by my oldest brother, a radiologist. This is where I began the long path to my goal starting as a chart and graph artist creating images with an ink ruling pen and a typewriter. With Craig as its director the department became a fertile ground for many medical illustrators wi ..read more
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