I have a serious botanical art book addiction. There's nothing nicer than getting stuck into an hour or more of browsing through what's on offer from vintage booksellers with a good collection of botanical art books.
Well nothing nicer than the book you bought turning up and being so much better than you were expecting! There's something about books produced in the past which yells "quality" and if you've got a "very good" or "as new" version then I'm in heaven.
However what's better still is the fact that botanical art book owners tend to be very nice people - and they pass on extras in their books that they don't tell you about until you get them.
Which is how I come to be the owner of some seriously archival class documents about Mary Grierson (1912-2012) (who I currently have listed on the 20th Century Botanical Artists page on the website) when I purchased a copy of her book An English Florilegium
The image at the top of the page is of the exhibition catalogues for three solo exhibitions - which probably each deserve a blog post in their own right!
They are- from left to right:
Of late I've become seriously appreciative of catalogues from exhibitions of botanical art. They tell you so much about the scope and nature of the art but also details of the artist which often never reaches formal publication in a book. For the serious student of botanical art, I'd very much recommend paying serious attention to exhibition catalogues.
You might also like to think about you and your work are recorded in solo exhibitions - for posterity and future collectors!
About Mary Grierson (1912-2012)
Mary Grierson in brief:
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Note: Spink is Spink & Son Ltd who at the time were located at 5 King Street, St James's, London SW1Y 6QS. They are now located at 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4ET. However, the gallery which sold botanical art closed just after the turn of the millennium.
For the last six years Christina Hart-Davies has been working on a book called A Wild Plant Year (details below). Today it is officially launched at a large botanical art exhibition of the same name in Hampshire.
Exhibition - A Wild Plant Year
A solo exhibition is a major endeavour - especially when it comprises 234 paintings! All the artwork included in the book can be seen in the exhibition and it's all for sale. There are also more original works by Christina for sale plus books, cards and prints.
I've been a big admirer of her work for a number of years and this major retrospective is a big opportunity for collectors of botanical art!
You can see examples of Christina's work on her website - in terms of Wild Plants, Cultivated Plants, Mosses and Lichens and Monochrome and Line Work for publications
These are the details:
Plus there's the added bonus of an opportunity to visit these delightful gardens!
(Map of the Gardens 513 kB)
NEW Book - A Wild Plant Year
The book is also called A Wild Plant Year and the scope of the book is limited to wild flowers in the UK.
It was described to me by Christina as follows....
a book on wild plants of Britain and their cultural history, folklore, medicinal uses and country names. It's not a botany book or a field identification guide (which I am well used to illustrating), rather a slightly quirky compendium of odd facts about some of our native plants - all illustrated of course.
Christina sent me a copy to review and I was most impressed!
Sarah Morrish has written a very useful blog post for botanical artists called Project Skills for Botanical Artists (i) - Identifying wild flowers & plants. This is the first in a series of posts relating to skills needed by artists developing botanical art projects.
She makes an acute observation early on
Learning to identify plants and their characteristics goes hand in hand with producing accurate botanical illustrations and portraits - you cannot do the latter without the other.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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