A new botanical art project started.

On Saturday I will be travelling up to Leicester for the day to go to an Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration (IAPI) meeting, Grasses masterclass, at the University botanical gardens. I am looking forward to this as I have only just joined the group and this is my first meeting with them.

Monday will again be a very early start to arrive at Goodnestone Park Gardens in Kent for 09:30 in the morning. I am teaching at one of the Botanical art workshops arranged by Field Breaks and hugely looking forward to it. Goodnestone Park is a lovely place to do botanical art and the gardens contain a lot of subjects! Already I know some of the students and some use watercolour and others coloured pencil. I enjoy this mix.

But I have started another picture. I am still doing the initial sketch! But the final picture will be in pen & ink. I have another two-day workshop 1-2 October which will be pen & ink. How far I will get with this picture by the start of that workshop, I don’t know – but it will be useful having something on the go.

So far I have only started sketching it. Guess what it is!



Open studios and open invite

Very briefly I will mention the workshop at Goodnestone Park Gardens. As always they are lovely hosts and we had a large airy room to do the workshop.

The workshop went well and again there were some lovely students who worked really hard. I noticed that by the end of the first day they wondered what their results would be like, but at the end of the two days all were happy with their work and felt they had learnt something new.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos to embellish this page, so you will have to imagine deep red Peonies, clematis and Wisteria. None of which are simple plants.

At the moment there is a mess all round me. This weekend we are taking part in the Chichester Art trail. Essentially, it is open studios. Here in Bosham there is quite an enclave of artists, so many people choose to spend one day in this area. Bosham is a lovely place anyway and we do have a lot of visitors generally. This is an extra good excuse to visit the area.

As usual we are setting up a gallery in the house, but I will also be working in the studio. This usually attracts many questions and people who were not initially interested in botanical art, have succumbed. I don’t think I have talked them into the ground, but many have obviously become interested in a subject they knew little about before.

Anyway, I don’t think you want any pictures of this mess until it’s been sorted out and pictures hung where they are meant to be. If you have the opportunity, I do hope you will plan a trip to Bosham either this weekend (which includes the Monday bank holiday) , and next Saturday and Sunday, it will be 10:30-17:30 each day.

In the village there will be loads of signs and balloons marking the spot. I am number 14, so you just need to follow the signs.

See you here!

Back to the Easel

For a short time yesterday and a lot of today I was able to get back to my easel.

Because of all the preparation to the RHS, I haven’t done anything since the middle of March. It feels such a long time. But I returned to a picture I had already started.

I will show you a snapshot of it at the end of this blog. It is a picture in pen & ink. Initially it looks complicated, but as it’s in monochrome this simplifies. Additionally, I feel that when I am using this style of pen & ink work I can relax a little more than I normally do when painting. Although I stay true to what I have in front of me, I feel I work a little less tightly. The difference between botanical art and botanical illustration.

The flower is a Hydrangea with quite large bracts. My husband bought it for me a few months ago and it dried beautifully on the stem. I felt that it would be lovely in ink and a suitable challenge at the same time. You will be able to determine if I have been successful or not.

After the problems that I had with my website following the RHS, my daughter in Norway decided that enough was enough. She is in the process of designing me a new one, which she feels will be easier for me to maintain. It will obviously take a while before this is up and running as she is fitting it in between other projects. I just hope that she doesn’t mind me mentioning it at this early stage.

On Monday I am off to Kent to teach a workshop for two days. It is a lovely place to go. Goodnestone Gardens not far from Canterbury, is a peaceful place. There is a walled garden and we are allowed to pick whatever flowers we want – including a lot of lovely Auriculas. They always tempt me, but whether I will even have time to start one is another matter.

This year I have three different workshops at Goodnestone. If you want to join us, get in touch with Field Breaks who arrange these botanical art workshops.

My next workshop in Bosham on the south coast near Chichester, is 29 – 31 May. If you are interested in that one contact me via my website which is working at the moment, or by responding to this blog.

My Hydrangea in Black and white.


A very busy few weeks

A busy time. I demonstrated at the Society of Floral painters exhibition at the Oxmarket in Chichester, twice. Once with coloured pencils and once with watercolour. People were interested in both and seemed to like my results. However, there is a huge fascination for the coloured pencils. There were lots of comments about how they didn’t realise what could be achieved with them. I love working with them, but also enjoy watercolour.

Since the exhibition, I have had my normal weekly classes and spent a few days in Amsterdam with my children. That of course was enjoyable. We came back on Saturday and I went off to Goodnestone Park gardens on Monday, teaching a botanical art workshop for Field Breaks. It seemed to go well, some returning students and over half using coloured pencil.

I think I will have to write a separate blog on coloured pencil and future plans.

Today I am starting another workshop over three days in Bosham. Again over half are returning students.