In my last post, I discussed my use of a new polymer clay, 3P QuickCureClay, in sculpting anoles. Several commenters were interested in learning more about this medium and its potential for making models to assess predator marks.
I’ve now created a demonstration video of the clay which displays its unique properties and versatility (plus, newly finished anole sculptures make an appearance!):
Shelby Prindaville, Polychrotidae (Heatstack) detail, watercolor and pencil on paper, 30×22″, 2011
My watercolor drawings and figurative sculptures feature a variety of Anolis lizards. The visually fascinating characteristics of anoles combined with their small size yet reptilian “otherness” (occupying a middle ground between too-easily-anthropomorphized mammals and too-alien fish or invertebrates) make anoles an ideal animal representative for my broader ecological interests.
Shelby Prindaville, Anolis proboscis (Pair), watercolor, 3P art medium, and pencil on translucent paper, 16×24″, 2012
The drawings and sculptures I create with anoles use their innate character and abilities to explore a purgatorial space. The first drawing in the watercolor series puts anoles in place of rats in the rat king myth made famous in The Nutcracker; the use of anoles allows a way out of the diseased mass through voluntary autotomy and allegorically demonstrates that repairing environments requires sacrifice. Other drawings pull from subjects ranging from the Ouroboros to Terry Pratchett’s allegory of summer.
Shelby Prindaville, Anolis carolinensis and Mimosa Pudica (Falling), watercolor and pencil on velvet paper, 27×19″, 2012
My desire to sculpt small yet still anatomically accurate anoles has actually led to the development of a new polymer medium: 3P QuickCure Clay. I collaborate with LSU Chemistry Professor John Pojman and his company 3P, and my suggestion to create a clay and its subsequent development has allowed me to use a batch-curing process that achieves the intricately detailed results below.
Shelby Prindaville, Polychrotidae (Dive and Climb), 3P Clay, 4x8x2.5″, 2012
To see larger images or more of my artwork, please visit shelbyprindaville.com.
For those of you who enjoy reading literature of the non-Anolis variety in your limited spare time, allow me to recommend the work of author and journalist Carl Hiaasen for a shot of anole-spiked satire. Hiaasen’s extensive fiction and non-fiction works (which are reminiscent of Edward Abbey and Christopher Moore, to name a few) have captured the elusive charm and absurdity of the people and wildlife of Florida, and should be required reading for anyone who has been or is thinking of traveling there.
Although none of Hiaasen’s novels have focused on anoles, they make frequent cameo appearances in his work. For example, in his most recent young adult novel “Chomp,” one of the precocious main characters, Tuna, “captured a brilliant green anole lizard and helped Wahoo memorize its scientific name, Anolis carolinensis, which was a mouthful.” In another book, “Nature Girl,” a frustrated private investigator follows a sleazy telemarketer and his girlfriend into the everglades, where they have been lured by the phony promise of a luxurious ecotour. The PI is intent on capturing evidence of the telemarketer’s infidelity, but instead captures extensive footage of A. carolinensis engaged in “adult” behaviors.
Apparently, Hiaasen’s interest in anoles extends beyond their supporting role in his fiction. At a recent Q&A session with publishers at Random House, Hiaasen drew gasps from the audience when he described noosing A. equestris in Coral Gables and prying their mouths off his bloodied fingers using a quarter, and later being knocked off a ladder when the same species leapt off an outdoor light fixture and onto his face, again drawing blood. Hiaasen also described a childhood and adolescence (still in progress, according to the 59-year-old author) spent chasing lizards and other herps with his friends, his children, and later his grandchildren. Clearly Hiaasen deserves the honorary title of “anolologist.”
Perhaps anoles will figure more prominently in his next book? Personally, I’ll be crossing my fingers until then.