Artist Feature - Melissa Castrillon
I'm currently dogsitting in the somewhat suburban seclusion of a little village and as someone used to living opposite a station in one of the busiest cities in the world, being quite this alone is a little unnerving. The smallest unexplained noise sets off a course of fear and curiosity, so you can imagine what a very large lightning storm might do to someone out here with a nervous disposition!
Whilst it was still threatening to come down again this morning I grabbed the dog and got outside to try and put the night behind me and was greeted by humidity (my favourite form of weather) and the most fantastic smell.
The storm had caused the dry soil of the woods to give up a wonderful musty sawdust like smell. Little wild flowers with droopy heads have now popped up all over the quiet roadsides. The wheat fields have this amazing sweet crunchy smell that for some reason makes me sleepy, and the smell of wet pine is hanging over the house.
I've followed the work of Melissa Castrillon for a rather long time. And watching the dog snuffle around all the wet dangly ferns and pretty pink bindweed I remembered her botanical heavy pieces. Where tiny little bell shaped people dance amongst oversized leaves, where almost scientific style illustration is given the flat screen print treatment to make it perfect for telling stories, where flowers and leaves encroach upon everything she draws.
It made me feel better about the storm (and the probability of another tonight) because whilst it scared me without it we wouldn't have all those lovely little flowers. We wouldn't have that wondrous comforting smell the wet forest throws up and we perhaps we wouldn't have Melissa's wonderful illustrations.