Friday, January 28, 2011

A Tulip Anthology by Ron Van Dongen

This exquisite new book produced by PQ Blackwell and published by Hachette brings together the remarkable photographs of tulips by Ron Van Dongen with words and artworks that the tulip flower has inspired over the last millennium. The book includes an intricate introduction by Anna Pavord. Placed on page 217 you will find my artwork Tulipa 'Blue Parrot' which is the only image of a contemporary botanical painting included in this jewell of a book. This work represents the year 2004 and is facing one of Ron Van Dongen's own monochrome photographs of the same cultivar. This anthology is sumptuous, erudite, and, kaleidoscopic in colour. Featuring a host of tulip images of all kinds, it is beautiful, with a rich depth of imagery. I have looked at this book again and again, simply because it surpasses most large format books of its kind, standing out as a classic monograph on this extraordinary species of flower that we all know so well.

A Tulip Anthology by Ron Van DongenISBN 978-0-7336-2654-8 Produced by PQ Blackwell

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Glory of the Garden - The Field Magazine

                                       Coral Guest
                                       Paeonia lactiflora 'A.Rousseau'
                                       watercolour on paper
                                       Study Work 
                                       Private Collection

The article The Glory of the Garden by Godfrey Barker, in the December edition of The Field magazine, is an insightful observation of the many layers pf purpose, technique, and methodology, that defines the work of contemporary botanical artists. My work is discussed several times, and insightful points are made about its place in this present Golden Age of Botanical Art, for example:

Few artists can match Coral Guest in overcoming the ugliness of greens - see her superb cheese plant watercolour from the Hinton Manor Orangery, Monstera deliciosa.

Coral Guest's portrait of Chilean bell flowers Lapageria, may be the most sheerly beautiful composition in botanical painting of our time. Guest deserves this accolade not just for the picture but for the effort put into painting it - a triumph of beauty and accuracy.