I find it amazing that Lara has worked so prolifically to contribute to such a large part of the book. I wish that I could accurately draw in ink such quality and amount of plant illustrations. I am not skilled enough or confident enough to commit myself to line drawing other than pencil where I can control the line adequately and correct easily any self-perceived mistakes. It must be a thrill to produce work that allows you to be classed as a professional artist! I guess individual artists skills are so varied that we should try our best to make the most of the skills we do have.
Lara Call Gastingers`work has a very delicate and detailed quality. I love her `seed containers` watercolour selection of flower seed heads, which are an attractive monotone collection.
I have also been a collector of dried specimens of plant leaves, skeleton leaves found in hedgerows and had many flower heads to press and have also been known to take home many interestingly worn, curled up leaves and so admire her watercolour of a weathered leaf which I have included for reference.
Lara Call Gastinger
is an artist and botanical illustrator from Charlottesville, Virginia. Currently, she is the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project. The subjects of her art come from the natural world and her art reveals detailed evidence of change, decay, and processes that occur in nature. She finds great inspiration in a carrot that has gone to flower, a broken seed pod, twisted roots or insect damage to a leaf. She strives to make a plant portrait in such a way that it reveals its character and uniqueness. Her focus is on the small details in nature, down to the small venations in leaves which hopefully inspires others to look a bit deeper and pause a bit longer.