Botanical art Painting holiday in Norway 2015

The SBA botanical art exhibition in Palmengarten, Frankfurt, has almost left my to-do list for this year! Our SBA member Sue Henon and Palmengarten have already started having meetings about the next exhibition in 2016, but I will now have nearly a year free to decide about any involvement I might or might not have.

The pictures that came back are nearly all out of the house and there is only one last collection due. The house almost looks empty – so much so, that I can now see all the dust that quickly collected when so many people were in and out of the house collecting pictures. We will have exactly six days to clear up before our Christmas guests arrive!

As so many people were coming and going, I decided it was best to leave the Acanthus work in the house so that I could do a little of it whilst waiting for people to arrive. This is where I have got to with the picture. It is taking its time.

Acanthus 1 Pen & Ink
Acanthus 1 Pen & Ink
Acanthus 2 Pen & Ink
Acanthus 2 Pen & Ink
Acanthus 3 Pen & Ink
Acanthus 3 Pen & Ink

More importantly for me – and hopefully for a few of you out there, I now have all the details for the next Botanical Art workshop holiday in Norway. By clicking on the image below you will be linked to my website to download further information including the booking forms.

Brochure art course Norway 2015

Day before the journey to Frankfurt’s Palmengarten

My last blog mentioned that the botanical art exhibition at Palmengarten is now less than a week away. Each day that comes I think that I might get a little painting in before we go – but no such luck. I will show you a couple more pictures from the pen and ink drawing of Bear’s britches progression though.

I thought I had all the paperwork for Palmengarten clear in relevant folders etc, but then the cat jumped up onto the keyboard and knocked my tea all over the paperwork and the printing paper. That took a couple of hours to reprint it all as well as clear up the mess.

But today, my husband Robin got up early, gave me a cup of tea in bed and then took the train to Portsmouth to collect a van for our trip to Frankfurt. It is quite a large van, but he thinks we will be comfortable enough during the long journey, although it doesn’t seem to have all the mod cons one might expect/ wish for.

So we checked all the paintings etc against the spreadsheet I had done and loaded everything onto the van. Robin fastened everything securely and one of the cats, Fudge, inspected the lot to see that we had done it properly. His black and white brother (guess what his name is) inspected the suddenly empty spare bedrooms. They will be having a strict cat-sitter for the duration!

A good night’s sleep tonight and tomorrow we will be on our way to Kent to pick up the other half of paintings.




The bear’s britches (Acanthus)




Sarah Simblet course

I came back nearly a week ago from a weeks course at the Ruskin School of Drawing with Sarah Simblet as the tutor. I had an amazing week away.

The course was Botanical drawing. Sarah has authored several art books, on drawing in general, anatomy for the artist, botany for the artist and is now working on a new book. She is a very good artist and also does a lot of research in the areas in which she chooses to teach. To cap it all, Sarah is a lovely person and very supportive of her students when struggling with new media.

The reason for going on the course was to draw in pen and ink. I have always been intimidated by this medium and therefore hoped that I would be less so once I had had a little expert tuition. Sarah constantly draws in black and white and in reality with her work you feel that you are looking at it in colour. Getting to that level of expertise would be something I would love to achieve, but it possibly won’t be in this lifetime.

Sarah got us to relinquish our feelings of control when drawing by using unusual implements. After this she encouraged us to build ourselves up again using the new medium (ink) and new implements (pen). It was exciting. I can’t show you pictures of the pulling down, but this is an example of learning to build up again. It is a plant I have never seen before – Molucella laevis. Very attractive. In fact whilst in Oxford I did see another painting of one.

We went to the Herbarium and were given a treat. All of Ferdinand Bauer’s work that went into the Flora Graeca was laid out for us. It was amazing. His sketch books and all his notes were there. He had a colour coding system that he used when doing his sketches in situ. He could spend years away from any studio and when he returned he used his notes to make his botanical paintings for the Florum. Therefore we were able to see his actual sketches, notes and final paintings before they were eventually published.

I made new friends on the course who are from around the world. Two I will be meeting again in a few weeks time at the opening of the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation Exhibition in Pittsburgh.

I am now coming down to earth and catching up on all I need to do. But  hopefully I will get my act together to keep the blog updated.

Thank you for reading this. I do recommend Sarah Simblet’s summer courses.

Molucella laevis 180713