Tiny Scorpions

I’m writing about some of the art and artists in our show at Tohono Chul this winter, December 2014-March 2015.

Charles “Chip” Hedgcock is known for his photographs of bugs.


I first met Chip when he visited an elementary school where I was teaching. He came to show Cynthia’s 5th graders live bug specimens to draw and learn from…oh, to be a fifth grader that day.

Fast forward four years and Chip is finding the time to join Tumamoc Sketchers.

I met up with him one morning to observe his process.



He uses different photographic processes to explore this place. On this December day, he makes an outdoor lab at the midway point up the Hill.


Things haven’t changed much…Chip, circa 1980 (Bronco ’68).

Making coffee, Quitobaquito springs. ca 1980

Photographic processess are intensive (extensive), requiring specialized equipment; darkrooms, labs, computers etc. but this project happened almost exclusively here, on top of an old cooler.


He placed creatures found on site onto old exposed photographic paper. The paper was discovered in the Tumamoc Desert Lab. He protected the specimens with clamped-down glass. He used the suns’ light to expose the paper further while the specimens blocked the light.

The exposure lasted all day.

DSC_0881 DSC_0884

While walking the tiny scorpion exoskeletons to their spot on the top of the cooler, a gust of wind took one of them off the paper and onto the pavement…lost, impossible to find.  But, with soft eyes and a little bit of faith, the tiny one was located, replaced, and joined to make the three necessary for a more dynamic composition.



Chip and resident geologist, Owen Davis.


Come see the results and learn more about this unique process at the Tohono Chul entry gallery. See the Tiny Scorpions.


And don’t forget, Tumamoc Sketchers is free and open to everyone. We meet once a week to draw, paint, sketch. Then we talk a little bit about what we did that day, that’s all, you just have to show up…..and up and up.


Find the link to Tumamoc Sketchbook in the menu on the right. Join the mailing list to receive updates and times.

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