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  • Mary Ellen Sisulak

Placed like specimens are three Nymphalidae species of butterflies. This is the largest species of butterflies with many new ones discovered through exploration. Like a family tree, they are juxtaposed against the branches of a tree. The background is my beloved Ellison Bay Bluff. This time I jeweled the tree with lichens rather than the butterflies. Without lichens, moss and fungi, vegetation on earth would pile up to the sky. We need these recyclers of the “wood” to use up the debris of dead wood, and rotting matter. Lichens form a symbiotic relationship with their hosts but there is still much to learn about them. Their intricate textures and subtle colors remind me of the the geode formations I used to represent them. Lichens are an indicator of good air quality.

18” x 24” For more information visit https://www.maryellensisulak.com/mimicry-series

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  • Mary Ellen Sisulak

Pinus Blanc

In 2021, I AM SHARING THE INSPIRATION OF MY WORK. THERE IS A VISUAL UNDERSTANDING THAT EVERYONE BRINGS TO THE WORK. SHARING WORDS WITH MY WORK MAY BRING NEW MEANINGS.

White pine forests covered most of The Northern Midwest before the lumber barons logged it off. In an effort to reforest, tree farms were planted in open fields, like our own at Turtle Ridge. A tax break was available for those who planted them. The white pines here were about 18" tall when we purchased this property and now they are at least 60 to 70 feet tall. The white pines have accomplished greatness during my 40+ years here. Reproduction is achieved by male and female cones on the same tree. Pollen on the staminate (male) cones pollinate the pistillate (female) cones. Seedlings have a tap root and grab onto rocks and siphon nutrients as they grow. I like to illustrate how much plant life is below ground. Virgin white pines can still be appreciated in Ferdinand Hotz Park.


The petrified wood specimen is a visual reminder of the evolution of trees to the present. "Petrified wood comes from the Greek root petro, which means rock or stone, the literal meaning 'wood turned into stone'. With no oxygen the plant cells are replaced by minerals most often quartz crystals." Petrified forests are found on every continent and the process can take as little as 100 years but stretch back to record millennium.

The leather and painting is wrapped around the sides of the piece for a balanced finish.

Pinus Blanc measures 24" x 36" x 2"

More details on my website: maryellensisulak.com

  • Mary Ellen Sisulak

EQUISTEM - Mixed Media


FOR THE START OF 2021, I AM SHARING THE INSPIRATION OF MY WORK. THERE IS A VISUAL UNDERSTANDING THAT EVERYONE BRINGS TO THE WORK. SHARING WORDS WITH MY WORK MAY BRING NEW MEANINGS. SO HERE GOES WITH THE FIRST BLOG OF MY ART FOR 2021


Horsetail grow in my high woods and I marvel at their construction. They are a dry plant and sectioned, the sections diminishing in size as they go to the top, which pop off cleanly if pulled. The ancestors of these plants were gigantic in Paleozoic times. It's a perennial that is a living fossil, with only one living genus in its family Equisetaceae. It reproduces by spores rather than seeds. An interesting fact is that John Napier was inspired by this plant to invent logarithms. It has been used for folk medicine for centuries. My composition is composed of the life cycle of the plant, but I have disregarded the scale or size of the parts. The black onyx stones are used to describe the spores and the cool background of purple, the dark under story where they grow. I am using leather stretched over a birch panel as my canvas. The leather is enhanced by carving and tooling to give additional texture. It is painted with acrylics because they are compatible and adaptable to layering layering colors. "black onyx is considered very protective and grounding, known for the energy of strong support, stamina, and determination to help one persevere." The leather and painting is wrapped around the sides of the piece for a balanced finish. Equistem measures 18" x 24" x 2" More details on my website under Mixed Media Botanical Series



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