I have always loved nature and art. My calling in life became clear when I discovered botanical art and the perfect union between natural science and artistic expression. I strive for “earthiness” and a Renaissance sensibility in my work, and I achieve these qualities by using watercolor paint on vellum, or animal skin. I use honey colored and veiny calfskin, and dyed goat skin, all of which showcase the more neutral colors that I’m partial to. Since nature is cyclical, I’m not opposed to capturing the “darker”, decomposing or fleeting aspect of things: a withered leaf, a dead bird, an insect that others might run from. It’s all part of the magnificent creation story that I want to honor through my interpretations.

Esther Klahne is a botanical and natural science artist living in Lancaster, Massachusetts. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1984 with a degree in Apparel Design, and in 2012 earned a Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Wellesley College. Painting in watercolor on vellum (animal skin), Esther captures the beauty of flower and fauna alike, focusing on form, texture and color unique to the specimens. Often the subjects are depicted in still lifes which are reminiscent of “old world” paintings. In 2013, Esther’s painting of Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Kopper King’ was purchased by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Esther’s paintings are exhibited and sold throughout New England.