Image of budding Mertensia macdougalii

My Artist Statement

As a student of ArtBox Institute, I’ve learned about branding, marketing, business planning, insurance for artists, and public speaking- just few of the topics already covered in this 5 month long course. Tuesday evening, we learned from Matt Beaty about creating an online base, a great reminder that regularly posting content is the only way to participate in online community. My motivation to maintain an active blog (and post on social media) has been reinvigorated! Below is the artist statement I wrote after a local journalist, Mary Tolan, spoke to us on crafting a statement that conveys one’s art and oneself as an artist. Let me know in the comments below how well you think I succeeded.

When I find myself focusing inward to the exclusion of all else, plants pull me outward, engaging me in the moment. My work aims to express that connection to the mesmerizing rhythm, color, structure and pattern found in botanical subjects, exploring relationships between plants, ourselves and the rest of existence. My focus is on cycles of germination, growth, reproduction and dying—celebrating and ruminating on my personal role in these processes. I’m fortunate to study plants under scientific scrutiny through commissioned illustration (and I get to contribute to botany without editing papers)! My illustrations are meticulously researched, technically descriptive and imaginatively composed; they embody the personality of a species while highlighting significant characteristics simply and clearly. In all my work, I prefer employing live plants in the field, or freshly harvested from the garden. I supplement when necessary with specimens pressed and dried or preserved in alcohol, and I may also use macro- to micro-level photography. Tools of the trade include botanical publications, herbaria, plant presses, cameras, microscopes and hand lenses, extensive notes, forceps, and rulers, rulers, rulers—all of which aid in the paramount focus of my work: observation. Plants call for our attention and engagement; I add my voice by depicting them.

For something other than words, here are some photos from a quick trip to Volunteer Canyon last weekend.

Image of budding Mertensia macdougalii

Mertensia macdougalii or Macdougal’s bluebells in the Boraginacea family


Image of flowering Pedicularis centranthera

Pedicularis centranthera, quite the contrast to the Mertensia but adorable in its own way. I love those toothed, lobed leaves- they’ll be a challenge to illustrate.


Volunteer Canyon

The north side of the canyon itself.

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