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David J. Babulski
(1944-    )

David Joseph Babulski was born in 1944 and grew up in the small foothill community of Sunland/Tujunga in Southern California. From a very early age he was intensely curious about the natural world and loved to draw. The San Gabriel Mountains and their foothills were his playground. While still very young he had the good fortune to live next door to a serious mineral collector. At the age of ten he was introduced to mineral collecting and the science of mineralogy. Fortune smiled on him again at age fourteen. A neighbor who was a retired art teacher introduced him to watercolor. All through his high school years he dreamed of a way to combine his interest in science and art. During a high school career seminar a professional artist shared his experience as a scientific illustrator, providing the inspiration for a goal to combine art and science.

After graduation from high school David enrolled at what was then San Fernando Valley State College in Northridge, California as an art major/science minor. After two years, however, world events intruded and, rather than risk being drafted he left school and joined the U.S. Navy. After basic training he was assigned to Class "A" Radar School where he learned the basic electronics knowledge that would serve him well later in life. While at sea he enrolled in art correspondence courses to keep his hand in art. After release from active duty, he married his high school sweetheart and went back to college on the G.I. Bill. At the time, job prospects for professional artists were rather bleak, so he majored in his other passion, graduating in 1973 with a BA degree in Earth Science. He would have preferred to teach high school Earth Science, but the national economy was in a recession and jobs were scarce, particularly for new college graduates. So he enrolled at night school and went to work for the 3M Company servicing electronic office equipment. For the next 20 years he put art aside to raise a family. He became a professional educator in industry, obtaining both a Masters Degree and Doctoral Degree in science education.

After his children were all college-educated and on their own, he returned to mineral collecting and developed a special interest in microminerals. Over time he began to sketch what he saw through the microscope, and eventually graduated to watercolor, which proved to be an excellent medium for capturing the vibrant rich colors in the mineral world. He borrowed and purchased every book he could find on watercolor and taught himself more about the technique. He also invented a gimbaled mechanical microscope stage to allow accurate positioning of micromineral specimens. David works on hot-press acid-free watercolor board with watercolor paints, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor colored pencils. Specimens for his paintings come from his own collection of mineral micromounts. Initial sketches are made with a Camera Lucida attached to a Motic K400 stereo microscope. This initial sketch is then enlarged and refined freehand by referencing the microscope and photomicrographs of the micromineral specimen. Most of his paintings are executed on a black background, as that is the way the specimen appears in the microscope. He strives for scientific illustration accuracy in form and color with just a bit of artistic license. Each original painting is framed, and is accompanied by the actual micromineral specimen from which the painting was created, mounted in the frame. Future plans call for limited edition prints of selected paintings. Several of his mineral paintings reside in private collections. He has had major exhibitions of his work at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh (2003), the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville (2004), and the Weinman Mineral Museum in Cartersville, Georgia (2005). In 2005 he was made a signature member of the World Wide Nature Artists Group. Samples of his work can also be found at the WNAG web site: www.natureartists.com/babulski.htm.
David currently lives in Snellville, Georgia with his wife Karen. He can be reached via e-mail at: d.babulski@comcast.net. All artworks shown here are copyrighted by the artist.

References:
BABULSKI, D. (1998) Through The ‘Scope: An Open Frame Gimbal Mechanical Stage for use with Micromounts. Rocks and Minerals, 73, 424, 425.
BABULSKI, D. (2005) Through The ‘Scope: A New Technique for the Displaying Mineral Photomicrographs. Rocks and Minerals, 80, 360-362.
GABER, C. (2005) David Babulski's Mineral Art. Metal Stone and Glass, 33, 19-21.
ROBINSON, S. (2002) Micromineral Artist David Babulski. Rocks and Minerals, 77, 246,247.
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 16 | Artworks being viewed: 1 to 8

The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Libethenite Libethenite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 10 x 14-inch watercolor board; painted from a 5-mm specimen from the Old Reliable mine, Copper Creek canyon, Pinal County, Arizona (specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2003.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Kasolite Kasolite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 10 x 14-inch watercolor board; painted from a 3-mm specimen from the Musonoi mine, near Kolwezi, Katanga, Republic of the Congo (specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2002.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Uvarovite Uvarovite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 10 x 14-inch watercolor board; painted from a 5-mm specimen from the Saranovskoye mine, Saranje Village, Gorosavod Area, Permskaya Oblast, Ural Region, Russia (specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2005.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Vanadinite Vanadinite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 11 x 14-inch watercolor board; painted from a 4-mm specimen from the Hamburg mine, Silver District, Trigo Mountains, La Paz County, Arizona (specimen and painting, collection of Ryan Morrell, Vero beach, Florida). Copyright David Babulski 2002.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Veszelyite Veszelyite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 11 x 14-inch watercolor board; painted from a 4-mm specimen from the Black Pine Mine, Phillipsburg, Granite County, Montana (specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2003.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Wulfenite Wulfenite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 13 x 13-inch watercolor board; painted from a 7-mm specimen from the Rowley mine, Theba, Arizona(specimen and painting, collection of Collection of the Geology Dept., California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California). Copyright David Babulski 2001.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Vanadinite Vanadinite
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 14 x 17-inch watercolor board; painted from the Apache mine, Globe-Miami District, Gila County, Arizona(specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2005.
The Mineralogical Record: David J. Babulski - Dioptase Dioptase
Watercolor, acrylic gouache and Prismacolor pencil on 13 x 17-inch watercolor board; painted from a 4-mm specimen from the Christmas mine, Banner District, Dripping Springs Mountains, Gila County, Arizona (specimen and painting, collection of the artist). Copyright David Babulski 2005.
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