I started pressing flora and lichen from my area (I live in the Anderson Valley) very gradually. I started looking more carefully at the flora everywhere around me and consequently learned the names of numerous plants and lichens. When I began carrying a leather journal with acid-free watercolor pages, I realized I was enamored, maybe a little obsessed (we could barely open a book in our house that didn’t have cuttings ready to tumble out). It turned into a project when I could hardly wait until the plants were dry and pressed enough to frame.
It feels as if I’m painting with flowers and all the exquisite flora of our valley.
Most of these pressings have been placed within floating frames, some of which are arranged on a sheet of wax paper to cloud and soften the light, and then placed in standing frames to be illuminated from behind with a candle.
I have also arrayed the florals over linen, which lends a neutral background and brings to mind the classic way specimens are displayed. I love seeing in detail the contours and colors of numerous cuttings side by side, and I think of them as an example of the terroir of our valley. After all, it is “wine country” where I live. (And, I do work in a wine tasting room!)
I have been selling these for a little more than a month now. They’re snapped up quickly, so I thought I should keep a gallery of photos. Some I never photographed, some of these have sold already, but a few are still available, and I will be adding to the gallery.
They’re somewhat seasonal, and fragile; they may even be somewhat ephemeral. Time will tell. I embrace the aesthetic of wabi sabi — the acceptance of transience and imperfection — or beauty as imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
(I have given a backlit frame as a gift instead of sending live flowers with condolences. I have also been commissioned to make a few small backlit frames to be displayed on the table in place of candles and flower arrangements for a special dinner party.) If you’re interested in purchasing, and have questions, please ask and I’ll reply quickly.