Autumn newsletter 2017

Autumn has well and truly embedded as I write this from my studio.  We have been rewarded with beautiful clear skies on some days, the morning frosts are beginning to bite, and the late and lovely snatches of Indian summer we've had are definitely over.

The trees have been stunning this year, their colours reflected richly in some gorgeous soft, sunny days.

It is pleasant to welcome autumn fruits, misty mornings, and a change in nature's pace after the frenetic days of summer. 

If I've prepared my sketches and colour mixes well while the plant subjects are still alive, the darker months provide the opportunity to continue on the various projects lined up for the easel, with the help of a good lamp. 

I hope you enjoy the contents of my autumn newsletter, with updates on events and exhibitions, and some lovely garden visits.  Perhaps you can curl up with a warm drink in your slippers... Or if you're in the southern hemisphere, a cool drink and a spot of shade in the garden will no doubt be more in order.

with best wishes,


Wiltshire, November 2017

Exhibitions & events

Postcards from Life

St Michael's Hospice, Hereford

Auction 10-12 November and earlier online

As foreshadowed in the summer newsletter, I painted a small, postcard-sized piece for the Postcards from Life exhibition to raise money for St Michael's Hospice, Hereford.  

I have always wanted to paint the delicious and beautiful fruit of the blackberry, with its variety of colours and different levels of development on one branch.  

I have one in the garden, and it's such a treat to eat from the canes directly, though one always pays a price in thorns.  

I very much wanted to paint a jewel-like small piece, bijou in character, which would appeal to bidders.  

There were 600 visitors to the exhibition at the Bisihop's Palace, Hereford, and 1200 bids.  The auction raised over £12 000.  I was very happy to learn that my painting sold for the highest amount at the auction - terrific for St Michael's.  

Society of Botanical Artists' 2017 exhibition

Central Hall Westminster

From 13 to 21 October 2017, the halls of Central Hall in Storey's Gate, Westminster, in the middle of London, were transformed into a botanical art extravaganza.  With hundreds of paintings representing thousands of hours of work, and some extraordinary efforts by a volunteer army of SBA Committee Members and helpers, the exhibition attracted the usual strong numbers of botanical art enthusiasts from the UK and around the world.  

I had several paintings in the exhibition, and have been accepted as an associate member of the SBA following my entry.  

Address to the Australian Women's Club

Australian High Commission, November 2017

I addressed the Australian Women's Club about my transition towards botanical painting, and how it all began.  I very much enjoyed travelling virtually through this phase again, this time with a delightful audience.  

It's been a few years since I discovered the wonderful modern botanical painting at the Chelsea Flower Show (2009) and set a course to learn how to draw plants and use watercolours.  I quickly became hooked...

I spoke a little about my technique and the history of botanical painting.  Perhaps next time a demonstration!  I was rewarded with a lovely bunch of flowers. Thank you to the Club for extending the invitation. 

American Society of Botanical Artists

20th International Exhibition

As you read this, my quince study is hanging at the New York Design Centre in the 20th annual Exhibition of the American Society of Botanical Artists.  

This is a juried exhibition, and I am one of 49 artists chosen to exhibit a work. (And when I last looked, my quinces were on the NYDC home page advertising the exhibition!)

The exhibition runs from 9 November to 21 December 2017. 

From the NYDC website:

The 20th Annual International exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists showcases some of the most notable contemporary botanical artwork from emerging and well-known artists around the world. 
The jury team of jurors Susan Fraser, Director, Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden; David Horak, Curator of the Aquatic House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Esther Klahne, Botanical Artist, met in May at The New York Botanical Garden to select forty-six works from a highly competitive field of over 200 submissions. 
We are happy to announce included artists are from the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Slovenia, and the UK, and selected artworks feature flowers, fruits, trees, and edibles from all seasons.
A catalog will be published and available for purchase. The exhibition will be on view at the 1stdibs Gallery November 9 – December 21, 2017.

The Tradescant Exhibition concludes

London Garden Museum Summer 2017

I was very thrilled to be a part of The London Garden Museum's Tradescant Exhibition from May to October this year.  The exhibition was extended for a few weeks into October.   

This botanical art exhibition marked the re-opening of the Museum, and focused on the work of the John Tradescants, the great father and son plant collectors, who are buried at the Museum.  

Fifty paintings by modern botanical artists were on display, including one of mine, "Pomegranates on a Branch". 

For more about the pomegranates painting, click here.  

The painting itself is now hanging on the wall of a private collector in Sydney.