The majority of botanical artists find that a camera is an essential part of their equipment. Most flowers fade quickly and it is often helpful to photograph the specimen for future reference simply because one cannot paint quickly enough! Apart from the shape, a record of the light direction is useful. Photographic colour cannot be relied on so one always makes colour notes, as accurately as possible, right at the start of your work.
For an artist wishing to earn money from their skill, other than selling the occasional original painting, it will be necessary to work commercially and this involves compromise, which should not involve lowering one's artistic standards. These days no publisher is going to allow the artist the luxury of weeks, months, or even years to illustrate a book, so there is no question of waiting for the required plant to bloom, Photographic libraries can be the answer but hire of slides is expensive so most artists working in the field endeavour to build up their own reference collection- always recording leaves as well as blooms.
I am working from photographs at the moment; i took great avantage of my recent trip to France in June. I had so much subject matter to choose from, however whilst sitting in my friends garden; this amazing creature caught my eye...The hummingbird moth; distribution in Southern Europe, migrating every summer northwoods into central Europe and very rarely to Britain, sometimes to Southern Scandinavia, in mountains as far as the limit of vegetation, usually on shrubby slopes, clearings and edges of woods, heaths and gardens. Flies by day, with a nimble hovering flight from flower to flower, feeds on the nectar whilst hovering like a humming bird. The one i was photographing was feeding off a Jasmine officinalis.
- Julie WhelanSBA Botanical Artist
- Enfield, London, United Kingdom
- I'm a botanical artist living in Enfield. graduated in April 2012 with credit from The Society Of Botanical Artists. All images and artwork copyright © Julie Whelan 2016 Exhibitions: Dugdale Centre Enfield Town – August 2012. Capel Manor Enfield – September 2012. Society Of Botanical Artists -highly commended for the Joyce cuming presentation award – April 2013. Botanical Art in Bloom, Phoenix Park, Dublin Ireland – May/June 2013. Botanical Art Expo, Claregalway Castle Ireland July/September 2013. April 2014: Society of Botanical Artists. June-November 2014: Royal Brompton and Harefield hospital Arts-Harefield hospital. November-January 2014:Royal Brompton and Harefield Arts-Royal Brompton Hospital. December 2014-February 2015:Staff and patient exhibition at the Royal Brompton Hospital- Proffessor David Rayson-Head awarded 3rd prize February 2015- Awarded associate membership at The Society of Botanical Artists. April 2015-Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition. July 2015-work accepted by the RHS February 2016-Society of Botanical Artists awarded full membership April 2016- Society of Botanical Artists-Awarded Margaret Granger Memorial Silver Bowl