This week was spent, mostly, not in the studio. On Wednesday I had a day trip to the Lindley Library at the RHS in London. Our group, The Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators (IAPI) were given a tour of some of the wonderful treasures held there. Seeing the original paintings done by life-long heroes such as Ehret, Stella Ross-Craig, and the Bauer brothers was breath taking. We had hand lenses out, peering at the gouache of Snelling’s peonies
and gasped at the softness of the fruit painted by Hooker.
We also looked at a wonderful overview of botanical books and publications, which doubled as a whistle-stop tour of engraving and lithographic techniques through time. My favourite was an enormous volume with details of every possible part and species of palm; cross-sections through flowers and stem, distribution, microscopic observations of the wood… Extraordinary.
Back at the studio, I managed to get the common lizard done in, along with his field of quaking grass, common spotted orchid, and dropwort.
Although I’m happy with the illustration, it has to be said that examining my own work after such recent exposure to the luminaries at the RHS was harsh. I remember a similar feeling many years ago after a Durer exhibition.
I did more marketing, and as a result I now will have two of my paintings appear in a feature called “Botanicals” which is due to run in the March 2013 issue of Woman and Home. Life can be quite peculiar sometimes.