I have long admired the work of many botanical illustrators, from the earliest such as Ferdinand Bauer, to the contemporary, Leonie Norton. Their artwork magnificently captures the unique beauty and characteristics of the birds, plants and animals of this country. In some of my newest work, I am striving to create photographs of plants, flowers and leaves with a style that is reminiscent of some of these illustrations. This technique is something I began working on in Canada, in the early 1990s. I have started to use my method here, on the myriad of plants and flowers that thrive in Western Australia, taking special delight with those indigenous to Australia. In trying to blur the line between paintings, illustrations and photography for the viewer, I like to think that my photographs, are a complimentary tribute to the enchanting work of those pioneering botanical artists and their present day colleagues. My approach does not use multiple exposures or Photoshop alterations to achieve the distinct naturalistic detail of my flora subjects. I prefer a plain, pale background to emphasis this detail and avoid distractions from it. Simple, basic photography, describes almost all of my Enigmatic Botanicals from the early 1990s, to my current series of ongoing botanical art.
The climate here in South Western Australia, means that there are always plants blooming and beautiful leaves abound, in various stages of their life cycles. The eucalyptus trees look different from season to season and I am also working on a series capturing their astoundingly beautiful bark shedding, titled Barking Mad. In every season birds, insects and many other creatures surround us, all year long. Even the typical suburban garden is teeming with life and the most unlikely and neglected suburban reserves, are full of beauty, just waiting to be found and enjoyed. Life here is loud. The raucous parrots, Kookaburras and cicada’s still sound like the soundtrack for an adventure film about a tropical paradise, to my Canadian prairie raised ears. The frog calls at night can be even more clamorous than the daylight noisemakers. Life here is bright, from gloriously dazzling, too harsh and overwhelming. Here in Western Australia azure skies are so dependable for most of the year, an overcast day seems a treat. A rest for the eyes, as well the chance to see the frogs, flowers, trees and animals in rare, soft light. I hope I have been able to convey some of the wonder and beauty of the life in this country through my photographs.