Most people know what inspired them to become interested in botanical art and for some to go on to become botanical artists.
For me it was all the images in my mother's RHS Desk Diary, which used to have an image every other page from classic and historical botanical artwork. I became very familiar with all the masters of botanical art from a young age!
For some it was seeing an exhibition of the actual painting by an artist. For example, Coral Guest was inspired by Rory McEwen (see The Rory McEwen Retrospective and the Legacy Exhibition at Kew)
In 1974 as a first year fine art student, I stopped work early one afternoon, and on a whim left the Chelsea Art School building and took the number 19 Routemaster bus to Piccadilly, where I disembarked for Cork Street. Walking along in a kind of dream, pondering on my work, I happened to glance into the entrance corridor of the Redfern Gallery. There for the first time, glowing in the distance, I saw the Botanical Drawings of Rory McEwen. I stood staring in the half light, mesmerised. I stepped inside and looked at all the work until the gallery closed.
Many others were also inspired by the various exhibitions of botanical art by Rory McEwen - particularly the retrospective exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 2008
Others were inspired by just one painting - or the cover of one book.
On Thursday last week, I was back in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery with Cynthia Rice, on her last day in England, for a long slow review of the exhibition of artwork by British artists in the collection of Shirley Sherwood - complete with loupe!
While there we bumped into Beverly Allen GM, Co-Founder and President of the Florilegium Society associated with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney and Colleen Morris former National Chair of the Australian Garden History Society and the curator of Florilegium: Sydney’s Painted Garden, the recent Florilegium exhibition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the RBG Sydney and co-author of the catalogue The Florilegium, The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Celebrating 200 years. They were visiting the Gallery to discuss arrangements for the exhibition coming to Kew in a year's time - opening March 2018.
I asked whether I could take a photograph, they readily agreed and we pondered on what context to use.
That's when I found out that the image which got Beverley Allen started on botanical art was actually in the exhibition!
This is the painting of the Cape Blue Waterlily by Pandora Sellers on the front cover of Contemporary Botanical Artists which was the first ever book about botanical art by Shirley Sherwood.
So here is the inspiration - with Colleen, Beverley and Cynthia, the official image from Kew and the front cover of the book.
The inspiration in the gallery
The painting by Pandora Sellars
Note: The book is now out of print but you can still get hold of copies on the second-hand book sites. I get most of mine from Amazon.
What inspired YOU to become interested in botanical art?
2/4/2017 10:27:53 pm
This is showing my age, but my inspiration was a set of Keble Martin wild flower postage stamps issued (I think) to coincide with the publication of his Flora in the mid 1960s. That, and Dürer's 'Great Piece of Turf', which had fascinated me since childhood.
27/4/2017 10:50:33 pm
My inspiration in botanical art developed very quickly after coming across a painting by Shevaun Doherty. I can't remember who shared it but after seeing Shevauns work, I was hooked and have been ever since! I think my life-long interest in Natural History, in particular, wild flowers helps too! Now, I am about to embark on a Botanical Illustration course with Dianne Sutherland. My 'ambition' is to visit next years RHS Botanical Art Exhibition in London 2018 and maybe meet some 'celebrity' botanical artists!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world. You can also find her at linktr.ee
BAA Visitors so far....
since April 2015
Subscribe to BAA News
Blog posts are emailed to you when you SUBSCRIBE to "Botanical Art and Artists - News" by Email
Your email subscription to this blog is ONLY activated IF you verify the link you will receive. You can unsubscribe at any time
It will NOT be used for anything else and will NEVER be given to anybody else.
EVERY DAY FOLLOW News about botanical art + links to new BAA blog posts on Botanical Art and Artists on Facebook
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-22
Unauthorised use or duplication of ANY material on this blog without written permission is strictly prohibited. Please also respect the copyright of all artists featured here.
What's your news?
This blog highlights news - in brief - about botanical art exhibitions around the world.
Use the Contact form to tell me about an exhibition and provide a summary of relevant information. If listing your event I will ask you for relevant images.
The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
The Best Books about Botanical Art History
Tap the pic to check out my recommendations
Workshops, Classes & Courses
Find out about botanical art workshops, classes courses offered by various organisations and artists in:
Read other Botanical Art Blogs
READ Blogs about botanical art and/or by botanical artists & illustrators
BAA News Archives
This page Botanical Art & Artists on my main blog has an archive of blog posts about past exhibitions of the Society of Botanical Art and Artists
News Blog about artists, awards, exhibitions etc.
- Calls for Entries
- Exhibitions around the world
- Online Exhibitions
- RHS Exhibitions
- Hunt Exhibitions
- Botanical Art Societies - national / regional / local
- Florilegium & Groups
- Botanical Art Groups on Facebook
- Tips and Techniques
- Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
- Directory of Teachers
- Directory of Courses
- Online Botanical Art Courses
- Diplomas and Certificates
- Talks, Lectures and Tours
ART MATERIALS (Paper / Vellum)
BOTANY FOR ARTISTS
- Scientific Botanical Illustration
- Best Botany Books for Artists
- Plant Names & Botanical Latin
BOTANIC GARDENS & Herbaria
Please send me .
- news to share
- info. about exhibitions
- any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website
Contact me if you'd like to promote workshops and courses on this site.
This website is free to you but not for me! (See Affiliate Income below)
Cookies, Personal Data & Privacy tells you how this site relates to and impacts on you and your privacy - and your choices.
Product & company names may be trademarks of their respective owners
About Affiliate Income: This website has been created to share information not to make a profit. I am an Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying purchases (e.g. books from Amazon) which helps offset costs associated with maintaining this very large website.