Sunday, 28 February 2010

Moving House...

Today I woke up to an empty room... great big white walls all around me. Everything new. I am moving house today, from Plymouth to Kew. All my things are in their designated boxes in the back of a transit van waiting to be driven along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. I am very very excited, but also rather apprehensive.

So, in case you don't know why I am moving house with a broken finger (yes, it still has not healed, although the wire was removed on Wednesday), it is because I was fortunate enough to be offered a job to work in the Shirley Sherwood and Marianne North Galleries at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew! I was interviewed last month and was lucky enough to be offered the job. Which means for the foreseeable future I will be working as an attendant in the gallery spaces, helping to keep the galleries safe, clean, accessible and friendly. Hopefully, every now and then I will also be involved in planning new botanical illustration exhibitions and in setting them up. What fun!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Taxus Baccata

A Yew tree (Taxus baccata) - acrylic on canvas, for my landlord and good friend Rik Faris, as I prepare to move to Kew...

More on why I am moving to Kew tomorrow...

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Chrysanthemums for Isabella

Here's the latest... Chrysanthemums for baby Isabella. Not yet finished, but slowly getting there... This is my first try at a water colour since 'the incident'. Water colour paints are very difficult to use without the finger, it has to be said!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Lion Tulips

Just finished another drawing... this is for a friend of mine in Edinburgh who asked me to do a pen and ink before Christmas. Seriously delayed commission, which was not helped by the finger incident. I recieved these tulips last weekend :-) - they are a lovely yellow and slightly ragged round the edges, like little lion manes on green stalks.
I found this drawing especially difficult, as I discovered soon after starting it that my finger incident prevents me from doing long sweeping lines, which is rather necessary for the leaves of a Tulip. This problem was solved by rotating the paper, but this is something I hate doing. One can loose perspective on what they are actually drawing and then you start to niggle on the smaller details rather than on the whole composition. This is a constant battle for botanical illustrators, but as this piece was never meant to be an accurate one, I knew I shouldn't concentrate too much on the detail. I was commissioned to draw something that I liked, that meant something to me and to draw it in the way I like to - which is to use a lot of hatching and to be free on the paper. Hope my friends like it...