Does anyone know what this is and is it native?

I hope you now have an idea as to why I have been focusing on native plants recently?

For those who are still not aware, we have formed a new organisation for all UK botanical artists whether they belong to an organisation or not. It is called ABBA, the Association of British Botanical Artists, although slightly a misnomer as this also includes Norther Ireland.

Why was this started? Well, the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) initiated a worldwide botanical art day for May 2018, inviting all nations to to join them in organising a botanical art exhibition in each country. Some of us felt it particularly important that the UK was represented because we have some brilliant botanical artists here. Some of them remain independent and have no allegiance to any organisation. Therefore having an association inviting everyone, was the answer.

For more information about the exhibition, please look on the ABBA website:

abba2018.wordpress.com

But, today during my latest workshop, I was looking through my sketchbook and found the following drawing. I know that I did it through a microscope at an Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators (IAPI) meeting, about mosses and liverworts. The problem is I was stupid enough not to write what it was. Can anyone help me, and is it native to the UK?

? Bryophyte capsule
? Bryophyte capsule

I have a strong suspicion that this is a Bryophyte capsule, but of course it doesn’t tell me which one and therefore I don’t know if it native.

My next sketch is native and is Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna). I think this is a really beautiful plant, although, if walking past it the colours of the flowers are rather dull. But of course the plant is often seen with flowers and large, shiny black berries at the same time. One day I hope to paint it, but I will have to be careful with it.

Atropa Belladonna - Deadly Nightshade.
Atropa Belladonna – Deadly Nightshade.

Next week, 24 and 25 February, ABBA will have a table at the RHS botanical art exhibition in the Lindley Hall, Vincent Square, London. We are there to tell you about the exhibition in May 2018 and how you can take part. Additionally, over the two days, Sarah Morrish will be demonstrating on Vellum, Lucy Smith in pen and ink, and I will be doing a graphite and watercolour worksheet.

Please make yourself known when you visit us.

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Another Botanical picture ready for the RHS exhibition

I seem to be spending every free minute on the Photoshop colour matching of the Crab apple botanical art series. But tomorrow I will be doing something else.

The Society of Floral Painters has asked me to do a coloured pencil demonstration at one of their meetings that is open to members and artists hoping to attain full membership in the society. It will be at Pitton Village Hall near. Salisbury, tomorrow between 10:00 – 14:00.

As the Magnolia x soulangeana is still in full flower, I have prepared a drawing to demonstrate this. It will be good to take my head away from the computer for a day.

Would you like to see part of the next picture finished? It is blossom on the Malus Evereste. Note how it differs from Malus Red Jade. The flower is slightly smaller than for the Red Jade, doesn’t have the stripey red on the petals and seems to have regular wrinkles along each petal. Although the Malus Red Jade apple is very small, the flowers are not so small.

It is amazing how different each Malus sort is.

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RHS exhibition: 10 weeks to go!

The weather isn’t getting any easier yet, in fact, today whilst painting in my shed I got quite scared. That is not me! The sun had been shining, but a large cloud was beginning to darken the sky. Suddenly it started blowing so much that the shed was actually shaking. I have never experienced that before. Even the cats sat up and took notice.

I am ploughing on with the pictures for the RHS exhibition in London in April. I now have the Malus Everest picture finished – I think. I have used exactly the same type of dissections for this painting as the other one. You saw the longitudinal section of the last picture. Guess what this is. You know which crab apple this is, so try and see which part it is.

All the pictures are being done in coloured pencil. I had thought to do the dissections in graphite, in the same way as in other illustrative paintings. However, I have chosen to continue them in colour in this series of paintings.

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