Sharon Field

What is creativity in botanical art?


To be called a “creative” person does not mean that you must be absolutely original in what you do.  Creative people often think about ordinary things in new and innovative ways.  For example, how many people have painted mushrooms?  Off the top of my head, I think of the mushrooms by Rory McEwen, Susannah Blaxill, Jean Emmons Alexander Viazmensky, Karen Kluglein.  The same subject is painted in ways which reflect the superb techniques of each artist, but which also represents a truth and spirit unique to each of those artists.

Creative people often have a curiosity about their world.  If you get in touch with your “inner creativity”, you will probably find your artwork developing its own unique characteristics.

Try looking at a plant you are very familiar with (and love) in a new way.  For example:

  • at a different time in its life cycle,
  • do a part of the plant, not the whole plant
  • paint the plant smaller (or larger)
  • use a different lighting conditions
  • consider the plant from the underside rather than from the usual side view
  • use different colours,
  • enhance the shadows

If you come across a problem in your painting, often the tendency is to seek advice for solving the problem from someone else – a technical “fix”. Next time, have a go at resolving the problem yourself – this could become a happy accident.  You may discover a new way of doing your artwork, of of mixing a colour or of … let your imagination run wild!!!

Coming up – In my diary:

  • You can now follow me on Instagram – @sharon_field_artist.
  • 2018 – JulyAugust: Artist residency with Studio Maelor, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2018: Watch this space! I’m starting a work on a very special project in the Monaro region with Greening Australia and the Upper Snowy Landcare Network.  More information soon.
  • 2017-2019: My painting of a “Lord Howe Island Fig”, accepted for a Group Exhibition, Out of the Woods, November, New York, United States of America is on the way to the USA now. This juried exhibition then travels the United States during 2018 and 2019.
  • 2017 – September: My work, “Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness”, has been accepted by the assessment panel for the prestigious CAPO (Capital Artist’ Patrons Organisation) Auction, to be held in September this year.
  • 2017 – October: Group Exhibition, Four Winds Bermagui Project, Fresh Salt.  This is a creative response by visual artists, poets, musicians and others to eight exquisite estuaries in the far south coast of NSW.  The exhibition will be held in October, at the ANU, Canberra and in December at the Bega Regional Gallery.
  • 2017 – October: Next Blog Botanical art in a changing world (to be posted in October)

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