Palmengarten – Tuesday week 2

It has apparently been a good day at the botanical art exhibition in the botanical gardens of Frankfurt, Palmengarten. They have had quite a few visitors there, interested in both the beautiful gardens and the exhibition.

But tomorrow Sue Henon who is manning the exhibition there will have her life made even more complicated.

Apparently there is to be a week long strike of the railways, starting in the evening. This means that she is now in search of somewhere to stay for the rest of the week as there is no other way in which she can get home tomorrow night and back again to the exhibition. But as she quite rightly says, her problem is no different to everyone else’s who travels into the city by train.

As a fellow member of the SBA I am hugely grateful to her for what she is doing for the society and for me as an individual; I too have some paintings in the exhibition.

Today I have been putting together some designs for new cards and downloading assignments ready to start marking after I have finished teaching my weekly class tomorrow (today actually!). Unfortunately the trip to Germany has left me a little behind with that work. As botanical art tutor for the London College of Art (LAC) I am really pleased to see that there seems to be an increase in interest for learning to paint botanically.

More pictures from the exhibition. Some of the artwork looks as though it isn’t hanging straight in the photos. But unfortunately it was me not hanging straight when I took the pictures!

Artwork by Guy William Eves, Gaynor Dickeson and Rachel Munn
Artwork by Guy William Eves, Gaynor Dickeson and Rachel Munn
Artwork by Rachel Munn and Eiko Takano
Artwork by Rachel Munn and Eiko Takano
Artwork by Penny Brown
Artwork by Penny Brown
Artwork by Tina Bone
Artwork by Tina Bone
Artwork by Tina Bone
Artwork by Tina Bone
The long wall in the Palm house and vitrines down the centre containing the prizes mentioned on the SBA facebook page, jewellary  by Lesley Hall and Glassware by Jacqueline Allwood.
The long wall in the Palm house and vitrines down the centre containing the prizes mentioned on the SBA facebook page, jewellary by Lesley Hall and Glassware by Jacqueline Allwood.

A total of 26 pictures now have red dots on them.

Advertisements

Dipladenia progression

I have to be honest that the photos I am sending out in my blog are ones taken during work done over the last couple of weeks.  I suppose that rather than show you them as I am doing them, I am still hesitant as to where the painting will go and if I will get over my fear of doing it badly yet again!

I am still spending quite a bit of time on the Palmengarten exhibition organisation which means that some days I have virtually no time to paint.  Additionally I mark the assignments for the two botanical art courses at the London Art College. It all takes time off the actual painting. But, I am enjoying seeing the assignments that come in and the development of the students.

Do have a look at the London Art College website if you are interested in doing botanical painting either in watercolour or coloured pencil. Obviously getting hands-on tuition is the best, but sometimes distances preclude this and the distance learning is a good option.

 

Now a couple more photos from the Dipladenia picture.

Dipladenia flower pair with bud and a flower having lots its fused, tubular petals.
Dipladenia flower pair with bud and a flower having lost its fused, tubular petals.
Dipladenia flower shrivelling & two buds.
Dipladenia flower shrivelling & two buds.

RHS exhibition results 3 weeks today!

In three weeks time, on April 10 about midday I will know if my six botanical art paintings in coloured pencil have passed muster and if they have won a medal.

I’m still hard at working up the colours in Photoshop and In between teaching classes, workshops or marking botanical art assignments for the London Art College. The days are long, but it sounds as though it is going to get colder again and the weeds in the garden might grow slowly for a short while.

The Magnolia is in full and splendid bloom; several weeks early according to pictures taken other years. Each of the crabapple trees have started sprouting. I now have seven different ones.

Would you like another glimpse from the Malus. Red Jade picture? This time it’s the apples. The full picture with dissections is quite interesting, but you will have to come to the RHS exhibition to see it.

20140320-002119.jpg

Back home to crab apples

So far this week I have been catching up – or trying to, after our time in the US.

I mentioned that everything was green and therefore a shock after seeing the intense fall colours in America. This was the first sight of our back garden and one of our cats.

20131011-234947.jpg

It was still reasonably warm on our return, but I kept on my full length jeans.

Monday and Tuesday afternoon I did a lot of paperwork to catch up, but Tuesday and Wednesday morning I had my normal weekly botanical art classes. Everyone was very interested in the trip we had taken and most particularly in the catalogue from the Hunt Exhibition. Hopefully the catalogue will be motivational for some of the students.

At last on Wednesday I was able to get back to painting my crab apple series. Whilst we had been away, the Malus Golden Hornet crab apples had swelled up (luckily it has rained a little since we were away) and turned yellow. The apples are not fully ripe yet, but as this was the only painting where I had done no apples at all and very little preparatory sketches, it was the one picture I was most concerned about.

I had in fact actually started the painting before we went away. I had done a composition and finished most of the leaves, placing the apples roughly in accordance with measurements taken two years ago when starting the series. However, this year there has been little rain during the summer months and the fruit were not as big as originally allowed for. That aspect of the painting had to be sketched anew. A photo from the Malus Golden Hornet.

20131012-000945.jpg

On Thursday morning it started getting really cold here (relatively speaking) and a wind was building up. The Malus Gorgeous, a lovely little tree near our front door, has quite big deep red crab apples. They were beginning to fall off the tree. Although I have painted a composition with this apple several times, I had started a different composition. I again have done most of the leaves, but need to paint the apples. The Malus Gorgeous.

20131012-001630.jpg

I felt it was now important to do a list of the pictures, detailing what was missing on each one and the urgency of each element. I don’t want to miss an important phase in the development of each apple because I was concentrating too much on one of the..

My Malus John Downey tree now has only three apples left on it. It didn’t do too well this year. I still had five apples to paint in the picture! I decided this was a priority. I can wax lyrical about the beauty of this tree, but I will save this for another time.

So, now I have been rescuing crab apples to paint their portraits in the relevant picture and yesterday managed nine hours on John Downey. My husband went out in the evening, so I could do what I enjoyed best – paint.

I haven’t got new pictures of this painting, but here you can see the notes from my flower dissections in my sketch book. Peeking out from under the sketchbook you can just see some completed leaves on a branch contain gripe crab apples.

20131012-002840.jpg

Today, Friday, I have only had a couple of hours painting as we had to travel to Bristol for a meeting with other tutors from London Art College (LAC). I am the Botanical Art Tutor for LAC which is a distant learning course. If you are interested in this, have a look at their website. It is a good course.

Busy, busy – one!

The Antonia Rose
The Antonia Rose

Where to begin?

Since I came home after the fantastic course with Sarah Simblet I have been catching up in between family visits.

Some of our children stayed on and off with us throughout June and will be returning next week with other members of the family. All in all we will be eleven of us. They will be keeping out of my hair until Monday as I have a three-day workshop this coming weekend.

This workshop is well supported and the topic will be ‘Summer fruits’. However several of those taking part will be painting Roses. I suppose this is a form of lateral thinking. I had a think about any fruits that we have in the garden at the moment. There is in fact very little as we are between flushes of the usual varieties. The Raspberries and Strawberries are finished until a new lot arrive and it is too early for Blackberries, although they are now beginning to turn a beautiful black.

Normally Cobnuts look really beautiful to paint at this time of year with their curly green skirts and pixie hats. There isn’t a single one on our tree this year. The Rowan tree has a lot of fruit on it and it is ripening fast. The apples are still very small and of all the crab apple trees in the garden there is only one that is showing any hint of warmth in colour. Actually, thank goodness for that as I have been doing so many other things other than continuing the Crab apple series of paintings recently.

One of my students who will be painting roses during this coming workshop, will be continuing a picture she has been doing for the last three weeks. She has had several days with one-to-one tuition as the subject is very special. Her father was a Nurseryman and developed a rose which he named Antonia – the name of his first grandchild. As far as they are aware there are only three examples of the rose left and this is the reason she wanted to paint it. Not only that, she is using coloured pencil.

To demonstrate various relevant techniques to aid my student, I started painting the rose myself and have decided to use it as a step-by-step tutorial.

I don’t think that I have mentioned before that I am the Botanical Art Tutor for the London Art College. It is a very good organisation who provide art courses in various mediums and with many topics via the Internet or per correspondence. My predecessor wrote a fair amount of the course as it stands today, but it focuses on watercolour as well as a little graphite and pen&ink. I am now in the process of writing some tutorials for coloured pencil botanical artists to add to what is there already. Therefore in time we will have very good tuition to help botanical artists with their watercolour and coloured pencil studies.

The above

is my finished Antonia Rose which I will be using for the step-by-step studies with the London Art College. I hope you like it.