It can be argued that capturing a moment in the natural world is better with a pencil rather than a camera. A lens cannot portray the amount of small details that can be achieved through a drawing.
Botanical artist and illustrator Lara Call Gastinger creates such detailed drawings and notes of the flora around her that make nature come to life.
“I do feel like I’m a documenter of nature. In some ways I would have loved to be on one of those early expeditions…”
Lara sees her botanical illustrations as an exploration of the natural world and finds the areas of the Virginia wilderness to be the most inspirational.
“This is such a rich area…I do love traveling…but I love the Blue Ridge and Piedmont area the best.”
What makes her work stand out among other botanical illustrators is her love for the more decaying or imperfect seeds she finds as she’s out in nature. Her biggest inspiration is the fall and winter months when plants are just a skeletal version of their vibrant selves.
“I love it when things are not necessarily blooming, but when things are going through that transition and that change and decay into something else.”
Lara’s hope is that she can teach and encourage other people to draw what they find in nature themselves.
“We need people out there observing, documenting, and knowing what’s around us.”
This episode was filmed by Laura Christian. Art is by Matthew Gillin.