Saturday, 18 April 2015

Day 9, An Iris Seed Pod and some other exciting things!

It's actually day 10 but I'm a day behind after being away in London for the SBA annual exhibition. Haven't exhibited  for a few years, so it was really nice to be back on track and involved again.
I arrived home late last night full of enthusiasm and got up early to catch up with the challenge! Something small seemed a good idea so I chose to paint a small Iris seed-head, which was given to me last year by fellow artist and friend, Jarnie Godwin, aka Sketchbook Squirrel 
It's painted on Kelmscott vellum, funny enough it's a small off cut from one of the works for this years SBA show..

A quick vellum painting of an Iris seedpod for day 9
 I started on paper but decided that vellum would be better for this subject. it's always great for these dried subjects. I wasn't sure that I could do it quickly but it seemed to work. It could do with a bit more work but with only a short amount of time it was OK. Might add the seeds later on.
I'll maybe add the seeds and the other side of the pod later on. Apologies for the lack of information and photos, short on time today!
SBA Exhibition and new Work
 My two entries for the SBA show this year were Fritillaries, the F. imperialis is the largest painting that I've completed on vellum. The second painting was a small painting on vellum of F. meleagris. I was delighted to hear that I got an honourable mention for the F. meleagris, which goes to show that small paintings get noticed too! The F. imperialis was hard work ( see my previous post ) ......but not deterred by the scale of the task I've already ordered another whole skin and can't wait to get started. I was totally in awe at some of the work a this years show so definitely need to practice for next year now. I already have some ideas for what is a very exciting title subject. I'm going to focus on the theme of pattern for next year, which is an area Ive always had an interest in.
One of this years SBA entries, Fritillarie imperialis Rubra painted on a whole skin of Kelmscott vellum
I wasn't at the opening for very long but even in that short time it was lovely to meet so many other artists. Seems like the standard just keeps getting higher and it's a much more connected community of artists compared to the first time I exhibited withh the SBA back in 2002, I think that's all thanks to the internet, and supportes such as Katherine Tyrell with her Making a Mark blog, and of course to social media too. The ever increasing standard is probably due to the SBA diploma course which continues to bring more amazing new artists together every year. So it's all good and very exciting times ahead for botanical art.

A detain from the small F. meleagris painting, also at this years show
New Prints
One other exciting bit of news for me,  is that I spent an afternoon at the printers last Tuesday and picked up the first proofs for my new limited edition prints of the butterflies. I'm getting the proofs for two more works, the Fritillaria meleagris on Rory McEwen vellum and the Leaf Skeleton and Lichen Branch...all three are on vellum. It's not easy to get good prints of work on vellum but so far I'm pleased with the results and found a great photographer / printer who seems to understand the subtleties of watercolours..... probably helps that his wife is a watercolour artist too. Here's a snapshot I took of the first proofs, doesn't do them justice but the colour match and image quality is excellent. I'm trying to decide whether to print the butterflies life size or larger......never was very good at decision making!  Will post better photos shortly

Not a great photo but here are the first proofs for the butterfly prints... hot off the press!

My other painting currently at the printers
That all for now, time to take my daughter back to University after the Easter break, so back to the challenge again tomorrow. 


  1. Wow! You have made that humble little seed pod look truly fabulous. And your prints are looking pretty amazing too. I may just be after a couple of butterflies myself xx

  2. Love the seedpod....all of your work, but this especially since what usually gets overlooked is a star. In view of that...don't know if you've heard of a recent book by Thor Hanson titled THE TRIUMPH OF SEEDS...sounds fascinating...I figure it might be something you'd enjoy...I know I will!.

  3. Your Fritillaria imperialis is magnificent--I can't imagine tackling something that large on vellum. Framing must have been a challenge! The prints turned out great too. Now more people can enjoy these beautiful pieces.