Ever Curious: Maryjo Koch and the Art of Scientific Illustration

"Common Blues." Maryjo Koch. Watercolor and gouache. Originally published in "Eat, Sleep, Fly." Andrews McMeel. 2012.

Ever Curious: Maryjo Koch and the Art of Scientific Illustration


Wednesday January 24, 2018 to Friday, March 16, 2018


Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery

Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 24, 4:00-7:00 pm

Free and open to the public


The Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery is pleased to present “Ever Curious: Maryjo Koch and the Art of Scientific Illustration,” a solo exhibition of work by Maryjo Koch. As an artist, Koch combines a precise rendering of detail with elements of whimsy, speaking to a reverence and wonder for the natural world that is rooted in close observation. The exhibition includes a selection of original illustrations from the eighteen books she has published, as well as several unpublished works and mixed-media pieces. The works are alongside specimens from the natural history collections at the Kenneth S. Norris Center at UC Santa Cruz. 

Throughout her career, Koch has documented specimens representing a vast range of ecological environments and geographic locations that span the globe. Many of her pieces depict the specimens at scale, a particularly daunting feat when capturing details such as the bristled hair on a honeybee’s legs. Following the publication of Bird, Egg, Feather, Nest in 1992, Maryjo Koch became particularly renowned for her engagement with this topic. In 1999, The Nest: An Artist’s Sketchbook was published, and was followed by Flight Plans. Despite the expansive scope of her work, as a longtime resident of the Santa Cruz region, Koch often celebrates the flora and fauna unique to this region. At times, the subjects of her paintings are taken from specimens found in her own backyard. 

Working from her studio in Northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Maryjo Koch is widely regarded among the world's most accomplished naturalist painters. She began her career doing renderings as an environmental designer, but soon returned to her childhood fascination with the world of nature. Her paintings and commissioned projects are featured in galleries and museums from North America to Asia. Maryjo began teaching nature painting at both the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and at Monterey's renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. She now conducts workshops at her studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

All artworks featured in the exhibition are available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to support the ongoing operation of the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery. 

To Visit Maryjo Koch’s Website: http://www.kochstudios.com/Maryjo/mk_home.html