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.