About Christine and her Botanical Art


Christine is a keen plantswoman with an abiding interest in botanical art, which was sparked by the sight of a print of Albrecht Durer’s ‘Tall Grass’ when she was 14 years old.

 

The artist at work...

 

Despite always having had art in her blood, it was only thanks to a birthday present of a two-day botanical art drawing course in 2006 that she discovered she could paint plants as well as grow them.

Since then Christine has completed a 2-year Diploma course in botanical illustration from the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, graduating with Credit in February 2009.

In May 2010 she exhibited with the RHS for the first time at Malvern and was awarded a Gold Medal for eight paintings of New Trees, illustrating plants from the book of the same name by John Grimshaw and Ross Bayton.

In October 2009 she was invited to become a member of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society. Started in the 1980's, this group of internationally famous award winning artists is engaged in illustrating all the plants that grow in Chelsea Physic Gardens in order to create a permanent record of botanical accuracy and artistic merit.

Christine is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and was invited to exhibit a painting at their annual show in New York in Autumn 2011 - one of only 39 artists worldwide so honoured. Her painting of a Eucalyptus was singled out for an Honourable Mention and the painting was also used on the front of the invitation.

More recently Christine was invited to exhibit at the world-famous Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh in Autumn 2013.

She has also contributed three paintings to the Transylvania Florilegium presently being created under the aegis of HRH the Prince of Wales' School of Traditional Arts.

 

Papaver somniferum, painted for the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society and presented in December 2010

 

Fortunately Christine is never short of subject material, living as she does in a cottage hidden away in a wooded valley near Bath in South Gloucestershire. She loves to paint the plants that grow around her home, and has amassed a collection of rare trees from around the world, including about 200 species of oak. Her current ambition is to try to paint as many of them as possible.

 

Juglans regia 'Sarmis' - a private commission

 

Christine prefers to work in watercolour on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed paper, with the occasional addition of graphite details for specific elements of the subject. Recently she has begun experimenting with watercolour on vellum and likes the level of detail she an achieve on this surface. She says: "Nowadays I tend to use a lot of close-up photography to help me study the salient parts of my specimen. I usually start by making quick sketches of the plant, adding accurate measurements and then photographing things like the way the leaves attach to the stem, how the petals fall, and with my new digital camera I can also capture important diagnostic elements like whether the leaves are hairy, how many stamens there are, that kind of thing.
 

"When I feel I've 'got' the plant down on paper I'll make some quick colour notes with my little travelling paint box, and then back in the studio I'll make a finished drawing on tracing paper - sometimes drawing extra stems, buds or leaves on additional pieces of trace - all of which I can then transfer onto my paper.

"Once I'm happy with the composition I'll start in with a very weak colour wash to sketch in the basic shapes and indicate where the shadows fall. Then I'll add more detail with a large wet brush and more colour and let that dry thoroughly before going back in with my current favourite brush, an Isabey No. 6 sable brush for the fine detail."
 

 



Qualifications:

Dip EGS with Credit; English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden, London SW3

 

Exhibitions:

Amicus Botanicus, London, May 2014

Westonbirt National Arboretum, Gloucestershire, April 2013

American Society of Botanical Art, New York, Fall 2012

Amicus Botanicus, London, May 2012

Solo Exhibition, Tetbury Gloucestershire, November 2011

ASBA, New York, Fall 2011

BSBA Summer Exhibition, 2011

BSBA Summer Exhibition, 2010

Royal Horticultural Society Spring Show, Malvern 2010 - Gold Medal

BSBA Summer Exhibition 2009

Bath Society of Botanical Artists, Spring 2009

Bath Society of Botanical Artists Summer Exhibition 2008