Saturday 12 July 2014

Back to Basics

Sometimes artists power on in their haste to finish a painting. Details omitted from the master drawing can result in an inaccurate painting. Not having the correct placement of the midrib vein is also something that absolutely stands out in a finished work.

With botanical art there are really no shortcuts. The more information and detail you do in your drawing and colour study, the better the final painting will be. 

I write an article for each issue in Back to Basics quarterly magazine and my latest article for the current issue is 'Drawing and Foreshortening Leaves'.  A frequent question from students is 'how do I show a foreshortened leaf?" This article takes all the guesswork out of drawing leaves.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Work produced at Sturt Winter School

The experience of staying at Sturt in Mittagong for a week is invaluable. At the end of the week each class has its exhibition to display what they have achieved.

Each evening there are also tutors presentations, and the talent of the tutors is world class. There is a huge variety of classes, from ceramics, weaving, working with beeswax, woodwork, calligraphy, botanical art, book binding and more.

So I thought I would like to share with you just some of the work produced throughout the week.

These are examples of the knitting. You will never think of knitting in the same way again. It was just amazing!

Some examples of basketry - very contemporary and innovative

Beeswax and colour

Winter School at Mittagong NSW

I have just returned from a week teaching at Sturt - Australian Contemporary Craft & Design Centre  in Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands. Some of the grounds and trees are heritage listed, and it has a very special ambiance.

This is the North Wing - the building my classes were held in
Early morning as the sun was rising over one of the sculptured gardens

These beautiful colonnades and wrought iron was just outside my room.

I had a wonderful class of very talented students, who worked extremely hard all week. The object of the course is not only to demonstrate how to do a botanical painting, but the important aspect is the PROCESS. 

My class at work
The four P's are vital: Passion, Practice, Patience and Perseverance. There are no shortcuts, but often an easier way of doing things. Many of the students were absolute novices and I was thrilled by the work they produced. At the end of the week each class held an exhibition, which was a real highlight. Here is just some of the work they did.

This was the class exhibition at the culmination of the week

Sue Grieve's excellent example of a master drawing, colour study and final painting of a Kangaroo Paw
Penny Kater's work in progress of the Macadamia tree

Sandra Berrick's eucalypt leaves - in progess  
Mary Uldyne working on her painting of the Hardenbergia sp.

The finished painting of the Hardenbergia
I would have liked to have featured every single students work, as they were all quite exceptional, especially due to the beginners status of many.

This makes my life so rewarding when I can see the enjoyment and progress each individual experienced throughout the week.