In the past few years I have started to explore the use of mushrooms not only as subject of art, but also as a medium for artwork. Many of the tougher polypores can be ground into  pulp which makes a surprisingly nice paper. I am still experimenting with different species and am finding the variety of texture and color to be exciting.


The very appropriately named Artist Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) provides the artist with both "canvas" and "ink."  The smooth white pore surface of the Artist Conk bruises a rich, brown color when scratched with any hard object. In the examples on this page I used a sewing needle to make the drawings directly on the mushrooms. Once dry the drawing is permanent and the pore surface will no longer bruise. I will sometimes use my fingers on the pore surface instead of a needle to achieve a more shaded look rather than a hard line (see trout detail.)


Most recently I have found the deep ocher  pore surface of the Cracked Cap Polypore (Phellinus rimosus) to be a nice background for some original acrylic paintings. These can be done in the winter when the Artist Conks are dormant.

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© Allan Sutley 2015