Art in Nature or Nature in Art?

Spring has sprung here in South Africa and my garden is bursting back into life. On beautiful sunny day I decided to meet my daughter in the Botanical Gardens for the most pleasant of days browsing through trees and plants from all over the world in the most glorious of surroundings. Daughter mine, being of artistic bent travels with pencil and sketchpad and had a ball sketching away at the interesting plant life.



Then at the weekend as fate would have it there was a HUGE¬† Spring Flower Show at the local mall. That was just delightful – the funniest was a dog made of chrysanthemums but the best for me was a huge balancing floral interpretation of “Bold and Distinctive.”

Bold and Distinctive

Bold and Distictive

What must have been very difficult and was done in such a masterly fashion was to interpret a painting in flowers!

Usually we artists interpret nature not the other way round…

All in all it is a great time to do a spot of botanical art work, painting or sketching and South Africa has an abundance of fascinating plant life to
inspire anyone from the finest of artists to those who enjoy more chunky palette knife work there is something here for all tastes.
Vincent van Gogh summed it up very well with this advice “It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to;
the feeling for the things themselves – for reality – is more important
than the feeling for pictures.”

Victorian botanical collectors must have rejoiced when they came to South
Africa for they certainly took large amounts of plant material back to Kew
Gardens in London, England, in the nineteenth century and much of this
genetic stock from the flora kingdoms of South Africa has been hybridized
into many varietals to suit every climate producing many of the common
garden plants that you will probably see in your country and others all
around the world today..

One of these plants, which is the international flower for August, is the
Gladiolus, from the Latin word for a sword and part of the Iris family.
Gladiolus vary from very small, fragrant spikes to spectacular giant
flowers. The South African species were originally pollinated in by-gone
eras by long-tongued bees, but nowadays sunbirds, moths and long-tongued
flies do the business. The gladiolus also attracts butterflies so not only
does an artist get the opportunity to paint a charming flower but also the
flitting butterflies

Just another lovely painting moment in South Africa.

You too can enjoy a botanical drawing frenzy


South Africa


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