Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Season's Greetings

The Pantone Color Institute revealed its colour Greenery as one of 10 design colours of the year for 2017. As botanical artists we are very familiar with the calming nature of the colour green (not so calming when trying to get the right green though! 😅).

According to, "Ultimately, Greenery calls to mind the 're-' words: refresh, revive, restore, renew, replenish, regenerate, rejuvenate, reinvigorate, re-oxygenate....... And the yellow pigment in Greenery references the sun, the symbolic light that people need in these times."

Wishing all our followers a happy and safe holiday season.
We look forward to fresh beginnings in 2017.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

ASBA's 19th Annual International ends Friday

Best in Show Award
Chaenomeles sp
Watercolour on Paper
by Lizzie Sanders
ASBA's 19th Annual International is ending this Friday. Click here to view some of the beautiful artwork before the website comes down.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sydney Florilegium

Beverly Allen - Project management, Colleen Morris and Louisa Murray – Authors

Vicki Thomas, BAASA Western Cape, and Gillian Condy, BAASA Gauteng, were invited to contribute paintings for The Florilegium, a major collection of 87 works of contemporary botanical illustration that demonstrates the botanical and horticultural development of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, and its links with domestic gardens and the public landscapes of New South Wales over 200 years from 1816 to 2016.

Forty-one Australian and twenty-three overseas artists contributed one or more works of significant plants in the three Sydney botanic gardens by invitation. This collection is published as The Florilegium to celebrate the bicentenary of the gardens this year.

The illustrations were exhibited in the exhibition Florilegium: Sydney’s Painted Garden at the Museum of Sydney during July to October 2016, and will be at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, during the first half of 2018.

Erica verticillata by Vicki Thomas

Spathodea campanulata by Gillian Condy

Well done Gill and Vicki!

Friday, 9 December 2016

How wet is the paper?

For those of us who battle with the wetness of the paper below is a very useful summary from the Handprint website that explains the stages of wetness and how to achieve the different stages. I'm not sure I agree with drying the paper with a hot-air gun, but nevertheless........

The details page mentioned in the graphic above "six stages of paper wetness" elaborates on the effect of the degree of wetness on paint behaviour.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Rosie Sanders’s new book: "Flowers: A Celebration of Botanical Art"

Red Parrot Tulip by Rosie Sanders

Flowers: A Celebration of Botanical Art by Rosie Sanders is a large-format book that showcases over 80 of her finest flower paintings in exquisite detail.

Often compared to the artist Georgia O'Keeffe, Rosie Sanders's botanical paintings lie at the extreme end of botanical art - they exude dynamism and sensuality in every brushstroke and their richness of colour sets her apart from her contemporaries. In this beautifully illustrated book, Rosie exhibits a selection of flowers, from tulips to orchids, roses to irises, anemones to amaryllis, and illuminates them with fascinating and skillful uses of perspective and light.

This large-format book showcases her finest paintings in exquisite detail and they are accompanied by excellent and accessible scientific commentary. Also included is an introduction by renowned Swiss botanist Dr. Andreas Honegger. This book is perfect for artists who want to get a closer look at a master's brushstrokes, textures and colour in paintings, or readers who are interested in contemporary botanical art.

Chapters include: 1. Diversity in the Garden 2. Dark Flowers: the Magic of Night 3. A Fascination of Orchids 4. Lilies in Spring 5. Varieties of Belladonna 6. In Search of the Black Iris.

This book is available in South Africa from

Read this interesting article in The Telegraph, which showcases Rosie's new book, talks about her style of painting and how she reached this point in her artistic life.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Two Artists, Two Eras

Finding common ground: a dedication to native South African plants 

by Margaret Best

THE PAST: PRINCE SALM DYCK (1773 Р1861) was mesmerized by native South African succulents. He studied with Redout̩ to learn how to capture his enormous succulent collection. His legacy of exquisite paintings lives on.

THE PRESENT: GILLIAN CONDY is a leading contemporary botanical artist with a passion for the native plants of Southern Africa. Gillian’s vast body of work is a legacy in progress.

Read the full article here.

I would like to thank my hosts in Cape Town, Robert and Helen Levitt for making our visit to their library so memorable. I’m similarly grateful to Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art and Senior Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, for her help in my research. All images that accompany the Prince Salm-Dyck article are in the public domain. - Margaret Best

This article first appeared in the June issue of The Botanical Artist, the journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists

(Margaret Best was born and raised in South Africa. After graduating as a teacher in Cape Town, she taught art at Rustenburg School for Girls in Rondebosch, a stone’s throw from the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. In the early 80’s after time spent living in Toronto, London, Tehran and Houston, Margaret, her husband, and their young daughter settled in Calgary at the foot of the Canadian Rockies.

Margaret is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), the Botanical Arts Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), the Bermuda Society of Artists (BSoA), Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC), Botanical Artists' Guild of Southern Alberta (BAGSA), the Botanical Artists Association of Southern Africa, and the Florilegium Society of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney, Australia for whom she has produced a painting for the 2016 RGBS bicentennial exhibition.

There are copies of the Salm Dyck books Margaret writes about in the SANBI library in Pretoria.

Says librarian Anne-Lise Fourie: "I loved her combination of the old and the new in this article. It is a true testament of Gillian’s work and contribution to SANBI.")

Friday, 4 November 2016



Worldwide Day of Botanical Art to be held on May 18, 2018

A worldwide collaboration linking people with plants through contemporary botanical art.

Over a dozen participating countries have joined together to link people to plants through botanical art. Hundreds of artists around the world will capture in paint, ink or pencil, plants native to their home countries to raise awareness of wild plant diversity.

Exhibitions of original contemporary botanical art will be curated by participating countries around the world based on an indigenous plants theme. Each country’s sponsoring organisation will schedule events for a Worldwide Day of Botanical Art to be held on May 18, 2018. This 24-hour, around the world event will maximise focus on the message: linking people with plants through contemporary botanical art. All exhibition dates will include May 18, 2018. A digital compilation of images from all exhibitions worldwide will be shown at each participating venue, alongside that country’s original artworks.

Participating countries include Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom, and United States.

(Download a pdf version of the latest document here.)

Friday, 21 October 2016

7-12 November 2016 - BAASA Gauteng exhibition at The Gables gallery

You are invited to visit the small exhibition
 that BAASA has been offered at the beautiful new 'The Gables Gallery'

Please invite your friends 
and take the opportunity to visit the Gallery during the week 
and enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee in the beautiful surroundings.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Hunt ​International Exhibitions of ​Botanical Art & Illustration

15th International Exhibition

The 15th Hunt International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration is being held in 2016.

Venue: Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation - Gallery on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University.
​Dates: 15 September and 15 December 2016.

  • Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.; 
  • Sunday, 1–4 p.m. (except 20 November and 24–27 November).

  • Please call or email before your visit to confirm as hours sometimes change. For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.
Admission: Free of charge to the public.

For more info see:

Botanical Art Cruise - Rio Negro

Good news of our members

Dear BAASA members,

As you know we love to share good news of our members as we should all be inspired by their hard work and success.

We have just learnt that Karyn Bell has been granted full membership of the Royal Miniature Society in London.
Their annual show opened in London on the 12th October. Artists had to submit six miniatures. She received an e-mail to say that she had been awarded a Gold Bowl Honourable Mention, which is seen as second best in show..

Congratulations Karyn, we are proud of you.

Congratulations are also extended to Jenny Hyde-Johnston whose work Orbea melantha (Carrion flower) is on show at the Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh at their 15th International Botanical Art Exhibition which opened to the public on the 15th October, 43 artworks by 43 artists from 15 countries form the exhibition.

Thank you ladies for flying the SA flag high.

BAASA Committee

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Three day botanical art drawing course by Gill Condy (1-3 December 2016)

Dear friends, colleague and fellow artists,
Following a couple of requestsI have managed to book the Herbarium Lecture Hall to run one additional botanical art course this year. It will be Thursday 1st – Saturday 3rd December 2016.

Please let me know if you are interested in attending and to receive more information as wel as the materials list, etc.

With regards

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

PLANT Exhibition at Kirstenbosch

PLANT Exhibition
The PLANT Exhibition presently being held at Kirstenbosch features approximately 150 botanical art paintings by 58 artists. There is a Bug room section as well with 50 odd paintings of butterflies and other insects.
You can view all of the paintings online at:
you can go through the BAASA blogsite 
For more about what's happening at the PLANT Exhibition you can go to Facebook page Vicki Thomas Botanical Artist.
Enjoy the viewing!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The art of plants - The Witness Garden Show 23-25 September

The meticulous detail of a plant showing flowers, bud, seed and root system is the basis of a botanical picture, but it is much more than that as members of the Botanical Artists Association SA will demonstrate at this year’s The Witness Garden Show. 

Grown out of the need to document plant specimens when dried plant material and restrictions prevented botanists from detailing their findings, botanical art has become a great art form that has become popular for adorning walls around the country. 

Interested artists can now attend workshops using various mediums such as 
water colour, pen and ink, graphite, aquarelle and polychrome pencil crayons hosted by the branches of the non-profit Botanical Artists Association SA in the Western Province, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 
Their aim is to promote and develop the artistic standards of members, to encourage ongoing training and education of members as well as to encourage participation in exhibitions. 

This year for the first time a national botanical art show will be held at The Witness Garden Show from the 23-25 September in the Craft Hall. Apart from the beautiful art pieces in display and for sale the members will also have demonstrations on various art mediums.

Have a look at the facebook page!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Carnivorous Plant Society

Carnivorous Plant Society presented this specially commissioned painting by Lucy Smith, to their patron, Sir David Attenborough

“Providing accurate and up-to-date IUCN Red List conservation assessments for all carnivorous plants will be an invaluable tool for research scientists and conservationists around the globe.”
 – Sir David Attenborough, Patron of the IUCN SSC Carnivorous Plant Specialist Group

Pop-in, walkabout and Matisse your pic

Dear Gillian Condy

All roads lead to Matisse

The much anticipated Henri Matisse | Rhythm and Meaning exhibition is now open at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery. Art lovers can experience the genius and versatility of the French modernist master’s first exhibition in Africa. Not only is entry to the exhibition free with a free shuttle service to boot, Standard Bank is also offering the public a multitude of Matisse experiences sure to leave a lasting impression of this artist’s work and influence.

Pop-up Art Studio in Menlyn

Digitally design your own Matisse-inspired artwork at our pop-up studio in Menlyn Park Shopping Centre on 20 and 21 August from 10:00 to 17:00. For more details on the exhibition please visit our website:


Free public walkabouts are presented by local arts educator Wilhelm van Rensburg, between 13:00 and 14:00 on the following Wednesdays and Fridays:

August - 17, 19, 24, 26, and 31
September - 1, 7, 9, 14, and 16

Saturday walkabouts are scheduled upon demand.


Those who simply want their own Matisse-inspired portrait, can upload a photo of themselves along with the hashtag #MatisseMyPic on Twitter and we will recreate it to look like a Matisse masterpiece and send it back for use as a profile picture or just to share with the world.

Daily shuttles for exhibition visitors

To book a seat on the shuttle, visit and enter your details as prompted. Using a valid booking reference to enter, booked passengers will be shuttled between the Gautrain Park Station at 11:30 and 13:00 and returned to the Gautrain Park Station at 12:45 and 14:15 daily. The service runs from Monday to Saturday but excludes Sundays and public holidays.

First Thursdays

Joining forces with the ever so popular First Thursdays, on 1 September, the Standard Bank Gallery will be open until 21:00, and a shuttle service will operate from Braamfontein’s Smit Service Road (Kalashnikovv Gallery) at 18:00, to the Standard Bank Gallery, and returning every 40 minutes thereafter. The shuttle will also depart from Maboneng Commissioner Street (MOAD) at 18:30 to the Standard Bank Gallery, and returning every 40 minutes thereafter.

The Bioscope

To learn more about how much Henri Matisse has influenced our modern lives and what influenced his work, you can enjoy a free screening of the BBC Modern Masters Series: Henri Matisse. The screening takes place at The Bioscope, in Maboneng, on Sunday 21 August, at 15:00. Book your seat at (Free popcorn and drink included).

For more details on the exhibition please visit our

Admission to the Henri Matisse | Rhythm and Meaning exhibition is free.

Facebook and Twitter page: Standard Bank Arts
Hashtag: #MatisseinSA

15th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration - Hunt Institute

Dear Friend of Hunt Institute:

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation invites you to our "15th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration," which runs from 15 September to 15 December 2016. Attached is a PDF invitation. Although the exhibition opens on 15 September, the reception will be held on Thursday, 13 October 2016, 6-8 p.m., to coincide with the American Society of Botanical Artists conference. Please join us at the reception for a chance to meet the 15th International artists. At 6:30 p.m. the curators will give a short introduction to the exhibition and the artists in the gallery. If you can't make it to the reception, we hope to see you during the run of the show.

For more information about the exhibition: 

Scarlett Townsend