a story about an artist-in-residence

March 2020 I receive an email from Amy Silverman…

I hope this finds everyone healthy and safe. I can’t recall a stranger, more unsettling time. The last time I felt normal was March 11 — the last time we had a Bar Flies show.

Sadly, as I’m sure you know or have guessed, we have had to put the live shows on hiatus for the rest of the season. So I’m dusting off and tweaking an idea I had for fall that will allow us to continue sharing stories with our community — from a safe distance.

Amy continues with an invite to participate in the inaugural Illustrated Bar Flies.

I often attend Bar Flies monthly story telling/live readings at Valley Bar, in downtown Phoenix. If you haven’t been…you should go. Thoughtfully curated, each story is a unique (wow) telling. There’s DJ’ing pre and post individual readings (shout-out to Deborah!).

As with all Bar Flies stories, this illustrated version is true. The theme is HOME.

April 2020  I’ve been home researching the crazy virus that appears to be taking over all of our lives. I’m now teaching my drawing class on-line. In the studio, I work a large abstract, mixed media study based on what I am learning about the coronavirus.

The week I get the invite from Amy, I’m out in the front yard and run into Reed, my next-door neighbor. And with this interaction, I decide I’ll participate. I want to try something new that’s fun AND I can clear up a misconception. 

My story title: Looking for the Truth

looking for the truth

you are never alone

they have an intelligence

real time information…dang! they reprogram a cell!

fomites…wash your hands!

 

solitude

I rest my case, artist-in-residence is the true story.

I learn to organize differently AND I have fun…enough to even have an ↓ outtake.

seeing eyes-balls that never make it into the story

#VirtualBarFlies #WeAreStillSocialDistancing #organic #linear #YouAreNeverAlone
#WhoAmI? #WhatIsThisWorld #WhatIsMyRelationshipToIt
#ImStillArtistInResidence


May 2020 
Amy sent the invitation out to a group of people. Click on anyone of these links – go read them. Each story is true. Each story is different.
Phoenix Magazine  →  bar flies Archives
Instagram →flypaperaz
Facebook → Fly Paper, stories that stick
Eventually they’ll live on the Fly Paper website.

→ more about Bar Flies


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

f-holes, chinrest and a lumbar spine

A few steady days of hard rain last September, you can imagine my surprise when out for an evening walk, I come across an abandoned violin. A huge trash bin sat in front of a house that was being gutted. There on top, lay a damp violin, still in its case.
#PhoenixRain #PhoenixHeat

I returned 40 minutes later to find a young guy pulling up to the house.

Is this your violin?
It was my grandmother’s.
You’re tossing it?
Yes. I’ve inherited the house…cleaning it out.

The bin was also filled with wet books, hardback classics as well as contemporary reads.

Can I take it?
Take anything you want.

I call my sister, who is a musician. It can’t be remedied.

clean and stipped

It’s now April and the current mode…
In a pandemic…not easy to be teaching a drawing class on-line. I need something to do that won’t require a lot of thinking…maybe easy, maybe relaxing.

I didn’t plan to paint a spine and pelvis set up on it but I’d read some metaphysical writing about the lumbar spine and the violin. Maybe symbol…maybe metaphor…I can’t recall exactly.

Here it is…not necessarily easy nor relaxing…though it did help move me into preparing for teaching on-line.

You know…if you look at the size of an average pelvis…it’s really not that big.

This is it…a quick post…to let you know…
I’m glad I found your beautiful violin and gave it a new direction.
I feel you’re good with it grandma. Thank you so much.

#Musical #Visual #MovingFromOneExperienceToAnother #AlwaysAboutBody #AlwaysAboutSpirit #ThisTooShallPass


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

it rains, it pours…i draw

Teri, my friend who is an emergency nurse, upon seeing my virus study writes,
What did you do during the pandemic Monica?
Responding to herself she continues…I sketched it.


Enjoying the first part of Spring Break, I spend a couple of long days outdoors before the rains come. By end of week, I receive word school break is extended another week, to the 20th. News of COVID-19 fill the airwaves.

It rains. It pours. I draw.

Coronavirus: Internal structure. Note Spikes (glycoproteins) and single strand RNA

Fascinated by viruses, I note the coronavirus described as aesthetically pleasing. I agree.

In the studio the latter part of the week, I draw while listening to science podcasts, in general, on the subject of viruses, in particular on COVID-19. I learn about amplifier hosts and reservoir hosts. I learn words like retrovirus and zoonosis.

COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019. It gets its name from the spikes on its surface which resemble a crown. There are a number of coronaviruses (including MERS and SARS).

I understand now COVID-19 is a concern because it is a single-stranded RNA virus (top image) that mutates quickly and can travel on a sneeze and a cough. This is why Spring Break extends another week and events are cancelled – it’s logical.

coronavirus – external structure

Days flow…oddly different from morning to evening now. Tara, my neighbor, shows me a photo she takes of the empty fruit section at the grocery store today.

….Mostly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Thunderstorms….

#WhoAmI? #WhatAmI? #WhatIsThisWorld? #WhatIsMyRelationshipToIt
#Art #Science #Curiosity #GottaHaveArt


Here are some educational (and so accessible) sources on viruses in general and some on COVID-19 in particular.

Out of ASU: Zombified Podcast is intelligent and makes learning easy, fun and sometimes…icky (in a good way).  This week they cover viruses. The episode was taped before current crisis began, making the ending play like a prediction.
 Bat shit featuring David Quammen

On COVID-19 in particular → David Quammen, Fresh-Air 

Everything virology, with last 7 episodes on COVID-19 → TWiV This Week in Virology

Food for thought (with valuable embedded links) →  How to act cooperatively in the face of a pandemic


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

1 & 2 / olfactory and optic

I’m still in the brain, at the bottom of the top (inferior view), looking at the cranial nerves (CN1 and CN2).

Learning the olfactory nerve is cranial nerve #1 (CN1). Really? Cuz I thought for sure it was #2!

Tiny sensory nerve(s) of smell 
you are
cranial nerve(s) number one.

Olfactory nerves (CN1)

I wish I knew where I read a kiss evolved from a sniff.
One can tell a lot from sniffing another…

Optic nerve, cranial nerve #2 (CN2), for me you are (will always be) #1.

eyeballs
see

optic disk
point of exit
small blind spot

optic nerve
channel site
connects brain to eye


optic chiasm
evolution suggests you’re a turning point
X marks the spot

I’m enjoying the details…


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

medulla oblongata

This last week, in the studio, I layout another brain (inferior view) including brainstem and cerebellum. Today I add cranial nerves.

I think about Lester, a teacher.

Looking for my notes of his exact words, I don’t find them. Though I can recall the tone and pace as he said…Spirit enters the body at the medulla (pause) oblongata.

I’ve drawn the brain stem so many times in the last few years and only now do I feel the need to pinpoint the medulla. One could think I’d know…because it’s the area where the tenth cranial nerve, aka, the vagus nerve, exits the brain. The vagus nerve, not only the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system and hence called the wandering nerve, is a favorite.

The medulla oblongata is the lower half of the brain stem connecting to the spinal cord.
I can talk science…but won’t. I can talk life-force energy…not now. Keeping it simple.

Physical body. Subtle body.
Connect.

All the deep breaths and the stillness that comes with them.
Making sense. 


©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

in the beginning…is the line

“Drawing takes time. A line has time in it.”
-David Hockney


In this first assignment based on inner and outer contour, beginning students draw a complex natural object. Our college campus grounds are full of pinecones. They walk by them most every day. Now, I ask they study one.

They work a number of days on this one drawing. I particularly note the group’s patience and concentration as we move through the process. They arrive on time, grab their pinecone and draw. They appear careful observers from the start.

The first critique of this new year goes well. We talk about the quality of the lines,  general composition and all various challenges it took to compete these striking studies.

Here are a few…

Angelica’s Pinecone

Gisela’s Pinecone

Julyssa’s Pinecone

Aday’s Pinecone

Alex’s First

Luc’s The Pine Cone Maze

Juan’s Pinecone

Janera’s Pinecone

The class includes a group of returning students ↓ who get to pick their subject matter and work in mixed media. Basically they pick up where they left off last semester. Naturally they include various elements of design in their compositions including value, though they need to emphasize line/edge.

And they do a fine job holding the afternoon critique.

Edith’s The Dried Flower

Angel’s Duality : Typo Phobia

Angel’s in-class assignment ↑ is in mixed media drawing while her homework is the same seed pod completed ↓ in marker. Good idea Angel, I could start assigning this set up to future classes.

Angel’s Lotus Pod : Duality, marker

Seb’s Avalanche

Eamon’s Now That’s What I Call Pod Racing

Aine’s Artichoke

Basically students learn to look closely and see their subject matter. I ask they always  consider the lines they use to describe what they see. Most of them (Drawing 1) do this with a variety of fine markers and no eraser.  All the while coordinating eye, hand and brain…process is key.

Good start everyone!

no woman is an island

Late last week I receive a few emails from Jack who is in Phoenix, from Sacramento, for a business trip. I came through the airport and fell in love with your art and especially “Wandering Nerve…” I want it to live with me. Is it spoken for?

I like that he wants my study ↑ of the wandering nerve, aka vagus nerve, aka pneumogastric nerve … to live with him.

Another email:
Do you want to sell it? Do you make prints? I’m here for 3 days.

The work is an original. No prints. Yes, it’s available. I forward more info.

Marvelous! He notes he’s checked in with his wife too. All good.

He fowards:
The microbiome is growing in importance to me individually and the Vagus Nerve is a major player in my current health. I’m so grateful to see it combined in an artistic way too as art has been a similar factor in my life.

This weekend we speak. I learn a little about Jack…

At one point in life he considers becoming a psychologist and/or a minister. He talks about his interest in Eastern religions, community development and personal growth. We talk about philosophies he’s studied. I’m intrigued to know he once lived in an Ashram in South India.

Jack recounts a time, years ago, when he first came across images of Van Gogh. He describes his emotions and the physical sensations as he looked at the work. The experience seeds his interest in art and it continues to grow … which is why we connect today. And he thought he was coming to Phoenix for a business trip!

I listen as he tells me about his physical health, early ailments, and then later more serious issues including inflammation and severe pain. The latter leads Jack to research (a Stanford Lab) among several things, the microbiome and the vagus nerve, and eventually he makes the necessary life-style changes. In particular he talks about food, old cravings as well as a new way of eating that he’s designed for himself. He no longer deals with pain and he notes the breath, now easy and open. I ask questions, he answers with directness and ends with…the vagus nerve…it directs you!

I like his description of the vagus nerve… like a runway...he says. His quiet excitement is clear … I love the wandering nerve!

 We talk a little about the body directing the brain, and the brain directing the body.  It’s 2-way communication, I say. He agrees.

Jack’s life is full. He has plans with his family, which include a return trip to India and to write a book…

Art on a Cellular Level continues to June of 2020 at Sky Harbor airport.

Before our conversation comes to an end, Jack mentions how much he enjoys walking through Sky Harbor. It’s one of the nicest airports I’ve been in…and I’ve been in many.  He especially appreciated the art spaces.

I’m pleased you took the time to experience the artwork. I’m especially glad you’re well and in good spirit. Thank you Jack, for connecting and sharing some of your extraordinary life with me. I am happy the Wandering Nerve will live with you!


The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

art making, sound making

What might a painting sound like? What might sounds look like?

The exhibition i hear what you’re seeing, curated by Laura Haleshighlights seven paintings and drawings by Arizona artists, imaginatively narrated in sound by students from Arizona State University’s School of Music and ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

Featured Visual Artists:
Laura Spalding Best, Bill Dambrova, Cam DeCaussin, Lara Plecas, Ellen Wagner and Monica Aissa Martinez.

Featured Sound Artists:
Devin Arne, Shomit Barua, Laura Brackney, Andrew Robinson, Jacob Miller Smith and Gina Xu.

Here are some detail shots. You’ll have to show up to experience the rest of it.
#art #sound #words #mixedmedia

Laura Best, Refracted Oasis

Bill Dambrova, She asked me my name and I gave her my social security number; that’s how they got my spleen

Cam DeCaussin, Or so I’m told but how would you fake it

Lara Plecas, Petite Alliance

Ellen Wagener, Cloud Bank

Monica Aissa Martinez, Lymphatics (front view)*

*my work will also include a poem titled Signal by Kelly Nelson

 

Who:     Center Space
What:    i hear what you’re seeing
Where:  Inside of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, 85251 View Map
When:   Opening: Friday, January 17, 6:00–8:00 pm.
runs to April 26, 2020

Join us for the opening! Free and open to the public.


Center Space is a newly imagined community space for visitors to learn about the arts by doing. Each fall and spring exhibition will feature hands-on activities or interactive displays. It is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and during evening performances.

giving and receiving (the art of cooperation and conflict)

Organizing notes and/or…
What I learn (try to figure out and detail) along the way in my study about obesity and the microbiome/gut bacteria …

Newborns, breast milk and HMO’s…

Galactose (molecule) is one of the sugars (a building block for HMO) found in breast milk.

Oligosaccharide from the Greek, oligos, a few, and sácchar, sugar.
Human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) are sugar molecules found only in human breast milk. HMO’s, while indigestible in a newborn, encourage the growth of health promoting bifidobacteria. Think: fertilizer designed for fitness enhancing microbes.

Stuff I find particularly interesting…
Breast feeding promotes a diversity in the microbiome that may set up an individual for protection against future obesity (amongst other things).
Breast milk varies over the period of lactation and the growth of bacteria varies in different populations.

And then there are the short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) …

Butyrate (a most essential SCFA necessary for homeostasis)

SCFA are another product of microbial (friendly gut bacteria) fermentation (of indigestible dietary fibers). This source energy for the cells lining the colon kill pathogens and protects against dysbiosis.

Included in my drawing are the 3 most common examples of SCFA’s which are butyrate↑, propionate↓ and acetate↓↓.

(Yes…fun to draw out  and paint all the ball and stick models.)

Propionate (Greek protos, first and pion, fat) produces glucose in the liver.

 

Acetate (taken up by astrocytes/glial metabolism)

Takeaways…
The right food early in life trains the immune system via the microbiome.
Changes in diet (those SCFA) drive changes in gut microbes. Fiber rich foods (plant based) allow host and microbes to have mutualistic relationship (cooperation).
Microbes harm and/or help us (the host).
Junk food allows for conflict (harm).

…and then there’s hormones…

Insulin (Ribbon diagram) allows the body to use glucose for energy or store for future use.

Ghrelin (ribbon diagram) in the stomach – stimulates appetite and promotes fat storage.

Questions…
Does some food fuel pathogens and promote their growth?
Does some food inhibit or kill pathogens?
Do pathogens play a role in obesity?

#PortraitOfVeronica #GottaHaveArt #ThisStuffIsFrickinComplicated

ps. The title of the post came after a Yoga class the day after the holiday.


©2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

a city, modified: 20 years of modified arts

A City, Modified, is a cross between historical exhibition and invitational. The show surveys Modified Arts’ origin in 1999 to the present day and explores the galleries’ history as a music venue and arts space in downtown Phoenix through photographs and historical memorabilia. It is also an invitation to a selection of artists that have had an impact on the space and the arts community in Phoenix over the last two decades.

Participating Artists Include:
Annie Lopez
Brent Bond
Casebeer
Christine Cassano
David Dauncey
Daniel Funkhouser
James Angel
Jerry Jacobson
Douglas Miles
John Randall Nelson
Laura Spalding Best
Malena Barnhart
Monica Aissa Martinez
Rembrandt Quiballo
Sergio Aguirre

Who: Modified Arts
What: A City, Modified
When: November 15 – December 14th
Opening Reception: Third Friday, November 15th, 2019 6pm-9pm
Closing Reception: First Friday, December 6th, 2019 6pm-9pm
Where: Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row

m/a
407 E Roosevelt, Phoenix AZ 85004
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 9a-5p, Saturday 12-4p
or by appointment at info@modifiedarts.org
more → www.modifiedarts.org
Facebook invite

Congratulation Modified!


Here are 2 of my memories (in photo)…

2010 / Converging Trajectories, Crossing Borders to Build Bridges

2011 / What Goes On and What Takes Place

 

speaking of diversity…

I’m still in the GI tract, looking at the microbiome as it relates to obesity.

Energetically, I’m in the solar plexus, the space below the rib-cage and behind the naval. This area governs digestion and metabolism. (Note: I have a very different picture of this nowadays.) Symbolically, it is the center holding our willpower and self-esteem. One of my Yoga teachers refers to it as the city of jewels.

Out of balance, the area can carry either excess energy or an energy deficiency. A balanced solar plexus can wake up ones sense of personal power.

The area holds (for you) a bright yellow light. #Fire

I think about optimal well-being which includes the whole person … physical, mental and social well-being (body, spirit and mind).

Here are a few personal details about my cousin …

Veronica has 3 children. They hold space in the composition ↑ as sperm meets egg (3x). Her children are adults (she’s a grandmother).

The day I photograph her, I note long fingernails and dark purple nail-polish. This last week I give the study a manicure and pedicure.

Veronica has numerous tattoos. Three flowers ( 2 blue and 1 🌸) are added to the top, left foot (our right, her left).  FYI…the immune system keeps those tats in place!

Puncture the skin and immune cells kick in. Macrophages (remember the big eater) work to gobble up invaders, in this case, the ink particles. Yes, they hold the color in place! Should the dermal macrophages be destroyed, new ones step in and continue holding that ink. The purple floating shapes ↑ to either side of the flowers – represent this (cool) hand-over system.

For years I’d not seen the small pastel of Veronica as an infant. It was on the wall during our photo shoot. I include a portrait of the portrait ↑ in the drawing as I consider a newborn’s microbiota.

Do you know breast fed babies have a more diverse microbiome while formula fed babies have a less diverse microbiome? Human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) is particularly interesting. The energy rich substrate, individual to each mother, varies throughout the period of lactation. Infants can’t absorb HMO… but microbes can.

I don’t clearly understand until now, how a high-diversity of microbes might lead to better health conditions for an individual. I mostly focus on who we are feeding – the good microbes and/or the bad microbes. And while this does play into things, so does supporting a well diverse population of microbes. With diversity, perhaps no one microbe can cause a problem (reduction in pathogenic infection).

And speaking of diversity…

Each time I’ve spoken to Veronica, she brings up the word diversity. She’s indicates in one way or another, the importance of inclusion and the recognition of a variety of individuals in terms of personal and work environments, organizations…etc. There is so much more to this idea, she says, so much more….

Veronica will be finishing up school very soon and probably a new career adventure to follow soon after.

I’ve completed 11 life-size humans – diverse in so many ways. When I am done with this one – it will be #12!Thanks for trusting me to bring your uniqueness into the mix Veronica.


Some thoughts…
This work in particular is valuable to me because right now I look at obesity (and the microbiome) through the lens of Evolution Medicine. I am particularly drawn to the idea of adaptation and how the concept applies to health and wellness.  Though always aware, I am even more clear on how everything we do has a cost and/or trade-off.  I’m more inclined to consider how this applies specifically to the care of the human body and the individual.

My understanding of the microbiome feels like I’m working a complicated puzzle. Things come together one piece at a time. At this point, I almost feel like I could go back to each drawing and add a microbial element.

What the body holds is incredible…I understand  more and more one human study at a time.

#GottaHaveArt


©2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

bugs, seashells, skulls

This semester the majority of the students use a variety of Micro-pens. Note the line work in this assignment, some indicates structure while some indicates texture.

The subject matter is a natural and complex form. Students used to draw only shells. A few years ago I brought in bugs. This semester, thanks to the PC biology department, we have small animal skulls. The composition is to include 2-3 objects and students must balance out positive space with negative space.

While I would like each student to include 1 of each (bug, shell and skull) in their composition, I let them pick and choose. I’m not surprised some students don’t like the bugs. I’m very surprised others don’t care for the skulls. And I understand why most of them love the variety in the seashells.

Santan focuses on a star fish.

Drawing students learn the skill of observation. Using a magnifying lens, they look closely at the form and surface of their complex object. Marker (no eraser) forces them to work slow and careful. They learn to focus. They learn patience, commitment and discipline. During critique we talk about how these traits show up in the work.

The assignment goes well. Here are a few of the studies.

Santana’s What Am I Looking at?

Angel, She Sells

Luis’s Land and Sea

Seb’s Sirens Song

Leo’s Hopper Goes to the Beach

Grace’s SeaShells

Pedro’s Dinner Time

Ilse’s Monsters

Aine’s She Sells Sea Shells

Eman’s Food Chain

Luka’s Linear Evolution

Luka’s Speleothems

Fernando’s Skulls Overboard

Early in the semester, students tell me about Inktober. In general, I think the idea behind this is one ink drawing a day throughout the month of October. This study takes at least 4 days for the majority of the class. But it’s still a fine drawing for the month!  #inktober2019


The post includes only a few of the drawings. You can see all of the work on Thursday, November 7th, when Phoenix College (main campus) celebrates National STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) day.  Free and open to the public. You’re invited!
more

pretty close to a PSA …

2 things….
Last week I had a very quick (and very spontaneous) introduction to molecules. (Thanks Joseph!)  I returned to the studio loving the ball-and-stick sculpture-like forms, knowing  they’d show up in the current study (Portrait of Veronica).

and…
This week gut microbes ↓ enter the picture plane. And maybe…so does microbial imbalance aka dysbiosis.

Portrait of Veronica (lower edge of the life-size study)

Understanding Omeprazole is an antacid, I was never at ease hearing Veronica would be on it for the rest of her life.

Omeprazole is what is known as a Proton Pump Inhibitor. PPI’s are among the most widely used (prescription and over-the-counter) medications. They are linked with obesity (among other things). And long term use can be harmful.

I always planned to include something in the composition about antacids. I just had to find the right way to do it.

Enter: Molecules! ↓ Here is omeprazole. I like detailing the form and purposely choose sweet colors  (like candy which many antacids tend to resemble).

FYI, my source for information on antacids is Joe Alcock. If he’s involved, always know the microbiome is involved. He refers to gastric acid juice as the gatekeeper to the microbiome.

Consider stomach acid kills microbes that enter the gut along with food. When gastric acid output is blocked, say…by an antacid, understand the stability (balance) of microbiota is also altered. It appears good bacteria might be reduced while harmful (and opportunistic) bacteria remains.  (Gastric acid also supports absorption of calcium and B12.)

It’s complicated…
#SmallIntestinalBacterialOvergrowth #Dysbiosis #Inflammation #WeightGain

I take a minute to email Joe, who notes there are a few conditions for which life long omeprazole makes sense. For everyone else, he says, PPIs should be a very short term drug.  Read his post and find out why → Killer antacids

You’ll be seeing more molecules in my study…


©2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ

histology of the gut, horror vacui at its finest

Rafting the Colorado River a couple of years back, I remember looking at the surrounding walls of the magnificent Grand Canyon. Moving deeper into it, all the while wondering to which organ in the body could I compare the environment. You know … if one day I was to draw on the experience.

Interestingly, more than half the people on the trip were medical professionals. Daily conversation allowed for a variety of responses… lymphatic system, kidneys, adrenals…etc.

I was thinking intestine, more specifically large intestine. If I was there today it could be the entire digestive system.


The last few weeks, I’ve put the portrait of Veronica aside to work a painting for an invitational exhibition. The small study helps me to work out an area of the larger portrait drawing where I struggle.

Collaging a map (of the Grand Canyon) onto canvas, I think about the topography of the GI tract. And looking at histology of the gut, I think horror vacui at its finest!

These multi-colored and multi-finger like ↑ forms are my version of enterocytes.
What: Enterocyte (a cell)
How and Where:  Line up and form intestinal epithelium, (inner surface of the intestine).
Think barrier, absorbing beneficial stuff (like sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc…B12…water…etc…so much more than this but I want record of a few things).
And they restrict entry of harmful stuff (like microbes/pathogens and toxins).
They have an endocrine role (secrete hormones).

Can you tell my interpretation ↑ of this structure of tissues, in the abdominal cavity, hints at gut inflammation? Note the abdominal fat (visceral fat at top and bottom edge) also forms a barrier (surrounds and seals).
What: Adipose tissue (Visceral fat/VAT)
Where: Within abdominal cavity
Why: Fat protects organs by trapping and killing escaping bacteria.
Endocrine organ secretes protein hormones.

Casein, egg tempera, collage on canvas, 19.5 x 26.5″ (WIP)

The composition includes enterocytes, adipocytes, t-cells, macrophages bacteria, viruses…and other stuff…

Painting with casein and egg tempera, I can’t help but think about the food we eat. Casein and egg yolk are binders (adhesives), mixed with pigment, they are my medium. Milk and egg, do they stick…to the gut too?

#wip #horro vacui


Earlier in the month, working the portrait of Veronica with its focus on the microbiome and obesity, I wanted to set the lining of the intestines into the composition ↓. I have to be honest; I kept losing my sense of the space. I needed a map of some sort. I also needed to understand some things → Fat fights back.

So physical…this stuff… and wonderful. It seems to me… the body…might be trying to protect itself (you and me). #sosubtle


©2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ