Stephen Caine , personal development grant 2009

Originally I was museum trained as a Natural History Preparator and Conservator. I now work freelance for Museums and Universities; specializing in Palaeobotanical Illustration and making display and educational models of extinct Flora and Fauna.

While looking though a fossil plant collection from one of Scotland's Western Isles at the National Museum of Scotland, I was shown a superb fossil leaf collected from Spitsbergen by the naturalist and explorer William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921).

Already being interested in the Spitsbergen fossil tertiary flora illustrated by Carl Hedelin (1861-1894) for the Swedish Museum of Natural History, I viewed more of the Bruce collection and decided to embark on an experiment to produce drawings in a 19th century style; similar to the work of Hedelin as both fossil collections come from the same place and time period.

So, armed with just a Wolff's carbon pencil and a heavyweight paper to help with texture and working in natural daylight and candlelight when needed, I put together these drawings for display.

Grateful thanks go to Jane Hutcheon and Graham Hardy for putting this exhibition on at The Royal Botanic Garden.

Dr Sarah Stewart (Palaeontologist) National Museum of Scotland, for her help with the fossil collection.

Dr Tomas Denk (Palaeobotanist) Swedish Museum of Natural History, for his help, advice and for allowing access to the work of Carl Hedelin.

Banff and Buchan Arts Forum for grant assistance towards putting together this exhibition.

Stephen examining fossil specimens in museum store