Artist StatementDrawing inspiration from the Great Naturalists, I work from observation to provide detailed illustrations that effectively communicate the colors, structures, and characteristics of subjects related to the natural sciences. My current body of work, Botany of Bouquets, specifically depicts the most common flowers found in bouquets. Through my process, I create three renditions; an observation-based sketch, an ink line drawing, and a tonal drawing in either color pencil or charcoal. The sketch captures form of the subject, focusing on the way it interacts with light and shadow. The ink drawing, reliant on variation of line, depicts the twists and bends of the petals, creating a much clearer and more simplistic illustration. The tonal drawing combines qualities from the sketch and the ink drawing into one finished piece. The collection of illustrations of each individual flower is paired with a much larger centerpiece work, which incorporates some of the more prevalent techniques the Naturalists would have utilized. This piece depicts a bouquet of daisies, with each flower representing both a different viewpoint and different stage of life; the naturalists had done so in the past as a way to share more information about the subject in a single illustration as opposed to creating multiple different plates.
Shannon Pumputis is earning her B.A. in Art and Environmental Studies and is expected to graduate in May of 2019. After graduation, she is looking to pursue a certificate in scientific illustration. Her current work focuses on depicting botanical subject matter based solely from her own observations. Her work has been exhibited at the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore, MD and the Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD. She also received Honorable Mention for the McCutcheon Family Art Award, given through the Art and Art History Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.