Beetles! A new collection at the NHM.

Hello! Welcome to my Beetles! series. I take photos for the beetles department at the Natural History Museum (aka the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’). There are plenty of photos to share. Stay tuned!

Last week was extra-exciting, as the team unveiled thousands of new specimens acquired for the museum collection. I was invited to take a peek at the new material…and encouraged to take lots of pictures, as usual. Here are some of my favourites. (You’ll be entirely shocked to discover that my favourites were the most heavily coloured and patterned beetles of the bunch!)



Helena-Maratheftis-NHM-new-collection-600-03Jade greens and dusty blues…spots and stripes and abstract prints…gloss and matte and metallic finishes… these little guys give me so much inspiration for my artwork. They are just too cool.


Helena-Maratheftis-NHM-new-collection-600-09Row after row of little white boxes, filled with specimens from all around the globe. These will soon be integrated with the museum’s current collection.



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Mr. Turtle: My colourful plastic sculpture

Hello! This is Mr. Turtle, my latest in a series of colourful turtle sculptures (see here and here). He is the result of a private commission, and is destined to hang in the sunny kitchen of an Oxfordshire home, swimming for evermore through the air. The sculpture is made almost entirely of up-cycled materials, including plastic bottles and old shopping bags – his snouty little face is made of a ginger beer bottle! Have a look:

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena Maratheftis

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena MaratheftisSince the sculpture is going to hang from the ceiling, I focused on decorating the underside. I went for bold stripes and contrasting colours. I wasn’t given a particular colour scheme, but was simply told to make it as colourful as possible.  He’s covered in many, many coats of acrylic paint, and embellished with splashes of silver ink. 

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena Maratheftis


You know, I’m pretty fond of this guy. He doesn’t have a name yet (and could be a Ms. Turtle for all I know). I handed him over with the request that he must be given a name! I can’t wait to find out what it is.

Weekly Inspiration: The Australian Edition.

Hello! This is a weekly feature where I share my photos with you. I carry my camera everywhere, and I’m always taking pictures of things that inspire me. Prepare to see lots of colours, patterns and good times through my lens!

As you may have noticed, I recently went AWOL for a few weeks. That’s because I was in Sydney, Australia! Here are a few of my favourite photos from the trip. Keep in mind that this is by no means a complete tourist’s guide! It’s just a set of my  most colourful shots!





Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour-AUSTRALIA-22Coogee Beach on a scorching day

Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour-AUSTRALIA-13A very Aussie scene at Cronulla Beach

Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour-AUSTRALIA-10Long Beach on the South Coast

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Wedding Animals

Hello! Do you remember these animal line-drawings I made in April? I created them for the wedding of two animal biologists. The bride kindly sent me some pictures of my artwork  ‘in action’. Doesn’t it all look beautiful? The wedding looked so stylish, yet simple and earthy.

The tables were named after species studied by the bride or groom. This was the  red squirrel table.

There was also an aardvark table, a hoopoe table and a hyena table, amongst others!

The King Penguin table.  (I love the idea of flowers in jars.)

The table plan, featuring all 13 drawings.

And lastly, the happy couple. Congratulations, guys!

All photography by  Jenny and Rudi Kennard at WhatImage Weddings.

Wedding Animals: otters, aardvarks and line-drawings.

Hello! I’ve just finished another project! This one’s for two lovely biologists who are getting married this Spring.

Between them, they study a whole bunch of wild animal species, and I was asked to draw 15 of them. My drawings will be displayed on tables at the wedding reception, instead of simply numbering the tables. (Isn’t that a nice idea?) Anyway, here are my 10 favourite drawings, presented to you in diagram-from-a-textbook style.

Which one is your favourite?

Line drawings feature in most of my artwork, but there’s usually plenty of colour involved, too. It was really refreshing to keep it simple with these drawings.

I hope you love them, Ms A. & Mr B.