Monday, 30 November 2015

Lesotho Botanical trip January 2017

Harry Jans​ is organising a botanical trip to Lesotho from 07 - 27 January 2017 with Jenny Wainwright-Klein as the botanical guide​. A brief description of the trip says:

There are many tours to South Africa, which visit Lesotho just for a few days, but during this trip we will mainly visit Lesotho and will explore it well. Only in the first days will we stay in Witsieshoek to botanize in this plant rich area.

During this trip we will visit places which have not been visited by botanical groups before. One of these places is the Sehlabathebe National Park in the South with spectacular rock formations and a wealth of different and endemic plants.

The main goal during this trip will be to see as many(alpine) plants as possible, but there are also opportunities to see some Lesotho culture and the Katse Botanical Garden.

See ​​​​ for more information​.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Do we underestimate the power of plants and trees?

Do we underestimate the power of plants and trees?
Are scientists right to argue that plants and trees are "intelligent", and if so, what can we learn from them?

Click on the title link to read more on this fascinating topic from

Monday, 23 November 2015

Travels in Southern Africa: William John Burchell

Portrait of William John Burchell by Thomas Herbert Maguire (1854).

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of Burchell's return to Cape Town following his four-year expedition in South Africa. He collected 50 000 species of plants, seeds and bulbs, 10 000 specimens of insects, animal skins, skeletons, and fish, numerous anthropological artifacts, and created 500 drawings during the expedition.

The University of Pretoria recently digitized Burchell's account of this journey, a two-volume work entitled Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa (1822-24) for the Biodiversity Heritage Library.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Enjoying the challenge: Ann Swan Course Gauteng 03 - 05 Nov 2015

Ann demonstrates to a rapt audience
Isabelita was the envy of all with this set of pencils

More photos and feedback will follow in the National Newsletter due out in December.

Monday, 28 September 2015

South African aloes in world-leading aloe collection donated to Auckland Botanic Gardens

A team from the botanic gardens went down to Nelson to label and document the collection, then carefully packed it into a truck for the trip back to Auckland.

World-leading aloe collection donated to Auckland Botanic Gardens
A collection of aloe plants thought to be the best in the world is now calling Auckland home, thanks to the generosity of a Nelson man. ... Read More

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Botanical artist aims for 500 paintings to record fragile Queensland flora

Jenny Mace has spent the past five years painting the flowering plants of the Desert Uplands region.
A botanical artist completes nearly 500 watercolour paintings to meticulously record the flora of a fragile bioregion in Queensland. Read more here.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Nature's Bounty: paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection | Kew

'Edible pomegranate' by Coral Guest
29 August 2015 to 31 January 2016, 10am to 5.30pm at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Kew Gardens, London.

This exhibition will feature paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection of fruit and plants which originate from across the world. Works on display by artists such as Susannah Blaxill, Brigid Edwards, Coral Guest, Kate Nessler and Rosie Sanders will showcase the diversity and breadth of the Shirley Sherwood Collection.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Win books: 'A New Flowering' by Shirley Sherwood plus two more

Help Sibonelo Chiliza do Ann Swan's Course in November 2015

Gillian Condy has been given three beautiful botanical art books that the donor has agreed can be raffled to raise funds to help Sibonelo attend Ann Swan's course in November.

Sibonelo is one of South Africa's most talented botanical artists and our only African artist. His preferred medium is colour pencil and graphite. Although he is a trained textile designer he has primarily trained himself to master the pencils.

Ann Swan is probably the world's most recognised teacher of colour pencil art. She is being brought to South Africa by The Botanical Artists Association of Southern Africa to run two workshops, one in Gauteng and one in Cape Town, in November 2015.

The New Flowering – 100 years of Botanical Art
by Dr Shirley Sherwood
The Smallest Kingdom
by Mike and Liz Fraser
The Golden Age of Botanical Art
by Martin Rix
Tickets R25 each
Tickets R25 each
Tickets R50 each

Contact Gillian Condy : or 076 395 2956

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Botanical Art Workshops Early September - book now

​One of South Africa's most talented young botanical artists, Angela Beaumont, will be presenting botanical art workshops in Gauteng in early September.
Angela has illustrated many scientific manuscripts with her fine pen-and-ink line drawings and has had a number of colour plates published in the prestigious journal Flowering Plants of Africa. She obtained her PhD (Botany) from the University of Natal and has been an active freelance botanical and wildlife artist for many years.
You are invited to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to interact with a brilliant teacher, who will bring fresh ideas from another region, all at the very reasonable rate of only R800 for a two-day workshop.
Bookings through
Workshop themes will depen,d on available plant material, but will include
·         transparent finishes;
·         capturing bloom;
·         interpreting structures and growth patterns.
Pretoria (15 places only)​
Date: 04 - 05 September
Venue: National Herbarium, SANBI, Pretoria
Time: 09:30 – 15:30
Cost: R800.00*
Johannesburg (10 places only)​
Date:07- 08 September
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Rochester Place, 173 Rivonia Rd, Sandton
Time: 09:30 – 15:30
Cost: R800.00*
A materials list will be sent to artists who book, once payment has been received.
Tea and coffee will be available, but please bring your own lunchbox.
*We request that you pay by EFT only. If paying by cash deposit or cheque deposit please add R25 to the above fee to cover bank charges.

Friday, 7 August 2015


See here for more.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy 9 days of art, culture, food and music, exploring the creative side of the city!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Looking forward to Ann Swan coming to SA

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'Larger than Life II'
Sharing progress on the second of these new 'larger than life' pictures.  These are twice life size (approx.) Italian Nectarines. This has taken me...

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Heritage Trees of Kew Gardens

The very popular Heritage Trees exhibition at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art will close its doors after the 9th August. Visit the Gallery now for your last chance to view this stunning series of new paintings by Kew artist Masumi Yamanaka, inspired by the beauty of the rare and iconic champion trees that grow at Kew, some of which date back to 1762.
Find out more here >>

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Cruising the Amazon forest

Reflections in the Rio Negro
BAASA Gauteng members turned out on a very frosty Saturday morning to listen to a delightful illustrated talk by Gill Condy, aided and abetted by Sally Townshend and Bridget Dunseith. Did you know that brazil nuts cannot be cultivated anywhere other than in their indigenous ecological system as the pollinator and tree have extremely limited and very fascinating ecological niches? Google it if you don't believe this. And this was just one of the very fascinating snippets we learned on the day.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Importance of Feedback and Criticism in Creativity

Having your creative work criticised is not easy. Although ‘creatives’ may not like to hand over their work to get feedback, it plays an incredibly important role in the quality of the project and skills growth of the creative.

Everyone has an opinion. You may feel a certain colour scheme is more appropriate for a room, or perhaps you believe the protagonist in the story actually should have disappeared within the first three pages. But, knowing how and why to ask for and work through constructive feedback can play a fundamental role in developing your work from good to great.
 This applies to artists too. To read the rest of the article go to the get smarter website.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Six Tips to Get More Money For Your Paintings Without Hurting Sales

Six Tips to Get More Money For Your Paintings Without Hurting Sales

Pricing is the least understood facet of any business, but it’s one that can easily be fixed — without a negative impact. Most of the artists I know are underselling their art, struggling, having to paint too many paintings to keep their heads above water. They are on an exhausting treadmill because their prices are too low.

Click here to read the article:

Unique plant-naming auction raises nearly R600 000

"The delighted winning bidder said that the beautiful little yellow flower will be named after his mother, Angela. The species will be known as Angela’s touch, Ixia angeliana. It is the perfect gift, and not only will she be immortalised in the scientific journals that name the world’s biodiversity, but Angela will also receive the original botanical illustration of the flower by botanical artist Lisa Strachan."
 For the full article go to

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Harry Bolus and Ratelrivier

Shared with permission of Carly Cowell

To read the Agulhas National Park e-bulletin containing this article click here.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Rare first and only edition of an exceptionally beautiful book

I like the "Intended for young ladies" bit.


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Rare and beautiful model prints for flower painting, intended for young women,
by a leading Meissen porcelain painter

LÜCK, Johann Friedrich (or a son).  Eerste handleiding tot de bloem- teken- schilder- en borduurkonst, in XXIV. voorbeelden van bloemen en vruchten, in omtrekken en kleuren, nevens eene tafel der onderscheidene verwen.
Amsterdam, W. Holtrop, 1802. Oblong 8vo (text) and oblong small 4to (plates) (12 x 17.5 cm). With loose full-page engraved colour-key plate showing 66 numbered small rectangles, hand-coloured as samples of watercolours, and 24 loose full-page engraved plates, each with a pair (or in one case 2 pair) of nearly identical flowering or fruit-bearing plants (plate size 9.5 x 14 cm), the left-hand examples left uncoloured and the right-hand examples coloured as a guide. Complete with the undated prospectus (one 8vo leaf, 22.5 x 12.5 cm, printed on both sides) with an engraved tulip at the head, nearly identical to no. 13 in the plates, but differently coloured. Loose in (later?) green paper wrapper, in contemporary slipcase covered with marbled paper. The 25 prints with gilt edges.

Orders and Information


€ 15000

Saalmink, p. 1195 (1 copy); Picarta (same copy); WorldCat (same copy).
Rare first and only edition of an exceptionally beautiful model book for painting, colouring and embroidery, mainly of flowers and fruits, designed by a painter from the famous Saxon porcelain factory at Meissen. The title-page merely calls him "Lück", but he must be either Johann Heinrich Lück (1727-1797), one of the most famous Meissen porcelain painters, or (since it does not indicate that he had recently died) possibly a son. The booklet accompanying the prints includes 11 pages of instructions and advice, and a numbered list of the 66 pigments used for the colour key.
The prospectus includes a numbered list of the flower plates (and notes the colour key), a French poem by De Lille (both also present in the album itself), and a letter by the publisher addressed to "Nederlandsche Juffers" (Dutch young ladies), especially recommending Lück's models for their "creations with brush and needle". If accepted gratefully, the publisher would consider a second volume as well, but none appeared. We have located only one other copy (at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam).
In fine condition. Rare popular guide to flower painting, intended for young ladies, by a leading painter of Meissen porcelain.

A. Asher & Co. B.V. 16 Tuurdijk, 3997 MS 't Goy-Houten, The Netherlands,
Phone +31(0)30 601 1955, Fax +31 (0)30 601 1813,


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Why Do You Draw?

The email below landed in my Inbox recently and it somehow resonated with me. For all the 'newbies' and not so 'newbies' out there - take heart!

Mark making is one of the oldest forms of communication we have. Drawing – of symbols – was the first way we communicated with each other across time and space. Of course we have language, and the Internet now. Much more efficient.

Why do we still draw?
I don't think there's a simple answer to that question – or, I think that there are many answers. Yours may be different from mine.
As you probably know, I run a members forum for drawing, what I call an art practice community, called Creative Triggers. The other day, one of our longest running members posted something on the members' forum that I will never forget. His name is Steve, and it's his personal story of his three-year journey (so far) of learning to draw.

What follows is in Steve's own words:
It's now officially three years since I started art. And I mean art as in deliberately doing a quick sketch, a drawing, a painting, things along those lines. Art for art's sake. I hadn't actually drawn anything for the sake of drawing since childhood.

Reasons for taking it up?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

London’s Secret Garden

Plant portraits from Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Chelsea Physic Garden’s Florilegium Society, an exhibition of paintings and drawings will be held at the Garden in August. It will feature works from some of today’s finest botanical artists.

Many of the works of art in the exhibition will be included in the Society’s new book entitled Botanical Illustration from Chelsea Physic Garden (click to see a sample) written by Andrew Brown with contributions from Christopher Bailes, Phillip Cribb and Anne-Marie Evans. The book can be purchased from the publishers or locally in South Africa from

The Florilegium Society was formed in 1995 with the explicit aim of recording in paintings and drawings the huge collection of plants growing in the Chelsea Physic Garden. Each year selected works are donated to the Garden’s ever expanding archive. Find out more about the Florilegium Society. The exhibition runs from 4 – 26 August 2015, 11am – 4pm.  Entrance to the exhibition is free with entry to the Garden.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum)

Anybody want to paint this one lifesize?

News from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh:
For the past few weeks, we have watched our Amorphophallus titanum, the world’s biggest and smelliest flower, grow bigger by the day. Nicknamed ‘New Reekie’, it now measures well over seven feet (230cm) and is getting ready to come into full bloom - a first for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and for Scotland.
Our Amorphophallus titanum is so important it has its own page on our main website. Here you will find some of the back stories and further reading on the plant we are calling “New Reekie”.

Also take a look at Botanics Stories about New Reekie

Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Rock Art Jewel - Africa Geographic

It's not botanical art, but a fascinating read nevertheless.

The author of the article colour matching on site.  ©Stephen Townley Bassett

An exhibition "Tracing the Cosmos – follow the brush strokes of the cave artists" runs from 24th June to 30th August 2015 at the Origins Centre, Wits University, Johannesburg. The Christmas Shelter artwork will form part of this exhibition.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Auriol Batten has left us a wonderful legacy...

Auriol Batten, an Honorary Life Member of BAASA, has left a wonderful legacy of botanical art to the world. Sincere condolences to her family from all at BAASA.

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World mourns death of artist | DispatchLIVE
World-renowned horticultural artist Dr Auriol Batten, who devoted much of her life to painting and drawing South African plants in meticulous detai...

Click on the link above to see the full obituary in the Daily Dispatch.

To read an interview with Auriol in a 2006 BAASA newsletter click here.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

More JBAE 2015 photos

Farhat Iqbal's impressive Entada rheedii
Clare Wood obscuring her lovely Erythrina latissima
Proud Sandy Labuschagne
Ann Harris with Crinum bulbispermum
Gwenda Caplan with her paintings and admirers
Kelly Higgs with 'Mixed Flowers and Scarlet Ibis'

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

JBAE Opening Night & Walkabouts

Don't forget to visit the JBAE that is currently on until Friday 15 May at 13h00.

There will be walkabouts for artists at the following times:
  • Thursday 14 May at 13h00 with Ann Harris
  • Friday 15 May at 10h30 with Gillian Condy
  • Friday 15 May at 12h00 with Ann Harris
Overall view
Many lovely works
Our hard working organisers: Ann Wanless & Ann Harris
Mary Jones, Rose Vermeulen & Helene Joubert
Gill Condy with loyal supporters Strilli & Nicky Oppenheimer
More photos to follow soon.............