About My Art:
My style of painting plant life is known as botanical art, or illustration, and now is occasionally referred to as contemporary botanical art. The use of the word contemporary refers to when, in modern times art techniques joined the ancient use of science to depict plant life. Use of botanical art turned from strictly scientific study to works of botanical fine art. H. Walter Lack, offers this definition of the original ancient style used to paint botanical art and is still today’s standard: “The purpose of every botanical illustration is to give an exact picture of a plant or parts of a plant. It is essential to capture the often short-lived and fragile structure of a plant so precisely that the observer is able to identify and recognize the plant.” (H. Walter Lack, Garden Eden: Masterpieces of Botanical Illustration. Tashen, Koln, Germany, 2001 p. 14). Typically botanical art is painted on a blank or in situ background. If the artist includes something like a bird or vase in the botanical art painting, these additions may change the reference to the painting from botanical art to being non-traditional botanical art. Because of this I have categorized my art into two listings: botanical art and non-traditional botanical art.
Leonarda da Vinci wrote: “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.” I think that is true. My art has taught me to see and appreciate minute details found in nature. I study my botanical subjects from real life where I usually find them in their natural habitat, take photos and make sketches to preserve their often fleeting details so that I can refer back to these images over time as I paint. I paint on archival quality vellum surfaces with colored pencils, a translucent medium. This characteristic allows for creating the illusion of almost mystical blends and a rich depth of color. My use of shadows, light and gradations of color create the illusion that my subjects are three dimensional. In addition to my artistic skills, a most important aspect of my work is my ability to paint very intricate and scientifically accurate renditions of my subjects.
I also paint other subjects, primarily making portraits of pets, wildlife and even baby zoo animals. I am sometimes commissioned to paint pets and even the zoo animals. Before beginning a pet portrait, whenever I can, I spend time with the pet to get to know its unique characteristics, then document what I have observed with sketches and photos. If spending time with the pet is not possible, I rely on the pet’s owner to describe these characteristics to me, and then to supply me with photos that capture much of the pet’s uniqueness. I have learned through experience, that an animal’s eyes are crucial to capturing the essence of the pet and making the animal in the portrait appear alive and real. When I had the honor of painting very young baby zoo animals, I found it was not possible to spend face time with them so photographs by zoo staff became the medium from which I painted the portraits of a baby zebra, giraffe and a Sumatran orangutan, an animal listed as a critically endangered species. All were born at Como Zoo, St. Paul.
My original paintings are usually 11” x 14”, 14” x 17”, or 27” x 23″. All of my paintings have been professionally scanned and are available to make products. Products include museum-quality prints of the original in varying dimensions, notecards, placemats, bookmarks, computer mouse pads, and coasters.
I am honored to have my art displayed through many festivals and juried art exhibitions, published in national and international publications, and displayed in various art galleries throughout the United States. I am a member of the Great River Chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the American Society of Botanical Artists.