Monday, 25 January 2016

Eastern Spinebills on Banksia prionotes

Below is the second painting finished for the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens Botanica exhibition, which focuses on Pollinators. It opens 9 April - 3 May. There is an incredibly long lead-in to this, as works have to be submitted for selection early February.

Eastern Spinebills on Banksia prionotes

Art Experience Canberra - Summer School January 2016

I have recently returned from Canberra where I taught for the Artists Society of Canberra at their Summer School. As an artist, it is always a fantastic experience to work at Summer or Winter schools, to meet other tutors and artists and to swap information, aspirations and experiences. We often work in isolation so a social meeting ground often gives us all motivation and inspiration - as well as making new friends.

I teach all skill levels which ensures those that are not experienced at Botanical Art will have the same opportunities to learn.. This year I was blown away by the natural talent of some of my students, and definately by all the work that was produced at the end of the week, which I would like to share with you.

It was a unique programme beginning with a 2-day weekend workshop on Leaves & Greens - Technique & Colour. This workshop could be linked into the following 3-day workshop (with one day break in between) or either workshop could be done separately. It worked extremely well especially for those that could only attend on the weekend due to work committments.

Alex's leaves

Morgyn's leaves

Jann's oak leaf

Jean's amazing parsley

Naturally the following workshop on Form & Colour followed the Processes used in botanical art. These are the Master drawing (the blueprint for the painting), the Colour Study and Colour Match and then the final painting.

In my workshops I do not focus on students finishing a painting. It is all about following the processes, so when they begin working independently, they know the processes required to produce a fabulous painting. 

Here are a few paintings done in the three day workshop, which was amazing - and I was thrilled. Some of my group had never done any botanical art before and several had never drawn or done any watercolour painting at all, which makes the results even more special.

Beth's flowering eucalypt

Alex's chilis

Janet's finished painting

Jean's herb study (in progress)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

New Paintings

It has been very difficult to find time to do my own work, as I have been extremely busy with travelling for work and a few holidays (absolutely deserved as I work seven days a week) and lots of workshops and art tours. Then of course there are my three Distance Learning Course in Botanical Art, Natural History and Travel Sketching.

Ideas spin around in my head and if only I had the luxury of months of painting.

Anyway, will share two of my finished pieces with you, which will be in Botanica 2016 in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens in April 2016.

When I was in New Zealand in December, I saw a Harakeke Red Flax (Phormium tenax). The colours were absolutely amazing, just glowing in the sunshine. The flax was also bursting with bees, eager for the ripe anthers.

While admiring the flowers, a New Holland Honeyeater flew down and landed on the flax. I thought "I just have to paint this" which is what I have done.

Initial washes

I will add the next painting on a new blog.

Botanical Art Processes

This article was published in January 2016 in Artists' Back to Basics. There are more pages to the article, but the images below provide valuable information.

The processes to botanical art are necessary to produce a faultless (we hope) finished painting, with no mistakes. By making a detailed drawing and a colour study which is basically practice pieces with colour matching, any issues will be addressed before the final painting is started.

Happy painting

Travel Sketching Art Tours - Australian Artist magazine

I have had a successful start to 2016 with two new magazine articles, both in January.

The first was a Holiday Sketching article about art tours, composition, making your own sketch book and step by step to a sketch from Nha Tang in Vietnam.

There are other pages to the articles, but these give you an idea of what the article contains.