Thursday, 12 May 2016

Gallery of Botanical Paintings

Borlotti bean composition.  This was the first composition I attempted drawing a bean that I had grown in my garden. I remember struggling so hard with the leaves, which had very definite veins, yet were quite transparent. It adorns my kitchen now.

I painted the poppy botanical composition after a course at West Dean, learning about the botanical detail of plants.  It was good to do the dissections and look at the minute detail of all parts of the plant.  .

I just love orchids and they present such a challenge with their delicacy and intricate construction. I just painted the flower but I now know that to be botanically correct, I should have included the leaves and the growing habit of the plant. 

 Another plant I grew;  this painting was purchased by a friend at my first Macmillan fundraising event.  I think I now have a better repertoire of colours in my palette for capturing these brilliant hues.

I was fascinated by the pattern and detail in these seedheads found on a walk in the locality.
(still available)
I painted this at a workshop looking at Spring plants;  the challenge was to see the various colours that exist in an apparently white flower.
(still available)

I have these delicate little Tomasini crocus spreading through my front border.  I donated this small painting to a local charity shop.

This too is from my garden;  it is a hellebore called Queen of the Night.  It was purchased by a lady who lives locally when she very kindly helped me with a fundraising event for Macmillan.

This is another painting started at a workshop with the theme of summer roses.  I have subsequently painted several roses.  They are extremely challenging with the complex petal arrangements and the colours which, although sometimes rich, also have a sense of transparency and delicacy. This painting was exhibited at a local community store on their Art Wall.  Sometime later a query was forwarded from someone who had seen a photo of it on a Facebook page.  They purchased it despite never having seen the 'real thing' and were very pleased.
This was also used as a design for a silk shading project for my Certificate in Traditional Hand Embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework, which has gained several accolades (see embroidery blog ). 

This is a sweet pea I grew in my garden.  For some reason this painting was completed more quickly than some.  I love the bright colours.  It was purchased during 2015 Horsham Art Trail.
An embroidered version of this can be seen in the embroidery section of this blog.

I started this leaf using a wet on wet approach.  The range of colours was fascinating.  I always find it difficult to paint the veins realistically.  This was framed with two other Autumn leaves and was eventually donated to a local charity shop.  Sometimes I need to clear my cupboards to clear my mind for new projects!

This painting offered an opportunity for a lot of practice in leaf painting! It is available as mounted painting (not framed).

Bonnet cap mushroom fascinate me, with their colours and form.  The way this sat in a leafy clump inspired the botanical composition to show the various elements.  I did one in pen, ink and wash too.

This is a French thistle, collected and drawn whilst on a painting holiday, when I was learning a totally different style. I completed the painting on my return; it was those wonderful Fibonacci patterns around the flower and seedheads that fascinated me.  A member of the family has this painting.  I painted another in a completely wet on wet, loose style.  (see Gallery of experimental work).

I have two brown/beige studies, one of an onion, for which I do not currently have an image and this Physalis.  Both have those brown papery coverings.
(Both available)

I drew this Eucalyptus whilst on holiday in Australia.  I had to collect and sketch all my information,then use to paint the composition on my return.  This was purchased during the Horsham Art Trail 2015.

I painted this double fungi, collected locally at the same time as the Bonnet Cap Mushrooms.  This now belongs to a friend.  Here I was trying to achieve a lighter touch with less dense paint.

I was asked to paint a pair of flowers for someone who had seen my work in the Southwater Art exhibition. I painted these.

The subject of this study was to paint a group of plants pollinated by the same creature. After some investigation I found this group of common plants that were pollinated by a species of butterfly.   This was purchased during the Horsham Art Trail 2015.

I have this painting on my kitchen wall;  it is of a Chilli Hot Lemon, which was growing the the West Dean greenhouses, when I went on a painting course.

This was my first entry into the Society of Floral Artists exhibition, as an Associate member.  I was thrilled when I heard hat someone had purchased it.  This too, was painted whilst on a course at West Dean.  I have used this as a design for Canvas Shading Project for my Diploma in Traditional Hand Embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework.

The pear was painted at Puck Barn near Guildford , where there is a wonderful collection of fruit trees.  It was exhibited when I was a member of Southwater Art Group.  

I painted the Leek whilst attending a course at West Dean, entitled ' Vegetables can be beautiful'.  They certainly can-I have since painted an aubergine.  I have a print of the leek on my wall but the original was purchased by Horsham Museum, during the Art Trail 2015.

And following on from the leek, I then tried a high shine vegetable, an aubergine.  This one is also in my kitchen.
I painted these cream roses and freesias from a birthday bouquet;  the challenge was to capture the delicacy of the pale colours.  I worked on this as a wedding gift to a friend.

I think I choose subjects that will challenge me most.  On a Spring course at West Dean College, I thought I would try painting some apple blossom.  However my tutor thought I should capture a complete branch.  I was a bit overwhelmed by the paleness of the blossom and the complexity of the subject!  This did need a certain amount of 'blood, sweat and tears'. This has found a home with its partner pink apple blossom, see below

Following the challenges of the apple blossom, I moved on to something with more colour.  I started this painting with no preliminary drawing, most unusual for me;  I began painting the outlines in a pale wash, then added the colour, later drawing in detail.  I also used some masking fluid for the centre, something else I rarely use.  Interestingly the cards of this painting have all gone very quickly,
This painting was sold at the Association of Sussex Artists in August 2016.

I painted both of these hellebores at West Dean in 2015 when the gardens there were so beautiful with all the Spring flowers.  I do love hellebores with their promise of more to come in the garden.  Again the pale colours presented a challenge, and the greener one is called Yellow Lady, which in no way reflected the actual colour.

I tried very hard to keep the paleness and transparency of this rose by following the teaching I had received about building thin washes slowly.  It is probably the piece that I am most satisfied with, so perhaps that is a good sign.  I will be entering this for the Society of Floral Painters exhibition at he Oxmarket Chichester in 2016.

This picture, entitled 'Autumn study' was started some time ago, but only just completed.  It was one  of those wintertime paintings when the lack of flowers guided me to look at my collection of dried and dead specimens.  There were many colours and shapes to be explored.


This is the second apple blossom painting which I have undertaken as a request. I had some challenges with the first version so the opportunity to have another go was actually quite welcome. This time I took a more methodical approach, starting with those elements furthest away. I also tried to keep the overall balance in mind, so as to look at the time across the painting as well as on each leaf and blossom. This time it is much bolder, partly because the flowers are a stronger pink. I am now painting a downward hanging branch. I am getting to know the apple blossom very well.

March 2017 and a course at West Dean exploring aurículas and primula, have resulted in two new spring compositions. I love the exquisite delicacy or aurículas.

June 2017 And now a third apple blossom;  I have learned so much from having repeated attempts.  

This passion flower grows in my garden; it has taken more than a year to complete as I had to await the seasons for each stage of the growth. It will be framed for my next exhibition on October 21st and 22nd at Parkside Horsham as part of the Horsham Artist's Open Studios group Art Fayre.
This was sold at the Art fayre!

This and a pink cyclamen were sold at the Storrington Museumm Pro Am Art event in November.

A current project is a viola Endura, one of the few flowers I could find in late Autumn, and of course the light is not good for painting at this time of year. I plan to arrange it in a contemporary way with one leaf in 3D coming over the mount at the bottom.

My latest piece completed in July 2018, was begun as part of a workshop.  Our teacher Leigh Ann Gale had just finished writing a book and was using an excerpt to guide us through painting 'cushioned' leaves, like those of a primula.
After trying out the leaf and drawing the plant, I decided to enlarge it and create a composition, getting plenty of leaf practice!!
This paintong has nos been sol.d
I completed the finishing touches whilst painting at Horsham museum, an event to promote the Association of Sussex Artists, to which this piece will be submitted.
This paintong has nos been sold. 

My Christmas project for 2018 was a rosehip from on of my garden roses called ' For your eyes only. It has beautiful orange red hips. 
I have used it for my Christmas cards, and the original, framed in a simple holly green frame, sold the day after I collected it from the framers! So more funds for my Ometepe project.
I am currently working on a painting of a Voodoo Lily, seen whilst on holiday in Crete, earlier in the year. It is challenging because if it's size, unusual colours and  textures. It cannot be strictly botanical as I have had to work from photographs.

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