Friday, February 23, 2007

RHS Gold Medal Botanical Art

Last week I again visited the RHS London Flower Show. This one was themed around "The Romantic Garden" and the stands were wonderful - full of spring flowering plants and bushes. As well as the floral exhibits, there was a competition of botanical art which attracted exhibitors from all over the world including Australia, Japan, France and the USA.

The winners of gold medals for botanical art were:
  • Yvonne Marie Arnsdorf (UK): Watercolour & colour pencil 'botanical elegance'
  • Lara Call Gastinger (USA): Ten walks in Virginia
  • Keiko Sasaki: Watercolour rubus
I was lucky enough to be there just before two of the ladies winning gold medals were about to start packing up their collections - and you can see photos of a sample of their work below. I think it's maybe interesting for people interested in botanical art to see just how big some of these pieces are. This sort of size was fairly typical as well of the artists winning medals for their quality of their botanical art.

a sample of "Botanical Elegance" (watercolour and coloured pencil)
Yvonne Marie Arnsdorf - winner of an Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal
Drawings copyright Yvonne Marie Arnsdorf
Photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell

"Ten Walks in Virginia"
a sample of drawings from Lara Call Gastinger's RHS Gold Medal winning collection
Drawings copyright Lara Call Gastinger
Photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I covered the January Show in this post, in which I confessed to forgetting to make a note of the names of the gold medal winners and I'm pleased to redress that now. They were
  • Beverly Allen (Australia): Watercolour epiphyllum species & hybrids
  • Brigitte Daniel SBA: Watercolour show auriculas
  • Margaret Walty: Paeonia Gansu Group in acrylics. These were absolutely stunning in person and I note that Margaret has now got prints of them on her site - check them out.
Sylvia Sutton also won a Silver-Gilt Grenfell for her "Plants from the allotment" series in pencil and coloured pencil - which was delightful. I was particularly interested given the use of coloured pencil - it really does seem to be an excellent medium for botanical art. Sylvia is a Gloucestershire based botanical illustrator who has been awarded gold and silver-gilt medals from the RHS for her work. She has taken part in exhibitions held at Nature in Art and is delivering a course for them next month.

Yvonne Marie Arnsdorf does not yet have a website - but very much needs one as her drawings are wonderful. I hope she gets one soon so that more people can see her wonderful drawings. She told me that the anemone on the left was done really quickly - it only took two weeks!

Lara Call Gastinger is an artist and botanical illustrator from Charlottesville, Virginia. She is already a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Currently, she is the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project. Her series on 10 walks in Virginia was absolutely fascinating for the range of botanical material she drew and the way in which it was composed within the picture plane. All material was dated as to the day and place (county) it was collected. All in all the series is extremely pleasing. I can think of a few Virginia residents who might like to take a closer look!

The next RHS London Flower Show is on 13-14th March and will focus on Mediterranean Plants.

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1 comment:

  1. How lovely! I do enjoy botanical art and envy those capable of rendering plants that actually look as they should. I must force myself to draw a flower and try not to butcher it...


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