Hand-pressed aspen leaves.
I have always enjoyed my companionship with Nature.
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.
I find myself somewhat compelled by Nature. The idea of spending time out of doors exploring natural forms, be they rocks, trees, sandy beaches strewn with shells, or forested valleys has always been a high priority in my life. I find that in our everyday experiences, we are typically moving quickly and getting only a cursory overview of what Nature provides for us. In my art, I make the conscious effort to slow down and look for the detail in Nature’s beauty so that my finished piece will be both a reflection of the setting in which I found the specimen and a showcase for the detail found in the materials themselves.
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.