During the years that I worked on the models, my thoughts about the project changed significantly. I began with the simple goal of having my work culminate in two scientifically accurate, visually pleasing, durable models, which would be practical teaching tools. I envisioned a neat and tidy application of my skills as an artisan to the physical representation of scientific data. I should have known that very little about art or science is ever so easily encompassed. In my own artwork, I often make use of botanical forms and phenomena as a formal addition to the work, or as a means of analogizing. In this role, I am the artist using science to enhance the art. As the designs for the models began to unfold, both on paper and during construction, I found myself reversing that role, becoming the scientist needing art to enhance the science. While I wanted the models to be as scientifically accurate as possible, I did not want them to become the placid, plastic, blobs of my early classroom experiences (which, ironically, are sometimes far from accurate). I knew that the appearance of the models would be important, but in a different sense, I also wanted them to embody some of the sense of mystery and wonder that I perceive in the botanical world, and that it brings to my artwork. To express that desire in terms of aesthetics, I wanted the models to become not only mimetic - true representations of the physical world - but also expressionistic, conveying to the user some of the importance that the beauty of natural forms has for me.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nisa_blackmon/2/