Artist Statement

My paintings are made using leaves, petals and seeds instead of brushes. I apply paint to the foliage and then print onto linen or watercolour paper to create an image of a garden, a forest, an ecosystem. This experimental technique is an amalgam of painting and printmaking.  I started using foliage instead of brushes because I wanted to make nature the focus of my work and to explore ecological and environmental themes in a direct and non-traditional way.

The colours chosen for each painting are inspired by emotions, a response to a season, a specific theme or the foliage I’m working with. Each artwork is carefully researched and timed according to seasonal changes in the foliage.

My paintings are made from both native plant species and introduced plants. They are a record of the extraordinary diversity of the natural environment and an invitation for the viewer to discover the small details of plants. I believe my role as an artist is to nurture our connection to nature and to encourage us to treat our environment with care and respect.

Celeste Sterling 2017

kowhai-and-pohutukawa