The tale of a commission

In September 2020 an email came into our website requesting to be put in contact with Y. Barbara Gemmell, this message was sent on to her. It was a request  from Birmingham University to discuss a commission as a thank you piece for  one of the University’s high level donors.  The commission was to depict native trees which grow in a woodland donated by a couple to the Birmingham Institute of Forestry Research.

Barbara decided to accept the commission and as she said the project would keep her occupied during the winter months. The request was to show Oak, Ash, Sycamore and Hazel which grow in the woodland; Barbara decided to do four drawings showing each tree at different times of the season. The drawings were completed in March 2021 and during the summer they were collected from her by David Evans-Powell who is the Donor Engagement Manager.

The university had the drawings mounted and framed and they were presented to the donors Professor Jo Bradwell and his wife Barbara on the 27th October by the Vice Chancellor of Birminham University in his office.

Barbara has since received a thank you note from Professor Bradwell and a copy of the book he has written which was published in January 2021.’ Norbury Park. An estate tackling climate change’ (looking on Amazon the book is at the moment out of print)

Background – Norbury Park, Stafford. Owner Professor Jo Bradwell has planted 140 ha of new forest across his estate in order to provide a CO2 offset of approx. 1.000 tonnes per year and has made the land and trees available as a research resource. (Royal Forestry Society Woodlands for Climate Change Award 2014 – Highly Commended)

As we come to the end of another difficult year with our activities being disrupted by the Covid pandemic we hope that 2022 will be better and we can resume a normal schedule. Best wishes to all for 2022 and successful painting.

December 2021

It was a disappointing attendance at our last meeting of the year. The eight members present had great fun illustrating letters for a Christmas banner. A brilliant idea thought up by our Chairwoman Moira Ashby who provided the letters. Karen of Stirchley Baths picked out her favourite letter which was by Jane Wilkes. Jane was presented with the prize which was a planted arrangement of Helleborus niger.

November 2021 meeting

Society member and botanical art teacher Jeni Neale was the tutor at the meeting on 21st November. The theme was autumn leaves, Jeni had brought along a lot of different leaves for those on the workshop to choose from as well as some of her own paintings.

Update on NEC

A successful few days at the NEC, there were so many complimentary words said about the pictures on display we thought members should hear what the public think of our work.

Here are some examples of what people said. Beautiful, exquisite, work is just amazing-love it, like a photograph, very talented, incredible work, fascinating, stunning, absolutely fabulous, such detail and what talent. These comments and more were repeated again and again so thank you to those members who lent their pictures for the display.

NEC November 2021

Once again the society has a stand at the NEC, Birmingham during the Art and Craft Show. This year the stand was set up by Jeni, Jane and Carol. The show is open from today 4th November until Sunday 7th November from 9.30 until 5pm. Members will be present each day demonstrating and available to talk to visitors and pass on advice and information.