the organs – front and back, inside and outside


I spend months drawing organs and systems of the body.  I call them studies because that’s what I do – I study. I look to science but I also look to more esoteric teachings to gather my information.

I draw over 30 different organs and systems before I decide to lay out the endocrine system. I want to understand it. I find the texture of the glands appealing, I want to draw them.

I couldn’t know how complicated things would get as I travel though the nooks and crannies of the body. Where exactly is the endocrine system? What does it do?  The glands are so tucked away.  One by one – I travel from head to pelvis. How did anyone ever come to any conclusion about what each gland does?  They are embedded deeply in small (impossible to reach) spaces in the brain, in the neck, near the heart, in the solar plexus and in the pelvis.

I finish the system with a general understand but more questions. The more I know, the more I don’t know. I could keep doing this forever.


Thymus Gland


Right Adrenal Gland

I want to draw the lymphatic system. Isolating it feels like to big a challenge – more complex. I need a break before I go there.  I draw one  lymph node. It’s a beautiful organ.






You can see these drawings in an upcoming exhibit in downtown Phoenix. They’ll  show in the on-loaded boxes on Roosevelt Row. Invited last summer, I was also asked to consider and keep in mind the unusual space.

Alternative. Small. Intimate.
Bright light set in darkness.
Studio. Lab. Study(ing).
Cell – a biological cell and a small room (cella).

I plan to fill up the space with my studies of body organs and system. Most of the images are 2-sided. I draw the anterior or posterior view or I draw the inside and outside of an organ/system.

I have to figure out how to hang them. I have ideas.

Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA)
March 18, 2016,  Third Friday, 6 – 10
April 1, 2016, First Friday, 6 – 10
Art Detour, March 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday
Roosevelt Row (Between eye lounge and Modified in downtown Phoenix)
→ More

8 thoughts on “the organs – front and back, inside and outside

  1. These are so amazing and gorgeous but I don’t know why you think your work would be “esoteric”. I find it completely understandable and connected and that’s what I truly like about it. It’s so mind- body- and spirit in your exploration-sharing of the human anatomy maps.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I do appreciate it.
    And though I do look to esoteric teachings to gather information, I don’t always write about that in my blog.

  3. I do not know what you mean by esoteric then, Monica. I think maybe you don’t want your work to be “accessible”even if your viewer finds it to be so. As artists, we all look to be “original” and yet we are all derivative. Your interests and or focus being scientific is not so unusual. Masks and maps and dissecting the body to highlight synecdoche is nothing new. To study anatomy and maps and animals is to be connected to the planet. It is understanding on the primitive level and appreciate you bringing attention to the micro-macro maps.

    Your work is beautifully your own because only you have experienced your life. But the maps. and anatomy is accessible. That’s what I thought you wanted to teach.

  4. I do believe my work is accessible. I want that.
    Maybe the word that makes more sense is metaphysical. I have interest in the physical and subtle body – both.
    I don’t think I realized when I decided to focus on the endocrine system (which I just completed) how much spiritual association I would find. At one point I thought I would post each gland and write about it, but I want to draw right now – so that not going to happen.

    ….”To study anatomy and maps and animals is to be connected to the planet.” – This means a lot to me Katherine.

  5. I find your work better than the “metaphysical” actually. Like you don’t need to credit Aristotle or John Donne as explanation or influence… but that’s interesting and I thank you for sharing with me.

    Best wishes as you draw. That’s wonderful to know you are in studio. 🙂

  6. I have some health challenges rooted in my endocrine system. It took ages for the the correct diagnoses to be reached.
    Your drawings of these organs/systems are beautiful and make me marvel at what you ask about how anyone ever figured out what each one does.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your series 🙂

  7. Glad you finally received a diagnosis. Sorry it took so long.
    We’ve learned about the body through the ages – and current technology is allowing even more advances to occur.
    But I still feel…the more we know, the more we don’t know.
    The endocrine system – I’m glad I took it apart. So fascinating – I only tapped it really. I’ve completed it, I’ll post more as I have time.
    Thanks for connecting and I’m glad you are enjoying my work.

  8. Thank you for the kind words 🙂
    I think your work is beautiful and mesmerizing. I love the way you build the layers of each piece.
    Being in the position of coping with ill health I have to agree with you that the more we know about the body is the less we know. I’m a bit of a puzzle for my doctors now and it’s not comforting to have specialists who are unable to explain your illness :S
    I look forward to seeing more of your work and learning about your process.

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