Places on botanical art workshop starting two weeks today.

Before I update a little more, there are still a few places on the ever popular botanical art workshop ‘Fruit and Veg’ or ‘Strawberries and Cream’. The last part isn’t intended to paint as we will be eating them. However, there is no reason why shouldn’t reserve some strawberries to paint.

Please do get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to attend the workshop, Friday and Saturday 19 & 20 August, between 10:00 and 16:00, including lunch.

The workshop is held in Bosham near Chichester. There are plenty of B&Bs in the vicinity and I have a list should you need it. But these days it is easy to find accommodation on the internet.

We have a kitchen garden, although not too much in it as we were away during a vital period. We took cucumber plants to my daughter in Norway; she has cucumbers, our plants died! But we do have exciting overgrown radishes, apples on the way and blackberries already here. The runner beans are beginning to produce, but the broad beans are few and far between. Our neighbours got plenty of Raspberries whilst we were away – all gone now, but you never know, some may pop up.

I will put a form at the end of this blog so that you can get in touch with me quickly should you decide you would like to join in the fund and games. More information and booking form at Gaynor’s Flora workshops.

In the last update on 1st of August, I mentioned that I had beens struggling with painting tomatoes in coloured pencil as I was trying out different papers. For my fourth attempt I used my trusty old supply of Fabriano and it is now finished. I will show it to you another time as in reality I only did it as a teaching video for my online botanical art course. I still have to edit the video.

I also mentioned our trip into the mountains in Norway and showed you a list of plants that I might do for my next RHS submission. Here are a few sketches of the Heath spotted Orchid from my sketchbook.

Heath spotted Orchid sketchbook page
Heath spotted Orchid sketchbook page
Heath spotted Orchid flower detail
Heath spotted Orchid flower detail
Heath spotted Orchid leaf detail
Heath spotted Orchid leaf detail

They are in a Stillman & Bern Zeta sketchbook in watercolour.

Get in touch about the workshop in two weeks time.

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A website that works and some amazing students!

I absolutely love what I do. I can’t believe that I am doing what I have always wanted to do.

After several days work and a terrible broadband reception after 15:00 each day during Easter, my website: gaynorsflora.com now works properly. Thank goodness. I suppose that because the people who sold the ‘take-away-site’ to me, made such a mistake and cut me off, they probably did me a favour. I went through everything on the website and hopefully now everything functions as it should.

So, I am still catching up. I have had a class today, sorted out some paperwork, wrote feedback for an assignment for London Art College where I am the botanical art tutor and took some new assignments off the website in preparation for marking at the weekend. It is these assignments that I am so exhilarated about. The one I did today was really good and with a short glimpse of the new ones, I can’t believe my luck. They too are very good. People who are so interested in botanical art, are learning so much and who I am sure you will know about before too long. Obviously I can’t mention names but I wish I could. One day…..

Tomorrow I am going to put aside all paperwork and paint for the first time in a while. At least I will during the afternoon and evening while my husband is at his art class.

My face is healing. The blue-black colour that it has been from eye to under my chin is now a mauvish-grey with a little jaundiced yellow in between. The high cheekbone is still a solid lump, but I am sure that will reduce eventually. My pulled muscles and tendons prevents strenuous exercise just yet, but then I can paint. Tomorrow is the day! I will show you some of it at the end of the day – I hope.

But, I still have some pictures that I got permission to put on this blog. This time its Sharon Tingey. She was on the other side of the stand to me at the RHS. Sharon’s work was Helianthus – Sunflowers and it won a Gold. It was really beautiful work and she had actively used her knowledge of the Fibonacci sequence to paint it.

By the way, I had a student today with whom I was discussing the spiral and she referred to it as the ‘Liberace spiral’! Luckily she really understood the funny side of this and has allowed me to mention it.

Do enjoy Sharon’s work and let her know that you have done so.

Sharon Tingey - Helianthus exhibit
Sharon Tingey – Helianthus exhibit
Sharon Tingey - Helianthus exhibit part 3
Sharon Tingey – Helianthus exhibit part 3
Sharon Tingey - Helianthus exhibit part 2
Sharon Tingey – Helianthus exhibit part 2
Sharon Tingey - Helianthus exhibit part 1
Sharon Tingey – Helianthus exhibit part 1

Tomorrow is the set-up day with the RHS

Tomorrow my husband and I will be driving up to London with the Crab apple botanical art pictures due to be exhibited at the RHS, Lindley Hall from Thursday 10 April until Saturday 12 April.  We will set up the exhibition tomorrow afternoon and evening and then my husband will disappear until the next evening. I will be all on my own (sniff), but with other exhibitors of course,  when we get the results of the judging on Thursday lunchtime.

We have found a hotel not too distant from the RHS halls so I might even get a slight lie-in on Thursday morning. The exhibition will be open for the preview between 18:00 – 21:00 on Thursday evening. I think that this is meant to be for RHS members. By this time I hope that my husband has returned to either commiserate or enjoy. Either way, I think we will have a nice – but late meal in the evening. Everything is planned so far, but you know what happens to plans!

The RHS Botanical Art Exhibition and Orchid show will be open to the public on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 between 10:00 – 17:00. I understand that they are doing something new this year in that several well-known botanical artists (previous Gold medal winners) will be demonstrating their techniques.  I will be very interested in that.

So what am I doing now? Have you noticed that I am now looking ahead? This means that I think I have done as much as I can before we set off tomorrow morning – except to pack. Someone is going to look after the cats, so they will probably get spoiled to death.

Malus x zumi 'Golden Hornet' crab apples in coloured pencil
Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ crab apples in coloured pencil
Malus x zumi 'Golden Hornet' blossom in coloured pencil
Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ blossom in coloured pencil
Malus x zumi 'Golden Hornet' sections in coloured pencil
Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ sections in coloured pencil

I have got everything together – I think. Pictures painted, framed and labelled. Some prints made – in case. Picture hooks, rope to hang the pictures….., a level to make sure they hang straight. Scissors. Oh I must take something to clean the glass! Visiting cards. Have I forgotten anything?

I am trying to make the house habitable again – but that doesn’t extend to the shed – I will do that on Sunday. Imagine, I can start painting again on Sunday – if I am allowed.

There is one picture remaining. I am attaching the elements from it as I have done with the other five. Bear in mind, I have grouped things to make it easier for the blog, but the whole picture does not have the same arrangement. Once I get back, I will put the pictures on my website: http://www.gaynorsflora.com. That means I might not get to paint on Sunday! We will see.

This is Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ in coloured pencil.

 

 

5 days until the set-up for RHS exhibition

My worries at the beginning of today was not purely about botanical art and the RHS exhibition.

Last night I dropped my iPad on the floor. This morning I noticed that the corner was smashed and there was a big crack across it!

I use the iPad so much in communicating at the moment. On my computer I have so many screens up at the same time trying check that all the information I have is correct. I am also writing information panels about crab apples generally and each picture specifically, linking in parts of the pictures painted to give a good description of the exhibit.

With no iPad, how could I write about the results of the judging next Thursday? You would have had to wait until I got back home after the exhibition had finished on Saturday evening. How we depend on modern technology now!

In fact I am very lucky as once I had found out where I could get a new screen put on the IPad, my husband took it to the town where it could be repaired on the spot. He returned with it having been done – several hours later. I continued flapping in the shed whilst he was away!

Well I am reasonably happy with the generic description of crab apples, and the first specific information panel. My husband checked it out and he only found a couple of mistakes!! Hopefully I will get the other five written tomorrow, at the same time as doing the laundry.

Now the last glimpse of the Malus x sylvestri ‘John Downey’ in coloured pencil before going onto another crab apple tomorrow.

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Three weeks until the RHS botanical art exhibition

How am I doing? Will I be finished in time?

These of course are the questions I am asking myself and I imagine are the same questions for those who follow the blog.

Preparing for the RHS botanical art show which will happen in London 11 – 12 April, with preview on the evening of the 10th, has taken three years. The work is almost finished. Believe it or not.

I have finished painting each of the six pictures. I have only painted the necessary six and I haven’t painted a 7th as a reserve in case one wasn’t up to scratch ( I was advised to do this – in case). The frames are made and all that remains is working up the digital images for printing plus writing the information to hang with the pictures.

Matching the colours exactly is a hugely time consuming exercise. I prefer to do this myself unless the picture is too big for the equipment I have. As having the correct colours to reflect my subject is important for my painting, I am a perfectionist in matching the colours in Photoshop.

The last bit of work will be to research further the six Malus plants I have painted and write some information about each of them.

Three weeks is not long. The sun is shining, the garden and gardening await and May this year will be very busy with exhibitions. But, the RHS exhibition is the most important having taken three years to prepare.

Breath!

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Prep for RHS Botanical art exhibition 2014

Following on from my last exhibit in 2010 with the RHS, I am working up to another exhibit. The question is, will I get the required number of pictures done in time and will I be offered a place in the London exhibition?

Last time I painted a series of Magnolia x soulangeana pictures in watercolour. This time I am painting a series of Crab apple pictures in coloured pencil. Each of them will be a different crab apple.

I have done a certain amount of preparatory work. I have sketches of each of the apples and during the short flowering time last year I did sketches of each of this chosen plants in flower. I had my work cut out doing the sketches in time.

So far during the winter I have decided roughly what needs to be included in each picture and have started a couple of the series using the sketches I already have of the apples. I intend to keep people up to date with what I am doing.

I foresee the first significant problem arriving in April during the short blossom time as I have decided to do detailed drawings from dissections of each of the plant. Flowering lasts about two weeks!

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Follow my blog to see how the process develops.