Buttongrass Studio is located in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
The name is inspired by the magnificant buttongrass meadows of the southwest wilderness where unique and beautiful animals such as the emu wren and wombat live.
It is run by husband and wife team Jane Burrell and Lloyd Sokvitne. Lloyd, a former librarian, is production, web manager and wood worker, and Jane is creative director, artist and designer.
Jane has a lifelong love of drawing and studied graphic design at the Tasmanian School of Art, now part of the University of Tasmania.
"My art work involves drawing, painting and printing in various media mainly for publication. I love drawing on things and putting my pictures on things...paper, wood, cloth, ceramics, eggs, human faces,...." says Jane. "I particulary love drawing native forest and bush birds on Tasmania's special timbers, eg. Blackwood and Huon Pine crafted by Lloyd."
Jane is a widely published illustrator. As well as fictional work for children she has illustrated many non-fiction publications on natural science.
I am interested in the 'living landscape' i.e. delving into, and revealing, the secrets of the nature of life. As a scientific illustrator I learnt a lot about making things look correct eg the exact number of segments on an insect's antennae or the right sort of claws on a macropod. I still like my personal work to have this kind of authenticity but with a generous dose of whimsy.
As a child I remember being fascinated by the illustrations in my picture books. I used to stare for ages at the dainty, domestic worlds of mice, and gutsy images of naughty little girls. I used to think that the blank pages sometimes left at the beginning and end of books were left for budding young artists to have a go, so I did!
Scribbling in books is considered a crime but I don't remember being punished so I guess I got away with it and have never really stopped except that the books I scribble in now are done in my own right.
After graduating from Art School, I landed a job doing scientific illustrations at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. It is quite scary looking at the armoury of an ant and other insects through a microscope.
After conquering insects I tackled Tasmania's native marsupials in a series of illustrations for display and publication.
They became immediate favourites, with the common wombat heading the list.
One of the museum workers brought a baby wombat into the tearoom one day. She immediately endeared herself by sipping milk from a teacup.
I did some quick sketches and when I left the museum to have my own babies I decided to make the sketches into stationery items. These caught the attention of an author in Melbourne and together we created a series of amusing picture books about wombats for children.
Our family had lots of fun over the years temporarily accommodating various furry and feathered artist's models in the form of wombats, possums, bandicoots, an owl and even a few penguins.