Fungus Fascination

Fungus 1 by Erik Abel


"Fungus Study 1"  32x48 inches.  Acrylic, marker, colored pencil on panel.


Fungus 2 by Erik Abel


"Fungus Study 2"  48x32 inches.  Acrylic, marker, colored pencil on panel.


Over the last few months I've been on a bit of an artistic exploration, discovering different paths and directions.  The new studio and the larger space is giving me inspiration overload.  I was hoarding new machines and tools for a while there and now I can make almost anything my heart desires... but now I've got a dozen different projects going at once… It's kind of a disaster.

Latest thing to obsess over:  The Kingdom of Fungi.  I've always been interested in mushrooms and they've shown up in my art from time to time.  I remember airbrushing some big red ones on the side of my friends VW beetle when I was 16.  I think they had giant green spiraling eyes and menacing smiles… probably had something to do with the particular type of mushrooms we were starting to eat and experiment with back then.  I've always been an advocate of psychedelic explorations.  Humans have been nibbling on the stuff since the dawn of time, to open their minds and "connect with the Gods".  They painted mushrooms on cave walls and carved them out of stone.. fungi definitely held a place of importance for our ancestors.  My personal experiences with psilocybin mushrooms has given me a greater connection with nature and the universe, deepened my consciousness and inspired areas of my life... like my art.  Moderation is the key.

Even with the 200+ psychoactive species aside,  mushrooms are pretty damn trippy.  Like, there are 71 known species of bioluminescent mushrooms…. yes, GLOW-IN-THE-F#CKING-DARK-MUSHROOMS!  Does it get any more sci-fi than that??  So that has me going crazy, along with the fact that we, the Animal Kingdom, are more closely related to the Fungi Kingdom that any of the other kingdoms.  Like us, they "breath" oxygen and release CO2.  We have more genes in common with mushrooms than we do with plants or bacteria.  And the largest organism on earth?  Yep… a 2,384 acre fungus under the forrest floor in Eastern Oregon.  Anywho… enough with the science lesson.  Mushrooms are amazing.

Some detailed pics...

Fungus 1 by Erik Abel Fungus 2 by Erik Abel