For some years I have also had a website and blog called ‘Jen’s Cyanotype Muse’ and will continue to do so. It is on 

Playing with butterflies

The Butterfly Effect, 2020. Cyanotype on 70 x 50 cm Fabriano Rosaspina paper.

The Butterfly Effect. At one time there was a hypothesis that a tiny event like a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil might create a hurricane in Mexico. COVID-19 started tiny but has now caused worldwide chaos. Time for a rethink? Regardless, the path of the butterfly always appears haphazard.

The Mary Cairncross Collection, 2020. Cyanotype on 70 x 50 cm Fabriano Rosaspina paper.

Both these cyanotypes were done for the Bugs in the System exhibition at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve in Maleny, Qld. The Mary Cairncross Collection references the long history of arranging insects for natural history displays. The butterfly shapes are life size and show the diversity in morphology in the butterflies that use Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve as their habitat.

Eastern Whipbird

Eastern Whipbird, Cyanotype on Fabriano Rosaspina paper

I had heard the call of the Whipbirds many times in my life – thousands of times. I could not help but think of my father whenever I heard their call – or the ring of the Bellbird – as he loved these sounds of the bush. However, it wasn’t until I did the above cyanotype print that I actually saw one. I’d mined the internet for whipbird shapes – sitting there in front of the computer drawing as many as I could find. So the reason I could now recognise the whipbird was because I had became familier with its shape from almost any angle. On one morning walk with John not far from our home at Mapleton two flew within a few feet of us. I was totally excited about this.

Blue Moon

For the last three years I have been part of the Maleny Printmakers ‘Collectables’ exhibition. It is an exhibiton of small prints, 13.5 x 11.5 cms, which sell for $30 each. It is a lovable exhibition and many prints are sold. This year I did five prints in editions of ten and the above cyanotype was one of them. It really came about because we’d bought a new camera – A Nikon Coolpix P900 – which has an 83x zoom lens and has gained a reputation for taking pictures of the moon. We had to try it. I’m not even sure if the photo was taken by myself or my husband John. It was a reasonably crisp photo for a handheld shot – so that suggests John. It was also way off centre – so that suggests me. It will remain a mystery.


Precious, cyanotype and watercolour, 2018

I’d probably known Hazel for around 70 years. She lived across the road from my home when I was a child – and I always called her Mrs Benson until I was around 70 and she insisted that I call her Hazel. Her daughter-in-law gave me the tray when she died. I don’t know if it is molded glass, cut glass or crystal – it is ‘precious’ because it was Hazels.

Baby dresses

Why baby dresses? They are small – although sometimes bigger than I think when I try to fit them on a sheet of printmaking paper. I do like how the cyanotype process shows off their construction.

Rockhampton Botanic Gardens

These were part of a series of works based on the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. They were  my first serious attempts at cyanotype. When I left Rockhampton in 2015 the fernery was very much in a state of disrepair, and I wonder if it has been demolished or refurbished. The Thozets were involved with the early days of the gardens.