Jan 2009: The idea for The Illuminated Origin of Species was conceived around the time of Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.

2009-2010: Preliminary research on botanical art, Illumination, and Darwin’s life and work

July 2010: Research trip to Washington D.C, including the Hall of Human Origins and the Darwin exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Naturalist Center in Leesburg, VA

Fall 2010: Accepted into the Society of Botanical Art Distance Learning Diploma Course, began intense program of study in botanical art

Winter 2011: Continued research, completed graphite drawing of cotton plant for sample page

Spring 2011: Created sample page, tested paints and papers, practiced lettering styles, sketched some of the plants and animals mentioned specifically by Darwin, formatted the Table of Contents, brainstormed ideas for illuminations

Summer 2011: Created the project website www.illuminatedorigin.com, Completed Sample Page, designed Title Page, Dedication Page, and Table of Contents

Fall 2011: Raised over $16,000 on Kickstarter for the creation of the Title Page, Table of Contents, Introduction, and Ch. 1

Winter 2012: Designed Title Page, Table of Contents, and Dedication Page; sent hand-addressed postcards, miniature beetle prints, and boxed cards to Kickstarter backers

Spring 2012: Finished miniature beetle prints for Kickstarter backers; finalized miniature book design, continued working on Title Page, Frontispiece, Dedication Page, and Table of Contents, visited Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and National Gallery of Art

Summer 2012: Delivered first adopted beetle paintings, and all miniature books to Kickstarter backers, re-designed Title Page and Frontispiece

Fall/Winter 2012/2013: Worked on frontmatter, finished Title Page and Frontispiece

2013: Finished Letters for Kickstarter backers, worked on Frontmatter, Introduction, and Ch 1-3; partial delivery of Title Page paintings for Kickstarter backers

2014: Research and background study; filled sketchbook 2; brainstorming, sketches for Ch 1-3; Calligraphy practice

Spring 2015: Finished and delivered title page paintings

2015: Finish and deliver remaining beetle paintings; Write out Frontmatter through Ch 3 and finalize all illuminations





February, 2019: Event to celebrate progress of The Illuminated Origin for Darwin’s 210th birthday and the 160th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species