Each of the seasons has a defining beauty but the spectacular color of the autumn leaves inspires me. Each year I find myself picking up colorful leaves from the ground and from low-hanging tree branches and pressing them between the pages of my many books with no particular reason in mind on what to do with them. Thus, Smoky Mountain Leaf Works was born.
In 2010 I experimented with leaf stencils and paint but that really didn’t capture the natural leaf colors I wanted to preserve. In 2011 I began pressing and preserving leaves I collected and began arranging them on paper, in mats and in frames.
All leaves are collected in autumn from many places in the Smoky Mountains area. No leaves are taken from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. I firmly believe in the concept of “leave no trace.” Leaves are pressed for one to two weeks and then an acrylic sealer is applied to both sides. I then select a frame and matching acid-free paper for the background and create a design that complements the leaves, background and frame.
Each collage and leafy person are one-of-a-kind items. As each individual leaf is God’s unique creation, no two collages or leafy people are the same.
Groupings of several different size collages and colors make for a striking art display on a feature wall.