Artist Statement

My paintings are made using leaves, petals and seeds instead of brushes. I apply acrylic paint to the foliage and then print onto canvas, 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. 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.

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. My paintings are made from native New Zealand 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 different leaf skeletons, textures and forms.

Celeste Sterling 2017