Friday, 21 August 2015

The Big Blue Monster

Agapanthus africanus WIP, Shevaun Doherty, botanical art
Agapanthus africanus WIP © Shevaun Doherty 2015

“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.”
Victor Hugo

I am not a flower painter. 
Don’t get me wrong, I adore flowers of every kind, and I really admire artists who can capture that transient beauty with what seems like effortless grace. I’m just far happier painting fruit, seeds and dried plants, where I can indulge myself in the luxury of time, knowing that they aren’t going to wilt before my eyes.

Agapanthus africanus studies, Shevaun Doherty
Initial studies
The Agapanthus africanus is really not for the faint hearted. It’s a big robust ball of blueness that stands out taller than it’s neater cousins, Agapanthus praecox. Whilst doing my bud studies, I noticed with a bit of alarm, that there were over 50 flowers in each umbel! (I counted them in a fit of procrastination) Okay, so they weren’t all going to open at the same time, but once they started to open, it was definitely going to be a race against time.

So how to start?

Friday, 7 August 2015

Buds and Blooms

Agapanthus bud, Shevaun Doherty, botanical art
Agapanthus bud © Shevaun Doherty 2015
"Each flower is a soul opening out to nature." 
-  Gerald De Nerval

They say that there is no greater motivating factor than a deadline, but for a botanical artist, the realisation that the flowers are just not going to wait for their portrait to be painted is enough to get even the slowest of brushes flying!

After months of waiting patiently for the flowers to appear, my beautiful blue Agapanthus africanus flowers are now all blooming at once. Mild panic sets in as I suddenly realise

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Summertime Blues

Shevaun Doherty Agapanthus bud botanical painting

“Blue colour is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight.”
John Ruskin

Blue is the colour that sings to us of heaven and sky, of fresh water and deep oceans, of spirituality, serenity and stability. It’s definitely one of my favourite colours, and yet I don’t seem to paint many blue subjects. All that is about to change, because I have a garden full of blues … tall elegant Agapanthus flowers that are just coming into bloom.

The first challenge with any new plant is the set-up. It’s great when