This is about botanical art blogs - and blogging about botanical art and artists - and their exhibitions!
Botanical Art Blogs
There are a variety blogs about botanical art set up by botanical artists, art societies and groups and other interested parties such as the RHS.
A List of Blogs
On this site I've included a list of those that I'm aware of. The full name of the page it is on is Blogs about botanical art and/or by botanical artists & illustrators - however it's short form name is 'Botanical Art Blogs' which you can find at the bottom of the menu under 'Artists'.
An archive of blog posts about SBA Annual Exhibitions
I've only just realised that I've been blogging about botanical art exhibitions held by the Society of Botanical Artists for over 10 years - on my main blog (Making A Mark).
I've been writing at least two blog posts a year about the exhibition since 2006!
The latest is Review: SBA Exhibition 2016 - Shape, Pattern and Structure
You can find a complete archive of past posts for 2016 - and every year back to 2006 - on a Making A Mark Page - also called "Botanical Art and Artists" (scroll down - past the information about this site)
Artist members of the American Society of Botanical Artists have donated artwork to a fundraiser which went live yesterday.
You can view all the original and giclee artwork for sale - via competitive bids - on the BiddingforGood (BFG) website at https:/www.biddingforgood.com/asba. I've not heard of this website before but ASBA assures that this is
a safe and trusted online auction administrator, used and recommended by nonprofits across the country.
If you want to bid you first need to register an account with the website and then you can bid.
I inspected the fundraiser site and noted that:
My email advised me that....
You will know right away if you are in the lead, or if another bidder's maximum bid is still higher than yours. If you in the lead, and someone else outbids you, you will receive an email letting you know so you can bid again!
The Auction Coordinator is Rose Marie James.
Note: Bidding for Good was founded in 2003 and provides an online auction platform where nonprofits, schools, consumers and businesses converge to create fundraising events and ultimately, to raise more money for the causes they care about.
My posts about the Prizewinners and those awarded a Certificate of Botanical Merit at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists have been published on my main blog (due to the very considerable following this already enjoys with by botanical artists around the world)
Here are links to the posts which contain images of both prizewinning art and some of the prizewinners
Below are a few more pics from those awarded prizes of CBMs - plus a picture of the the pens used by Valerie Dugan who is the calligrapher who completes the Certificates.
Her ink is actually dilute black gouache - with a consistency of single cream - as she finds it works better. She fills her nibs from a brush rather than from the jar which contains the black paint.
The Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists had its Private View on Thursday. I managed to get Billy Showell in front of her HUGE painting of peonies which were used as the feature image for the exhibition - on the flyers, catalogue and this year a bag too! If you get the opportunity do look at the 5 minute video below where she explains how she created this composition and extremely impressive painting.
The exhibition is at the Central Hall Westminster until Friday 23rd April (11am - 5pm each day). Entry is free and there are daily demonstrations and tours of the exhibition. Plus a great exhibition shop! I think the signed copies of Billy's new book might have sold out!
I was supposed to be writing up the exhibition and who won the prizes and Certificates of Botanical Merit yesterday and today. However I've been greatly preoccupied since Thursday evening by my left knee which is slipping sideways repeatedly and threatening to dislocate. Consequently I've been trying to find and buy a suitable knee braces for the last 24 hours!
Anyway this is to say that you'll find my review and the prizewinners and CBM people over on my Making A Mark blog starting tomorrow!
The winner of the Margaret Flockton Award for 2016 is Pauline Dewar.
You can see the names of all the prizewinners in this post on the RBGSyd website - The Margaret Flockton Award 2016
Three artists were also highly commended. These were:
The quality of drawing required
Interesting the website is very helpful and provides feedback on submissions made by artists in previous years of the competition for this award.
These comments are ones which all botanical artists aspiring to make precise botanical illustrations can benefit from.
A serious botanical drawing is a scientific statement and precision and accuracy are essential.
About Elizabeth Blackwell is a new page on this website and can be found in the section in History devoted to Past Masters of Botanical Art and Illustration.
The content has largely transferred in from another site. However I've taken the opportunity to update and improve it!
The page covers the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, her importance to botanical illustration and the Herbal she created. This includes her illustrations - drawn, etched and engraved and hand coloured - of the "most useful plants which are now used in the practice of Physick" as found in the Chelsea Physic Garden in the 1730s.
An illustrated Herbal of this kind had never been produced before in the UK - and Sir Hans Sloane thought it was about time there was one!
A Curious Herbal was published in weekly parts between issued in weekly parts - each containing four plates and accompanying text - over 125 weeks between 1737 and 1739.
The story of her life is long and complicated - and her husband's even more so. Suffice to say this book and the illustrations it includes were produced to raise funds to discharge her husband from his debts and stay in the debtors's prison where he was confined!
Reference: For those interested in Butturbur!
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has one of the most significant collections of flower paintings and botanical drawings and watercolours in the world. Periodically there are exhibitions of botanical art which are well worth seeing.
The exhibition "Crawling with Life: Flower drawings from the Henry Rogers Broughton Bequest" continues at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for another month - finishing on 8th May. It's RECOMMENDED VIEWING by me.
The emphasis is on flower drawings and paintings and the creatures and insects that live and can be found amongst flowers and plants - and those plants which trap insects for food and as a means of aiding pollination.
The exhibition is a combination of works from the Henry Rogers Broughton Bequest, the Museum’s wider collection of flower drawings and specimens from the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
The images in this post are courtesy of the Museum who also supplied me with a copy of the labels for the exhibition as there is no catalogue. These are most informative about both artists and artwork. I was also allowed to take "gallery room shots" of the exhibition from a distance.
The dragonfly’s iridescent body and membranous wings have been captured with great skill, as have the polished surfaces and curved forms of the shells. Similar to its pair exhibited here, he covers his painting with flowers, including auriculas, gentian and forget-me-nots, and insects such as geometer moth, mayfly, magpie moth and its caterpillar, orange tip butterfly, clouded yellow butterfly, hummingbird hawkmoth, staphylinid beetle, cockchafer, large white butterfly and spider.
I went to see it last month with Cynthia Rice and we both very much enjoyed seeing original artwork by artists such as Maria Sibylla Merian, Georg Ehret and Jan van Huysem.
It was interesting to view the different types of vellum in use by the 17th and 18th century artists. The background of Merian's paintings had a chalky white surface to them and they looked quite different to the original paintings by Merian that I've previously seen in the Royal Collection in the Queen's Gallery
Also to note how vibrant the colours is in Jan van Kessell's oil paintings on copper.
All of these paintings by Van Kessel are on copper: its smooth surface allowed for a more fluid application of paint that aided the depiction of minute details. Less susceptible than wood to changes in the environment, works on copper are usually better preserved and retain their colour and luminosity.
We were amused by seeing Ehret's painting of the Arum given we'd come straight from the glasshouses at the Cambridge Botanical garden where we'd been looking at their rather splendid Arum with its magnificent leaves and spadix and spathe. Only to find a painting by Ehret of precisely the same plant in the exhibition! (Well not exactly the same plant - but you know what I mean!)
Artists with work in the exhibition
Artists with work in the show are as follows. Embedded in their name is a link to their works in the collection - so if you;re the other side of the world you can see why it's worth paying a visit to the Fitzwilliam!
The artists are:
One of the greatest exponents of Dutch flower painting, Jan van Huysum is famed for his lavish, colourful bouquets that were painted with minute attention to detail. He was highly secretive and did not like to share his fine-painting techniques with his fellow artists, for it was these skills that made him much coveted amongst collectors.
The Dietzsch family of artists was based in Nuremberg, Germany, which after London was a thriving centre of botanical art in the 18th century. Barbara, Margaretha and Johann were three of nine children born to the painter Johann Israel (1681-1754), and altogether were employed at the Nuremberg Court. While their brother and father focused more on landscapes, Barbara and Margaretha achieved success through their botanical watercolours, many included birds and insects. The depiction of such subjects was then deemed most befitting for women, for it was thought to require a delicate hand.
This Varsity review by Exhibition: Crawling With Life by Ana Persinaru also provides an interesting perspective on the exhibition.
The Anglo-American, Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Lord Fairhaven (1900-73) was recognised as one of the foremost collectors of flower paintings, drawings and watercolours in the world.
His gift, and later bequest, of over 100 oil paintings, around 900 works on paper, 38 albums and many boxes and miniatures during his lifetime and upon his death transformed the collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum
Henry’s grandfather was the famous oil tycoon, Henry Huttleston Rogers who lived in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. In 1912, Henry moved to Britain with his parents and his brother, Huttleston (1896-1966). Subsequently the brothers developed close ties with Cambridgeshire and together acquired Anglesey Abbey in 1926. (now a National Trust property)
The paintings by Van Kessel displayed in the exhibition were part of the large bequest of Daniel Mesman, a wealthy silk weaver from London. He left some 300 paintings and drawings, mostly Dutch and Flemish, to the Museum upon his death in 1834.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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