Rory McEwen and my pineapple.

There is nothing to connect Rory McEwen and my pineapple – other than botanical art.

But I am dead chuffed and sad at the same time. I watched the programme on BBC today about Rory McEwen and felt so sad that such a gifted person died so young and in such a manner. I so wish I had been around when he was doing his wonderful paintings.

When I was at the Hunt Institute in Pittsburg two years ago, I had to pinch myself that because my work was accepted in the Hunt, and while there I was allowed to see whatever works that they had in their collection. I wanted to see Rory McEwen’s work and saw it in the ‘flesh’ without being protected by glass. It was amazing.

Four minutes after the end of the Rory McEwen programme today I got an email from the Hunt to tell me that I had been gifted a piece of Rory McEwen vellum. When he died, his vellum was given to the Hunt Institute and pieces have been gifted to botanical artists over the years. Now I am one of them. I can’t believe it.

Painting on vellum is hugely different to painting on paper. I will have to think of something really special to paint on it in due course.

But my pineapple. More pictures.

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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!

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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.