My studio is filled with specimens collected from the bush and sea. Clear air, gorgeous skies, beach and bush all provide a never-ending palette to draw from.
One of my favourite specimens is the Banksia, a stunning Australian native flower with many different varieties, colours and textures.
When I am in nature, I find great peace and connection. There are many layers to explore. Tranquility and contemplation are what I hope to convey in my work.
The Solar Plate Process
Using the non-toxic process of solar plate etching, I utilises the same sun my specimens are found and drawn in. It is a quick, simple, non-toxic etching process, using the sun and water instead of acids and solvents to etch the plate.
I process my existing pen and ink drawings with a plate made of polymer film with a steel backing which is then exposed to the sun then developed in the local rain water.
This printmaking process is called 'Intaglio' meaning a design incised or engraved into a material
Solar plates are inked up and printed by hand on BFK Rives paper, a sustainable cotton rag, often running handmade paper through the press up to 20 times to produce a one-off piece of art.
A few years back I was strolling on the beach with my father-in-law and we found a perfectly preserved weedy sea dragon. I took it home, photographed it, but didn't have time to draw it that day. The following day I went to make a sketch and found the sea dragon was missing. Searching around the house, I sadly found its head in my dog's bed. He had eaten it like a chew bar. Needless to say, I cried! A find like this is so incredibly rare. As It turned out, our neighbours had found a similar specimen at the same time. We believe a storm had washed them up onto the shore. They were kind enough to allow me a few hours at their home to draw and capture a fair likeness...a better ending to my sad story!