2 days until the RHS botanical art exhibition set-up

The day after tomorrow we take the pictures into London to set up for the botanical art exhibition in the Lindley Hall.

Today I moved everything up to the house from the shed. I thought I had done all the printing for labels and information sheet etc., but I made a mess of the first things I did. I had to print the whole lot again.

We had decided to back the labels with foam core as it’s easy to cut. Bad mistake! The edge looked so messy. I therefore had to print again, but this time I backed it with mount-board. I did this in 2011 the last time I exhibited with the RHS. I remembered that cutting small pieces was hard work. It was hard this time too.

Anyway the labels and information board are now done to my satisfaction.

The next thing on the list was mounting some limited edition prints to take with me. I am taking some mounted and some un-mounted but packed in stiffened envelopes. Additionally, I need to pack the unlimited prints of the blossom that I mentioned yesterday.

I think at the moment I am about halfway through these last things. I am hoping to get them done reasonably comfortably tomorrow.

I have a very large table where I normally teach. It is piled high with stuff. Obviously a temptation for the cats, so I have had to cover it all carefully for the night.

What on earth will I have to think about when I have done all I set out to do?

Now to show you the sections and enlarged detail of the parts of the Malus x atrosanguinea ‘ Gorgeous’ blossom in coloured pencil.

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3 days until the set-up for the RHS botanical art exhibition

Before I say anything else, I am so grateful to the support I am getting from you out there. I have had some lovely messages of support. Thank you. It helps.

I don’t know whether it is the messages that I have been getting, but today seemed easier somehow. I decided not to go to church this morning, so I had all morning to organise things before my husband returned. I wrote lists – in detail and have been ticking off every small element as I go along. I can actually see that I have managed some things and I know what I have left to do.

I have finished the information sheets and have printed them out. But I still have to mount them on board ready to go.

All my labelling is designed and printed. That too is ready to be mounted on board. But it is a very fiddly job as I found out last time – better to use double-sided tape than glue.

I will be taking some limited edition prints with me. They are printed and just waiting to have mounts put on them. I also did a combi-sheet of the different blooms from each Malus variety. I tried it out with the apples and also one for the dissections – but they didn’t look so nice. Too much information on one sheet. I will take some ‘Blossom’ sheets with me, but they aren’t limited edition and won’t be mounted. I have been going on about how different the blossom is on each tree and you can really see it with this page.

Guess who’s doing the ironing? And making supper? I am lucky aren’t I?

Another thing that has helped today is that I haven’t looked at the pictures at all.

This time I am going to show you the Malus x atrosanguinea ‘Gorgeous’ apples. They are of course in coloured pencil. If you don’t know their actual size, you would think they are just ordinary apples. In actual fact, they don’t taste as sour as the other crab apples and there are usually loads on the tiny tree.

Malus x atrosanguinea 'Gorgeous' crab apples in coloured pencil
Malus x atrosanguinea ‘Gorgeous’ crab apples in coloured pencil

 

4 days until the set-up for the RHS botanical art exhibition.

I am having kittens! I have changed the plot again.

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening and this morning going in one direction with the information sheets. Now I have changed the whole idea of what I want to do. I think I am going nuts and I’m afraid I won’t get it done.

I suddenly thought that I needed to get the order of pictures sorted out before I did anything else. I took a video of the setup but it won’t download into WordPress and I can’t take the time to find out how to do it at the moment. But when it is set up in the Lindley Hall in London on Wednesday I will take some pictures for you.

I have done some of the laundry as I said I would do, but once I got it on the line it started raining. One thing after the other.

I went to pick up some exhibiting materials for the open studios we are having at the beginning of May. But that is another story.

Today I am going to show Malus x atrosaguinea ‘Gorgeous’. Remember the series is all coloured pencil. It is a really beautiful apple and quite a small tree, but the crab apples are quite large. This is the flower to start off with.
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7 days until the Set-up for the RHS exhibition

For anyone who might just be picking up on this for the first time; for the last three years I have been preparing six pictures to exhibit at the next RHS Botanical art exhibition. It is to be held in London at the RHS’s Lindley Hall, 11-12 April.

The pictures are of six different crabapples, Malus ‘Red Jade’, Malus ‘Evereste’, Malus x robusta ‘Red Sentinel’, Malus x atrosanguinea ‘Gorgeous’, Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’.  Each of them are in coloured pencil and are of ripe crabapples, dissected crabapples, crabapple blossom, Longitudinal section of the flower, enlarged stamen, style & stigma and a transverse section of the ovary. Each picture basically shows in detail the times when people are most interested in the life of a crabapple tree.

Normally one sees the tree covered with blossom later on in April to early May and the next time one is interested is when the tree is covered with red or yellow apples. But do people really look at the trees, the blossom or the apples? Very rarely. For example, they assume that the blossom is the same on each tree. But they are very different.

I wanted to show the beauty of the trees right down to the detail. But I also wanted to create beautiful pictures of the whole works. Obviously it is up to those who view the pictures as to whether I have succeeded or not. It will also be up to the judges at the RHS as to whether I get a medal or not.

The judging is carried out by the picture committee and these include botanical artists, botanists, and photographers. They have extremely strict criteria and I will be judged on my worst picture. This means that they are not only judging for correctness of botanical detail, but also how I use the medium I have chosen, the composition, the information I have provided in and with the picture, and the way I have presented the exhibit. They want to see that my work is consistent and that is why the worst picture is judged: Bearing in mind, no picture is ever 100% perfect!

Today I have had to re-do one of the pictures for colour matching in Photoshop. I discovered this morning (after I had spent all morning teaching), that one of the pictures was incorrectly colour matched. Why do I need this? I will be using segments of the pictures (as I have shown you in the blog) to provide further information about each each picture at the exhibition. Additionally, I will be able to get gicleé prints from these – although that is of lesser importance at the moment.

It is now dark, so I will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I have succeeded with this or not. In the meantime, I am getting as much information as possible about the crabapples I have chosen. And now, a glimpse of the next picture, the M. John Downey. Now these are very different to the M. Red Jade, M. Evereste and M. Red Sentinel that you have seen in earlier blogs – aren’t they?

Malus x sylvestris 'John Downey' blossom- in coloured pencil
Malus x sylvestris ‘John Downey’ blossom- in coloured pencil