Mary Jane Zander


Botanical art is about minute details and the life cycle of a botanical subject. However, unlike in illustration or photography, the artist interprets an assortment of visual information gained through several days of observation. Characteristics of color, growth, and parts of the plant are interpreted in a number of preliminary sketches that are used to study the plant and develop the composition.


Each of Mary Jane Zander's botanical paintings takes several weeks to complete since color is not applied in one step, but built up through many transparent layers. She begins with a pale wash of a base color (sometimes called a tea wash) and develops the painting with as many as 20 or 30 layers of paint.  The process creates depth, texture, and transparency which captures the essence of the blossom and the growth of the plant.


It is her hope that her paintings, cards, and prints are a way to spread the word about the complexity and beauty of nature.


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