18 March 2015

Artist Spotlight: Anna Atkins

I just had to share the beautiful work of Anna Atkins with you today.

I had never heard of her until a couple of days ago (thank you, Google, for those famous birthdays). Atkins lived from 16 March 1799 – 9 June 1871. "She was an English botanist and photographer. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images.", according to Wikipedia

When I saw her exquisite botanical cyanotypes, which are photographs created using sunlight and chemical reactions to produce "blueprints" with cyan ink, I just fell in love with her work. Wikipedia also says that "Atkins placed specimens directly onto coated paper, allowing the action of light to create a silhouette effect. By using this photogram process, Anna Atkins is regarded as the first female photographer." How cool is that?

I would love to make some cyanotypes inspired by her work, and hang them in simple white frames on the large blank wall next to our dining table. I think a group of four of them would look fabulous. You all know how much I love blue and white, and all things floral. Classic beauty.

What do you think? Isn't she inspiring?

{image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}

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