Friday 27 July 2012

Surviving Baxteri species

I am currently working on a series of very exciting commissions. To date I have complered five of the 14 surviving Baxteri species found predominantly south west of Western Australia, around the Albany area. These plants were collected around 1828 and many of seeds were sent back to England.

Banksia baxteri
Leonie Norton
Above is one of the paintings I have completed, and I feel it is a great privilege to be able to do this work which is so wonderfully challenging, and so rewarding.

I have always admired the work of Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1826), a competent botanist and extraordinary botanical and natural history artist. He went on many voyages of discovery to illustrate new and exotic animal and plant species.

Sir Joseph Banks arranged for Bauer to accompany Matthew Flinders on the Investigator for the voyage to Australia 1801-1803. Plant dissections are a feature of his work.

I had the great fortune to actually see many of his original paintings at the Natural History Museum in London. The glowing vibrancy of the colours was astonishing and I was in total awe.

Agonis baxteri
Leonie Norton
I love the traditionalism of botanical art. Even though I like to paint unusual plants and often with a more contemporary interpretation, I also love returning to tradition.

After returning from Bali (I leave in a few days) I have another two Baxteri paintings to complete.

The passion never wanes....

1 comment:

  1. I've always been a big fan of Celia Rosser's work; to the extent that I've gone to visit her in her studio and now have signed prints. Seeing your botanical art today inspired me all over again to put more botanical images up around the home. Your work is wonderful... and please feel free to drop me a line if you ever find yourself in Albany.