Synergy 2020

Solo Exhibition at The Old Court, Windsor


Trees, flowers and buildings require very different approaches from the artist. As a botanical artist I usually depict flowers life size and work directly from the live specimen. In contrast a tree or building has to be reduced immensely in order to fit the page. To draw the proportions accurately I use a photograph and ruler or proportional dividers to map out the main structure. For trees detailed observation of how the leaves and twigs are held enable me to capture as much of the character of the particular tree as I can with the aim that my final drawing should clearly represent the species of tree drawn.


Watercolour is a wonderful medium for depicting the freshness and vibrancy of the colours of flowers and the mellow hues of roofs and walls, but I find that ink is ideal for capturing the structure and character of trees, especially the wonderful ancient specimens that characterise Windsor Great Park and Burnham Beeches.


For this exhibition I have selected pictures to illustrate these contrasts. Many of the flowers grow in my garden and most of the trees come from Windsor Great Park, Burnham Beeches or near the River Thames, reflecting the diversity that we have in our local area. Where subjects come from further afield, they support the themes of the exhibition, for example the painting of the cottage at Selworthy reflects the juxtaposition of old buildings and trees in our countryside and Willy Lott’s Cottage is included, because from childhood I have been inspired by John Constable and the wonderful way he painted trees in his landscapes. Sadly Dutch Elm Disease means that the English Elms which dominate his paintings are no longer the tall trees he knew, but scrub in places such as Eton Brocas.


Crack Willow (Salix fragilis)

River Thames, Dorney


Pen and ink


Growing on the riverbank the partly broken branch of this tree has rooted in the river where a mass of new shoots are growing.


Framed original £400



Ankerwyke Yew (Taxus baccata)

River Thames, Wraysbury


Pen and ink


2,500 year old Yew Tree, possibly witnessed the signing of the Magna Carta in 1,215.


Framed original £450



Ancient Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Burnham Beeches


Pen and ink


Beech pollard, possibly 500 years old.


Framed original £400

Mounted print £50



Druid's Oak (Quercus rober)

Burnham Beeches


Pen and ink


Ancient Oak, possibly 800 years old.


Framed original £350



Trunk of the Druid's Oak (Quercus rober)

Burnham Beeches


Pen and ink


Massive hollow trunk of the ancient 800 year old tree.


NFS



King Offa's Oak (Quercus rober) in summer

Windsor Great Park


Pen and ink


Ancient Oak, possibly 1,200 years old and dating from the reign of the Anglo-Saxon King Offa.


Framed original £600



King Offa's Oak (Quercus rober) in winter

Windsor Great Park


Pen and ink


Ancient Oak, possibly 1,200 years old and dating from the reign of the Anglo-Saxon King Offa.


Framed original £600



Staghorn Oaks (Quercus rober)

Windsor Great Park


Pen and ink


The silhouette skeletons of dead oaks can take on fantastical shapes.


Framed original £400



Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)

Burnham Park


Pen and ink


Many Wych Elms succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease, but this tree, growing close to diseased English Elm (Ulmus procera) suckers, appears to be resistant.


Framed original £350



American Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Burnham Park


Pen and ink


In 2011 it was the tallest American Red Oak in Buckinghamshire.


NFS



Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Taplow House Hotel


Pen and ink


Possibly planted by Elizabeth I, which would make it the oldest Tulip Tree in Britain.


Framed original £400



Lime (Tilia europaea) and Mistletoe (Viscum album)

Eton


Pen and ink


Mistletoe is common in Lime trees in South Buckinghamshire.


Framed original £350



Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) with Mistletoe (Viscum album)

Eton


Pen and ink/watercolour


About 25 years ago I noticed a single clump of mistletoe in this tree. Now it is so abundant I wanted to capture the moment.


Framed original £450



Snakeshead Fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris)


Pen and ink


Every year this clump of Fritillaries is a welcome harbinger of spring in my garden.


Framed print £100

Mounted print £50



Musk Thistles (Carduus nutans)

Dorney Common


Pen and ink


I drew this specimen in September by which time there were ripe seed heads but also open flower heads and new buds present on the same plant.


Framed original £300



Jackpot Tulips (Tulipa Jackpot)


Watercolour


These tulips were painted for an exhibtion in Madrid marking the 350th anniversary of the crash in the stock markets due to Tulipomania.


Framed orignal £350



Mary Ann Tulips (Tulipa Mary Ann)


Watercolour


These tulips were painted for an exhibtion in Madrid marking the 350th anniversary of the crash in the stock markets due to Tulipomania.


Framed original £350



Heartsease Pansies (Viola tricolour)


Watercolour


Each one of these pansies has slightly different markings, showing the variability within the species.


Framed original £250



Autumn Rosebud (Rosa cultivar)


Watercolour


Late blooms often have a freshness lacking in their counterparts of high summer.


Framed original £250



Slipper Orchid (Phraphiopedilum hybrid)


Pen and ink


Usually this orchid produces one or two flowers and so when it formed three I just had to draw it!


NFS



Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandifloras)


Pen and ink/watercolour


Open flower in watercolour, buds and seed heads in ink.


Framed original £400



Oak Apple Gall (Biorhiza pallida on Quercus rober)


Watercolour


The grubs of a parasitic wasp cause the oak tree to form the oak apple around them as they grow.


Framed original £250



Butchers' Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)


Pen and ink


The flowers and berries appear to grow from the leaves, but the leaves of this curious plant are actually flattened stems.


NFS



Willy Lott's Cottage, Flatford


Watercolour


It was the reflection that led me to paint this cottage, immortalised by John Constable 200 years ago.


NFS



St Mary Magdalene Church, Boveney


Watercolour


There has been a chapel on this site for over 1,000 years.


Framed original £300

Mounted print £50



Cottage at Selworthy


Watercolour


The cob cottages of the hamlet of Selworthy nestle around the green in a sheltered valley.


NFS