The Exhibiting Excellence Awards were introduced by SBA to highlight
Exhibiting Excellence: Colour & Composition
Inspiring Use of Colour
Brassica (145) by Edwina Keene
I was pleased to see this award for inspiring use of colour. For me, one of the signs of whether a botanical artist is excellent or not is the effort employed in painting leaves and the quality of the result. Invariably only the best pay the same attention to leaves as they do to blooms. This painting is an excellent example of meticulous attention to the transitions of both colour and tone in the leaves of a brassica.
Edwina Keene has worked as a freelance illustrator for over 40 years. Her career has involved moves to the Middle East and Australia and her studio is now in the heart of the Blue Mountains near Sydney - next to a plot of land where she cultivates her plants. Her botanical/horticultural artwork has featured in various publications including ones by Harper Collins and Readers Digest. In March 2022 she was awarded the Best In Show at BASA's exhibition in Melbourne.
Inspiring Use of Colour
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (34) by Youngran Choi
Youngran Choi (Korea?) also won the William Cowley Parchment and Vellum Makers Award for the best use of vellum with this painting. She's recently started teaching classes in botanical art. She's also focusing on an exhibit for a future RHS Botanical Art Show.
Most innovative composition
Acanthus spinosus (248) by Julia Patience
Julia lives in Tunbridge Wells. She graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Visual Communication from Brighton Polytechnic in 1977 and subsequently worked as a magazine designer and illustrator in London. She moved to Hong Kong with her husband in 2007 and returned to the UK in 2012 and was awarded full membership of SBA in 2016 and is now a member of the SBA Council.
Exhibiting Excellence - Depiction of Wild Flora
There are two winners of the Exhibiting Excellence Award for the Depiction of Wild Flora.
Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara by Penny Brown
Penny Brown is based in Dorset and is one of a very few botanical artists who create botanical art from cut paper collage and this artwork is a cut paper collage. She has always worked as a professional artist, first as a theatre designer, creating scenery and costumes for productions all over Britain. She then turned to illustration which included illustrations for books on craft, lifestyle, gardening and natural history. She graduated from the Society of Botanical Artists' Distance Learning Course with a Distinction and won the Award for Excellence. She is now a tutor on this course, and her best-selling book, Botanical Drawing (Search Press 2018), is a set text.
You can see Penny's book about Botanical Drawing on my page about the Best Botanical Drawing Instruction Books (pencils)
Suffolk Shingle Street Coastal Walk by Sheila Etchingham
Sheila Studied botanical art at Leicester College where she received a Certificate of Botanical Illustration and courses at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Until 2017 (when she moved to Suffolk) she was a member of The Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators. She became a full member of the SBA in 2008 and has exhibited nationally and internationally with the SBA.
Exhibiting Excellence - Contemporary Botanical Art
Contemporary Botanical Art
Magnolia in bloom at Kew by Sian Tillott.
Sian Tillott is a London-based artist working predominantly in graphite and charcoal on paper. Her previous work has focused on portraiture, but she's now increasingly inspired by nature and in particular the plants at Kew.
She has also won awards while exhibiting with the Royal Society of British Artists.
Exhibiting Excellence - Dry Media (Pencils)
Romanesco (16) by Katy Bennett
Katy Bennett graduated with a distinction from the DLDC in June 2022. She began to develop an interested in botanical art after the birth of her three children when she was seeking to rebalance her life. The precise realism she prefers fitted well with the scientific dimension to botanical art. She is adept in both graphite and watercolour and has been commissioned to provide the cover for the Autumn 2022 catalogue of the de Jager fine bulb company.
She also won a Certificate of Botanical Excellence for this work.
There are three awards for two artists for artworks in coloured pencils
Pincushion Protea (242)by Eunhee Park
Eunhee Park is a Fellow of SBA. She completed the SBA Diploma Course 15. Her inspiration for works in coloured pencil was Ann Swan.
Dracaena arborea and Coconut Tree by Seon Jeong Lee
In 2018 Seon Jeong Lee won a prize with the Korea Botanist Association Competition and won the Excellence Award in the field of plant refinement by the National Institute of Biological Resources.
Exhibiting Excellence - Wet Media (Paint & Ink)
There are two awards for botanical paintings in watercolour.
Tulipa ‘Mysterious Parrot’ (304) by Anna Supranenko
Anna is a Russian botanical artist who is living and working in London, UK. In August 2020 she was endorsed for a Global Talent Visa (UK) for 4 years. She became interested in botanical art in 2014 and learned the basics of botanical art at workshops with Alexander Viazmensky. She is a Fellow Member of the Society of Botanical Artists (UK), a Member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California and Association of Botanical Artists. She has participated in more than 30 group exhibitions in 8 countries. She also took part in the RHS Botanical Art Show 2019 with a group of Russian Botanical Artists and received the Gold Medal.
Tulipa ‘Shining Parrot’ (169) Maryna Kyselyova
Maryna Kyselyova won two Exhibiting Excellence Awards for watercolour (above) and Ink (below)
Milk Thistle (171) by Maryna Kyselyova.
Maryna Kyselyova is a Ukrainian based in London. She graduated from Odessa University with a Master’s degree in computer science and now pursues a career as a graphic designer in a software company. She is passionate about plants and began to pursue botanical art while in London. In 2019, she also won
This is an excellent drawing in pen and ink. I even stretched up to get a better look at the thistle - and this image is a crop of the full illustration which you can see in the previous post - as it also won a Certificate of Botanical Merit.
Pitcher plants and orchids on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo by Chris Thorogood
He also got a Certificate of Botanical Merit for this painting (see previous post)
Dr Chris Thorogood is the Deputy Director and Head of Science at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum. His research interests are speciation and adaptive radiations in cryptic parasitic and carnivorous plant groups, as well as taxonomic diversity in biodiversity hotspots. Chris won a scholarship in 2005 to carry out his PhD research on speciation in parasitic plants at the University of Bristol, for which he won the Irene Manton Prize for botany in 2009. Chris is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.
His paintings are very much in the spirit of the 19th centruy traveller and botanical painter Marianne North who also worked in oils and also painted her plants in the context of their habitat. (See my dedicated page About Marianne North (1830-1890)
Exhibiting Excellence - Artist's Chosen Media
ARTISTS CHOSEN MEDIUM
Sambucas, Elderberry (347) by Josie White
This award is for artwork which is not otherwise covered by the media awards. This is an oil and pencil painting on cotton vellum tissue (which is a support I've never heard of before. I'm also unclear whether this is an oil painting with pencil or an oil based pencil artwork.)
Born near Malvern, married and moved to Bristol. Ran her own business designing and creating cakes for 25 years. She became a full member of SBA in 2014
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