Explore the Art and the Journey of Pressed Flower Artist Susan McChesney.
After a lifetime of figurative drawing, I began pressing flower petals from a local flower farm in 2017. I found the pressed petals to be vibrant and visually alive.
With inspiration from the WNC mountains around me, I collage them into landscape images, using the petals like strokes of paint.
I delight in the reproductions of the originals with prints on paper and canvas, and jigsaw puzzles, available in my online shop.
Doing jigsaw puzzles is known to reinforce connections between brain cells, improve mental speed, release dopamine, improve critical thinking and more.
Originals, prints, puzzles and cards are also available at Flow Gallery Marshall NC, and Mountain Made Gallery, Asheville. Originals are available at John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop, Brasstown, NC.
Pressed Flower Art WORKSHOPS!
Experience my techniques pressing, unpressing, storing, and collaging, creating a piece of art to treasure.
All materials, tips, tricks and fun provided.
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Workshops will be posted here when dates are confirmed.
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Programs & Workshops
“I marvel at the unfurling of a petal, the opening of a blossom pod, a seed head flinging its bounty. The transformation has always sparked wonder in me, since being sent as a child of a farm to the garden to pick whatever was ready for supper that night. I find creative inspiration and joy in the flow of being from seed to blossom to artwork.
Layers of translucent colored pencils, chalk pastels on a gritty surface, watercolor in soft washes, pressed petals playing together:
All inspire me.
Flowers, landscapes of color and texture, petals, bouquets, abstractions of all these things:
All are before me."
Having drawn all my life, my creative practice shifted after illness left me with a shaky hand, to include pressing plant material from Western North Carolina and collaging it into landscapes.
So many of the same elements come into play: color, shape, texture, value, perspective… but transformed by the fragility and variety presented by nature.
Surrounded by flowers, I am grateful for their bounty.
The Art of Pressing Flowers
Oshibana, the 16th c. Japanese floral preservation tradition of pressed flower art, grappled then with preserving color in the flower petals, and the challenge continues today.
The contemporary techniques to remove oxygen from the originals, the fading culprit, include lamination and press sealing, both of which I use.
Originals are sealed upon completion and they will hold color, and they will change, over time.
Experience has told me that whites and greens often brown. Dye Flowers hold color well.
They are always Gorgeous.
They tell me what to do.
Education & Work
Diploma, School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
M. Ed, Antioch University
20+ years teaching and administrative positions in Department of Education, MFA Boston
40+ years public and private studio instruction with a concentration in Drawing, 7+ years Pressed Flower Collage; all ages and abilities
2014 - 2015 Roots + Wings, Asheville
2019 - 2021 Asheville Art Museum, Studio Instructor
2023 - NC Arboretum, Asheville
2023 - McChesneyArt @ Banker's Hours Co-Working
Susan lived and worked in mid-coast Maine 2001 – 2014, and now lives, works and teaches in Marshall and Asheville, NC
See some of her art journey in this gallery.
Finalist Craft Category; Our State Magazine Made-in-NC Awards 2021
Originals, prints, puzzles and cards at Mountain Made Gallery in Grove Arcade, Asheville.
Originals at John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop, Brasstown, NC.
The News-Record & Sentinel's Spring & Summer 2022
Visitors Guide for
Madison County NC -
First Place in Niche publications category, NC Press Association 2023.
Cover image by Susan McChesney