Monday, April 20, 2015

Society of Botanical Art: Certificates of Botanical Merit 2015

This post includes news about which artists won the coveted Certificate of Botanical Merit from the Society of Botanical Artists in 2015.

My next post will include a review of the SBA's 30th Annual Exhibition.

Sandra Armitage, President of the SBA
providing an introduction to the exhibition and Awards Ceremony

Certificates of Botanical Merit

The Certificates of Botanical Merit are an esteemed award as the standard required is that associated with botanical illustrations for scientific purposes.

Hyacinths (graphite) - £1,600by Guy William Eves SBA, FCPGFS, CBM (2011)

The pencil artwork of Guy William Eves is very fine. On Saturday he demonstrated how he works with a Linen Tester (a tool with considerable magnification) to achieve the very fine detail evident in his work. This particular work demonstrates the growth of the Hyacinth. Flowers do not need to be exotic or esoteric to warrant am award for botanical merit.

For those unable to get to London to see the show you can see more of his work at the Aldeburgh Gallery (14-20 May; and 15-21 October)

Hairy Bittercress by Maria Herkert
Cardamine hirsuta - Hairy Bittercress (coloured pencil)  - ££450
by Maria Herkert
I really liked this one. The plant sits in the centre and its various attributes and dimensions are unpicked around the plant. I have to confess I do like the name too. It goes to show what can be achieved with one plant - even when it's one considered to be a weed by most gardening websites!

Aconitum japonicum var. montanum
(watercolour) £1,800
by Yuriko Kojima SBA, CBM (2013)

A slightly unusual composition - but all the parts are included from roots to blooms to dissected parts. I like the way the flower stem leans just as it would do in a garden.

I'd love to see more of Yuriko's paintings but sadly she has neither a website nor a member's page.

Fruits of Magnolia sprengeri var. diva 'Westonbirt' 
(watercolour and graphite) £1,495
Beth Phillip BSc (Hons) Dip.Ed, SBA, GM, CBM (2008, 2010)
This is such a splendid painting by Beth Phillip! It's definitely one of the stand-out images of the show and it won a prize as well as a CBM. One of the things I really like about is the very controlled use of analogous colours portraying the amazing complexity of the seeds and seed structure.

However one of the other reasons it stands out is the actual magnolia it portrays and the quality of the formation of the seed pods ! It's always worthwhile seeking out of an exceptional specimen if your aim is to produce excellent botanical art!
Known locally as the ‘Diva’, the goddess magnolia tree at Westonbirt is the tallest specimen of its kind in the British Isles and is a champion tree; an accolade awarded by the Tree Register of Britain and Ireland.
Foresty Commission - Westonbirt Arboretum

Clematis vitalba - Old Man's Beard(watercolour) £380
by Sally Pond DipEGS(Dist.), SGM, CBM (2013)
This work was Highly Commended for the Joyce Cuming Presentation Award as well as achieving a CBM.

The design used for this work is delightful. There are no wonderful colours to draw the eye, the painting has to rely entirely on the skills of the artist to design a painting which builds on the typical growth habit of "Old Man's Beard" to produce a painting which is excellent. The use of two stems, rather than one stem, which crossover is critical to the end result. The placement of the "beard" in the sweetspots top left and bottom right is also very helpful to its overall impact.

My only surprise is that this work has not already sold when I took the photograph - it's delightful.

Pinus wallichiana 
(graphite) £400
by Eiko T Takano SBA SGM, CMB (1993, 2000)
This Bhutan Pine is native to the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains,
Pinus wallchiana has tufts of long, blue-green needles. This graphite drawing very much focuses on the structure of the plant and its needles and pine cones rather than on the colour and shows emerging cones as well as fully mature ones.

Wendy Smith's One and a Half cones of a Scots Pine (x4) (pen and ink) £500 is the final work to win a CBM and despite touring the exhibition three times I seem to have missed this one.

More about Certificates of Botanical Merit

You can read more about who's won Certificates of Botanical Merit in the past on my page devoted to botanical art which lists all the posts from previous years devoted to the CBMs.

[Note: 've also updated my previous post with an image of artwork by Carmen Lyons which won The Derwent Award for outstanding pencil art]

and finally...... 

It would appear that there was a mix-up on catalogue numbers and my work which got an Honourable Mention for the new Strathmore Prize for innovative composition is actually Grey, Green and Pink in Yuma (ie not Echevaria Laui) which makes a lot more sense to me in terms of 'composition'!

So here it is - hopefully those cactus spines look a tad 3D!

Grey, Green and Pink in Yuma
(coloured pencil) £350
by Katherine Tyrrell

Next up is the review of the Annual Exhibition itself.

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