I started pressing flora and lichen from our area very gradually as I learned their names and more about them. When I began carrying a leather journal with acid-free watercolor pages, I realized I was maybe a little obsessed (we could barely open a book in our house that didn’t have cuttings ready to tumble out).
It seemed as if I was painting with the exquisite local flora. Some pressings have been placed within floating frames, and some are arranged on linen, which provides 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. I think of some of these as an example of the terroir. Hey, it is “wine country” where I live.
They’re seasonal, fragile; and temporal. I think of the aesthetic of wabi sabi—the acceptance of transience and imperfection—or beauty as imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. As some of them fade in color, they become more beautiful.