Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My Happy Botanical Friends (and me)

Sorry for not keeping up with things, but oh wow, what an amazing week I have just had in London. The SBA exhibition was even better than I had hoped, with so many stunningly beautiful pieces on display, it really goes from strength to strength every year. Of course, this was my first year as an exhibitor, so it was doubly exciting to be amongst the throng of the preview day. Stewarding at the visitors table was rather fun too. Making sure that everyone who passed took part in the 'People's Choice' vote for their favourite of the whole show brought lots of smiles, and it was great to get an insight into how the exhibition was being received by the visitors.   

This might actually be the first picture of me on my blog.
Fitting that it should be with my paintings at my first
SBA exhibition.

Thanks to Katherine Tyrrell at Making a Mark
for taking the picture

A new look for the SBA catalogue

It was lovely to spend the day with some of my fellow artists and friends too. We don't get to see each other that often as many of us live too far apart for regular catch ups. Our annual get-together is a highlight of the exhibition diary. it's also a wonderful time to be able to share in the celebrations and congratulate friends who have been so deservedly recognised for their efforts.

'Good books, like good friends are few
and chosen; the more select, the more

Louisa May Alcott

Here's my good friend and fellow artist Claire Ward
of Drawn to Paint Nature
Happily this year, Claire was recommended for an award
for one of her stunning pieces. 

And here's another of my very good friends, the lovely Sarah Morrish
of The Natural Year
Sarah received a Certificate of Botanical Merit
for one of her lovely pieces.

Spending time hanging around with artists generally leads to a bit of a swap-fest. Along with new paint products and pens, there were some real little treasures being passed around the dining table at our annual get together or, 'after party' as it is now being called.

Picking up a few surprises.
A gift of a small piece of precious vellum
and a beautiful magnolia leaf skeleton.
Thank you Sarah and Shevaun.

Of course. this trip wasn't all about exhibitions and I was able to spend some lovely quality time with my dear mum and dad. The weather wasn't particularly kind, so walks in our local stretch of Epping Forest was a bit out of the question, but I did paint some conifer seeds from a cone I found.

As they age, the seeds go quite brown.
When freshly out of the cone, I noted more of a bluish, translucent tinge

Turned from a small piece of scrap wood, I 'helped' dad to make this pen tray
for my new desk.
I haven't used dad's scary mill, so it was a daunting experience.
Using some of the felt I made from an old wool cardigan, I have lined
the pen tray.

And good old Ebay.
I found this rather sweet little piece.
Full of nostalgia, I remember using something like this at school.
This one is rather fancy, with brass bits inlaid into the top.
It only cost £5 with the postage too, so a bargain. 

Coming home is always nice too, but I don't much like the tidying up. Now that all my paints are out of the travel bag, they need putting back in their boxes.


shevaun said...

I'm smiling at this blog post... what a really great time we all had! Great people, beautiful artwork, an artswap-fest and an enjoyable night, fun, fun! Yes, happy botanical friends!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Ha ha, let the good times roll.