There is a particular type of shelf fungus growing around here in the woods that I call an Artist’s Fungus, also known as Ganoderma applanatum, the artist’s conk. Artists have been drawing on these for many years. I found some contemporary examples by Corey Corcoran that are weirdly cool:
This is an ephemeral medium-if you don’t etch them quickly they harden and are no longer workable.
Some have better contrast than others. This early one of a loon has faded into a uniform tan, but the design is still visible.
The white underside of the fungus turns dark when it is disturbed. A sharp object like a nail, jack knife, or exacto knife can be used to etch.
The side of a blade can create shadows, but lettering is hard for me.
some work better than others. Here the invasive weed Eurasian Milfoil‘s feathery textures work better than the gliding fish.
My favorite is my newest, a cat face and a tiny mouse on 2 separate fungi.
- The Artist’s Conk (palymoth.com)
- Finding what is underneath (moonandshadow.wordpress.com)