Fruit & Vegetable workshop + gluttons for botanical art workshop (punishment).

Yes, gluttons for punishment! On Tuesday and Wednesday I was teaching the Gloucestershire society of Botanical illustration. Two from that group took the long trip to Bosham for the Fruit & Veg botanical art workshop, when they had already been on the pen & ink one at the beginning of the week. They assured me that it was really Robin’s cooking they came for. I have to say, his lunches are getting really good.

Anyway, once again I am told that the students who attended the workshop over the last couple of days, had a good time and learnt a lot. The group included a couple who hadn’t done any botanical art before and a couple who wanted to learn to use either coloured pencil or watercolour, when they had used the opposite very successfully for many years. They did well, although I know from experience it can be a struggle converting one to the other. It will be interesting to see if they try the new medium again. I hope so, as it is useful to be able to ‘master’ more than just the one medium. Although, I don’t think anyone can claim to ‘master’ any of them. It would be useful to hear if anyone thinks this possible?

We had incredible weather over the two days, so there were some frequent trips to the kitchen garden.

The first picture only includes a few of the students. I’m afraid I forgot to take these until the other tables had already packed up.

Now the gallery of pictures. Make sure that you have a reasonably good Internet connection. Unfortunately, it seems that when out and about, some of the connections limit what you can pick up and sometimes one is unable to see the pictures until you have a full broadband.

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Gloucestershire Society of Botanical Illustration workshops -2nd day

Whilst in Gloucester I had been asked to do a second one-day workshop with different members. I felt it was as successful as the first day and here are the results for you to see. You will notice that in fact two of the students came for a second day and continued with their pictures.

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Watch this space for the results of the ‘Fruit & Veg; strawberries & cream’ workshop happening this Friday and Saturday in Bosham.

Gloucestershire Society of Botanical Illustration workshops

What a lovely group of botanical artists – so welcoming.

I was invited to have a one- day workshop with the Gloucestershire Society of Botanical Illustration (GSBI), using pen and ink. I of course said yes as I had heard that the group are very active with a love for botanical art and illustration.

Apparently, as soon as I agreed to this and it was announced in the group, all the places were filled with an additional waiting list. Further discussions and a second workshopday was agreed. That will be tomorrow.

Normally I do this workshop over two-three days as time is also spent on composition and drawing. This one was purely to teach technique although in reality further advice in the field of botanical art is always given.

I know from feedback I get that people reading my blogs are always interested in the workshop results. Here are today’s group. Rather good don’t you think?

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Summer Open Studio – Botanical art

Its that time of year again. Children are on holiday and the waterways (as well as motorways) are bustling. The sun is shining and the bees are buzzing, making sure we get the produce from our kitchen gardens and seeds for next year.

From my shed (studio), I can hear happy sailors in the creek, as well as curlews as they land. There seem also to be a lot of children and teenagers learning the ropes out on the water. But I am happy painting away with the sun pouring in through the open door and the cats curled up asleep as company; oblivious to anything.

Do come and experience my little haven during the next couple of weekends. You will be most welcome.

2015 Summer Open Studios flyer

One of the pieces I will be working on is my latest challenge. Fuchsia microphylla. Microphylla means small leaves. Everyone knows more or less what a Fuchsia looks like as for some it seems to be a challenge to find as many different sorts as possibly – whether hardy in the UK climate, or not. This plant is hardy but intriguing. The flowers are tiny, as are the leaves, but the fruit is also quite small although seeming to get somewhat larger than the flower.

Fuchsia microphylla
Fuchsia microphylla
Fuchsia microphylla flowers
Fuchsia microphylla flowers

I have started to paint a picture in watercolour. The composition is the real challenge and how I am going to express this on paper, with dissections. Come and see how I intend to try and solve the problems. Comments and suggestions will be most welcome.

Fuchsia microphylla painting started
Fuchsia microphylla painting started

My husband commented today that he didn’t realise that the colours in the plant were so vibrant. I had done a tad more on the painting by the time he made this comment. But it is like all things botanical, once you get down to the detail – even in grasses – the colours are amazing.


Fuchsia microphylla setup in my shed (studio). Plant, magnifying glasses galore, easel, chair, paints, brushes and water.
Fuchsia microphylla setup in my shed (studio). Plant, magnifying glasses galore, easel, chair, paints, brushes and water.

Robin will be ably manning the gallery and I look forward to you joining me down in the shed.