I seek to push the boundaries of what is considered traditional botanical art in new directions, whilst continuing to maintain its beauty and dramatic form in a meticulous and unique way.
Working as a full time artist since 2009, I seek to push the boundaries of what is considered traditional botanical art in new directions, whilst continuing to maintain its beauty and dramatic form in a meticulous and unique way. My work does not follow the traditional botanical art “line”. My subject matter provides a unique view of the world, while at the same time maintaining the tradition of excellence in execution and technique, working on both paper and vellum (animal skin).
Working on paper and vellum in graphite and watercolour:
… there are no pencil marks. There are no brush marks. There are not even signs of the washiness of watercolour, or of graphite or pigment overstepping a border, let alone of erasure or changes of mind. This is scary.
When I ‘complained’ to her that I couldn’t see the pencil marks, Sharon replied that there weren’t any ‘strokes’, and proceeded to show me – on a big drawing of a dead Bunya Pine branch she had nearly finished – how she moved the point of the pencil across the paper in tiny ellipses. She explained that the elliptical motions helped to model the curled state of the leaves, to round them up. I was terrified I might cause her to make a mistake, such as deepening the tone with her ellipses more than she intended, and so was relieved when she stopped. I still couldn’t see any pencil marks.
Similarly, the laying of very pale washes over one another in the watercolours ensures not just the invisibility of the technique, but achieves the effect of luminous colour coming from within. I had already noticed this to be true not just of her flowers and leaves, where one might expect it, but even in supposedly dull old stalks. It sets you back to see stalks with an inner glow.
(University of Canberra and former curator, National Gallery of Australia)
I like the idea of travelling to other places – places that no one has seen before, and through my artwork I endeavour to take other people on a virtual journey. I revel in the potential drama that hides in something that many people describe as “dead” or that they even overlook completely. I really love it when one my drawings or paintings has the power to make a person stop and look … again … and again.
My particular interest is in the dramatic sculptural forms and patterns that nature creates which can be living or dead, large or small, coloured or bleached.
Everyone looks at the plants around them, but very few people really see and appreciate the beauties that nature lays so generously before them. For me, art is transforming what is taken for granted. Every day of their lives, people see trees and flowers, but so few people stop to look and to appreciate what nature has provided so generously in such exquisite detail, diversity and abundance.
Appreciating this detail in nature is so critical in this time of rapid climate change. With an interest in plants in an ever-changing environment, I find it easy to draw parallels between plants, animals, insects and the state of human kind.