Friday 8 September 2017

Port Stephens Botanical Art Workshop

Last weekend I travelled to Port Stephens which is about 2-1/2 hours north of Sydney to teach a botanical art workshop.

I was amazed by the work that was produced at the end of the workshop. No one in attendance had done any botanical art previously. Except for a few, the others had never even used watercolour.

Have a look at some of the finished painting. There were a few paintings completed which was unusual for a weekend workshop with beginners, as there is so much to learn about the processes. I was really blown away by their work.

Art & Craft Gallery Nelson Bay
The Art and Craft Gallery is a fantastic facility for Nelson Bay and the surrounding areas. It brings the art community together with regular classes and workshops. They have a shop selling members work, a large studio for the many varied arts and crafts and a café which serves the most wonderful meals. It is also set in very beautiful grounds, which are tendered by volunteers.

Some of the students hard at work

Some of the colour matching processes

These are some of the works produced. A few are finished and a few still need some more washes but almost there.

You have to admit this is amazing work from absolute beginners to both botanical art and watercolour.

I was thrilled to say the least. I hope they have caught the 'botanical bug' and continue to enjoy working with nature, plant and flowers. 

BASA Members Botanical Art Exhibition

I was honoured to judge the Botanical Art Society's Annual Members Exhibition which is on at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Palm House until 11th September 2017.

I was extremely impressed with the high standard of the work. I see a shift towards more contemporary work, rather than the earlier very scientific paintings, although there were still some for visitors to enjoy.

Almost half of the exhibitors have done workshops, classes or my Distance Learning course. It is so rewarding to see how they have continued with their painting, using the skills and experience of having done some structured botanical art with me initially. I get a real thrill walking around the exhibition and seeing familiar names and seeing how their work has developed.

The entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Palm House

Inside the Palm House

Here are just a few images from the current exhibition. Having light coming in from three sides of the Palm House it is very difficult to photograph with the light reflected on the glass, but you can get an indication of what to expect at this exhibition.

Papaver nudicaule - Unfurling
Leda Turner

Telopea speciosissima and Acanthorhynchus
Janet Matthews

Cynara scolymus
Sue Stuart

Slipper Orchid
Gwenda Levy

Some of the exhibited paintings

Every painting in the exhibition had merit and every person who exhibited needs to be congratulated on the standard of work they produced.

Lilium Workshop

Since returning from Flores I have been extremely busy, but that is not new. As well as my Distance Learning Students work to evaluate, photos to sort, articles to write and various other activities, I did a weekend workshop at WEA Sydney on 'Liliums'.

The room was filled with glorious colour, although not glorious scents as the lily stamens have a rather unpleasant odour. The art room is a wonderful environment as it is spacious, comfortable, has all the necessary teaching facilities and superb lighting.

Most of the class were new to botanical art, in fact several had never even drawn before, let alone use watercolour. It is very rewarding for me to be able to take the participants through the Processes of Botanical Art. These are the Master Drawing, Colour Study and Final Painting.

In a two day workshop I do not expect finished paintings, especially from beginners. It is all about learning the processes, learning what to do and how to do it. At the end of the weekend they have the knowledge to finish their paintings at home.

Below are the results of some of the participants drawings and paintings. I ensure the colour studies are completed with accurate colour matching and practice components. Remembering firstly if the drawing is not right, the painting will not be right. The most important phases are these two processes and this is where most of the time and research is taken.

When looking at the work, remember they are not finished paintings and some students had never drawn or used watercolour before. This is extremely rewarding for me as a tutor to see how much they learn and how far they come in a weekend workshop.

So congratulations to all the participants. 

Remember botanical art is all about