The Spring Exhibition at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery in Chelsea is celebrating botanical art with an ONLINE Exhibition - due to the constraints imposed by the lockdown.
Fiona Strickland (six works) - Fiona is a world renowned botanical artist and tutor who lives in Scotland. b.1956 in Edinburgh , she received a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art. Her watercolour paintings are complex and very detailed and demonstrate her amazing control over multiple layers of transparent watercolour to create her intense colour and beautifully rendered tone for the smallest details. She has exhibited internationally and has won several awards including a Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal (2008) and The Hort's "Best in Show" Award at 18th Annual International in New York. Her botanical artwork is much in demand and is included in premier collections around the world - including the RHS Lindley Library, the Shirley Sherwood Collection and the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation and numerous private collections in Europe, USA and Australia. Jonathan Cooper represents her in the UK and the works in this show feature single blooms of spring flowers - tulips, poppies and hippeastrum.
Colour is Fiona Strickland’s signature approach to botanical watercolour. Her attention to detail and technical virtuosity in the use of transparent washes - used to build her vibrant paintings - highlights her skill in handling colour. Strickland's emotive response to the visual elements of colour, tone, texture and movement in the plant world is captured in her very personal approach to botanical painting.
Note also that Fiona Strickland's second solo exhibition "Tulipa" at Jonathan Cooper - which was due to be held this May - will now be held between 4th - 26th September 2020. It will feature 18 paintings in watercolour on vellum. I'll be writing more about this in due course.
Rosie Sanders (six works) - Rosie lives and works in Devon and is well known for creating large to very large paintings of intense colour in watercolour on a variety of paper (Arches, Saunders Waterford and Richard de Bas). In London, her works is available from Jonathan Cooper's Park Walk Gallery and the works in the exhibition are priced between £3,800 and £34,000. She is a self-taught artist who started as a freelance botanical artist in 1974. Since then she has won five RHS gold medals and researched, written and illustrated a number of books including one on Roses and another on The English Apple. She exhibited with the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation in 1992 and her work was in the very first exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew (and a number of others since). Her work is included in numerous collections and she has been commissioned to produce paintings for both the Queen and the Queen Mother.
Beverley Allen (six works) - was born in Sydney in 1945 and is now one of the leading botanical artists in Australia. has exhibited annually at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney ‘Botanica’ Exhibition since 1999 and internationally including New York, Washington, Chicago, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Kyoto and London - winning prestigious awards. Her paintings are included in the Highgrove Florilegium and in the collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens in both Sydney and Kew Gardens, the RHS Lindley Library, the Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh. Her paintings in the exhibition are in watercolour on Arches paper, mostly at 50 x 40cm (£3,800 - £8,500)
I'm a very big fan of comprehensive and well organised catalogues of art materials. I like people who take the trouble to provide information about the paints and other colour media that artists use - including pigment numbers and lightfastness ratings.
I also know from talking about the art materials used for botanical art with very many botanical artists that there's a keen interest amongst very many artists about what's best, what's on offer and what's new.
"New", of course, is a relative term. If you've not previously been aware of a brand, colours, associated materials then it's "new to you".
Which is long way round of identifying that Jackson's Art have produced an extremely impressive 132 page guide in its Watercolour Catalogue 20/21. I've never ever seen one before that beats this one - and I've looked at lots over the years.
It's not available as a document. It's only available as a digital file. I don't blame them - it would cost a lot of money to produce as a print document and maintain the very necessary print quality on the colours and shades. Viewed on screen, what colours look is entirely down to how good your screen is and whether it is white balanced.
The American Society of Botanical Artists have now been announced the Awards for artwork in the 22nd Annual International Exhibition at the Marin Art & Garden Center in California.
BELOW you can click on:
Marin Art and Garden Center Best in Show Award ($500)
I have to say I was hugely impressed by this painting when I saw it online for the first time and it seems a very worthy winner of Best in Show to me. I always think of this plant as a bit of a drama queen whenever I see it in gardens and Linda has caught that flavour and colour with her dynamic composition and very controlled colour palette. I also really loved her 'bad hair day' analogy about the complexity and structure of the leaves in her back story!
Her backstory provides a wonderful insight into how she approached painting a plant such as the Eryngium alpinum.
In 2018 I was shopping with Marilyn Garber at our flower wholesaler for the subject of the next class I was to teach at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. It was entitled Enlarging Scale & Format. I was to teach my students to use a gridding system and enlarge a small subject by three times, which would use most of a full sheet of paper. I was looking for a plant that would offer my students enough complexity and detail that they would need to be very diligent in ‘mapping’ out the placement of their lines within each grid space and achieve a complex, but obtainable challenge. When I found the bouquets of Sea Holly, Eryngium alpinum, I knew that I found something that would work beautifully for our purposes. READ MORE
Linda uses the traditional technique of developing layers of transparent washes, then using a very small brush to develop detail, colour and form using the drybrush technique. She's been working as an Instructor at The Minnesota School of Botanical Art since 2016. Prior to this she worked for many years creating customised murals for clients. Linda has previously had work in and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Portland School of Art, ME. in 1982. She has a strong exhibition record with ASBA in recent years.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for Print or Drawing ($500)
Patricia and I were emailing backwards and forwards yesterday about another matter and she never said a word about her award!
ASBA Eleanor Wunderlich Award ($500)
Svetlana Lanse is a professional artist and art teacher living in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from Higher School of Folk Arts (institute) where she learned about botanical art by copying artwork by Pierre Joseph Redouté and Maria Sibylla Merian. She is currently trying to popularise botanical art in Russia using Instagram (@botanical_watercolor) and has more than 85,000 followers. In May 2018 she was juror of Botanical Art Worldwide exhibition (Russia) with Alexander Viazmensky, Natalia Alatortseva, Yaroslav Bazanova and Darya Fomicheva.
Richmond and Lili Bates Award for Excellence
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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