There’s something incredibly enchanting about vintage botanical field notes. Maybe it’s their scrawling notes that feel so intimate and quaint, or maybe it’s their beautiful illustrations of wild flowers, but either way, tattoo artist Liz Venom’s work is just about as close as you can get to having an Audubon illustration permanently placed upon your skin.
Originally used as a means of illustrating and describing different types of plant species, botanical field journals were an integral part of botanists work. Not only were they a way to describe the plant and its attributes, but they illustrated the different parts of the plant as well, taking time to identify the stamen, stem, anthers, petals, and filaments. In doing so, other botanists were able to share what they had learned through their excursions with their colleagues, who were later able to identify the same plants, including which could be utilized for their healing properties, and which were edible or poisonous, in their own excursions.
Liz Venom’s work is undoubtedly just as beautiful as the illustrations found in those early field journals, possessing the same vintage feel, but consider Venom’s work an updated version of these antique beauties. Similar to those early botanists’ work, Venom’s flowers are alive with impeccable detail. Every inch of her blooming beauties are saturated with incredibly vibrancy from the tip of the petals, all the way down to the roots.
Taking extreme care to exercise her unique take on realism, which is more of an interesting fusion of realism meshed with vintage photos, Venom illustrates each petal with extreme precision. A closer glance reveals that even the delicate pink veins running through the pale cherry blossoms are taken into account. In other pieces, like her beautiful rendition of a bird perched on top of a pink lily, even the most minute detail, like the water droplets gently resting on the petals, is visible and only adds a sense of depth to the piece.
What’s even more amazing is that while Venom started her career as a tattoo artist in 2011, “with a slapdash two week apprenticeship,” she’s been largely self taught. Although she’s based out of Brisbane, Australia, Venom is a traveling artist, and has plans to visit Melbourne, California, Texas, England, the Netherlands, and Canada in the upcoming year. So if you’re in the northern hemisphere, fear not, Venom is bringing spring to you a little early this year.