Cart 0

Botanical Chords and Harmonic Notes

Shop Now



Botanical chords are composite images of two aspects of the same species. One image is a traditional one of a plant: a flower, leaves, or a seed pod, The other image is taken at a higher magnification (most often under the light microscope). The later image type is called a micrograph.

The micrograph reveals cellular details that are seldom seen, while providing background texture. It is usually taken with phase optics that allow visualization of unstained biological material.

Micrograph  |  Macro Image  |  Merge

Micrograph | Macro Image | Merge



I am a self-taught artist with a scientific background. My tools are not brushes and paint, but camera and microscope.

My art focuses on plants, which I love plants. But that love is not restricted to pretty flowers, but includes mosses, lichens, and ferns. And like Richard Bell, “Perfect blooms leave me cold. I like a plant with a story to tell.”

In college I literally added another dimension to this love/fascination in a class on plant anatomy (the study of plant structures under the microscope). That dimension? Inside leaves, stems, and flowers. The cell’s micro-structure determines their function—not just in a general manner, but their adaption to their environment.

Although my career took a different turn (the microscopic study of mammalian meiosis), I continued to recreate by looking at plant cells under the microscope. How to combine the micro- and macro- aspects of plants? The answer came during a talk given by Andre Gallant, a Canadian photographer. At the time, film was still the primary means of photography and he was making “slide sandwiches”. He was overlaying two slides: one “the subject”, and the other a “texture” (rain on a windshield, for instance). aH Ha! Layering was a way of combining micro- and macro.

Thus, the images I call “Botanical Chords” were born. More recently I have gathered these into a book “Botanical Chords and Harmonic Notes.” The “Harmonic Notes” are essays and additional images that go into greater depth about some aspect of plants and their interaction with their environment.


Available Now