Emma’s delicate and sensitive drawings in charcoal, chalk and pencil convey the beauty of nature in an intimate way, reflecting her practice of working outdoors in all seasons, fully immersed in the landscape. Her field sketches create vivid personal portraits of individual trees, brimming with life.
Emma’s work centres around close observation and is informed by her background as a biologist. It is characterised by taking note – focusing on what is important or significant in the moment – and by an openness to the possibilities of a landscape. Rarely leaving home without a sketchbook, she is able to respond to the serendipitous burst of sun or gust of wind which can animate a familiar place in unexpected ways. Admirers of her drawings comment on the way in which they replicate the experience of being there, capturing the spirit of place.
The symbiotic relationship between Emma’s creative and academic interests underpins her work as an educator. Sharing her passion for natural history in school and community projects, she uses observational drawing as a means of understanding and appreciating the beauty and diversity of species. Holding and drawing a twig or standing beneath an ancient tree can thus be the starting point for conversations about structure, function, resilience and the interconnectedness of natural systems.
Trees, as Emma says, are markers of time, place and season. Through her creative responses she encourages us to look at them more closer, to consider their significance in our lives, to take note.