Yvonne is inspired first and foremost by the play of light on flowers, fruit and vegetables. Her startlingly realistic and accurate paintings of plants are bathed in glowing colour and arranged carefully to show the finer points of the subject. This is what gives her work its wall-appeal.
She paints in watercolour on heavy paper and on vellum and sometimes applies as many as a dozen layers of fine, translucent pigment to achieve the vibrant colours of the plant world. She specialises in tulips and has painted (and in most cases grown) 50 different varieties.
She studied botanical art at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London in 1995 and was awarded a distinction. She has since been awarded two Gold Medals by the Royal Horticultural Society – each for a set of eight paintings of tulips and their bulbs (1999 and 2000). She, too, enjoys teaching botanical art skills. She offers occasional residential courses at Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire (www.knustonhall.org.uk) and is a tutor on the SBA’s distance learning diploma course. She has been teaching for this course since it first started and finds it a very rewarding challenge.
She has had solo exhibitions in London and has taken part in exhibitions at the Department of Plant Sciences Oxford University, Tokyo, Australia, Frankfurt, Munich, New York, Cambridge and Singapore. Her work has been exhibited and acquired for their collection by the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.
Her paintings are also in the world-famous, prestigious private collection of Dr. Shirley Sherwood, the leading international authority on botanical art. Yvonne is featured in Dr. Sherwood’s book A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks (Cassell 2001). She also has work in Flower Paintings from the Apothecaries Garden by Andrew Brown and The Great Fen produced by Artists for Nature in England (Langford Press). Her paintings of tulips were used for the front and back covers of Margaret Stevens’ Handbook of Plant Forms (Batsford).
Four of Yvonne’s paintings were accepted for the Highgrove Florilegium for the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
All her paintings and drawings are done from life and she aims not only for botanical accuracy but also to capture the characteristics and beauty of a plant.