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Botanic Totems are a celebration and reverence for the beauty and complexity of nature. Botanic images have a unique ability to delight, inspire and soothe us. My goal is to create works that evoke a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world.
After gathering plant material, I create a series of monotypes using plant material and acrylic paint printed onto paper. The monotypes are collaged onto wooden cradle boards along with other collage papers I’ve created. The shapes, colors and interplay are an abstract representation of the joy I feel from the foliage around me.
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I have become enthralled with creative cyanotypes. Cyanotype is an alternative photographic process using chemically treated paper to create images. It was discovered by English scientist and astronomer Sir John Hershel in 1842. Later artist Anna Atkins found the process a great way to document her fern and seaweed collection, creating a limited edition book series with the prints. Engineers in the early 20th century used the process to create blueprints. Many artists now use the process with their own creative touches.
I’ve created these artworks by using paper treated with cyanotype chemicals (used to be used for blueprints). I select plant specimens and carefully arrange them on the papers, wet them and place them in the strong New Mexico sun to process. Next steps include washing, bleaching, and toning with glazes of color. The result is always a surprise. They serve as an underpainting to which I add layers of paint.