Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Other prizewinners at the SBA Annual Exhibition 2013

Every year the Society of Botanical Artists awards Certificates of Botanical Merit to those whose work is judged outstanding in terms of strict botanical illustration.  Other artists are highly commended for their artwork with respect to the Joyce Cuming Award

Certificate of Botanical Merit

The eight artists who this year were awarded Certificates of Botanical Merit are listed below.  There are links in the names of artists who have websites or a page about them on the SBA website.  If the artwork is on their website I have also linked to that as well

Karen L Bailey AssocSBA
Agapanthus umbellatus ‘Albus’ Seed head
Gill Cann AssocSBA
Chinese Lanterns
Veltheimia bracteata Forest Lily
Asako Kuwajima SBA
Prunus x yedoensis
Robert McNeill Assoc SBA
Abies koreana ‘Carron’
Sally Pond DipEGS(Dist)

You can see photographs of some of the award-winning work below.  However, I cannot emphasise enough that photographing the work in no way does it justice!  I'm not sure why (very bright lighting?) but for some reason I'm having a lot of problems processing my photographs this year so that the colour is even back to the colours seen in the exhibition.

The only way to appreciate botanical artwork properly is to visit the Annual Exhibition - which is at Central Hall Westminster until Sunday 21st April. (Admission free)

Agapanthus umbellatus ‘Albus’ Seed head
watercolour (£225)
© Karen L Bailey
watercolour and graphite (£1,375)
© Norma Gregory
Norma Gregory is a Fellow of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society. She also won
Norma is a natural history artist who only started doing botanical art in 2006. She won her very first Gold Medal the same year which is some feat! Norma's display was all about roots and root vegetables. I'm always very drawn to those who display the less showy parts of plants and Norma had a really great series of paintings about roots - I absolutely loved the rhubarb (see above)!
Brambles Watercolour © Sally Pond
Watercolour (£500)
© Sally Pond
Sally says this about her painting on her website
This painting illustrates the abstract qualities of a bare, winter, bramble hedge. It shows the fierce strength of the thorns and the subtle colour and arc of the canes, finding a stark beauty in the leafless hegderow.
Abies koreana 'Carron' 
watercolour (£5,500)
© Robert McNeill Assoc SBA

Robert McNeill won a Certificate of Merit for his Abies Koreana 'Carron' in addition to the Suzanne Lucas Memorial Award.

This is his third botanical painting in watercolour.  Apparently the tree - which is a a fir native to the higher mountains of South Korea - grows in his garden in Scotland.  It's a composite of angles which does not look like a composite, however each angle demonstrates the twisted growth pattern of the leaves along each shoot.

Highly Commended for the Joyce Cuming Award

The other Award which attracts name recognition is the Highly Commended status in relation to the Joyce Cuming Award

Julia Blower
Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’
Ripening Date
Ornamental Corn
Shoo-Fly Plant
Greater Reedmace
Akiko Sato
Honeysuckle with male ruby-throated Hummingbird

Here are images of some of the works which were highly commended

Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’ by Julia Blower
Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’
Watercolour (£800)
©  Julia Blower

Phoenix dactylifera - Ripening Dates
watercolour (£450)
©  Shevaun Docherty DipSBA (Dist.), Assoc SBA
The dates back to when Shevaun was living in Egypt - which is when I first got to hear from her two years ago - see Botanical Art under fire (about botanical art while a revolution is going on outside the window).  Since then she has moved back to Ireland, gained her Diploma in Botanical Illustration with Distinction in 2012 and this year has been busy with other botanical artists in Ireland starting the Irish Society of Botanical Artists.

watercolour (£700)
©  Akiko Sato 

Julie Whelan with President Vickie Marsh standing next to her Highly Commended Work
Honeysuckle with male ruby-throated Hummingbird

watercolour (£330)
©  Julie Whelan

Julie has a wonderful take on the Language of Flowers - and the role birds play in pollination which she explains on her blog.

One more blog post will complete this year's review of the Annual Exhibition which continues until Sunday at Westminster Central Hall - opposite Westminster Abbey - until Sunday, 21 April 2013. It's free to enter and is open every day between 11am to 5pm including Sundays.

2013 Exhibition Links:

Makingamark's Botanical Art Resources


  1. Thank you for the lovely write up Katherine :)

  2. Great post Katherine! Lovely to see all the beautiful work - thanks for sharing these with everyone! Lovely to get an verall glimpse into the work in the exhibition!


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