Monotype: Palmettos and Sparrows #1

by Nancy Murphree Davis
The Palmettos and Sparrows series changed during its execution. At conception, it was a very rigid geometric design, but as I worked with the palm leaves, more and more feelings about the plant, the source of inspiration, began to reveal themselves and expanded into more ethereal and literal interpretation.
Prior to moving to the D.C. area, I lived in a still rural, but growing area of the Florida Panhandle. Our house had saw palmettos in the backyard that were left when the property was developed. Saw palmettos are not exactly a desirable yard plant, but their importance in the wild cannot be understated. They provide food for many insects and animals, habitat and cover for reptiles and mammals and birds, especially the grasshopper sparrows, love using its fibers for nest building.
Palmettos are slow-growing; they gain only about 1.2 cm of stem height per year. Some saw palmettos have been estimated at more than 700 years old. Palmettos are by no means endangered but the older and larger examples of their species are threatened by the ongoing development by man and by forest fires that are fueled in part by the heavy wax covering the palmetto leaves which ignites easily.
I find that often the things that I take for granted leave an indelible mark in my creative eye.
Technically, this work is a monotype with hand-tinted collaged etchings and other collaged monotype elements.


If you ever use other artist or designer's imagery to inspire or as a collage element in your own artwork, it can be tricky to determine whether you are infringing upon their rights. I ran across a source with excellent guidelines. The list was centered around the craft world, but much pertains to any creative venture and should be helpful.


Commission Work

I do occasionally undertake commission works in monotype with the following terms:
You tell me the general subject matter and colors you are seeking and we discuss whether you prefer the format horizontal or vertical, etc.
Generally, I charge $1 per square inch of the image area. I require a deposit of $200 or half the cost of the finished piece, whichever is the lesser amount.
I prefer to work with rough, not detailed sketches. If you would like to see these, that is fine. If you require a more detailed sketch, we will have to come to terms about an additional fee.
I do the print.
You look at the print and see if it is what you had in mind. You pay me the balance and take the one-of-a-kind work, or I keep some or all of your deposit and you can walk away. (The amount I keep is based on the salablity of the work due to the subject matter/color etc.)

Below is a commissioned piece I did for a little boy's room. The client requested a fireman theme and said she would like primary colors.

by Nancy Murphree Davis

Sheep Monotypes

Rambouillet I & Rambouillet II
by Nancy Murphree Davis
NFS, but I have a similar set available, $375 each or both for $600

Note: Rambouillet sheep are a common breed of sheep in the U.S., bred for wool