"I want to turn everyone on to the absolute gorgeousness of the natural world around us. Art is my tool. So here’s the orchid: as a teenager I ran away to a Greek island and saw something so beautiful and rare it was mind blowing and life changing. A single, small wild orchid was growing on a hillside above a deserted beach. I didn’t know what to do so I remembered it. This was a few years before the Anthropocene era was named and I was a barefoot hippie who arrived in Greece on a jet from Brooklyn. Now we know that human presence is in every part of the planet. Nature and artifice can no longer be separated. I use all the tools at my disposal to represent the fragile beauty of nature, as I see it, as always combined with human creation.
I cultivate the plants that are my muses. They come from around the world, as do all plants from all of our gardens, everywhere. I work very fast to capture them in watercolor as they fade. They are too gorgeous to discard so I press them under piles of books: Sakai Hoitsu, Maria Sibylla Merian, Thomas Cole, Henry David Thoreau. The pressed flowers are impossibly delicate with muted colors, but still not enough adding silk, sequins, vintage millinery velvet and whatever I can find. But it all starts in the garden. Wildness is the preservation of the world. Go for a walk. Cultivate your gardens." - Marilla Palmer