Wollemia nobilis - A Portrait

is perhaps the world's rarest tree. Discovered in late 1994, in a deep gorge of the Wollemi National Park 150kms from Sydney, the tiny remnant population numbers fewer than 40 adult trees.

The Wollemi Pine belongs to the ancient family Araucariaceae but its closest

"Wollemi Pine" by Christine Payne
Christine Payne's "Wollemi Pine" is a comprehensive, accurate botanical portrait, hand-coloured, embossed. Edition: 250 prints
known relative exists only in the form of a fossil from the Jurrasic Period. A large and beautiful tree that is emergent above the canopy of Coachwood and Sassafras, it reaches 35 metres in height and one metre in diameter.

Believed to be extinct until now, the discovery of Wollemia nobilis is a great botanical event of our time.

Chris at her bench
Chris at the bench in her Canberra studio. the Wollemi edition will total 2 years' work.

was botanical illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney for many years, now working freelance. Her work is published in dozens of scientific journals including the Flora of NSW and Flora of Australia.

This Wollemi portrait was born when Chris was invited to represent the ACT in a major sesqui-centennial exhibition of illustration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne in late 1996. The first print, no. 1 of 250 was purchased on opening night by the Director of Melbourne's RBG for the State Collection.

Chris is now offering the full edition for sale.

Chris uses aquarelle pencils to lay strong, dry pigments
Chris uses aquarelle pencils sharpened to a needle point to lay strong, dry pigments.

Apart from her well-known skills in black-and-white scientific illustration, Chris is an accomplished water colour painter.

Every stroke of colour is applied by brush in watercolour wash, augmented by accents and details in aquarelle pencils. The paper is softly and beautifully cockled as a result.

Hand-colouring the prints
Hand-colouring of lithographs, engravings, etchings & woodcuts is intrinsic to the history of traditional botanical illustration.

paper used in the edition was chosen for its high-quality fine grain and pH neutrality. Made from 100% cotton, Stonehenge is a soft, thick paper with a lovely warm, cream colour.

The combination of best artist's colours and acid-free ground ensures that the work will have a long, archivally sound life.

The Printmaking Process A More Detailed Look Ordering Information Return to Axon

All images Copyright 1998 Christine Payne.