Leaves from the City

The new 2018 calendar features the leaves of trees- the trees that populate the public spaces of a city, in this case Vancouver. The images of leaves – which are spare and of more simple design than in previous calendars- represent only twelve of the innumerable variety of trees that have adapted to the narrow streets, broad boulevards, and community parks of the city.

My motivation behind this calendar was to get to know the trees that many of us pass under each day with barely an acknowledgement for all the beauty, shade and ecological benefit they offer us. And as the city of Vancouver, like so many others, comes under intense pressure to build on every spare lot, having a daily reminder of the trees that bring life into the built environment seems like a meaningful way to mark another year.

The designs are based on leaves I collected while walking in my neighbourhood: tulip tree, katsura, northern catalpa, flowering cherry, European beech, weeping white birch, London plane tree, Japanese zelkovia, common horse chestnut, Caucasian ash, pin oak and gingko. (Still amazed by the diversity! )

Acknowledgments in the research go to Gerald B. Straley’s Trees of Vancouver, David Tracey’s Vancouver Tree Book: A Living City Field Guide), MIT Senseable City Lab, and the self guided walking tour site, kitstreemap.com, for getting me started wondering and wandering.

New 2017 Calendar

With a little encouragement and some long studio hours, I am happy to announce a new botanical calendar for 2017. Once again I am exploring plants native to Western North America, this time inspired by the coastal flowers I discovered while preparing for an exhibition this past spring. Some of the plants might be very familiar while others you have to have sharp eyes for. Salal, salmonberry and swordfern seem to line every forest path while others, such as twinflower, are tiny and delicate, clinging to their mossy habitat.  I was thinking alot about the papercuts themselves and where each one of these images starts.  I kept some of them (like wood strawberry below) very graphic and bold. Others I worked more with digitally,  inspired by more traditional botanical illustration with maybe a hint of Japanese woodcuts in their palette and composition.

Featured plants in this year’s calendar are: manzanita, twinflower, nodding onion, common camas, sword fern, various coastal berries, tall Oregon-grape, fireweed, harebell, salal and Indian pipe Here is a sneak peak of some of the images. The calendars will be ready by mid-Nov.


How did the show go?


Our exhibition New Beginnings– from the opening reception on Friday night through the first weekend as part of the Creative Spaces tour and on to the next weekend with Sadashi’s talk – was a great experience, and by all accounts a successful first foray into the arts community on Cortes Island. We met many wonderful people who come from all over bringing with them many skills and life stories, some who live full time on the island and others who divide their time between here and many other cities and countries. Our hope in mounting this show was to introduce ourselves to the community and to get to know those already here.  The experience has left us feeling very happy to call Cortes home. Many thanks to all who came and helped out.

Here are some photos from my half of the show -some older work and some new work inspired by the flora of the island.  A last minute decision to use the old blackboards to directly mount my new work turned out even better than I imagined! For a closer view please click on the images.

Old Schoolhouse3

As it reads on the outside
Inside the gallery
Papercuts and prints
Papercuts 2008-2013
Shadow Catalogue (South End) and Ferns (Children’s Forest)
Shadow Catalogue detail, book cloth and pins
Ferns detail, book cloth and pins


BioBlitz 2016

In May, The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island held their annual BioBlitz – a weekend event dedicated to identifying species birds, bats, amphibians, fish,  plants, trees and mosses that make the forest around Carrington Lagoon their home and habitat.  The count is to assist in the trust’s effort to lobby Island Timberlands to not log it but preserve it for generations to come. To find out more about their efforts with the Children’s Forest check out their site.

These photos were taken by Sabina-  one of the shakers and movers of BioBlitz- during some of the many weekend events.

rough skinned newt discovery
nola & monadenia
Nola & friend monadenia
bird listening station (1)
bird listening station
amphibia ambles
amphibia ambles
roving reptiles
roving reptiles