Monday, 19 September 2011

The Di Carmichael Prize

Thanks to Paddy Balsdon for sending in this wonderful piece of news about the "Di Carmichael Prize"

Click on brochure to enlarge!

Read on for more information...
Letter from Di's daughters to Paddy:
"Hi Paddy

 We thought you would want you to see this email that our cousin Helen (lives in England) received from the Course Director of RBGE Diploma in Botanical Illustration at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for an award she and her family are making on September 23 in memory of Diana Carmichael which will be held annually. Helen and her family
decided to do this when Mum passed away rather than sending flowers or making a donation as they wanted Mum's work to live on and make this award in her memory, to know that it is now a reality and just a few short weeks away before a student earns the priviledge of such an award is incredible is wonderful for all of us.

We are so touched and the event happens at a time when we are coming up to the first anniversary of Mum's passing on Oct 2. This will be good to think of and to know that each year a student whose abilties meet the criteria of the award will receive a Diana Carmichael medal!


Carol and Fiona"
Letter from Jacqui Pestell,Course Director RBGE Diploma in Botanical Illustration, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to Helen Rodgers (Di's niece):

"Dear Helen

Leigh Morris the Head of Education, is absolutely delighted about your very generous and kind offer to initiate the prize in honour of your aunt Diana Carmichael.

I took a group of Certificate students into our library a few weeks ago and viewed the Highgrove Florilegium. We were delighted to see the paintings by your aunt in such a beautiful book which will last for ever and give so much pleasure. From what I understand your aunt really seemed to be so passionate about painting/ printmaking, and ways to portray her love of the natural world.

I have spent a lot of time considering what the criteria should be for this prize, and I have come to the conclusion that we should award the prize to a Final year Diploma student who:
‘Shows a great passion of the natural world, with exceptional drawing and painting skills, demonstrating clear enthusiasm for investigating the collection of plants chosen.’
For the second year of the Diploma students are required to focus on a group of plants and make five finished paintings, along with a body of supporting work – drawings, paintings, botany etc. They attend regular tutorials through out this year and are supported in their work by myself and Botanist/ Horticultural staff of the RBGE.

On completion of our course students go on to become artists/ illustrators, tutors and teachers. Some have exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society London RHS, and the Botanical Images Scotia - BISCOT. Some work is held in the collection at the Lindley Library, London. Other students have had work put forward for the Curtis Magazine, Kew and for other botanical publications.
I think it would be a great honour to be awarded this medal in memory of Diana Carmichael.

The RBGE Graduation day is held here on the Friday 23rd September. We will send you the invitation, and the dress code is smart/ casual.
It would be wonderful if you could present the prize.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Kind regards

Jacqui Pestell
Course Director
RBGE Diploma in Botanical Illustration
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh"

Monday, 12 September 2011

American paint demo - feedback and photos

Suellen Perold’s Introduction
to the Daniel Smith Rangeof Paints

by Ann Harris

Suellen, from the USA, has family connections and regularly visits South Africa. Through contact with BAASA, she gave a talk on the Daniel Smith range of paints, which are largely of unknown to us. Suellen, an enthusiastic botanical painter herself, has tried and tested the paints in her work. She introduced us to the colours through colour dots on art paper as well as leaving an extensive palette with more generous squeezes of paints.
Of interest to me was the Quinacridone Rangeof colours, which are particularly transparent and seem to glow with light. After making swatches, I zoned in on two colours, Quinacridone Coral and Quinacridone Pink. The Q. Pink is a good lightfast substitute for W & N fugitive Opera Rose and the Q. Coral caught my attention for its clear, coral tones. I know that I am going to use them on my flowers and specifically roses! I have checked out the Daniel Smith range of colours in MichaelWilcox School of Colour and found that all the colours I looked up had glowing reviews on permanency, application, quality and manufacture.
Helene Joubert looked up their website and found that they offer colour dot sheets of various ranges, priced from £4 to £9 for the full range. This is the way to test colours and beats a printed colour chart hands down! 
Through a friend I have ordered a tube each of Q. Pink and Q. Coral and await their arrival in South Africa with anticipation. It would be nice to find a supplier in South Africa.

Suellen Perold

Demonstrating Daniel Smith watercolours