Monthly Archives: February 2018

Obfuscation Acrylic on text on canvas, 6" x 6"

Acrylic painting of octopus emitting ink by Leah Palmer Preiss. Background of ocean plastic pollution

A wonderful Patron of the Curious Arts commissioned this painting inspired by one of her favorite words, Obfuscation.  It is one of my Curiotype images, featuring a figure forming the initial letter of a word while illustrating the concept.

As I was pondering how to accomplish this, the image of an octopus popped into my head, Luckily for me, it just so happens that the octopus is not only a very appealing subject to paint, but a master of obfuscation. Not only are some species capable of astonishing chromatic camouflage, but many also create decoy shapes, known as pseudomorphs, by emitting ink as they escape potential predators.

While this creature certainly isn’t camouflaged by color (since we did want it to be visible), it’s doing its best to obscure the background text. Nonetheless the definition of “obfuscation” peeks through, along with glimpses of an engraved illustration of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

The brightly colored swirl of “confetti” bordering the octopus may look festive, but it represents a dismal reality: the pollution of the oceans by waste plastic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is only one of many gyres composed largely of non-biodegradable plastic. Even our obfuscating octopus can’t obscure the dreadful prospect that by 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the sea.

I hope we can reverse this terrible trajectory & keep the ocean safe for magnificent creatures like the octopus.

Prints of this image are available in my Etsy shop, Curious Art Lab.

Odd Fellowship at Arch Enemy Arts Gallery Show Opening


If you’re in or near Philadelphia, please stop by Arch Enemy Arts tonight for their Open Call 2018 opening! (2 February 2018 6-10 p.m.) Odd Fellowship will be there, along with a bunch of wonderfully imaginative art by other artists– the poster image above is by Win Wallace. I’m thrilled to be included, though sadly I won’t be there for the opening. The show will be up through the 24th if you can’t make it tonight either.

Acrylic Painting by Leah Palmer Preiss, Odd Fellowship, pop surrealism

Arch Enemy Arts Open Call