Sunday, 13 March 2011

Moving on - exhibitions 2011, SBA Associate Membership!

Running up to the end of the SBA Course the exhibition calendar kicked off early in 2011 in the cafe gallery at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed, House for an Art Lover, situated in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. It's a lovely venue and I felt privileged to be invited to exhibit alongside four Scottish botanical artists, Fiona Strickland, Jenny MatthewsLynne Henderson and Mary-Clare Cornwallis.  

Exhibited at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow, Horse Chestnut on Vellum
SBA Associate Membership!
In February I had five works accepted by the Society of Botanical Artists for inclusion in their annual show, the World of Plants, 8th - 17th April at Westminster Central Hall, London. I've been putting odd works into the SBA shows on and off since 2002 but this was the second consecutive year that all five works had been accepted and secured election as an Associate Member of the SBA. Last year I was awarded a Certificate of Botanical Merit and highly commneded for the Joyce Cumming Award.

The next deadline is looming - to produce 8 paintings of native plants on vellum for inclusion in the BISCOT (Botanical Images Scotia) annual exhibition. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society. It's the first time I've exhibited with BISCOT after having work accepted by their committee last year.  The exhibition is held at the Gardening Scotland show at Ingleston,  Edinburgh, from 3rd - 5th June. Work is then transported to the RBGE, and forms part of their Botanical Art Bonanza exhibitions. BISCOT work will be on show at from 8th -24th June in the Fletcher Building.

Any artist interested in exhibiting at BISCOT 2012 must submit work by the 24th May 2011.

Exhibited at House for and Art Lover, Digitalis purpurea on vellum. My largest work to date on vellum. I grew the plant in the garden

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Diploma Portfolio, SBA Distance Learing Diploma Course

Posted the final 3 portfolio pieces and sketchbook this week! I will update this post with images when they have been marked.
The requirement for the Diploma Portfolio is: 
  • Botanical illustration
  • Fruit or vegetable
  • Mixed Study

The deadline for submission was brought forward by one week, the deadline 12th birthday!. 

Graduation and the SBA Associate Membership
Graduation for the SBA Distance Learning Diploma course 6 is on the 15th April at the Artists Guild, Bloomsbury, which coincides with the SBA annual show, 'The World of Plants'.  I hope to head down to London for this event. I also have 5 paintings included in the exhibition ( submitted in February), which is some of the work that I completed outside the course. I'm applying for Associate membership this year as It will be my 2nd year submitting 5 paintings and look forward to seeing the wide variety of work - last year over 700 paintings were on show!

Here are the final diploma portfolio works:
Beetroot drawing
Vegetable Study
I grew this beet myself and completed this a while ago and decided, due to lack of time, that it was OK to submit as the fruit or vegetable piece.  So I didn't actually do it for the diploma just as part of other work  during the course. This isn't actually the final version - I added an extra leaf at the top to cover a small mark made just before putting it into the envelope! I prefer this version. There could have been a bit more contrast on the leaves to give the glossy appearance and to separate the leaves on the right hand side. I was happy with the beet and the roots though and the composition was good apart from that extra leaf. (final mark 23.1/25). 

Iris reticulata for the Botanical study

Botanical Illustration
Difficult to photograph this one because of the light pencil work - there's a bit more to it which includes the reproductive parts x 1.5 on the right hand side but it didn't show up so I cropped the image. Again perhaps a bit more contrast on the pencil work would have benefitted this one. (Final Mark 23.8/25).

Mixed Floral Ttulips and Anemone

Mixed Floral, a last minute dash to the finish line
Having had a few 'out of the blue' things to deal with in Feb and March, i.e. my grandson in intensive care! I had spent some time away from home, as a resut I found myself with only 3 days left to complete my final diploma piece! It seemed inevitable at one point that I'd have to defer until next year, but following encouragement from Margaret Stevens, I picked up one of the few remaining bouquets from the supermarket on my way home from the hospital, I'd driven the 8 hour trip home and this was all that was left in the Aberdeen Tesco store - it was the middle of the night!   It had a very limited palette and I'd no idea what variety of tulips they were - but decided it was the only option and to give it my best shot! I tracked down the very helpful tulip grower via email and he helped me to identify the flowers.  It did the trick and I managed to get it in the post on time.  There's a slight misalignment on the stem on the right hand tulip, which probably cost me - I'll correct this at some point. The judges particularly liked the detail and tone in the central anemone. I would never have chosen this but hey ho! (final mark 23.6/25)

Finally some tips for future students
If I was going to make any recommendation to new students it would be to do plenty of additional work around the course materials. You never know what might happen that will leave you short of time! The time- frame for the submission of assignments is very lenient so there's no excuse not to do extra work.