Dr. Amy Keagy, Lecturer
Faculty Mentor Department
Alligator Skull was created through mimicking the shadows on the bones of a giant creature with the dots of my pen. Living in Florida, I have known these animals my entire life, and I have been mesmerized by them the whole time. To see one humbled into a skeleton form is so intriguing. They are apex predators that encompass fear in many, but they are just as mortal as the rest of us. They only kill to survive, but the power they possess over the waters has humans either petrified or entranced. This individual from the Alligator mississippiensis species was only in its youth before death overcame its being. It was stripped from the muscle that could kill by something so gentle as degradation.
I have always been an artist who has sought after realism. I want to encapsulate the exact beauty that I see on paper. I fought through this piece because the further you are from it, the more real it appears to be—as the dots blur together, yet a closer look reveals chaos. This is inevitable as it was created through the shadowing technique of stippling—an intriguing style made by strategically tapping a pen to paper at least hundreds of times. One tap seems to have done nothing, but a couple hundred brings back life to a skull.
I am majoring in biology, with a concentration in coastal environmental science, and minoring in painting, drawing, and printmaking at the University of North Florida. Studying these subjects for years has brought me to a point where I adore scientific illustration. Combining the meditation and skill of art with the knowledge and curiosity of science makes creating these pieces a fascinating experience. When fabricating this piece, I did not stop at finding an aesthetic image, as my usual approach would suggest; instead, I researched the functions of the different bones and the reasons for the specks on the bones. I truly love illustrating in this way. This piece was only a start.
PANDION: The Osprey Journal of Research and Ideas: Vol. 4:
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/pandion_unf/vol4/iss1/14