Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Artist of the Month - Sandie Burrows

Introducing our "Artist of the Month" for March:
Sandie Burrows

Q and A with Gauteng “Artist of the Month” – March:  Sandie Burrows       
1. Please tell us about the project you are currently busy with.

I never just work on one project at a time; I find it more stimulating to juggle a few jobs at once.So at the moment I am:

a.  illustrating, writing a section and typesetting our Mozambique tree book

b.  illustrating the Flora of the Witwatersrand for the University of the Witwatersrand

c.  illustrating 25 indigenous trees for ‘Hidden Histories in Tree Names’ by Rob Wood

d. illustrating for an updated new Fern book

e.  illustrating a Portuguese scientific dictionary for Maputo University

f.  working up 8 Strophanthus plates for a Royal Horticultural Show in 2013

g.  illustrating our own book ‘Drift-seeds of south-east Africa

h.  describing and illustrating my own work on Asparagus
i.  illustrating Barlerias for a future book with Willem Froneman

I also do all our scientific illustrations, and illustrate for other botanists when required.

2. What is your art background? Where did you receive training?

I have had no training - I have only attended a 2-week illustrating course at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London in 2000.

3. What is your aim for 2011 and beyond?

My aim for 2011 is to finish 3 of the Strophanthus plates for Royal Horticultural Show which I am busy working on, and the various other commissioned works.

… and beyond – to do more work on my Asparagus revision, complete the other 5 Strophanthus plates, and whatever gets tossed my way.

4. Do you have a favourite subject that you particularly love to paint?

I love illustrating seeds and seedpods in coloured pencils, and have been working on 4 very large poster-like works – which will be finished one day!

5. Is there a particular plant that you would love to paint but haven’t had the opportunity yet?

 I love the very colourful and exotic Heliconias, and have done a few pencil illustrations, which I will work up in colour one day.

6. What is your most dreaded job, or aspect of being a botanical artist?

I dread pricing my work, and quoting for a job.

7. What are your favourite brands of paint, brushes and paper etc?

My favourite coloured pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos, with Fabriana Classico 5 for paper and my favourite pen for illustrating is Rotring Rapidograph 0.13 … and Canson Bristol Graphic paper.

8. Do you have a particular artist/or artist’s whose work you particularly admire and receive inspiration from?

Anna Knights (England) – for the fantastic use of light in her watercolour paintings

Janie Pirie (England) – for her realistic work in coloured pencil

9. What is your favourite botanical art book at the moment?



Draw whenever you have the opportunity, and draw any plant that takes your fancy – you might just use it one day, ……… and it is good practice! 

11.  Anything else you would like to tell the reader?

Join a group or Society and try to get to know the plants in your area, attend a general botany course to understand the basics of plant anatomy. Plan ahead, even if it takes years, to collate a body of work for an exhibition.

Didimosalpina callianthus -  Bothalia 2010
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Oxyanthus biflorus - Bothalia 2010
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Impatiens salpinx  - watercolour and coloured pencil 
Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Vol. 23
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Erythrina acanthacarpa - coloured pencils,  private commission
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