Emma Skurnick

I spend a lot of time observing the beauty and strangeness of the natural world here in central North Carolina, and I know that my paintings – mere snapshots in time – can never do justice to the intricacy I see around me. The pleasure I derive from spending the hours, days, and weeks it takes to study my portrait subjects however – noting the delicate fuzz on the underside of a leaf, or the way color shifts along the length of a bird’s feather – is reward in itself. The finished artwork feels like an artifact: testament to the time I have spent, and of the awe I feel, for each subject of each painting.

I was always that kid in the back of the classroom drawing horses and dragons on the covers of her notebooks, and not scoring too high on the quizzes. I was fascinated by my science classes, but the teachers gently told me not to plan on a career in the field – between the disorganization of my lab notes and the doodles in the margins of my homework, they thought that a less rigidly organized field of study might better suit my strengths. I turned my attention to the art studio, and I have never really left. I got my undergraduate Degree in Sculpture and Drawing at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and found a graduate program in Science Illustration at U.C Santa Cruz.

What a joy to arrive at my first day of class in the Science Illustration program and discover ten other students just like myself – half were people who loved science but had ended up in the art studio, the other half were scientists who had always wished they could draw. In that classroom, we melded our strengths to achieve the best balance – one that stood on a line between the miracle of scientific understanding, and the beauty of fine artwork. That is a goal I continue to pursue to this day.

My hope is to have viewers of my paintings share a bit of the joy and pleasure I take in discovering new things about the natural world. By making modest animals large – by painting a toad or songbird three feet tall – perhaps I can startle people into appreciating the world we tend to pass by. By isolating the fox or the lily against a simple white background, perhaps I can allow us to see some of what we miss as we speed along. And by granting these creatures a bit of personality and humor, maybe I can convince a viewer to slow down and consider the beings with whom we share our space.

To learn more about Emma Skurnick’s artwork, visit www.emmaskurnick.com

Products by Emma Skurnick

The following products include artwork and/or writing by Emma Skurnick. Most products are a collaboration of the wonderful artists and writers who have contributed to Acorn Designs over the years.

Arctic Grayling Notecard

Arctic Grayling Journal

$20.00$21.00

Artic Grayling (Thymallus acrticus) Although they are related to trout and salmon, it would be difficult to mistake an Arctic Grayling for any other species of fish. About 12-15 inches in length, the grayling has a spectacular dorsal fin marked with large, iridescent pink spots, and a purple-black body accented by brown spots and a…

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Arctic Grayling Notecard

$3.00$18.00

Arctic Grayling (Thymallus acrticus) Although they are related to trout and salmon, it would be difficult to mistake an Arctic Grayling for any other species of fish. About 12-15 inches in length, the grayling has a spectacular dorsal fin marked with large, iridescent pink spots, and a purple-black body accented by brown spots and a…

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Atlantic Cod Notecard

Atlantic Cod Journal

$20.00$21.00

Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) A beautiful gray-green fish, the Atlantic Cod has had a greater impact on human history than perhaps any other fish in the world. The amazing abundance of cod – found off the North American coast from Greenland to North Carolina – proved to be a powerful force of social change. Originally…

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Atlantic Cod Notecard

$3.00$18.00

Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) A beautiful gray-green fish, the Atlantic Cod has had a greater impact on human history than perhaps any other fish in the world. The amazing abundance of cod – found off the North American coast from Greenland to North Carolina – proved to be a powerful force of social change. Originally…

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Box Turtle Notecard

$3.00$18.00

The small, colorful Box Turtle is an amazingly adaptable creature. It lives in habitats ranging from damp, swampy woodlands to dry grasslands and it eats everything from insects and slugs to fruit, berries and mushrooms; even mushrooms that are poisonous to other animals. It is the most commonly found terrestrial turtle in the United States,…

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Garibaldi Notecard

Garibaldi Journal

$20.00$21.00

Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) If you are ever swimming in a kelp forest off the coast of California and hear a loud thumping sound, be prepared for a face-to-face encounter with a beautiful, bright orange fish called the Garibaldi. Living from the pacific coast of Baja California up to Montery Bay, they are found in the…

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Garibaldi Lokta Card

$5.00$8.00

If you are ever swimming in a kelp forest off the coast of California and hear a loud thumping sound, be prepared for a face-to-face encounter with a beautiful, bright orange fish called the Garibaldi. Living from the pacific coast of Baja California up to Montery Bay, they are found in the warm, shallow waters…

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Garibaldi Notecard

$3.00$18.00

Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) If you are ever swimming in a kelp forest off the coast of California and hear a loud thumping sound, be prepared for a face-to-face encounter with a beautiful, bright orange fish called the Garibaldi. Living from the pacific coast of Baja California up to Montery Bay, they are found in the…

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Garibaldi Small Journal

$15.00$16.00

If you are ever swimming in a kelp forest off the coast of California and hear a loud thumping sound, be prepared for a face-to-face encounter with a beautiful, bright orange fish called the Garibaldi. Living from the pacific coast of Baja California up to Montery Bay, they are found in the warm, shallow waters…

Read More
Select options