Thursday, 18 July 2013

14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration

For those of you lucky enough to be in the USA between 27 September and 19 December 2013, you may want to visit this.

14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration

by ArtPlantae Today
Heath-leaved Banksia, Banksia ericifolia L.f. [Banksia ericifolia Linnaeus filius, Proteaceae], watercolor on paper by Julie Dagmar Nettleton (Australia), 2012, 38.5 x 57 cm, HI Art accession no. 8038, ©2012 Julie Dagmar Nettleton, All Rights Reserved.

14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA Sept. 27 - Dec. 19, 2013 Every three years the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation presents an exhibition of botanical art celebrating the work of contemporary botanical artists. This year forty-one artists from ten countries will take […]

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Welwitschia Show celebrates new publication and the "king of the desert"


As Kirstenbosch moves through its Centenary year one of the events set to be of huge interest is the "Welwitschia Show " which will be held in the Conservatory and the Old Mutual Conference Centre at Kirstenbosch from 19 to 21 July.

Known as the "king of the desert" the Welwitschia is an unusual plant and is uniquely African. It occurs only in Namibia and Angola and is also botanically unique in its physical structure and functionality - so much so that it is the only species within the genus 'Welwitschia' and again the only genus in the family Welwitschiaceae. This, the oldest plant in Africa and the national plant of Namibia was the reason for Professor Harold Pearson to come to South Africa; it was he who laid the foundation for the spectacular garden, Kirstenbosch, and it is his vision of this garden that we enjoy today.

In celebration of this a corner of the Conservatory has now been dedicated to this unusual plant and will be officially opened on the 19 July - another living reminder of the first Director of Kirstenbosch.
In addition a beautifully illustrated book, 'Uncrowned Monarch of the Namib - Welwitschia mirabilis' will be officially launched. This monograph on this unique African plant will be a delight for the book connoisseur, professional and amateur botanist alike, gardener and traveller.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Critique Session Feedback: BAASA Gauteng June 2013

Sally Townshend, Eileen Bass, Gill Condy, Helene Joubert (hidden), Fiona Manicom, Julie Ah-Fa and Sue Cochrane (lt to rt) in roundtable discussion. Photo: Ronelle Oosthuizen

A wonderful opportunity was made available on 08 June for Gauteng members to take their work for a feedback session before submitting their scans to Kirstenbosch for the Biennale. Work varied from unfinished paintings to miniature drawings to completed works and it was good to see the diversity. Gill Condy, our chairman and resident artist at SANBI, was at hand to offer advice with any problems. Everyone was encouraged to give critique in this non-threatening forum and some new and refreshing comments were offered. It was a useful session for everyone concerned - even Gill had it pointed out to her that she had an unfinished leaf on one of her Kirstenbosch submissions.

However, this meeting was not only for artists who were painting for Kirstenbosch, but for any artist who had work in progress and wanted feedback, as well as those who didn't have a painting at all, but wanted to participate and see other people's work. It was also an ideal opportunity for those who are not lucky enough to be able to attend the Biennale to get to see some Biennale paintings close up.

Photo: Ronelle Oosthuizen
Do remember that any of our meetings and workshops can be used to bring along any work you are busy with if you wish to get help and advice from fellow artists - it is always good to have a fresh view from someone else when one has been very close to a project for a while. Other people often see things we overlook or don't notice and can give some really helpful feedback.

Thank you to Sue Cochrane for once again opening up her home and offering the use of her dining room table, as well as to those members who participated in the forum.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Dali Watercolors: 14 Rare Botanical Artworks Sell For Over $1 Million

Thanks to a recent discovery of 14 previously unseen botanical watercolors painted in the 1960s, we are able to see a whole new side to the Surrealist master, Salvador Dali.

The rare artworks hit the bidding block at Bonhams in London this week where the bizarre watercolors -- playful appropriations of traditional lithograph studies -- fetched a total of £726,700, or a little over $1.1 million. Titles like "Hasty Plum" and "Penitent Peach" present some of the world's most expensive, slightly erotic depictions of fruit in the history of art.

dali botanical art
The works, estimated to sell for between £40,000-70,000 ($62,000-108,000) each, attracted a bevy of international admirers who competed for the lots via phone, internet and on-site bidding wars, according to Art Daily.

Originally commissioned in 1969 by German publisher Jean-Paul Schneider, this was the first time the watercolors were available to the public since 2001, when the botanical studies briefly went on view at the Galerie Orangerie-Reinz in Cologne, Germany. The pieces had previously been in Schneider's private collection until the sale at Bonhams this week, when "a private European collector saw them there and fell in love," Bonhams' Department Director of Impressionist and Modern Art, William O'Reilly, told The Huffington Post in an e-mail.

Scroll through Dali's takes on 19th century scientific illustrations at The Huffington Post.