Sunday, 18 January 2009

Recent work 2008

Here are a couple of examples of older work as a starting point to compare to new work as I progress through the Society of Botanical Artist Distance Learning Diploma.I've been exhibiting with the SBA off and on since 2002 and though a distance learning course seemed like a great idea!
Scots Thistle, Onopordum acanthium 

Foxglove study on vellum, Digitalis purpurea. My first painting on vellum 2007

Gloxinia, exhibited at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation for the 12th International, painted 2004 or 2005 . This img from the catalogue

 A study of a foxglove flower Digitalis purpurea in the style of Arthur Harry Church and a Scots thistle, Onopordum acanthium. You can view more of my work at
The thistle is painted on Arches HP using Windsor & Newton Artists paint and Kolinsky sable WN brushes.
The foxglove study is on Kelmscott vellum. I prefer vellum as a surface because it gives a greater vibrance of colour and allows very fine detail that I find hard to achieve on paper.
The Gloxinia was exhibited as part of the 12th International at the Hunt Institute in 2007. I was invoted to participate in this exhibition by James White back in 2005. Such a shame that I didn't attend

Beginnings, the SBA Distance Learning Diploma

Having just started the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma Course I thought it might be useful to create this blog as a personal record and to share with anybody that might be interested. I hope there are others out there!  I've been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember but only started to focus on plants about five years ago.

RHS judge Gillian Barlow advised me not to bother with this course the last time I exhibited with the RHS in 2008 but I hope this course will help me to have a more disciplined approach and to focus on my weaknesses.

Looking forward to it. I finished my BSc in Biology in 2006 and several post grad heavy duty things so ready for a slightly more chilled subject.

Never blogged before so forgive me for I know not what I am doing!

UPDATED info May 2015.... Looking Back

I've been prompted to come back to the start and add some more information simply because I've been made aware that these posts can help and encourage current and future students. At the time of writing in Jan 2009,  there was no communication between students it was a very isolating experience but one which I enjoyed. Six years on and the course is going from strength to strength - this was clear to see at this years SBA annual exhibition - the standard of work is amazing!  and so I though I'd add some info and better photos of the work to this blog...if I can find the remaing work that is. Please do bear in mind that the marking scheme has changed since I did the course. 

I'm was very happy to do this course! I originally signed up to the first presentation because I was so keen but because of work and family commitments had to put it off until course 6. I'd always painted and worked professionally as an artist or in the field of the arts, but never been able to access any training or to afford the very expensive courses which were difficult to get to. I can't say that I learned all that much directly that I can actually pin down ( in terms of techniques etc.) , with the exception of graphite work, which i really pushed forward with and have a great love for but it did help me to focus and  most importantly to read and develop work around the course materials and building on the assignments. I think that it's extremely important to do this.  I produced a very large amount of work during the 27 months of the course, probably the most productive I've ever been and even started blogging as a result. I definitely became more organised and plan my work more than I did.  So it was all good! After plugging away for well over a year with the blog, I still hadn't had any communication from any other students and did'nt really bother that much with it. But gradually people started to find each other via social media and today there is a fairly large healthy online presence of past, current and no doubt future students who communicate regularly and write brilliant blogs ....and from all over the world too. Which is absolutely brilliant. I hope this blog can help and encourage in some small way...... I know I would have welcomed any information when I did the course.