Croton Leaf Project
A most beautiful Croton bush grows in our garden and whenever someone sees it they always comment on the colors and variety of the leaves. It truly is a beautiful specimen, and as an artist it has inspired me to try to capture a few images of its amazing leaves on paper.
The plant: The leaves are first a bright chartreuse green, transforming to yellow, with pink creeping into the veins and spreading, creating bright hues. This is followed by sections of the leaf turning to green. Spots and areas slowly become dark green, then almost purple-black. Many of the leaves gradually turn bright red. Leaves in a variety of stages and outrageous colors cover the plant resulting in a striking splash of almost cartoon-like colors at any one time.
The process: Each print on paper is an individually created work of art. The original leaf semblances come from nature prints made by painting and pressing the actual leaves. The resulting images are transferred to silk screens, a photographic process. Each individual leaf is silk screened onto the paper in appropriate colors and over-painted to resemble the leaves from the plant. Using photos of the leaves as reference, accents and details are added with colored pencils.
Once I was into this project, I began imagining using the leaves in graphic designs that would be displayed in groupings, which led to the creation of the series I call Croton Collages.