In recent years I’ve been particularly inspired by ‘stories’ relating to plants. This ranunculus has a special story relating to a Canberra family, so I decided to paint it, and also tell the story. As well as completing the painting, I now have prints and cards depicting these beautiful blooms, and on the reverse is the following text:
"Horrie (Horace) Cleaver lived for 70 years in the Canberra suburb of Barton and at 94 won the ACT Heritage Garden Award. He was a pioneer in the Canberra Hire Car and Taxi service and lived to 100 years. Horrie was well known for his fruit and vegetables which he gave away regularly. Among his flower collection was a beautiful old ranunculus which became known as “Horrie’s” ranunculus. He gave some to his friends and neighbours and so “Horrie’s” ranunculus lives on.
Who can help keep this old beauty alive?"
I'm happy to report that members of the Horticultural Society of Canberra have taken on the propagation project.
If you would like to read a little more about Horrie, there is a chapter about Horrie and Alice Cleaver (page 47) in “Past Images, Present Voices” – follow this link: https://www.library.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/210146/kingstonbook.pdf
Exciting times - I have a YouTube channel! Only a couple of videos so far, but we’re working on it. Please follow this link and let me know what you think. Massive thank you to my gorgeous son Jack for his technical expertise and enthusiasm. Plenty more ideas in the pipeline, let me know if you have any suggestions. Enjoy!
I am thrilled to announce that I have won the Council Exhibition Award with my watercolour on vellum "Chestnuts - Castanea sativa". This is a new award introduced this year, it's an exhibition package to the value of $1,000 at the "Q" exhibition space in Queanbeyan. I am so pleased to have my work recognised in what is a diverse, beautiful exhibition. Thank you to John and Heather Kane from Tweenhill Chestnuts for introducing me to this intriguing, spikey, wintry treat. I haven't quite decided on a theme for my exhibition but I suspect it will be of a 'local' flavour.
I have had a lot of positive feedback from my solo exhibition "Botanical Capital" in March this year. It was such a learning experience for me as there was a lot of research involved, both on the history side and travelling around Canberra, sometimes to places I hadn't been before. I decided to make a video which includes not only photographs of the paintings from the exhibition, but also some of my reference photographs, and some pics I took along the way. I thought this might be a good way for people who couldn't get to the exhibition to have a bit more insight into my work. Apologies for the reflections in the glass. Thanks to my family for their support during the lengthy (approx 2 years) exhibition preparation, and to my son Jack for helping me put this video together.
My Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Redgum has been accepted into the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. The Florilegium paintings will be exhibited at the Sydney Living Museum in 2016 and at Kew Gardens, London in 2018. There is also a beautiful publication featuring all of the paintings in the Florilegium. More information on the Florilegium is available here.
Image copyright Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
I have been awarded the 'Botanical Art Award' at the Wildlife and Botanical Artists members' exhibition awards night for my Australian Native Collection, watercolour on calfskin vellum. This is a beautiful exhibition held this year at Floriade and I'm honoured to be the recipient of this award. Exhibition is in the Inspiration Hub at Floriade till 11 October.
This year my little Jewel Beetle specimens won Best Miniature in Show at the Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition. These were painted from specimens at the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra, and the specimens were actually glued to the card. There are so many beautiful beetles, I will be painting them for a long time to come!
My Dianella revoluta painting won 'Best in Show' at the recent Botanical Art Society of Australia exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I did put a lot of planning and work into this painting and I'm thrilled to receive recognition for my efforts. It is a scientific take on a beautiful Australian native plant that I have growing in my garden. The original painting has sold but I have limited edition prints available from the Store page.
My painting of the Golden Green Stag Beetle has won 'Best Still Life' at this year's Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition. I am so thrilled to win with this painting - I have only just started painting insects thanks to an opportunity to view specimens at the Australian National Insect Collection at the CSIRO. My beetle was also sold to a lovely couple who seem to be getting a bit of a collection of my work!
This month I exhibited in the Artists' Society of Canberra members' exhibition at the Albert Hall. I was thrilled to win 1st place in the watercolour section with my painting 'Buttles Creek Collection'. I also won 3rd place in the Mixed Media section with my Red Onions.
Well it's been a great month for exhibitions, and I've won a couple of prizes. I won the Dr Helen Hewson Traditional Botanical Art Award at the Wildlife and Botanical Artists exhibition and Best Flora or Fauna award at the Artists' Society of Canberra exhibition. Also found out that I won the People's Choice Award at the WABA exhibition, so thanks to everyone who voted!