From common toads and turtles to sea horses, cephalopods, and triggerfish, Tim Phelps's mandalas cast an artistic eye on the real and imagined micro-architecture of animals. Vibrant illustrations and an engaging narrative invite the reader to wonder at nature's seemingly endless variety of forms, from the simple to the complex. Using the graphic and symbolic patterns of mandalas, the artist combines color, texture, and fluidity to tell the story of each organism and the role it plays in a healthy ecosystem. These elegant artworks have been shaped by the artist's interest in art nouveau and art deco, the works of Charley Harper and Ernst Haeckel, and Victorian ornamental art, Asian art, batik, hot rod flame painting, swirling tie dye, and iconography. By exploring the how, what, and why of fauna, the book encourages us to look closely at the rich biodiversity in our own backyards.
Tim Phelps, MS, FAMI, an associate professor and medical illustrator at Johns Hopkins, is a published author on surgical pathology dissection and artist techniques including hot rod flame painting. His artwork has received over 40 regional and national awards.