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Botanical Illustrators

Botanical Illustrators

The Botanical Illustrators meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month (February  6, 2019 – 3rd December 2019) from 10am to 3pm in the Elliot Centre, near the Cranbourne Gardens Main Office. Tea and coffee are provided, but BYO lunch.

Whether you are an artist, an aspiring artist or just dreaming about developing a new interest, you are welcome to come along and see what we do, get friendly advice and support. Once you try your hand at illustrating plants, you may be surprised how quickly you can achieve results you would never have thought possible.

Our group get-togethers, made up of artists of varying experience, allow us to share ideas and information and give each other encouragement and support whilst working on our paintings and drawings. The group holds talks and workshops at Cranbourne Gardens as well as exhibitions at various galleries. Watch this page for information about forthcoming events.

For further information about the group, exhibitions or classes:

Botanical Art Workshops

We arrange botanical art workshops, demonstrations and talks conducted by established artists at the Elliot Centre, near the Cranbourne Gardens Main Office.

The maximum class size is 10, ensuring individual attention and workshops can suit beginners or artists with some experience. Fees vary with the type and duration of the workshop.

Recent Events

Backgrounds for Watercolour Talk & Workshop with Margaret Holloway
21 February; 21 March, 2018

Margaret Holloway demonstrating background washes

Margaret Holloway demonstrating background washes

On 21 February, Margaret Holloway gave us a talk and demonstration of techniques she
employs in preparing interesting backgrounds for her botanical watercolour illustrations.
Following her talk, Margaret came to our Wednesday 21 st March botanical illustrators session
and helped us create our own background washes. She went over the techniques of wetting
the paper and mixing colours of paint, ink and other liquids to create our background.

We were also able to create a more interesting background with the use of found objects – for
example, stones, feathers, flowers, netting, gravels. Other techniques included incising the
paper, the use of masking fluid, cling wrap and graphite. Overall a great day was had by all,
many thanks to Margaret Holloway.

Sunday Talk: Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project – 4 March, 2018

A very fortunate gathering interested in Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project was informed and entertained by the first-hand accounts of some of the contributors. What began as a joyful, spontaneous group expression of artistic and scientific curiosity and developed into a significant contribution to plant specimen collection and a stunning exhibition of their efforts currently showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Dr Linden Gillbank, Honorary Researcher, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies,
University of Melbourne, gave a historical overview of Hermann Beckler’s role in the Burke
and Wills 1860 expedition. Jan Rosenberg, botanical illustrator and retired science teacher,
described her experiences as a participating artist in the trips to Menindee: searching for
plants, identifying specimens, preserving and illustrating. Roslyn Glow OAM described the
evolution of the BBB project, how support materialised from many useful quarters once word
got around what a group of city artists was up to and some of the challenges along the way.
Mali Moir, project leader and co-ordinator, explained how this project came into being, how
her students, the artists involved, encouraged and energised her through their enthusiasm and
described some of the minute details involved in plant specimen collection and
documentation to the exacting standards set by the Herbarium. Pam McDairmid’s slide
presentation gave the audience a comprehensive view of the practicalities involved as well as
the role of the local community’s support as understanding and respect developed between
Menindee residents and the BBB participants during their annual expeditions in the footsteps
of Dr Hermann Beckler.

This project began as a labour of love and expression of fun and friendship and has
culminated as living proof of the importance of scientific and artistic endeavour, the very
stuff which moves the human soul and fuels true progress.

Visit to Beckler’s Botanical Bounty exhibition in Ballarat – 14 March, 2018

A group of Cranbourne Botanical artists shared a convivial excursion to the Art Gallery of
Ballarat to pour over the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty exhibition, a wonderful record of the
efforts of a group of volunteers who dreamed up an interesting field trip which has turned
into the production of a significant scientific document and has kept them busy for nearly a
decade. One of the curators talked to us about the large botanical art collection held by the
gallery and the botanical art exhibitions of recent times. Liz McDonald, a member of the
Cranbourne Illustrators, was also an exhibitor and she was able to impart more particular
information concerning the exhibition, which was much appreciated. The day was
satisfyingly rounded off with a tasty lunch and a wander through other exhibitions on offer,
including the recently acquired Bauer paintings. There was much food for thought during the
leisurely return train journey.

If you have yet to see this fine exhibition, then plan to do so very soon as it closes on 27 May,
2018, and might never happen again. Details can be found on the Art Gallery of Ballarat website.

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