Palm and hibiscus leaves + text on a printing plate.

Palm and hibiscus leaves + text on a printing plate.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time outside, picking up leaves, looking at their shape, their color, their texture, and their veins—taking pleasure in small details, as I always have in my artwork.   My fascination with leaves then led me to create a visual journal of the plant world.   And now they're central to my art, so I still spend a lot of time looking up at the trees and the pathways under my feet for leaves or shoots to use in the printmaking process.  When I've got a bouquet of them, I head up to my studio and begin.

I like immediacy, like to take my experience directly into the studio and express it in tangible form.   To do so, I apply paint directly on a plate, arrange the leaves on the paint, top that with paper, and print.  Which produces a monoprint.   I work intuitively, with very little plan other than the shape of the leaves I've just seen out of doors. To make one piece, I print for several days or weeks, winnowing out the “not so good ones” and adding them to a pile of collage fodder. The remaining candidates accumulate, covering the tables in my studio.

When I've accumulated several good prints, I pin them on the wall in large squares or rectangles, moving the prints around until I find a composition that feels right. This cutting and piecing creates a visual journal, each print a moment of time stitched together with others, to create an evocative landscape Using this simple printmaking technique and combining it with collage, I explore the seasons of my Northern California town with color and texture, capturing the subtle shapes created by leaves silhouetted against the sky.

Using this simple printmaking technique and combining it with collage, I explore the seasons of my Northern California town with color and texture, capturing the subtle shapes created by leaves silhouetted against the sky.