The end of the beginning

Welcome to my blog!

I was delighted to graduate from the Society of Botanical Artists DLDC with a distinction in April 2016.

I’m having a hard time dealing with this success to be honest. I did very poorly in art at secondary school (way back in the early 1980s). I always felt I could draw well but my school was more of an endurance test than an educational establishment. One of my art teachers at that time is now a very successful Lake District artist and I admit to being scared to join our local art society in Lancaster as he often does demonstrations there and I worry he might recognise me and have a PTSD-type flashback and start throwing things.

I no longer look like the pictures of me on here. Now I have a qualification in art I need to look the part; this means either growing a beard or going the Grayson Perry route and wearing a dress. It is up to you to find out which option I chose.

Anyway, now I have no more course deadlines I am determined to keep working as I want to maintain and improve on the level of skill I gained during the course. This blog aims to keep me on track.

As a long term aim I hope to produce enough work to exhibit at the SBA annual exhibition with a view toward eventual membership. Given my time constraints (owing to the day job and maintaining my own large plant collection) it was taking me a full 8 weeks to produce each piece for the course. Realistically this means I can produce no more than six pieces in a year.

It is very liberating not to have to follow an assignment brief! I’ve a couple of ideas from friends in the back of my mind, plus lots of my own. In order to keep me drawing after graduation my wife suggested I should start with our Christmas card for 2016. The ‘brief’ was simply that it should feature a Hellebore and she bought a plant of Helleborus argutifolius for me to use as a model. This is a bit amazing – I relish drawing this despite my once suffering from a fear of tackling green subjects (a bit unfortunate in a botanical artist, I know). Helleborus argutifolius is entirely green or greenish*.

My highest marked diploma piece for the SBA course was also entirely green. Maybe I’m just a masochist.


*Greenish – a technical term we botanical artists like to use…..



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