Fiona Strickland: Tulipa Exhibition opened last week at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery in Park Walk, Chelsea. Below you can find my review and images of the exhibition and what Fiona told me about her painting when we met up for lunch on Thursday last week. Plus more about Fiona and the presentation of the paintings at the end.
This is Fiona Strickland's second - and much awaited - solo exhibition after The Vital Moment in 2016. So much so that Botanical art collectors and lovers of heritage tulips had bought a number of her paintings before Tulipa opened!
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND botanical artists pay a visit. It's a rare exhibition of botanical artwork of a very high quality. I'm very sure that all those who work in vellum and all those who aspire to do must surely want to visit - because Fiona sets a benchmark which has been rarely equalled or exceeded. Besides - I also know a number of botanical artists, like me, are also botanical art collectors!
Do not forget your magnifier to see if you can spot her brush strokes!
You have until 26 September to visit the Exhibition (and must book a visiting time in advance due to social distancing requirements)
If you can't get to Chelsea you can either:
I went to see Tulipa on Thursday but met up with Fiona Strickland and her husband Robert McNeill for lunch in Chelsea beforehand. We had a wonderful catch-up since our last "chinwag" at the RHS Botanical Art Show in 2019 and I asked her about the exhibition.
This exhibition of stunning tulips should have been held in prime Tulip season back in Spring. However it was not to be. Like so many others, this exhibition was opening late - having, of course, been postponed due to the Pandemic.
It has been more than two years in the making - tulips only bloom in the spring!
The timescale was in part determined by Fiona's decision to paint some of the English Florists' tulips which are only available from the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society - who have been showing them since 1836! This is the sole surviving Tulip Society in the UK - which grows heritage tulips (including English Florists' Tulip which are characterised by the flamed and feathered markings caused by Tulip Breaking Virus - which made them highly valued during Tulipomania). They also supplied Rory McEwen with tulips for his paintings. Indeed two of the tulip paintings in the show are of Tulipa ‘Rory McEwen’, a Bybloemen Flame tulip that was named in McEwen’s honour. One on Kelmscott Vellum and one on Rory McEwen Kelmscott bequeathed to her by the Hunt Institute where his vellum supplies now reside.
Like Rory McEwen before her, having learned of its work Strickland became a member, and was delighted to be gifted prize- winning tulips from its annual show to depict in her work. Carefully transporting them home in the brown beer bottles in which they are exhibited, after painting these perfect specimens Strickland could not bear to part with them, and has preserved their dried forms in her studio. Catalogue
There are eighteen watercolour paintings of tulips in this solo show - predominantly English Florists' Tulips - of which thirteen have now sold.
I've been thinking for some time that it's about time somebody started running art fairs for those interested in artwork involving plants.
Not necessarily an art fair which is strictly botanical - because a wider range of quality artwork about plants brings in more people - and that, in turn, enables more potential art collectors to see and appreciate botanical art.
It would seem The Garden Museum in Lambeth had the same idea.....
Super Nature is London’s first fair for art inspired by plants
Dates: Saturday 10th - Sunday 11th October 2020
Hours: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm).
Tickets: £5 online and £7.50 at the door.
I'm also guessing there will be a limit on numbers so 'first come, first served"?
It includes artwork being exhibited by 25 participating artists and three workshops. for more details see below
UPDATE: I understand from Sarah Jane Humphrey that she is not now participating and I've written to the Garden Museum seeking clarification re events and artists.
UPDATE 2: The page on their website has now been updated and the ONLY artists participating in this art fair are:
I didn't see a Call for Entries so I'm guessing that the participating artists may have been invited as there are a limited number and a fairly eclectic mix (including established still life artists) - but all sound artists using a variety of media and approaches to portrait plants.
I also noticed that there were some names I recognised - from the Society of Botanical Artists - and another artist who has work included in my book!
The artists are listed below. Click the link to see their website. I've split them into botanical artists - or at least those who draw accurately and the remainder who are more impressionistic
The Tulipa Exhibition by Fiona Strickland at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery in Chelsea opens on 2nd September (until 26 September 2020). However the exhibition has been published on his website and - as you can clearly see from the exhibits online (and the image below) - sales have already been made.
You can see from the website (and the catalogue) that Fiona's new paintings of tulips are all watercolour on Kelmscott Vellum and most are small to medium sized paintings - making them more affordable than her much larger paintings. "Affordable" in this context is very much defined by the fact she is one of the leading botanical artists in the world who is very popular with collectors. So if you're thinking of buying a painting by Fiona, I'd act sooner rather than later.
I should probably add at this point that some of my prized possessions are catalogues of past exhibitions by leading botanical artists. Many of these are now extremely difficult to buy and very expensive when you do. So my very strong recommendation if you're unable to get to see this exhibition in London is to buy a catalogue. You won't regret it.
Exhibition Title: Tulipa
Dates: 2-24 September 2020
Venue: Jonathan Cooper Gallery
Address: 20 Park Walk, London, SW10 0AQ
Hours: Gallery in currently open Monday - Saturday
(appointments encouraged - ring +44 (0) 207 351 0410)
Just to confirm - the dates for this year's RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show are Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April 2020 - with a preview evening on Thursday 18th.
I've been in touch with the RHS (in the light of announcements yesterday by the Chief Medical Officer about moving into the "Delay" Phase in the next 10-14 days) and the current official RHS position is that:
I will be highlighting the artists participating in this year's show in the near future - just as soon as that listing has been finalised.
For what it's worth, my personal view is that if the RHS do decide it is necessary to cancel this Show in April, the worst case scenario will be that will only be postponed and will then be held at a later date in 2020.
The Call for Entries for Plantae 2020 - the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists has been published. Below you will find a summary of:
Call for Entries
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
BAA Visitors so far....
since June 2015
Subscribe to BAA News
Blog posts are emailed to you when you
It will NOT be used for anything else and will NEVER be given to anybody else.
You can unsubscribe at any time
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-18
Unauthorised use or duplication of ANY material on this blog without written permission is strictly prohibited. Please also respect the copyright of all artists featured here.
What's your news?
This blog highlights news - in brief - about botanical art exhibitions around the world.
Use the Contact form to tell me about an exhibition and provide a summary of relevant information. If listing your event I will ask you for relevant images.
The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
The Best Books about Botanical Art History
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
Workshops, Classes & Courses
Find out about botanical art workshops, classes courses offered by various organisations and artists in:
Read other Botanical Art Blogs
READ Blogs about botanical art and/or by botanical artists & illustrators
BAA News Archives
This page Botanical Art & Artists on my main blog has an archive of blog posts about past exhibitions of the Society of Botanical Art and Artists
News Blog about artists, awards, exhibitions etc.
Please send me .
- news to share
- info. about exhibitions
- any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website
- Best Books about Botanical Art History
- History of Botanical Art
- Botanical Art Online
Contact me if you'd like to promote workshops and courses on this site.
This website is free to you but not for me! (See Affiliate Income below)
Cookies, Personal Data & Privacy tells you how this site relates to and impacts on you and your privacy - and your choices.
Product & company names may be trademarks of their respective owners
About Affiliate Income: This website has been created to share information not to make a profit. I am an Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying purchases (e.g. books from Amazon) which helps offset costs associated with maintaining this very large website.