RHS exhibition: twelve weeks to go!

I have my work cut out to get my six pictures ready for the RHS botanical art exhibition during the Orchid show in April.

The series of six crab apple trees is well on the way. The apples are painted in all six pictures. I have done all the sketches and colours for the blossom ( done two years ago); all the sketches for my dissections were done last year; all of the apple dissections are sketched and ready to go. It is now a matter of putting it altogether in the finest detail and with my best techniques.

I have just completed the first picture. It is the Malus ‘ gorgeous’. I will give you a little glimpse at the end, but to see the completed picture I will encourage you to come to the RHS exhibition itself.

I will ask for one bit of help though. I need to include the Latin names for each of my apples and I can’t find all of them. If you know them, please let me know. The pictures will be, M. Gorgeous, M. Golden hornet, M. Evereste, M. Red sentinel, M. Red jade, & M. John Downey.


I’m afraid that this photo is not too brilliant – a little dark. Even more reason to see it in real life. Just pray I get all the pictures finished and retaining a good standard.

Prep Monday before Pittsburgh tour starting Saturday

Today is Monday (Tuesday really). On Friday I go to the US. Next week is the opening of the Hunt Institutes 14th International Exhibition of Botanical art and Illustration. My picture will be part of the exhibition and I will be there at the opening. What excitement – I think. My head is only just being able to think about it.

The last few months have been extremely busy between painting, teaching, exhibitions, demos and large family visitations. I have now started the last of the six Crab Apple series of pictures. None are complete, but I now have enough detail to complete each one – I hope. I was worried about getting all the detail I needed for the Golden Hornet as I had not studied the leaves and growing habit in detail. But now I am well on the way with it – as long as the fruit from my new tree continues to grow and ripen without falling off the branch before I get back from the US. I am doing the apple branch from this section of the tree. Unfortunately it doesn’t have all the leaves as per the photo, as I have been removing them one at a time to copy!


Back to the trip. I have been doing the usual things that one does before going away. Choosing and un-choosing suitable clothes for such an expedition. Apparently it is still very warm there. Making it difficult to make the right choices when I am freezing here! Also I have to bear in mind that apart fro Pittsburgh I am hoping to avoid towns whilst over there and try and find some nice places to walk and things to sketch – thus enough sketch books, pencil etc.

My additional luxury is that the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) has their conference in Pittsburgh at the same time. I am booked to take part in that.

My tickets are booked, visa sorted, pencils and sketch books ready, prints of the work to be exhibited are also ready to take with me – in case……. I’m not ready though!

I intend to write a short blog up until and during the trip.