Beams of Electrons
Extreme precision is required to achieve the ethereal quality of the final artwork, beginning with carefully executed electron micrographs of cells magnified up to x1,000,000, obtained though a complex process of chemical fixation or cryofixation, dehydration, sectioning, staining, freeze fracturing and mounting that takes days to prepare.
Looking at biological samples with an electron microscope poses numerous challenges. These include problems in exposing the sample to a vacuum and the effects bombarding the biological tissue with a beam of electrons. It takes skills and experience to prepare the samples and use the microscope in a way that gets the most enlightening images and the best data. This can be both time consuming and costly, with some samples taking several weeks before they can be imaged.
Because the electron microscope uses a beam of electrons to create an image of the specimen, electron micrograph images are in greyscale. These images do not have color (color is a property of light, not electrons). The images are then digitized at very high resolution and meticulously composed and constructed to become artistic creations. Each image in the Intimate Terrain series has been is painstakingly colored to highlight and reveal the structures from a twinned “submicroscopic/macrocosmic” artistic point of view without changing their fundamental splendor.