Botany for the Artist by Sarah Simblet

As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:

Copy of Grow That #Garden Library (3)

Botany for the Artist by Sarah Simblet ("Sim-blit")

This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is An Inspirational Guide to Drawing Plants.

In this book, Sarah Simblet takes you on an inspirational journey of creativity and botanical art as she demonstrates how to draw virtually every type of plant.

As Sarah writes in the forward,

This book was inspired by my love of gardening, a desire to know more about the structures, forms, and lives of plants, and an opportunity to spend a whole year exploring wild landscapes and the fabulous collections of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Oxford University Herbaria. These collections generously gave or lent me hundreds of pieces of plants to draw or have photographed for this book. Botany for the Artist features around 550 species, chosen to represent almost every kind of plant and habitat on Earth. Gorgeous, unfamiliar exotics are celebrated alongside more common plants to show the beauty and wonder of the bird-of-paradise flower and the pavement milk thistle, tropical forest fruits and the orchard apple, giant pine cones, and tufts of city moss. Fungi and some species of algae are not scientifically classified as plants but are featured here because they are fabulous to draw and fascinating in themselves.

Then Sarah points out the exponential understanding of a plant that occurs when you draw it.

She wrote,

Drawing is a... direct and universal language as old as humankind. 
If you spend just one hour drawing a plant, you will understand it far better than if you spent the same hour only looking at it. There is something in the physical act of drawing, the coordination of the hand and eye, and the translation of sensory experience into marks and lines that reveals an entirely new way of seeing. 
Artists know this, but it is something we can all experience if we draw. And time spent drawing is a revelation, regardless of the results.

Finally, Sarah's book is written in a very friendly tone. She encourages artists just to get started and to use live specimens.

She wrote,

Books of advice, classes, and looking at the works of other artists will help you greatly, but you can also learn how to draw simply by doing it. 
The first step is to simply have a go.

I always draw from real plants-never photographs -- because plants are three-dimensional and were once alive, even if they are no longer. They are physically present, and can move, change, and challenge the person drawing them. An artist's relationship with their subject is always innately expressed in their work...

Throughout this book, Sam Scott-Hunter's photographs reveal subtle insights that could not be captured in drawing. They also magnify many details so we can look very closely Into them. I have drawn most plants life-size for comparison and also to convey the excitement of giant-sized objects. This diversity is just one characteristic of the vast kingdom of plants that surrounds us all, and it is always there, just outside our door, waiting to be explored.

This book is 256 pages of botanical drawings - from exotics to mosses to towering trees. Join Sarah on an illustrated tour of the plant kingdom and deepen your powers of botanical observation, understanding, and appreciation. 

You can get a copy of Botany for the Artist by Sarah Simblet and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $18.


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