Watercolor is unique medium to work with. Its translucent nature and uncertainty that goes with it leaves room for most wonderful accidents, as well as dire mistakes you learn to live with. You cannot restrain the water flow, or subdue the intense pigment that tends to spread across the wet surface. That is why it is one of the techniques that relaxes and liberates you while painting. Dana Martin is an illustrator and designer born in New Mexico. She created this stunning series of botanical illustrations that accumulated over the years. Inspired by nature and plant world she finds impeccable balance between the abstract and figurative elements in botanical art. As a recent graduate of Montserrat College of Art, her work has appeared in several local shows and was recently featured in CMYK’s Top New 100 Creatives. Her clients include the Peabody Essex Museum, Hendrickson Publishers, Spellbound Magazine, ArtThrob Magazine, and Ploughshares.
I like to paint moments of quiet intensity. Whether my subjects are people or plants, I imagine they are harboring secrets and try to paint them accordingly.
The natural world is my richest source of inspiration. Nature is the master designer. Leaves, pine cones, seashells — everything seems elegantly simple at first glance, but then a closer look reveals it to be extraordinarily complex. Many of my subjects are taken directly from nature, but regardless of what I’m painting, I try to follow this principle. I want my work to have a clear overall design and a wealth of detail to reward those who take the time for a closer look.
Now and then I work digitally, but primarily I am a watercolorist. I find there is a balance of control and chaos in watercolor. On the one hand, you can be very precise with it because the paint is so thin, but on the other hand, it runs, it splatters, it bleeds, it settles out in ways no one can predict. I enjoy both aspects and try to show that in my paintings. Some areas will be tightly rendered, but I like to leave space where the paint can just bleed out as it will. Leaving something to chance gives the work more life.
I’m currently working on some event posters and book covers. I’m also trying to finish up the illustrations for my first children’s cookbook. Later this year I plan to take a sketch tour of the southwest, and I’m sure I’ll be soaking up lots of inspiration then.
More than Botanical Illustrations
What I love about plants is clearly visible patterns and geometry that you can easily spot while looking at them. Transcendent symmetry and endless fractals as building blocks of nature have always fascinated me. I find these botanical illustrations highly inspirational. How about you? If you would like to own one or more of these amazing art pieces or prints visit Dana’s Etsy, InPrnt, and Society6. To see more of her art follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Behance, Dribble, and Tumblr . Finally, I would like to invite you to share your thoughts on these botanical illustrations in comment section bellow.
Visual content courtesy of Dana Martin