Liz St. Andre Art
Bringing the outside in,
layer by layer...
Hi, I'm Liz!
Nature brings me endless inspiration and creating art brings me endless joy. I hope that shows in my work.
My goal is to honor the magnificence of the natural world, embracing the elements and highlighting the beauty of imperfection as I go. My garden is an extension of my studio and I regularly use actual plants in my various processes.
About My Process
The forest and garden out my back door provide the perfect playground for making my art.
Cyanotypes are a form of alternative photography. In making them, a light-sensitive solution is applied to a surface then allowed to dry in dim light, protected from UV light. Next, items are placed on the surface and exposed to the sun which activates the solution. Exposure times vary but once it's been long enough, the solution is thoroughly rinsed off.
While cyanotypes are traditionally blue, they can be altered using various liquids and materials such as vinegar or turmeric. My favorite, however, is when tannins from the plants that I work with play a role in mark making or changing the chemistry. The elements might also make a difference. For example, while working outside one very cold morning, I found that ice crytals make fascinating shapes on cyanotypes!
See my Cyanotype Collection here.
Gelatin plate printmaking is a monoprinting technique using either a homemade flat "plate" containing gelatin, glycerin and water or a synthetic store bought "gelli" plate (I use a combination of both).
I spread acrylic paint using a brayer and use various tools to apply color and create texture directly on the plate. Then I place botanicals and other items directly onto the painted plate, press paper on top of it, then pull off a layer of paint. I might do this once, three times or five times, it just depends on the colors, textures, and transparency of each layer. I'm generally not finished with a piece until I add multiple layers and achieve the level of depth, interest and texture that I'm looking for.
For exaples of my monoprints, please see my Eucalyptus and Branching Out collections.
I also paint (mostly in acrylic), and draw and am starting to combine all of these different bits and pieces using collage techniques and mixed media. The exploration of new mediums and processes is a big part of what keeps me inspired.
Supporting Environmental Conservation
I'm incredibly grateful for the wild places on our planet and the people and organizations that protect them. A portion of my sales will be donated to the North Cascades Institute. Their mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature. They offer incredible opportunities to take classes, sign up for family weekends or just explore along the shores of Diablo Lake using the Institute as a comfy, environmentally-friendly home base in the heart of the Cascades. Learn more HERE.
We can all make our own back yards a little more wild by planting native plants. The National Wildlife Federation does good work in a lot of areas but I especially appreciate their efforts to promote native plants and why it's so important for the entire food web, from microscopic insects and soil all the way up to big mammals. The NWF's native plant finder tool is especially helpful for finding the right plants for your area. To learn more, I highly recommend this book: "Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard" by Douglas Tallamy.