In High School, my two enjoyments were art and science. I had to choose between the two and science won. I have always been drawn towards the natural sciences and spent the first part of my career in engineering and teaching. It wasn’t until moving to Bunbury, Western Australia that I was coaxed into art classes with Penny Elliot. These classes focussed on drawing skills with many types of media. After lots of experimentation, it became clear that details and accuracy were important to me.
During a brief visit to Melbourne in 2010 I visited a botanical art exhibition at the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens and was blown away by the marriage of art and science. I knew then, this is what I wanted to do.
2012 saw a move to Melbourne and I immediately signed up to botanical art classes under the tutelage of Diane Emery. These classes provided a great opportunity to roadtest various media including scraper board, watercolour, graphite and coloured pencils. Graphite pencils became my media of choice. I also became heavily involved in the running of annual exhibitions.
For several years, I painted and drew various botanical subjects, particularly fruit and vegetables and developed an interest in gumnuts. In the back of my mind, I was searching for a project. During 2018, my focus was on a bushy yate which I passed on the way to classes. After investigating this group of eucalypts, I decided this would be my project and embarked on a mission to draw all the Hadrotes group of eucalypts.
The works are completed in graphite pencil with each species drawn in a triptych to show the different stages of flowering: formation of buds, open flower and the gumnuts.