Between 1991 and 1996, Kathy Pickles exhibited every year at the RHS Botanical Art Show. Each year she won a Gold Medal for her exhibit.
In 2015, after nearly 20 years, she returned for a sixth time - and won a sixth Gold Medal. This time she managed to display 16 paintings - eight of Fritillaries and eight of Hellebores.
I've been sorting out my videos of interviews with botanical artists and realised that I'd never made a video of an interview with Kathy in 2015 into a 'proper' published video.
So below you can find my video interview with Kathy Pickles on 27 February 2015 at the RHS Botanical Art Show in the Lindley Hall Westminster - which has now been uploaded to my new Botanical Art and Artists Video Channel on YouTube
In it she advises on why it's always a good idea to go and view botanical art in person - especially at the top shows.
In 2017, Kathy returned for a seventh time and won her seventh Gold Medal for her display of paintings of Clematis. The Judging Panel happened to include the renowned clematis grower Raymond Evison!
To find out more about Kathy Pickles - or even ask her a question you can find her at:
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When I interview the botanical artists who have just won an RHS Gold Medal at the RHS Botanical Art Show, I always ask them for tips for those aspiring to do the same.
In 2017 I was rewarded - more than I can say - by hearing from Mariko Ikeda who won the Best Exhibit prize at the RHS London Botanical Art Show 2017. She wanted to thank me profusely for everything I've written before as it really helped her with preparing her exhibit!
Then Kate Barling, another exhibitor, found me to thank me for the tip about how to mount the work - and I collected another tip from her which you'll find below!
So the bottom line is what goes around comes around.
Note: Unfortunately last year I started this post but forgot finish it. But it's never too late to pass on a few more tips!
READ ON for my very belated post about the top tips from the RHS Gold Medallists in 2017 - which is now complete!
Today I have some of the Tips I received from my interviews with the RHS Gold Medal Winners at last month's RHS Botanical Art Show.
Later this week you will also have tips from the RHS Gold Medal Winners in 2017 too! This is because although I drafted most of it last year for some reason I didn't finish the post and publish it!
This is a LONG POST with lots of content - so you might want to get a hot drink and a notebook before you start to read!
It's been my habit, for some years, to ask each of the Gold Medal Winners who speaks reasonable English to tell me what would be the three tips they'd like to pass on to people aspiring to exhibit at the RHS Botanical Art Show. Some include ones I've heard before - but good tips are always worth repeating.
I have however omitted
TIP: Focus on what you are passionate about
Recommended by Laura Silburn and various artists. More than one artist told me this - in various ways. Variations include:
It is so much easier to complete a major project - such as a portfolio for an RHS Botanical Art Show if you are in love with your subject matter.
TIP: Being a grower helps a lot!
Recommended by Simon Williams Nepenthes
Simon Williams told me he has been growing carniverous plants since he was 16 - and loves them. He's invested in heated greenhouses. The advantages of being a grower are that you get to see your plants through a complete life cycle and can watch them through every season.
TIP: Keep a sketchbook
The names and exhibit titles of the medal winners and best portfolio award winner at the RHS London Botanical Photography Show 2018 are listed below.
You can see much better images of the portfolios of six images on the RHS website than you can in this post and I recommend any aspiring entrant to do so - PLUS do study the descriptions as well as the images.
Photographs at RHS Shows will be assessed for their botanical and horticultural content and for their photographic quality. Judges take account of the overall impression of an exhibit, including details of presentation such as mounting, labelling and framing.
I was struggling to find either botanical or horticultural content in some of the exhibits and I'm personally very much not in favour of Bronze medals being handed out simply for turning up and presenting an exhibit.
I'd very much recommend that ALL those entering work in this competition in future read up on the Guidelines for Botanical Photo Exhibitors which I also think the RHS could make a great deal more prominent on their website!! (see notes at end)
Best Portfolio Photography Exhibit
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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