TALKS

Meet the artists behind the art and enrich your knowledge of the plant kingdom, in these one hour online talks. Join live for an opportunity to interact with the speaker, or watch a recording in the days following. 

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BOTANICAL ART TALKS


Look over the shoulder of renowned botanical artists from the UK and beyond as they talk through their favourite projects or botanical art techniques. Presentations will be richly illustrated with examples of their artwork and/or technique demonstrations, followed by the opportunity for Q&A. Every talk is unique in style, reflecting the personality and interests of each artist.

 

PREVIOUS SPEAKERS Julia Trickey, Laura Silburn, Deborah Lambkin, Lizzie Harper, Lucy Smith, Martin Allen, Helen Allen, Mary Dillon, Sarah Morrish, Carrie Di Costanzo, Lara Call Gastinger, Ann Swan, Katherine Tyrrell, Gill Condy, Shevaun Doherty, Sarah Gould, Mariella Baldwin, Yanny Petters, Isik Guner, Jess Shepherd, Simon Williams.

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NEW BOTANY FOR ARTISTS


With his extensive knowledge and experience of both botany and botanical illustration, Dr Chris Thorogood is ideally placed to guide us through the science of naming and organising plants, to take us on a 'plant evolution safari' and a 'deep dive' into the anatomy of plants. He will explain the place of botanical illustration and highlight the plant features that artists need to be aware of. 

BIOGRAPHY Chris Thorogood lectures in plant biology at the University of Oxford, where he holds the position of Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum. He is a wildlife artist and botanical illustrator, and an international best-selling author of specialist field guides and popular titles.

IMPORTANT NOTES

• Talks are delivered via Zoom Webinars (You will not be seen or heard, but you can write comments or questions via a Q&A box.).

• Talks are recorded and a link sent to registrants 24 hours after the live session. This will then be available to view or revisit for five days, making the talks accessible, regardless of your time zone or other commitments.

• There is a 25% discount if you book more than a month in advance.

• You can cancel your registration at any time before the date of the talk.

• NEW! @botanicalarttalks is now on Instagram, highlighting the artwork of Botanical Art Talks speakers past and future.

Please read the further technical notes at the bottom of this page.

 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

"Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Zoom talk last night and indeed all the talks I had signed up for. They have meant that I have been able to jump start my interest in botanical painting." SS

"It was an honour and delight to watch the webinar last night" LC

"All the talks I caught were immensely interesting and a wonderful botanical escape from the various lockdown restrictions." JA

"Thank you so much - the talks are something special  - I will certainly be joining again next year." SD

"I just wanted to say thank you for organising such inspiring and very informative talks. I’ve enjoyed all of them" JH

"The Talks were and are and will be fantastic! Thank you so much for the today’s, I loved it." OR

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VIEW FREE RECORDING

 

2021 TALKS - BEST BITS

Julia Trickey

 

These online talks were set up at the beginning of 2021 after a chance conversation with a fellow botanical art tutor, who had been hit financially by the Pandemic. The aim was to support fellow professional artists, whilst bringing their work and passion for botanical art to a wider audience.

 

In this FREE one hour presentation, Julia shares the background to these talks, together with short extracts and images from the 2021 series of speakers. If you have not attended any of the webinars before, this is a great way of seeing what they are like and of getting an overview of the 2022 programme of artists. 

Profile photo ©Domestika

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19 MAY 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

A PASSION FOR CARPOLOGY

Sarah Morrish

 

Sarah shares her approach to researching, examining, and illustrating a range of fruits and seeds in pen and ink, that are being prepared for a future publication. These subjects are appealing to many botanical artists in both their fresh and dried forms. The subjects themselves are often illustrated life size, but see how Sarah has taken the depiction of seeds in botanical art to a whole new level, creating magnified illustrations that reveal a hidden world of intricate structure, form and texture.

Sarah has undertaken commissions for the Natural History Museum in London and Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and is the author of the popular ‘Natural History Illustration in Pen and Ink’. Though her current focus is pen and ink, she works in several different media. Sarah is a fellow of the Linnaean Society and a painting member of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium and the Eden Project Florilegium. She is passionate naturalist and educator, teaching for many organisations, and also individuals through workshops online and in-person.

www.illustratingnaturesdetails.com

£12 (£9 if booked before 19 April)

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31 MAY 2022

7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

PLANT TAXONOMY & CLASSIFICATION

Chris Thorogood

This lecture will examine plant taxonomy and classification: the science of naming and organising plants, and how botanical illustration is fundamental to the process. We will begin with species concepts, then examine how botanists classify plants objectively, looking at major groups such as monocots and eudicots. Chris will share a real life case study of a complex group of plants he works with, looking in detail at the key characters.

 

From this lecture you will be able to answer fundamental questions such as ‘what is a type specimen and why is botanical illustration relevant to it?’; ‘what is a species, genus and family?’ and ‘how do I know which plant is related to which?’, as well as an understanding of which features are important to examine when illustrating plants for taxonomic purposes.
 

Instagram.com/illustratingbotanist  Twitter.com/thorogoodchris1

 VIDEO - Chris introduces this series of talks 

£12 (£9 if booked before 30 April)

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23 JUNE 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

THE HERBARIUM SPECIMEN
PAINTING

Rachel Pedder-Smith

Rachel will give a brief introduction into how and why she started painting from the herbarium collection at Kew which ultimately led onto the creation of the Herbarium Specimen Painting, a five metre watercolour piece which depicts one specimen to represent each flowering plant family.  Rachel will explain the stories behind the piece and discuss her techniques and some failures which happened along the way. 

Rachel is a well-established Natural History Illustrator. She studied at Royal College of Art for her MA and PhD and has four gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society. Rachel’s paintings have been adapted into Liberty Art fabric designs, she has had three solo shows in London and has been part of numerous group exhibitions worldwide.

www.rachelpeddersmith.com  www.rachelpeddersmithdesigns.co.uk

£12 (£9 if booked before 23 May)

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7 JULY 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

WINNING WILDFLOWERS

Jackie Isard

 

Jackie shares her five year journey painting wet meadow wildflowers, from her initial inspiration and research to planning out the compositions to include each stage of the plants’ lifecycle. She will talk about issues she encountered along the way and a detailed explanation of her painting process. During this all-consuming project for the RHS, Jackie experienced times of both doubt and elation!

 

Jackie trained and worked as a graphic designer, discovering botanical art in 2015. She is largely self taught and is passionate about flowering plants, native wildflowers and pollinators. She now teaching regular classes near her home in Bristol and workshops further afield. She has received awards for her botanical art, including an RHS gold medal earlier this year.

www.jibotanicals.co.uk  www.facebook.com/jackie.isard

£12 (£9 if booked before  7 June)

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21 JULY 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

FROM ZERO TO HERO

Jarnie Godwin

 

How do you journey from beginner to award-winning botanical artist? In this talk Jarnie shares her own inspirational experience of learning a new skill and taking it through to exhibition and beyond. Pick up all of Jarnie's top tips for building confidence, setting goals, staying motivated, and planning a series for exhibition.

Jarnie paints realistic, detailed, and vibrant botanical watercolours. She has been a teacher, a graphic designer, and received a formal training in Architecture. Her work combines structure and detail, with precision and realism at its heart, while her passion lies in vivid colour, detail and capturing beautiful, but not always perfect, flowers and plants.

jarniegodwinart.com  instagram.com/jarniegodwinart

£12 (£9 if booked before  21 June)

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4 AUGUST 2022 (Rescheduled from 7 July)

7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

THE SUBJECTS LESS PAINTED

Christina Hart-Davies

Flowering plants are beautiful and we love to paint them, but there are so many other subjects that are equally beautiful and interesting to paint. Mosses and lichens, for example, can be part of a plant portrait or subjects in their own right. Christina will explain why and how she paints these so-called ‘lower plants’ — and other ‘treasures’ too. They may not seem obvious subjects to paint, but are all part of the whole story. You will see how some paintings develop, with hints, tips and stories along the way.

 

Christina has been a professional artist and illustrator for a very long time. It has been a varied career: she was the first Honorary Secretary of the Society of Botanical Artists; worked for four years on The Collins Flower Guide; holds six RHS Gold Medals, many of them for her paintings of mosses or lichens; has written and illustrated several books. As an illustrator, Christina paints whatever is required, but her passion is for the unusual, less obvious subjects. She is fascinated by all aspects of the natural world and how they interconnect. 

www.christinahartdavies.co.uk

£12 (£9 if booked before 4 July)

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18 AUGUST 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

ART IN THE TIME OF COVID

Elaine Searle

 

At the best of times Botanical Art can be a solitary pursuit. How are artists responding to the pandemic? As they attempt to make sense of a new normal – does more introspection mean less productivity? How can enforced isolation affect working practice?  

 

Elaine will discuss these issues and share changes she has made to her own approach during the past two years. A major new work will be revealed for the first time. 

Elaine Searle is a UK botanical artist who creates portraits centred in her personal response to the plant. Her work has been exhibited and won awards internationally, is held in Pittsburgh's Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, several notable florilegia and private collections. Elaine loves to teach both face-to-face and via distance learning.

www.paintbotanical.com

£12 (£9 if booked before 18 July)

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25 AUGUST 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

PLANT EVOLUTION

Chris Thorogood


This lecture will explore some of the dazzling diversity of plants that exist on our planet, and how they evolved. We will examine the journey of plants from the water to land 470 million years ago, the importance of the seed, and the evolution of the flower. On this ‘plant evolution safari’ Chris will point out specific groups along the way, such as mosses, lycopods, ferns, cycads, and early flowering plants (the basal angiosperms). He will highlight specific features and structures in each group which are important for the botanical illustrator to consider (sporangia and strobili, for example).

 

From this lecture you will gain an understanding of the main groups of plants, and the sequence in which they evolved, and which features are important to examine when illustrating them.

Instagram.com/illustratingbotanist  Twitter.com/thorogoodchris1

 VIDEO - Chris introduces this series of talks 

£12 (£9 if booked before 25 July)

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1 SEPTEMBER 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

PLANT ANATOMY

Chris Thorogood

Find out why ‘sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have knees that bend to the ground!’ In this lecture Chris will take us on a ‘deep dive’ into the anatomy of plants. He will examine leaf morphology – common shapes and surface characteristics, for example. Then will example flower form, from simple to complex: we will look at actinomorphic and zygomorphic flowers, what to look for in a floral dissection, and how to navigate a complicated flower such as an orchid or aroid. Chris will share real life case studies from plants he has worked with.

 

From this lecture you will gain an understanding of how to navigate a complex flower, considerations for composition in botanical illustrations for scientific papers, and a basic grasp of botanical terminology relating to anatomy.

Instagram.com/illustratingbotanist  Twitter.com/thorogoodchris1

 VIDEO - Chris introduces this series of talks 

£12 (£9 if booked before 1 October)

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15 SEPTEMBER 2022

7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

NO LICKING YOUR BRUSHES AND DEFINITELY NO SMOKING!

Deborah Lambkin

 

Based on her ongoing illustration work with Nicotianas in Kew Gardens, Deborah’s talk will tell a story of a plant family with a unique 6 million year old history. Deborah will talk about the joys and sorrows of working on a long term, in-depth study of a single plant family. 

Since 2017, Deborah has been painting and drawing Australian Suaveolens nicotianas as a part of a international genetic study of these Australian plants. However, she has been working as a botanical artist since leaving the National College of Art and Design in Ireland in 1991. Deborah has won awards for her work including the Margaret Flockton Award in 2020 and since 2005 she has held the position of Orchid Artist to the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Committee.

 

instagram.com/deborahlambkin

£12 (£9 if booked before  15 August)

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13 OCTOBER 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)

 

PORTRAYING PLANTS PROFESSIONALLY

Lucy T Smith

Have you ever wondered about the life of a professional botanical illustrator?  Lucy takes us through the exciting and challenging times in an interesting 'year in the life of' a freelance artist. One, for Lucy, which involved drawing, inking, painting and describing plants for science and beyond.

Australian-born Lucy T Smith has been working as a professional botanical artist for over twenty years.  Since the year 2000 she has been based in London, established as a freelance botanical artist for Kew Gardens, producing scientific illustrations in watercolour and pen and ink for many projects, including the Palms of New Guinea and her own project, illustrating the Victoria Waterlilies.  She has taught botanical illustration at Kew and other venues for many years, and has received numerous awards for her work. Lucy believes that the best botanical illustrations combine both beauty and science, and this guiding principle informs all of her work.

lucytsmith.com 

£12 (£9 if booked before 13 September)

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17 NOVEMBER 2022
7pm GMT (2pm EST, 11am PST)

 

PACK, SHIP AND GO INTERNATIONAL

Katherine Tyrrell

 

Have you ever wondered where and how you can bring your botanical work to a wider audience? Katherine will guide you through the practicalities and pitfalls of exhibiting and selling your work, with a particular focus on how to send your work abroad. She will talk through a checklist, explaining what you need to know for this process to go smoothly. A must-see for those who what to go international!

Since she retired, Katherine Tyrrell has developed a blog Making A Mark, a world class website about Botanical Art and Artists and a comprehensive website about Art Business Info for Artists. Katherine has an MBA from the London Business School and qualified as both a teacher and an accountant. She now provides advice to artists, writes business articles for UK art journals and has talked on the business of art at a London Art School, ASBA and other art societies/organisations.

www.botanicalartandartists.com

£12 (£9 if booked before  17 October)

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OTHER 2022 TALKS

Details to follow, but other artists booked include:

3 NOVEMBER Rui Jiang   BOOK HERE  

15 DECEMBER Artists Together   BOOK HERE  

 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

You will need good internet bandwidth and a basic understanding of Zoom. (Your video and audio will automatically be turned off). 

ZOOM ADVICE HERE

 

It is not possible to give technical support during the talk.

PAYMENT

Though Payment is taken via Paypal, you don’t need a PayPal account as there is a 'Pay by debit or credit card' option.

 

LINK

After registering Zoom will send you a unique meeting link. (And a reminder, both 24 hours and one hour before the event.) 

RECORDING

The talk will be recorded and a link sent to you a day after the live session. You will then have five days to revisit or view the talk.

SMALL PRINT

If there are major technical difficulties during a talk, it may be rescheduled.

Rarely talks are rearranged for personal reasons. If this is the case you will automatically be registered for the new date.