Teresa Wyatt makes printed cards from plants and flowers she collects in Dallas and around the state. Photos courtesy of Off Avenue Studio.
Jan. 6, 2015
Teresa Wyatt has found a way to preserve the beauty she finds in nature – often growing right in her own backyard. The owner and founder of Off Avenue Studio in Dallas creates monoprint notecards, which she hand pulls on her printing press using live botanicals.
Everything from herbs to wildflowers to autumn leaves have provided subjects for her colorful stationary.
Since launching her company a year ago, Wyatt says she is amazed at how the smallest, most seemingly insignificant plant will make the most beautiful print "every time."
After discovering the niche, Wyatt was also surprised to learn how powerful the images were to others.
Like scents, botanicals seem to stir memories for people, reminding them of “a house I used to live in”… “summer with my grandmother”… “a plant I was given by a dear friend” she's been told.
Right, Teresa Wyatt displaying her wares.
A native Texan, Wyatt was born in Sherman and lived in Dallas as a child before moving to suburban Washington, DC where she attended the University of Maryland before moving back to Dallas 17 years ago.
Working from her studio just off lower Greenville Avenue, she uses plants gathered from local gardens and green spaces in Texas, including East Dallas and the White Rock Lake area.
Saying she has never seen anyone else monoprinting the way she does, Wyatt came up with the idea for the notecards one day when she went shopping for a unique Mother’s Day card and couldn’t find any she liked.
“So I made some using dried roses and they broke apart in the mail…and then I remembered the monoprinting technique that I loved years ago.”
Left, rose series.
She actually became interested in using botanicals while studying printmaking in college.
“Looking to combine different media; I began to use ferns, twigs and grasses as background monoprints behind intaglio etchings,” she explains. “I became fascinated with how much detail is captured when monoprinting with botanicals.”
While she says she is still in the discovery process of which plants make the best prints, she says how the specimens are preserved makes the biggest impact on how a botanical will print. Overall, she says, with any plant that she uses, she “loves the amazing detail and the simple beauty.”
Right, a lemon mint print.
An artist for as long as she can remember, Wyatt recalls her creativity dating back to Sunday school and then on to Drawing 101 in college where she made cards to share with her family and friends.
Her environmentally conscious attitude dates back to her childhood.
“My parents were part of the 1970s Green Movement and I have been organic gardening, recycling and eating granola my whole life.”
While she is still not working as a full-time printmaker just yet, she is encouraged by sales.
“In the current economy, we feel blessed with our sales,” she says.
Her work can be found at Gecko Hardware, North Haven Gardens, Rohde’s Nursery, T-Hee!, Zoomos, Dallas Farmer’s Market and in her online store. Prices range from $4 for a single card to $20 for a set of 10 cards.
Left, bluebonnet series.
She loves what she is doing and says her biggest challenge has been having enough time to print when botanicals are plentiful and finding enough botanicals to print when they are not.
“My biggest victory is pulling a print that is unexpectedly lovely. It keeps me wanting to try new botanicals.”