the actual dried leaf and its cyanotype (photogram) print
Since I remember, I've always collected leaves; I took great care in selecting them, drying them flat in between two sheets of paper, and eventually placing them inside books. In my teenage years I would try to match the shape of the leaf to the mood of the story in the book that would eventually house them. Those were the years I was studying French, my books were all the musts of the littérature française, century by century, and in the mind of the girl I was, the stories demanded leaves of a certain caliber...: they had to be the most special leaves, preferably with scalloped edges or at least with a heart shape form and a rich autumn tint.
I am still collecting leaves today, without a particular reason, almost with that same sense, the total lack of purpose we collect shells on a beach... Now days my leaves find a way out of the pages where they are suppose to lay flat; they enter my work surfaces with a persistence as if all those years in the company of French heroines has given them the right to rebel... I welcome their intrusion and allow them to guide my narrative in ways that I would have never consciously chosen; I realize their presence and influence in the shape, pattern, movement, even the thought in certain compositions and... I smile gratefully.