The journey that led me to Botanical Art began in July 2005 the day I met Ann Swan at Art in Action in Oxford. I was completely bowled over with what could be achieved in coloured pencil and how paintings and drawings of flowers/plants/fruit and vegetables could be beautiful pieces of art.
My life changed completely from that day onward. Up to this point I was painting buildings in watercolour mostly, but I always liked the fine detail and the fiddly bits best. I remember as a child being drawn to nature, colour and design and I would sit patiently colouring in, never going over the lines, enjoying the lovely colours of my Lakeland pencils, kept pristinely in their little case. Such happy days.
So to rediscover coloured pencils in my fifties was amazing. A new door was opened to me, a world filled with colour, texture, design, pure beauty: it’s been overwhelming. My time as a window dresser in a prestigious store in Birmingham also helped with my eye for colour and design. Plus many years of knitting and general crafting has given me the patience to pursue Botanical art.
I was like a child again soaking up the beautiful colours of the nature surrounding us, my eyes had been reopened. I haven’t looked back since. I went on many courses and learnt from the very best. Ann Swan, Billy Showell, Marilyn Hughes, Susan Christopher Coulson, Fiona Strickland and Robert McNeill. I can never thank them enough. They nurtured, guided, encouraged and pushed me above and beyond over the years and it paid off as my work has improved way beyond any expectations I ever had back in 2005. I became an Associate member of the SBA in 2018 and went on to become an SBA Fellow in January 2019. I was so thrilled, and I’m so proud to be a part of such an inspirational Society.
I am also a member of the Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists (BSBA), also a lovely inspirational group. I am one of the founder members of the local Coloured Pencil group in Solihull (SCPA), and a member of UK Coloured Pencil Society (UKCPS). I won the Derwent “Highly Commended” prize at the UKCPS Annual exhibition held In Stratford upon Avon with my painting “Japanese Tree Peony”
I have exhibited with the SBA on several occasions in their Annual exhibitions in London. It has been a real honour and I am continually inspired by all the other Fellows in the society. I have also exhibited in my home town of Birmingham at Winterbourne House and surrounding areas of Solihull, Nuneaton, Stratford upon Avon plus the Deans Chapel in Worcester Cathedral with the BSBA and SCPA.
Alongside my good friend Jo Lloyd, we ran regular coloured pencil workshops together for several years, many of our subjects were botanically based and we’ve both very proud to see some of our student’s go on to exhibit at the SBA exhibition at the Mall Gallery in 2019.
I hope my Botanical drawings continue to improve and hopefully inspire others to take up this wonderful form of art