It has been announced that the renowned botanical artist and illustrator Lizzie Sanders GM passed away last week, age 70.
Born in London on 4 January 1950, she had lived in Edinburgh since 1983 - near to the Botanic Garden where she also taught botanical illustration to very many students. Anne Carlaw, the Chairperson of the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists announced her death via an email to members today.
In it she described Lizzie and her work as both an artist and as a teacher.
"many of us were fortunate to have been taught by Lizzie at the Botanics and even more of you will have been familiar with her stunning work.
It seemed appropriate to use as an example of her stunning botanical artwork, her painting of Sutherland Kale - produced for Flora Scotia and published - as a feature image - in Scottish Plant Lore
Favourites are always bold, structural plants which themselves make a grand statement and which lead to careful, sometimes unconventional, composition.
Lizzie Sanders Timeline
Artwork by Lizzie Sanders
Lizzie Sanders has been producing botanical paintings for some thirty years. Her work is botanically accurate, painted meticulously in watercolour, using a dry brush technique. She aims to produce contemporary ‘graphic’ images where neither art nor science is compromised and is particularly interested in the tension created by presenting an image which reads as truly three-dimensional against a stark, flat, white background.
Below are links to places where you can see her impeccable artwork. Her contribution will live on as these serve as excellent examples of what can be achieved in botanical art and illustration. I personally much appreciate the influence of her excellent graphic design skills which she employed to very good effect in the composition of a number of her works - particularly in relation to cropping and compendiums.
Lizzie Sander’s approach is also complimentary to McEwen from a modernist perspective. Technically and compositionally Sanders is a perfectionist as McEwen was, her art crosses from what we know and appreciate of classical botanical portraiture, representational, to abstract painting which poses never-ending questions while we succumb to its beauty. As seen in her latest masterpiece of the Myrtle Bark painting
Her artwork was published in a number of important publications about contemporary botanical art, including:
Lizzie Sanders - Art Teacher
Lizzie Sanders taught students at a number of educational establishments in Scotland
Lizzie Sanders: Achievements as a Botanical Artist
Lizzie Sanders achieved an honour which very few do - she was awarded three RHS Gold Medals - winning a Gold Medal each time she exhibited - in
In 2001, she was commissioned to produce the design for the commemorative plate for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
In 2003, she was elected a member of the Society of Botanical Arts and won the Margaret Granger Rose Bowl for the best work by a new member. She was also awarded a Certificate of Botanical Merit.
In 2003, she won 'Best in Show' in the ASBA/New York Horticultural Society Sixth Annual International Juried Botanical Art Exhibition and went on to repeat this in 2011 and 2016.
In 2004 she was honoured by the American Society of Botanical Artists, with the Diane Bouchier Award for Excellence.
In 2004, she also exhibited at the 11th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration of the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, USA.
In 2006 she won a Gold Medal and became the first recipient of the Mary Mendum Medal, awarded at BISCOT by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, Edinburgh.
Her artwork is held in the following collections
It's always extremely sad to lose a very fine botanical artist. I admired her work a lot and I'm just sorry I never got to meet her and missed seeing her exhibits at the RHS Botanical Art Show. However, there is much that can still be appreciated of what she excelled at and hopefully many aspiring botanical artists will find much inspiration in her work.
My condolences to her family and to her many friends and students among the community of Scottish Botanical Artists and botanical artists around the world.
NOTE: I understand that Dr. Shirley Sherwood is planning to a video tribute to the artwork of Lizzie' Sanders and you can watch out for this on her Facebook Page. I've also just noticed that the most impressive piece in Shirley Sherwood's collection was painted in 1995 - just five years after she started to paint botanical art!
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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