Friday, 20 September 2013

Jenny Phillips Workshop held in Gauteng during September

BAASA Gauteng was recently very privileged to have Jenny Phillips present a five-day workshop to its members. Jenny is recognised as one of the world's premier botanical artists and is the founding director of the Botanical Art School of Melbourne.

She has focused her drawing, watercolour skills and love of gardening on botanical art since 1971 and, in doing so, has developed her skill and knowledge to a remarkable level. Her ability to capture the essence, beauty and life of a plant, without compromising on botanical details, makes her work extremely collectable.

Jenny has been teaching Master Classes around the world since 1996 and is the recipient of the Celia Rosser Award - 2009 Botanicasia Exhibition in Melbourne, a Gold Medallist from The Australian National Print Awards 1998 and received The Royal Horticultural Society London Gold Award in 1993.

Ann Harris wrote about her experience of the workshop:

Jenny’s leaf Workshop started smoothly with her asking us to do the Pelargonium leaf in a new method, which in retrospect allowed her to assess our skills.

Thereafter she introduced us to a new method of applying paint that had us all hyperventilating.

We had to observe the leaf, wet thoroughly, and dive in with globs of premixed paint, re-arranging the paint whilst it was still wet.

This skill was adjusted and fine-tuned over the next five days on different leaves, without giving us time to wallow in any perceived non-achievement.
On day three, during a particularly testing time, where many had to be reminded to keep breathing, Jenny told us of an article that she had read on how chocolate stimulates ones creativity. A quick passing of the hat bought enough organic chocolate to set up a permanent chocolate bar at the end of the table that lasted for the remainder of the course.

We all loved the course and I have come away with an arsenal of new skills to incorporate into future paintings and which will cut my painting time by at least half.

Photos: Ann Harris, Ingrid Howes.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Congratulations to the Kirstenbosch Biennale 2013 Award and Medal Winners!

Congratulations to all the medal winners announced at the opening of the Kirstenbosch Biennale on Thursday evening.

Congratulations also to Fay Anderson who was awarded the Kirstenbosch Biennale Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the tremendous contribution she has made to South African botany and bringing awareness to our unique flora over the last 50 years. Quite an inspiration! Fay is also an Honorary Life Member of BAASA.

The medal winners are:
GOLD - Margaret de Villiers, Lynda de Wet, Wilna Eloff, Jenny Hyde-Johnston, Janet Snyman.
SILVER - Gillian Condy, Carol Reddick, Daleen Roodt.
BRONZE - Julie Ah-Fa, Kath Baker, Karen Comins, Alice Dean, Leigh-Ann Gale, Solly Gutman, Elbe Joubert, Willie Schlechter, Lisa Strachan.

Judging criteria:
The panel of judges considered work in all two-dimensional media, including watercolour, gouache, oil, acrylic, tempera, collage, original graphic works in pen, pencil, etching, engraving, linocuts, silkscreen and woodcut.
All four artworks submitted were considered as a whole, not just the “best” of the group. The works, however, needed to demonstrate a high level of competence in:
  • Botanical accuracy
  • Composition
  • Painting, drafting, technical execution
  • Creating an exhibit that has unity and aesthetic appeal (framing is important here)
  • Making a unique contribution to botanical art.
The catalogue can be downloaded from here, but please note that it is a 3.8Mb file.

The theme for the next Kirstenbosch Biennale in 2015 was announced and is 'Trees of Africa and Neighbouring Islands', so start painting now!