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

kowhai-and-pohutukawa