"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Work in progress ...

Such a tasty subject ...

I'm currently working on the Fruit Assignment for the SBA Distance Course.  I'm not so keen on fruit paintings so the opportunity to portray the story  from flower to early stages and finally the fruit was more appealing to me from a compositional point of view... even before I commenced the assignment I knew what I wanted to be my subject - Physalis peruviana - the Cape Gooseberry.

Physalis peruviana

One of the reasons for choosing this subject is that the plant grows rampantly on our property - I would finally have more than enough study material - whereas many of the other assignments fall on opposite seasons - here was a chance to really get to know the subject in situ.

I'm sure many botanical artists are familiar with their art rooms being littered with  samples of plants, fruits, flowers etc!  During this assignment I have 'auditioned' so many branches, fruits, calyx subjects - the art table is looking pretty shabby now.
When the fruit starts to dry out or gather mould it's time to clean up and bring in fresh supplies ....

Rejects from the audition process ...

Lead roles ....

I am really enjoying this assignment - perhaps because the madness of Christmas and New Year are well behind me .... and I have a whole shiny new year ahead to take a different perspective.

First washes

The washes have been going on nicely... 
The subject has been behaving itself ... not dying too quickly on me ...


So far all's well - so nice to have something fall into place and unfold in front of you.  These fruits are delicious - sweet yet tart - my mouth waters just describing them.  It is the shabbiest of plants but when you look really closely - it has an incredibly complex and beautiful life cycle.
That's why I love botanical art - it makes you look beyond the exterior package and get to know a plant intimately ... sigh ... back to painting!!!


  1. Wonderful!See how you are doing great!!

    Love the winner of the ''audition...''!!
    Can't wait to see the final..


  2. Looks like you are aiming for top marks again :)

  3. Oh I do like this one. Such a great choice for the fruity one, I did Persimmons but didn't think to add leaves. Good luck with the opening night!

  4. Beautiful work already on those leaves.

  5. Gorgeous work Vicki;I love how they are auditioned!! :)

  6. Marvellous subject !! and I like your start. A very good choice. No doubts about the result ..........stumming !!!! ciao

  7. Hi Manon, Alena, Jarnie, Bella, Claire and Renata - so nice of you to send such lovely comments - I do love this subject, just hope I don't overdo it ... am trying to show some restraint!

  8. Wonderful subject Vicki - gorgeous detailing. I'm sure it will be beautiful when complete :)

  9. Thanks so much Hedera - happy to complete it!

  10. So excited to find this blog which has led me to others. Feel like I'm home at last. Very interested in the topic of photographing/scanning artwork as I have had little success in true representation of my work. Also what is that fascinating contraption you are using to hold specimen and where could I access. Your work is beautiful. I have been on the verge of applying to do SBA Distance but am too scared! I haven't yet worked out how to upload photos! duh!

  11. Hi Leda - welcome ... I am still playing with settings on photos etc... but for now take the best possible pic in daylight without direct sunlight ... connect camera to the computer with usb and download pics into a file ... then you can decide what you want to do/show/publish the pics of your artwork.
    I use either Picasa or Photoshop Elements but if you take a well lit pic that's enough to start with - and I enjoy seeing pics of artwork in their work environment for perspective.
    I think you should apply to the SBA Distance Course - what can you lose? You can gain an awful lot.
    The contraption is called a 'third hand' (we all need one of those) and you can find it here
    Thank you for your nice comments!