This exhibition always celebrates plantlife in a variety of media and mixed botanical artwork, plus floral paintings and paintings of gardens.
I was really impressed with how a closely hung exhibition could look so good. (I'm going to use photos I took in my forthcoming posts about hanging exhibitions!)
I gather compliments on the hang should be paid in the direction of Susan Christopher-Coulson, Christina Hart-Davis and Rachel Munn. The walls and boards in the 'botanical' room looked excellent and I think the quality of the work has increased this year. It was certainly the best looking exhibition I've attended in terms of the botanical artwork.
My other comment before we start with my photos is that I'd never realised before quite how many visitors a Wildlife Reserve gets. I've only ever attended before on the Friday evening Private View. This (Sunday) afternoon, we were very nearly shunted into the overflow car park! The exhibition was also really very busy with lots of visitors.
For those wanting to exhibit botanical or wildlife art, I suggest you go and take a very close look at the facilities offered by your local Wildlife Reserve!
60 artists were exhibiting 342 paintings and prints - including a section for miniatures. Judging by the red dot chart on the wall, sales have been brisk in terms of originals, prints and cards.
This exhibition is by invitation only. There is a regular turnover of artists each year. The new artists for 2013 are: David Bowyer, Margaret Eggleton, Sandra Fernandez, Janina French, Amber Halsall, Anna Mason, Sandrine Maugy and Maureen Russ.
First I'm going to show you the colour sequences of work on display. The images are bigger than usual - but you'll have to click them to see them at the larger size.
|The Orange Scarlet Board
|The Violet Board
|The Purple Board
(Top row) three works by Susan Christopher Coulson VPSBA
(bottom centre) two works by Alister Mathews
|The Pink Board
|The Green Board
includes works by Christina Hart Davies, Helen Hanson, Sarah Ashwell
|The Yellow Wall
(right) two works by Sandra Wall Armitage PSBA
|a section of the Monochrome Wall
includes (top) two pen and ink drawings by Rachel Munn
(Bottom right) two splendid pencil drawings of decaying oak leaves by Carolyn Worby
I should add that there is another room which contains the more floral and painterly works - but my first love is the botanical art so this is where I tend to focus!
A special mention for Marianne Cox who won the Elizabeth Smail Memorial Award for Colour and Composition - and my apologies to Marianne, because having admired her painting I forgot to take a photo! It's a wonderfully bright and painterly work in watercolour and neo-colour.
Others who need a mention are
- Rachel Munn - whose work in pen and ink and coloured pencil had me drooling. Excellent observation, draughtsmanship and really fine penmanship. It's a technique I've used in the past and I'm much minded to pursue it again - although I doubt if I'd ever match Rachel's skills in drawing!
- Susan Christopher Coulson - who has worked out yet another format for creating a dense pattern of flowers - I love the new square formats.
|Parrot Tulips and Wallflowers by Susan Christopher Coulson
- Wendy Cranston - whose graphic work I seem to single out every year. However this year I was much impressed with the controlled colour palettes used
- Jackie Gethin's Hellebore Celebration - which I took a photo of but unfortunately it has picked up a reflection which ruins the effect
- Maureen Russ's painting of Hellebore and Begonia which fairly bounced off the wall in my direction. I gather the intensity of colour comes at least in part from the use of acrylic inks. I've not used acrylic inks before but her painting made me want to try them.
|Hellebore and Begonia by Maureen Russ
The exhibition continues at the Kent Wildlife Trust's Sevenoaks Reserve, in Bradbourne Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3DH until Saturday 14th September. It's open 10am - 5pm everyday and entrance is free.