Sunday, 2 May 2010

Akebia and others....

It has been too long since I've posted something here. But.... I've been busy. I went on a botanical painting course of five days in Leiden. My tutor was Anne Marie Evans and I learnt a lot that week. We painted tulips. I guess tutors from abroad want to see tulips when they come to Holland. Last year, Valerie Oxley started her course with (yellow) tulips. I just hope this is not becoming a trend. I like tulips, don't get me wrong, I like them in a garden or a vase. Not to paint them. But I think I'm repeating myself, I told you all this before, didn't I?

Anyway.... I painted a botanical tulip, Tulipa turkestanica. It didn't make things easier for me (this one had five flowers instead of one and was almost white) but it looked far more interesting that most of the other tulips. Well it did for me, don't know about the other students ;) Here's what the painting looked like at the end of the course:

Anne Marie Evans course

It's not finished yet, it needs roots and more details but you get the idea. It looks a bit old-fashioned, like it's from the 18th century, like Redouté or something. Very different to what I'm used to.

After the course I painted in "De Keukenhof" for a day with some other painters of the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists. We sat in the Orchid pavilion, surrounded by hundreds of tourists from all over the globe, stuck or not stuck in the Netherlands by the Icelandic vulcano ashes.
So I painted my first ever orchid flower. Many botanical artists paint orchids. I didn't and I don't think I'll paint those cultivated orchids again. I just don't like them. I like the wild ones that grow here in the Netherlands but they don't look at all like the ones shown in the pavilion in Lisse.


The week after I had to go to the opening of the Siebold exhibition in the Siebold House in Leiden. A wonderful exhibition with wonderful paintings made by the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists. My Hydrangea drawing is exhibited there too. Also a lot of old herbaria and floriligia are shown. Really nice to see the old things from the Siebold period next to the modern works of art.

Siebold exhibition

I made this in Photoshop to show you the difference between the periods. The old painting was made by a Japanese painter and the Hydrangea on the left is a dried specimen that Siebold brought to Europe. It's a different variety than the one that I painted but I don't think he would have minded that :P

Von Siebold's Hydrangeas

Now I'm back home and I decided to start a pencil drawing. It has been too long since I made my last graphite pencil botanical. It's of Akebia quinata, also a Siebold introduction. It has been on my wishlist for some years and it's flowering now in my front yard. I love this climber. The leaves are very interesting, the flowers are maybe even more interesting. But the colour of the flower is wonderful..... but I decided to do a graphite drawing anyway :D Maybe I'll make a coloured thing some other year. Now I just had to do a pencil drawing. So this is a WIP. I'll post it again when it's finished.