Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Cyclamen from Siân

Drew these on Sunday whilst sitting under a duvet in front of the television recovering from a mean cold. Work in progress...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lilium orientale

Feeling a bit better today after a week of illness, but am left with this horrible cough which is not letting me sleep very well. Despite this, I am determined to get cracking on with the next assessment for my course. The work below is still work in progress, (only really one coat of paint here so far) and I am not sure if I will submit it yet, but I had to paint these lilies, they are so beautiful. This is about 4 hours of painting which I did today. However, when you count all the thinking and compositon planning I have done for this work, the hours rack up to weeks of work.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Our New Exhibition is Now Open

Me next to James Sowerby's (b.1757) Tulipa species.

Although I pretty much love all the paintings on show from the Kew Collection, there are a few paintings which inevitably stand out. Most of the ones that I like were painted by the East India Company School. There is something incredibly quirky about these paintings, and they seem to serve their purpose much more - they describe a plant and to act as an identification aid. Most (but not all) contemporary botanical art seems to have walked away from the eccentric side of things and is far more interested in showing a plant precisely and with beauty, and although some of these paintings are outstanding in their execution, the modern paintings tend to leave me gawping at the skill of the artist, rather than to smile. The old paintings make me smile. There is a pleasing innocence to these images which allows me to feel like I am talking to the artist.

So this painting here is by James Sowerby (1757-1822), one of my heroes. His name popped up many times while I was studying Sir James St. Aubyn at Plymouth Museum. He is responsible for illustrating many natural history collections, including some minerals from Sir John's collection. His colourfully illustrated books made natural history interesting to everyone in his day, and this Tulip is no exception. It is utterly beautiful in my eyes, and is anomalous in being one of my favourites in this exhibition, and not from a company school.