Botanical art entry provisionally accepted for New York

The American Society of Botanical Artists(ASBA) has provisionally accepted one of my pictures for its New York exhibition this November. However, I daren’t take it as a ‘fait accompli’  just yet as the jury have only seen the digital version of my picture so far.

Just like having work accepted at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, the ASBA  reserve the right to refuse any artwork if it isn’t up to scratch when they see it in real life. So I am still keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that they will like it. I had to un-cross them long enough to have half a glass of bubbly which my very happy husband poured for me. I’m also rather chuffed!

But this is the picture they have chosen:

Malus x zumi  "Golden Hornet" crab apple in coloured pencil.
Malus x zumi “Golden Hornet” crab apple in coloured pencil.

Today I was demonstrating coloured pencil at the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition in Chichester. Being British, I was also aware that the sun was shining outside, but as I was painting a very sunny yellow Iris from the pond in the back garden, the sun was brought into the exhibition.

I would have liked to show you the results of that exercise as I am trying to find the right paper for use with coloured pencil. This is to replace the Fabriano hot pressed papers that we botanical artists are struggling with. Unfortunately I am not convinced yet that I have found a paper that suits me and my style when using coloured pencil. But I know that I have found a lovely Strathmore paper to use with watercolour.

I have realised that yesterday’s blog showed a poster with a painting of the Strelitzia-reginae ‘Bird of Paradise’ plant, but the signature was too small to read. The honour for that lovely piece of work should fall on the Chairperson of the SFP, Gill Jelley.

Its all go in May and June with botanical art.

Last weekend IAPI – the Institute of Analytical Plant illustrators, had one of its meetings in the Lake District. We went both to see Beatrix Potter’s botanical illustrations at the museum in Ambleside, and to John Ruskins home, which is an absolutely stunning botanical garden on the edge of Coniston Water. I don’t think I have ever seen such a display of colour!

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Artists Glade
Artists Glade

No comments could make this more beautiful.

However, after this fantastic weekend away, we came back well prepared to take part in the hanging of the Society of Floral painters exhibition at the Oxmarket in Chichester. The exhibition opened successfully on Tuesday evening and since then there has been a steady stream of visitors to see all the wonderful Floral pictures.  They range from a strict botanical style to a much looser style. But, although very different, the quality in each genre is very good.

By the way, that isn’t just me that has commented on this as of course I do have a vested interest; but visitors to the gallery have been extremely impressed.

Do come along at some point between now and the 12th June. Except for Mondays, a different person will be demonstrating their style of work each day. I am demonstrating coloured pencil tomorrow, Saturday 28 May and watercolour 7 June. The address is the Oxmarket, St Andrews Court, East St, Chichester PO19 1YH. This weekend the Chichester Flower Festival is also happening.wpf3269d6f_05_06

Ménagerie à trois plus botanical art workshop

Please note the difference in spelling!

We have four cats, a pond with visiting ducks, a pair of Crows, Chaffinches, Wrens, Robins (as well as my husband and sister)Blackbirds, Goldfinches, Bearded Tits, Blue tits and Great Tits, two sorts of Woodpeckers, squirrels, rats and the normal rodents etc.

Although we have the cats, birds seem to feel very happy i the garden and seem to be left alone. In fact, one day there was a pheasant in the garden and the ginger one  – Fudge decided he wanted to join him, so walked towards the bird with his tail in the air. They seemed to spend a happy time following each other gently round the garden! The only things that seem to come to grief are the rats – 22 in 18 months!

During the workshop one of the students had her dog with her. She was a little worried at first as she thought her dog might chase the cats. The black & white cat – Allsorts (as in liquorice), brother of Fudge, knows how to deal with dogs. He just sits and stares them down. It always works. I think he took five minutes to train the dog!

These were some of the views from the conservatory during the workshop at the weekend!

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There was a botanical art class between Friday and Sunday. The title was May blossom and Irises. Irises are usually the topic of choice, but there was a whole garden to choose from. In the end there were 1 1/2 Iris pictures, two Canary Rose pictures, one crab apple blossom, a very pregnant Hellebore  and none of the yellow Irises from the pond. Three people used coloured pencil and two watercolour.

From my perspective the workshop was enjoyable and the feedback I have got is that those taking part also enjoyed it and learnt something too.

I am now taking on people who want to start the online botanical art course in June. To see what it is all about, have a look at my webpage on the subject. I restrict the number of people I take on board each month so that it is best to reserve your place as soon as possible.

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And the results of the weekend so far. As I forgot to take it before packing up, there is one picture missing, but hopefully we will see the finished result in due course.

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Florilegium – a gathering of flowers at Cranleigh Arts Centre

Today we had the last day of the Chichester Open Studios art trail. Boy, what a warm day, particularly when we haven’t been used to it. But it meant that lots of people came out to visit us in Bosham. Generally people seemed to find their way down to the shed for a natter with me, before going up to the house to see the botanical art. It was a busy and interesting two weekends.

But so we have to clear up!

However, in the process I am getting ready the work that is going to the Cranleigh Arts Centre, 1 High Street, Cranleigh. This is an exhibition in partnership with RHS Wisley who want to show some of their herbarium specimens. In addition, they wished to combine this with showing some botanical art and I was honoured to be asked to do this. The third person showing work in the exhibition is Celia Henderson a photographer. I have seen her work of flora and it is particularly beautiful.

The exhibition opens on May 10th to June 11th. I do hope that you will be able to come and see what is on display.

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