The Society of Botanical Artists is again exhibiting at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt as it has in the past - on a biennial basis. Their fourth exhibition opens today (21st of October 2016) and continues until the 20th November, from 11am to 5pm.
The theme for this year's exhibition is based on plants found by plant hunters and collectors, past and present. This year the exhibition will contain contemporary artwork by members of the SBA and a selection of historical artwork and plant illustrations on loan - mainly from the late 18th and early 19th century.
It goes without saying - but I will(!) - that the Society of Botanical Artists have a fabulous team of volunteers (both members and significant others) and a well oiled process for delivering the artwork and getting it all set up and looking great in time for the preview!
It's an essential component of any botanical art exhibition which aims to operate at a professional level and this one looks great! I only wish I were able to see it in person.
Fiona Strickland's first solo show The Vital Moment at Jonathan Cooper's Park Walk Gallery in Chelsea opens to the public today (20th October) and continues until 12 November 2016.
I visited yesterday afternoon and had a close look at the paintings on display. You can see images and details of the paintings by clicking The Vital Moment link above.
Fiona's very fine botanical paintings in watercolour are painted on either Fabriano Artistico or Kelmscott Vellum. I've only seen her large works before and it was interesting to see her new range of smaller works done on vellum - two of which I particularly liked. So much so I kept going back for another look at Almost Over and Open Absalom.
The majority of paintings feature tulips at different stages. However the exhibition also includes an Iris, a Hippeastrum, autumn leaves and notably the amazing painting of a Rhododendron which won the top prize at last year's 18th International Exhibition by the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York. (see Fiona Strickland wins The Hort's "Best in Show" Award at 18th Annual International)
Below is a slideshow of images in the exhibition which give you a sense of the relative size of some of the paintings. (Click the 'play' button).
I was very impressed by the presentation of the paintings and their walnut frames.
The vellum has been gallery wrapped which gives it the appearance of a an oil painting. The watercolour paper is not matted and rather than being float mounted it is very flat and I suspect is dry mounted. It certainly looks very contemporary and unlike the traditional presentation of watercolours.
Both paintings and their presentation are obviously appealing to the collectors as five have sold before the exhibition had formally opened!
About Fiona Strickland
I've been following Fiona Strickland's amazing artwork since I saw her very first exhibition at the Society of Botanical Artists. You can read my interview with back in 2012 - see A 'Making A Mark' Profile of Fiona Strickland. This includes an explanation of her working practices.
Below you can read what the Gallery has as her bio and the background to this exhibition.
Strickland trained at the Edinburgh College of Art under Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, who instilled in her a dedication to composition and mastery of negative space that continues to inform her practise. Of equal influence in Strickland’s work is her passion for and fascination with the Golden Age of Dutch art, and a major inspiration for this exhibition is the seventeenth-century Tulip Book of Jacob Marrel, which she recently studied at the Rijksmuseum. Indeed, the tulip in its myriad of forms will be a key focus of the show, which will include many varieties grown by Strickland in her garden in Scotland, such as the English Florists’ Tulips beloved of fellow artist Rory McEwen, whose paintings Strickland first encountered while a student in Edinburgh.
About Jonathan Cooper's Park Walk Gallery
Today is the 34th anniversary of the death of Rory McEwen (age 50).
Learn more about the man, his artistic practice, the timeline of his life and the botanical paintings he produced
You are very welcome to delve into my very long webpage about About Rory McEwen
I have a NEW WEBSITE PAGE about the Hunt International Exhibitions of Botanical Art & Illustration which I've been working on for some time.
What this means is that rather than listing the artists by exhibition, they are listed by where they live (or lived at the time of the exhibition - a few have since moved).
This means you can see which countries have done well in terms of artists having paintings or illustrations or fine art prints accepted for exhibitions in the Hunt in recent years
The top five countries in the 6 exhibitions held in the last 15 years are:
Now does that list surprise you?. I guessed the first four places correctly and wasn't sure which would come fifth!
I'm going to be using the listing of artists who've exhibited at the Hunt along with the listings of RHS Gold Medal Winners as another key source for developing my lists of important contemporary botanical artists and illustrators by continent.
If you've not explored these as yet, I have pages on my website which list the important contemporary botanical artists and illustrators (with a short bio and a link to their website)
I certainly don't have everybody listed as yet who should be! I'm working my way around the world, adding me people in gradually over time. (I'm about to start a major update of the Japanese section).
This new list of people who have recently exhibited at the Hunt is going to help a lot!
I recently transferred to this website a page about Basilius Besler and his development of the iconic Hortus Eystettensis - see About Basilius Besler (1561-1629).
Unlike most people I'm covering in botanical art history, Besler was NOT a botanical artist. Hhe was responsible for the development of a very important book - the Hortus Eystettensis published in 1613 - rather than the artist who created the illustrations for its pages.
The book is a florilegium and records the creation of all the known plants grown in the first botanical garden in Germany - created for the prince bishop of Eichstatt in Bavaria - and the only one at the time outside Italy.
It is one of the most famous books about plants ever recorded on paper and contains more than 1,000 flowers from 667 species. The species covered:
About Basilius Besler covers:
You can see images of the paintings in "Enchanted Forrest", the first major exhibition of the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists (SSBA) below - plus photos which include some of the artists.
The exhibition closes on Sunday so there's no time to lose if you want to see it.
Kathy Munro won the award for the "Best Painting in the George Forrest category for her painting of Paeonia lutea.
She's pictured (above) with her painting and (below) receiving her award from George Anderson, who presents The Beechgrove Garden on television.
Venue: Park Gallery, Callendar House, Falkirk FK1 1 YR.
Dates: Monday 12th September - Sunday 16th October 2016
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm daily apart from Tuesdays
Read more about the exhibition in last month's blog post "Enchanted Forrest" Exhibition by the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists.
The preview has a very good attendance (see below) and some very complimentary remarks were made about the quality of the artwork.
The vote for the People's Choice Award gave this important award to Sharon Fox for her delphinium.
Below are two artists who were Highly Commended for their paintings:
Irish botanical artist Yanny Petters's solo show of Verre Églomisé paintings opens today at The Olivier Cornet Gallery.
It has a rather beautiful title - “Come with me, I’ll show you something beautiful” / “Komm mit mir, Ich zeig' Dir ‘was Schönes” which is a quote by her mother, the late Wilma Petters.
Yanny Petters is renowned for her detailed paintings of plants and their habitats.
This exhibition has been created in memory of Yanny's mother, Wilma Petters, in appreciation of what she passed on to her through her garden. Yanny says
“My mother often said, “come with me, I’ll show you something beautiful”. Most often this was a small detail, an example of my mother’s sense of wonder and appreciation of all things great and small. I thank her for instilling the same sense in me, that I might share it with others through my paintings, raising awareness and appreciation of the beautiful and bizarre in a natural world which is constantly generous and rewarding".
The exhibition features 12 paintings/panels on glass which you can see by clicking the link in the exhibition title (above).
These depict the twelve months of the year in the artist’s County Wicklow garden & celebrate the gifts of the artist’s mother to her daughter. The Verre Eglomisé panels tell stories about the artist’s relationship with her mother.
The works celebrate a love of nature and a sense of curiosity and scientific enquiry, the gifts of artistic talent and the telling of stories of elements of our environment which we all too easily take for granted.
The exhibition was opened this afternoon by Fionnuala Fallon, Author and gardens correspondent
[UPDATE 10th October: Yanny tells me that the gallery was apparently packed to the doors and nine out of twelve paintings sold at yesterday's private view!]
Venue: The Olivier Cornet Gallery, 3 Great Denmark Street (beside Belvedere College, off Parnell Square) Dublin 1
Dates: 9 October - 6 November 2016. (It opens to the public tomorrow - 10th October)
Opening hours: Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays)
Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm Closed on Mondays (or viewing by appointment only)
Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with a preface by art historian and storyteller Jean Ryan.
[Find out more about Verre eglomise - Reverse Glass Painting ]
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