I pulled my first print in 2005 and was immediately hooked by printmaking. Many well intentioned people over the years have tried to impress upon me the importance of computer applications like Photoshop and Illustrator, but I prefer to use print technology that hasn’t changed much in the last 400 years.
I’ve been focused on making etchings since my student days at Portland State University. After finishing my BA in Fine Arts, I joined Bite Studio in 2012, where much of my output has been still life etchings. I discovered, almost by accident, that orchids make wonderful drawing models because the blooms last so long–months, in some cases. There are over 26,000 species of orchids, all of which are beautiful, many of which are downright bizarre looking. I love the way these flowers seem to blur the line between the plant and animal kingdoms. Cropped, closeup views of flowers can be powerfully evocative, reminding the observer of insects, extraterrestrial aliens, or, most frequently, human anatomy.
Keeping my plants alive has been a crucial but difficult part of my art practice. I would gladly draw the same kind of flower again and again, if I could convince it to re-bloom. Since joining a couple of orchid societies, I’ve been amazed to see how diligently people study botany as they cultivate their plant collections. I’m as inspired by the dedication of orchid growers as I am by the plants themselves.