An exhibition of illustrations created by former art teacher Blanche Cybele Derby celebrate the diverse plant life of New England’s fields, fruits, and fauna. A resident of Northampton, Massachusetts, she is also a filmmaker and the author and illustrator of three books on wild plants. For over fifteen years, Blanche Cybele Derby’s imaginative drawings have animated the stories and articles published in GreenPrints Magazine.
This exhibit showcases drawings created for GreenPrints as well as several illustrations from her books My Wild Friends and More My Wild Friends. The thirty works on view depict gardeners, pets, and many types of vegetation. As a child, Blanche Cybele Derby collected unusual leaves, flowers and seeds, placing the specimens in a nature notebook. “I looked at this book to strengthen my link to a world where I felt comfortable and secure,” recalls the artist. Today, her love of nature still inspires her art and lifestyle. The artworks on view often weave landscapes, patterns, and figures together into intricate and engaging compositions. Delightful, energetic and charming, these pen, pencil and ink illustrations celebrate the history of gardening and foraging as well as make cultural connections through personal stories which are comical, informative and poignant.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website