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

Eucalyptus macrocarpa watercolour artwork ...

Mottlecah WIP  -   © Vicki Lee Johnston

Time to update the blog with a painting completed for an exhibition - thanks to the challenging year we had in 2020, many botanical art exhibitions have gone online, which is still a lovely way to explore and buy art -  especially for those at great distance from the usual venues.  

I know from my own experience, living so far from the art exhibitions makes it very expensive to participate with hefty shipping costs.  I welcome this new way of sharing art and enabling many more to come in contact with art in all forms.

My choice as a botanical subject for  'The Art of Botancal Illustration' was Eucalyptus macrocarpa - mottlecah.  It came about as I pass this unique small tree almost every day on my walks.   It is a wonderful subject, especially being endemic to Western Australia and I have strong memories of being fascinated with the life cycle in my childhood in the country.   It usually looks a bit scraggly and leggy but when the tree produces pods and burst into flower it is a showstopper.  

Layering the leaves and developing flowers and buds
© Vicki Lee Johnston

 It is quite a tricky colour to capture, a kind of grey blue greenish hue ... different in all lights but I decided to show the transitions of colour to highlight how interesting the leaves are as the light hits them.  The flowers are very fiddly and this is the first time I have used masking fluid in a painting, took a few practice efforts and now I may just be a convert!  It certainly widens the field of subject choice for the future.

The seed pods are powdery silver grey, clutched tightly to the stem of the shrub.  Once the flower is spent it becomes such an interesting subject to observe and illustrate, woody and architectural, full of nooks and crannies and so much character!

Ageing seed pod coming to life 
© Vicki Lee Johnston

Building the depth © Vicki Lee Johnston

Scanned the large artwork and digitally sent to Friends of Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
"The Art of Botanical Illustration"

Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

The Friends of the RBGM is a wonderful organisation and there are many varied activities, support for botanical art and illustration and a wonderful synergy with the natural world.  Sincere thanks to the organisers of this beautiful exhibition, my fellow botanical artists and hoping there will be many more opportunities for art to be viewed around the world in an online platform.

Thank you for joining me again on my blog, it is a visual journal for my art progression and started back at the beginning almost ten years ago.  I hope you find the time to create - it's food for the soul!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely to read you blog again. I remember that is how we all made contact with each other a few years back, when we started our blogs. Wishing you and the family a happy and healthy new year.