Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Golden Age of Botanical Art

 New botanical art book available from Kew and Amazon:

This book brings together the stories of the intrepid explorers and the many professional artists who recorded the flora they discovered whilst on their expeditions. It's packed with pictures and has a 'canvas-textured' hard cover which makes it feel quite special. I feel that some of the reproductions aren't quite up to scratch and it does have the appearance of being a 'cheap' publication. However regardless of this, it is packed with information and images and would make a good addition to any botanical art book collection.

 A section of Ferdinand Bauer's colour chart

 Doryanthes excelsa painted by E. Weddell

Tropaeolum dekerianum painted by Jose Jeronimo Triana under the direction of Jose Mutis

Monday, 17 September 2012

Rory McEwen
 The Colours of Reality 

 Tulipa by Rory McEwen © Trustees of the McEwen Estate

Upcoming exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Rory McEwen, The Colours of Reality will showcase the botanical work and other creative talents of Rory McEwen, ranging from the 1950s to early 1980s, featuring works loaned from his family and private collectors. His paintings will be accompanied by work by other artists who influenced him.
Rory McEwen’s Legacy

This will be a  supporting exhibition which will show how he inspired many of today’s artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection.


Rory McEwen was ‘perhaps the most gifted artist to pass through my hands’ – Wilfred Blunt

Born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1932 Rory McEwen began developing his natural aptitude for art whilst at Eton College. He had a talent to represent his botanical subject matter with scientific precision and artistic flair, and never compromised one for the other. McEwen had no formal art school training, but by the time he finished at Cambridge University his illustrations had been published in Old Carnations and Pinks by Charles Oscar Moreton, 1955. In 1964 he illustrated The Auricula, and painted many of the plates for Wilfred Blunt’s Tulips and Tulipomania, 1977. McEwen developed a distinctive style, using large backgrounds to float his objects on unadorned vellum, without shadows, and executed in exact, minutely accurate detail; he saw them as ‘plant portraits’, recording the imperfect and the unique as well as the flawless.

The exhibition will open at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in summer 2013 - dates yet to be confirmed. More information.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hely's Print

I always like it when someone gets one of my paintings. It's amazing how much better they look when they are in a frame - much smarter! I prefer not to mount my work because I feel that the mount's restrict the art work. This sadly is a cheapo frame, but I think as time goes on I'd rather float mount them in big frames for proper exhibitions.

A couple of nights ago I managed to do some more work on Monstera problema. I seem to be alternating between this piece and the Tulips at the moment, which is fun. I worked a bit on the top right of the leaf this time around. Much trickier to do this part of it because there are more highlights and the tonal variation is very subtle.

You can zoom in here:

This is how it looked before:

During a time of upheaval I have found recently that its been a real refuge to have some painting to come home to. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Milly the Miltoniopsis prints for sale

Limited edition of 30.

Please visit my online shop at Open House Art to get your own print of this award winning painting.
Boris the Broccoli Prints for sale

Limited edition of 30. 
Please visit my shop on Open House Art to find out more.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Chelsea Tulips
-after a third evening at work

I managed to sit down and get on with some painting on Friday night and decided to get on with these tulips. I have put in the bottom petals now and the stem. If I finish them on time they'll be entered in for the SBA annual exhibition. I have been experiencing what one can only describe as a saga at home and I think this is what has given my the emotional drive to paint. There is a silver lining upon every cloud!

This is how they looked the nights before:

 Day one

 Day two

While this housing saga goes on I have been busy thinking of my friend Vicki. I was very sad to hear that she lost her little doggy Gracie. I have never had a dog, but if I did have one I'd like to have one like Gracie - she looks like such a lovely little thing. I have also been thinking of our friends in Andalucia who were evacuated from the recent forest fires.  Luckily both Henry's mum and step-dad and my mum and step-dad (soon to be Browse) are ok! Looks like the apocalypse over there.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

 Milly Managed to get an Honorable Mention

Today I am really pleased. When I logged into my email account today there was a lovely note telling me that my work been short listed for an exhibition. It then it got even better when I logged onto their website. I wanted to see how this information had been portrayed, and was overwhelmed to see that I also got an honorable mention! Milly was selected for the Light, Space and Time monthly online exhibition which you can visit here (click on the thumbnails).

When I saw the competition advertised I couldn't resist entering! There aren't many examples of true botanical illustration in the exhibition, but if you like botanical art in all its forms you should enjoy this.