Dimensions:500mm x 1020mm
Medium: Watercolour on canvas
I began botanical painting in 2017, after completing online tutorials that helped show me how I could use the medium of watercolour in a contemporary and vibrant way.
I am not a traditional botanical painter, inspired more by large, vibrant portraits of botanical subjects, often front-on and oversized, allowing the viewer to really engage with the ‘face’ of the subject. As well as bold flower portraits, I also enjoy playing with native animals and plants, using modern compositions combined with the traditional botanical concepts of white space.
While I predominantly work in watercolour, I also enjoy pen and ink and have recently begun working on vellum. My first degree was in Art History, including the study of Medieval Manuscripts. I love the idea that vellum remains a treasured medium for documents and special works of art, with this traditional master craft essentially unchanged for 2000 years or more.
I wanted to capture the stillness of this Ruru sitting on the branch. This was my third watercolour painting on canvas, they require a lot of fine detail and layers, but the slow, meditative process really suited the nature of the subject. I have used the white space to focus the viewers attention on the presence of the Ruru and his careful watch over his environment.
I was busier than usual over the COVID-19 lockdown, as I work as a health and safety manager for a business that provides essential services. Painting took a back seat, and I also found that the uncertainty of the months following impacted on my ability to settle to creative tasks. My experiences did help me appreciate even more the beauty of our local environment and the importance of creative pursuits to our general wellbeing.