I photograph mushrooms wherever I find interesting specimens. My initial interest in mushrooms stems from fairy imagery; it seems that mushrooms and fairies go together! When I began studying botanical illustration, I began collecting images for illustration plates. Sometimes I cart the mushrooms home to so that I can photograph them from all angles. Mushrooms wither rather quickly so they need to be photographed as soon as they’re discovered – they might be gone tomorrow! I have been known to replant them in my yard or in flower pots to extend their life so I can catch the fairies on them.
The Serpent was photographed in situ; it was under a large oak tree in the front yard of the elementary school in our neighborhood. I loved the texture and color. I saw a serpent with something in its mouth; when I started working with the image, I found a Japanese kabuki mask and and a small monkey curled up asleep too.
I found a giant mushroom one day in a parking lot near my daughter’s house. I stopped, plucked it and tossed it into the car. When I got home I stuck it into a pot of ivy to help cushion it so it wouldn’t bruise and began photographing it. When I was looking at the images, I was repeatedly drawn to the happy little face at the base of the stem. I see the mop from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia.