Catherine and Ovie Cowles

Growing up in a small California desert community, my love affair with the outdoors began with catching lizards, camping in remote desert and mountain canyons, exploring long-abandoned mining camps, collecting and identifying native vegetation for school projects, and – taking a page from one of my father’s professions and avocations – photographing much of this experience for later recollections. 

My approach to botanical artwork begins outdoors where my hiking, camping, photographing, and collecting experiences remain center stage. Oftentimes, the goal of my final presentation is to create the illusion of a three-dimensional image of the collected materials. Using a camera, scanner, and computer to work with the botanicals, each image is carefully selected for its depth of field values and arranged in a manner designed to arrest the viewer’s senses and tease them with the notion that they should be able to reach out and touch the flower and leaf shapes before them. After all, what better place for the image to take hold and capture the imagination... than in the mind of the beholder. 

In the end, my hope is that the artwork leaves the beholder with a unique connection to the natural world that surrounds us and provides a splash of color into which we can briefly slow life’s pace, take a deep breath, and relax.