Mesmerize, White Giant Allium, Allium giganteum, 18x18", colored pencil on film, Susan Rubin
My first reaction was to prepare to do battle for my own beloved genre. Then, I realized that the reason I was prepared to do battle is that there is a kernel of truth in the author's statements. Sometimes it seems that historical "plant on a page" needs of science drive the composition, media and methods of contemporary botanical art. Is that a bad thing? Isn't it a fact that contemporary botanical art springs from this approach and is the genesis of what we do? However, botanical art is not limited by its origins. In fact, the art used to illustrate science isn't even limited by its origins. The complaining author obviously hasn't seen enough botanical art!
Then, what is that annoyng kernel of truth? To me, it's knowing that not enough viewers get to see botanical art, and that not enough of us market our art appropriately. So, how did a discussion of botanical art segue to marketing? It followed the money! Let's look to the pros. Those artists who succeed in growing the genre sell their art. And they sell it as "art" with terrific accurate botanicals, not "botanical art." The difference in the words broadens the acceptance and interest in our work.
Brassica, watercolor on paper, Estelle DeRidder
It's where we belong to insure that our work is seen broadly and informs contemporary art trends. It's where our art belongs to serve our goals of educating the world about the importance of plants, their beauty, their utility, their service to humans, their essential fit in ecology.
Penstemon, cinquefoil, and fairy trumpet, watercolor and colored pencil, Jan Boyd Haring
To this end, find ways to expand how you see your own art via general art education. Find a great course on linear and atmospheric perspective. Try plein aire work - especially since the weather is fine in the mornings now. Study color in the media of your choice. Pursue composition as avidly as you do the right color or scientific accuracy. And use this venue to display what you discover. That's why the blog is here.
New School Hopper Juan, Fly, mixed media, Julie Sprinkle