July 2019 meeting and Book Review

A change for our meeting on 21st July, two mini workshops by members. The morning was led by Diane who showed us a way of using spare pieces or cut off pieces of our watercolour and cartridge paper and also a way of utilising the cardboard backs of our pads to make mini workbooks. In the afternoon Jennifer gave a brief history of the use of gold leaf in art and then showed a more modern way to use gold leaf as a background. This method can also be used with other imitation metals. The images used included a butterfly, strawberry, fuchsia flower, poppy seedhead and fig (on vellum). It can also be used as a  highlight or for letters.

Book Review – RHS Botanical Illustration – The Gold Medal Winners. Author Charlotte Brookes

This book begins with a historical introduction from the commissioning of the first drawings by William Hooker in 1806 (the RHS then known as The Horticultural Society of London) to the present day. The Lindley Collection now numbers 30,000 drawings and paintings ranging in date from the early seventeenth century. In the late 1980’s there was a move to aquire new paintings and by 2000 it had been established that the library would acquire botanical art of Gold Medal standard and 1000 new pieces have been obtained.

An RHS Gold Medal is a highly prestigious award which people from all over the world strive to obtain. This book documents the work of 60 gold medal winning artists (more than one painting for some) Each has a mini biography of the artist and many are accompanied by information on the production of the painting.

Eleni McLoughlin retires

Eleni’s last session teaching on the ‘Aspects’ Course was on June 9th 2019. Eleni was presented with a beautiful Bromeliad plant to mark the occasion and to say thank you for all her amazing teaching of coloured pencils over the past 8 or more years.

Eleni specialises in coloured pencil and pen and ink, and has demonstrated stippling to past students. She has illustrated books on the endemic flora of Cyprus, her work has been published in at least five botanical reference books. Eleni was a founder member of the BSBA and also a member of the UK Coloured Pencil Society and her paintings have received medals. We wish her well in her retirement.

Success at the SBA Exhibition

The Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition – Plantae – at the Mall Gallery at the beginning of June was excellent. We are pleased to send congratulations to Yvonne Barbara Gemmell who  won the award for graphite work which was donated by Strathmore Artists Papers. The work was Lichen Branches. (Pictured here)

Also paintings by Barbara Gemmell, Jeni Neale and Celia Scottow were sold at the exhibition. (If there were any more successes please let us know.)

Today’s meeting on 16th June was a painting day and although attended by a only a few we were able to get on with our projects. Diane Taylor told us about the workshop that she held at Warwick University on the 15th. After a short walk around the nature trail they were inside where Diane had the attendees doing tonal work with an HB pencil and then tackling a leaf. Well done Diane.

Next month we have two mini workshops for members to attend or watch or do your own thing.

May 19th Annual General Meeting

Twenty six members of the society attended the AGM, a committee was elected with some new members including Chair, Secretary and Membership Secretary. This was followed by a buffet lunch and ‘Bring and Buy’ sale. The photograph shows those attending, and the wall behind is the tiles of the old swimming pool. Our society meets in the converted Victorian Swimming Baths in Stirchley which is now a community hub with meeting rooms, a cinema room and a cafe. The cinema room and swimming bath room have glass ceilings which give natural daylight.

Congratulations to eight of our members who have had art work accepted for display at ‘Plantae’ the exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists which takes place from 5th – 9th June at the Mall Galleries, London. In alphabetical order the members are: Jan Beesley, Barbara Gemmell, Sandra George, Sandy Gough, Jeni Neale, Adrienne Roberts, Celia Scottow and Jane Wilkes.

If you are able to attend the exhibition you may also be able to visit the Chelsea Physic Garden where there is an exhibition – The Art and Healing Power of Plants. The works displayed have been created by the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society. Some works are also on display in the cafe area of the Royal Brompton Hospital. The garden is also well worth a visit, however if you cannot fit the two in on the same day this exhibition is on until 30th August 2019

14th April 2019

The meeting this month was a painting day. These days are enjoyable with a chance to see what other members are doing, chat and exchange ideas and there is always plenty of tea and coffee plus cakes and biscuits.

Also this month we were given a masterclass in plant propagation by society member Brian Haycocks. Brian demonstrated how to take cuttings from a parent plant. We learnt how to select the material from the parent also that the roots of fuchsias grow from the base of the stem of the cutting but when propagating chrysanthemums the stem of the cutting must be cut below the leaf node and the bottom leaves removed before putting the cutting into the compost. Brian provided all the equipment and compost we needed. Next month we will see how well our cuttings have rooted.

  • Society member Celia Scottow has an exhibition of her Botanical Art at the Canalside Heritage Centre, Beeston. The exhibition is on now and until the 1st May.
  • Information on our new course is on the web site. ‘Steps through Botanical Art’ replaces the ‘Aspects’ course. The course will run from Spring to Autumn and will begin in 2020 from March until October.
  • Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition – ‘Plantae’ at Mall Galleries from 5th – 9th June 2019
  • RHS Botanical Art and Photography – Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th July 2019