BOTANICAL ART with Josephine Truman

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Camelia - Pencil and Watercolour by Valerie Kirk

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Tuggernong Homestead

I still have my watercolour paintbox from art school days – an antique now and the envy of assistants in the art shop as the rusting box and patination of years of mixing colours has an unmistakable charm. However, as students, we were never taught how to use watercolour paint. It was a time of conceptual art and encouragement to experiment wildly and invent your own techniques.

I decided it was time to get technical and in this weekend workshop with Josephine Truman at Tuggernong Homestead I confirmed much of the technique I have aquired along the way and learned new skills. My eyes were opened to the world of Botanical Art and the following week in Melbourne I was so inspired to see Botanicasia, an exhibition at the Botanic gardens, showcasing some of our best Australian Botanical artists. People always comment on how time consuming tapestry must be – but in Botanical Art I have found an equally time consuming occupation.

The precision process hones obsevational skills and the accuracy of rendering is such a challenge. I do not see this as a direction for my main body of work, but hope that I can use some of the knowledge and sensibility gained in my own artwork.

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