Artworks > Nocturnal Nature (Poppies, Bleeding Hearts, Violet, Pollinators, Moon)

Nocturnal Nature (Poppies, Bleeding Hearts, Violet, Pollinators, Moon)


Julia Whitney Barnes
Nocturnal Nature (Poppies, Bleeding Hearts, Violet, Pollinators, Moon), 2022
Watercolor, Gouache and Cyanotype on Fabriano Watercolor Paper
55×76.75 cm

When creating cyanotypes, Whitney Barnes typically uses local flora from the Hudson Valley. Walking into her backyard, she will select ferns, poppies, petunias, daffodils, and a variety of other plant species. Next, she will press them for inspiration and use in her projects. She also receives plants from her neighbors and has been collaborating with two historic gardens, Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie and the Shaker Heritage Site in Albany. 

In her collection, Whitney Barnes estimates that she currently has thousands of plants. She keeps the plants in her studio to press and examine. After looking at the different plant species, she picks different ones out to use in her current body of work.

“I carefully arrange elaborate cyanotype compositions at night and utilize long exposures under natural or UV light to create the prints,” Whitney Barnes explains. “Once the unique cyan imagery is fused, I meticulously paint the exposed watercolor paper with multiple layers of watercolor, ink, and gouache.”

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