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23rd Annual International

American Society of Botanical Artists at Wave Hill


Coelogyne lawrenceana

Coelogyne lawrenceana

Note: Sadly, Lizzie Sanders, noted botanical artist and graphic designer, passed away this past summer. She will be greatly missed by her many friends and admirers in the botanical art world!


What to choose to paint in time for spring submission to an exhibition? Working from Scotland always has some added difficulties – the winter light here is very poor and a spring deadline for submission means I am always working in the dark. Scotland's plants are often small and insignificant, perhaps botanically interesting but without too much pizazz!


This year an added difficulty presented itself – a plant pathogen had infected the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (RBGE), meaning no plant material, not even dead leaves, could be removed from the garden. Usually I like to bring my plants home to work on in the studio. This time I would have to find a space somewhere.... and find a plant which would survive over some weeks on its own.


As the RBGE is a research establishment as well as a gorgeous garden, the plants are often being grown for particular projects – so you can turn up to find your chosen plant has been culled, pruned, propagated, or just gone!


The plant I chose is Coelogyne lawrenceana, originally from the higher elevations of Vietnam, growing in a temperate glasshouse. There were several specimens all with new growth. I don't often paint orchids but this one appealed and would last long enough for me to complete the piece.


Adding to my challenge, I chose to work on a thin hard paper – Schoellershammer G4. This is similar to Bristol board; coated, very smooth. It takes ink well and hates water. It is almost like working on vellum. This paper will not put up with a single mistake. You can't scrape it or wash off. A very dry brush with tiny strokes is the only solution.


I'm happy to say the piece worked – a good flower, fantastic rhizomes. And it was accepted into the ASBA show.


While writing this, I am planning how to get it matted and framed as we are still in Covin-19 lockdown. I do hope you will be able to see it in the Fall!


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Read more about this artist’s work: 21st Annual

23rd annual-sanders coelogyne-aoigp

Coelogyne lawrenceana

Coelogyne lawrenceana

Watercolor on paper

9 x 12 ½ inches

©2020 Lizzie Sanders

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

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