An exhibition of pencil drawings of fantastical creatures, such as this drawing, "Feles Exoticae 9Not your ordinary cats)," by Joan Robertson will be displayed at The Art Box in September. (Image provided)

An exhibition of colored pencil drawings, “Strange Menageries and a Melange,” by Wauconda artist Joan E. Robertson, will be on display at The Art Box, 308 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, from Sept. 8 through Oct. 4.

An opening reception is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 8.

Many of Robertson’s subject matter has been still lifes of flowers and other things reflecting her travels and early exposure to the Dutch Little Masters. At the same time, she has drawn another series, a strange menagerie of different creatures inspired by her large collection of animal-themed Christmas ornaments, pins and boxes. The show will highlight these strange creatures, and will include a few flower drawings and some landscapes from her Near/Far series.

These colorful critters are presented in environments that only approximate their real nature: birds in front of bamboo trees on a Japanese furoshiki cloth, fish against a blue and purple beach towel, cats against a flowered cloth, strange animals among pine cones. The charm and fantasy of the creatures allowed for a more playful approach than Robertson’s floral compositions.

Robertson is an award-winning artist who has been drawing in colored pencil since 1976. She has a bachelor’s degree in art from Bucknell University, a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and is the former art curator for Kemper Insurance Companies. She earned her CPSA signature status in 2005 and has been juried into five more of the Colored Pencil of America’s international exhibitions.

The Art Box is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.