Tara Severance

Artist Didactic

Nightshades

by Tara Severance

From manuscripts containing medicinal values of plants to elaborately painted canvases, botany, the study of plants, has been a subject of scientific wonder and art throughout history. This study utilizes multiple perspectives to analyze the developmental stages of various wild and cultivated specimens among the Solanaceae (tomato/nightshade) family. Through my observations of different species in the Solanaceae family, I sketched different parts of the plants using mixed media techniques with materials such as charcoal, pen and ink, and prints. Observing the plants at a macro scale, I created drypoint prints and softground etchings of the sprouts and the different morphological traits as the plants developed. In the duration of my study, I became more familiar with these traits, as well as differences visible to the unaided eye. However, in order to expand my understanding of the plants morphological characteristics in this particular family (i.e. the petals, sepals, stamens, leaves, etc.) I looked at different structures of the plants at a micro scale by using various microscopes (including a scanning electron microscope) and by taking numerous photographs. Using smaller versions of the photographs, I exposed them into Japanese positive process polymer photo-etching plates and combined them with the drypoint prints and softground etchings. I also selected five of my favorite photographs and enlarged them on white BFK Rives paper using the reductive drawing technique and charcoal. From my sketches and drawings, I was able to compare the characteristics of each species by observing the leaves, flowers, and fruits, as well as their anatomical structures. The prints were made into a series of engravings and prints bound into a book, along with five separate charcoal drawing.

(All pieces, charcoal drawings and prints, are originals (1/1) created by the artist with very few artist proof prints. Miscellaneous artist proof prints from individual plates & limited edition prints are available upon request. These are priced with the option to frame and at an additional cost. We frame per request.)

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