NEW ISBA PROJECT LAUNCHED – IRELAND’S NATIVE TREES’
As life begins to return to normal, the ISBA is thrilled to have launched our new project “Irish Native Trees – Delighting in the Detail.”
On September 26th we met to launch our new project, which will run until 2023, offering members plenty of time to gather information, make sketches and create beautiful paintings. Focusing on the small details that characterise each of Ireland’s 22 native trees in each distinct season, our artists have undertaken a comprehensive illustration project which will culminate in an exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens in 2023.
As the title, “Delighting in the Detail”, suggests, we will endeavour to draw attention to the smallest of details of our native trees, which often go unnoticed. The result will be a visually exciting, botanically accurate collection of paintings which, we hope, will renew interest and joy in our native species and allow our audience to get to know them intimately in all their detail and in every season.
Further updates will be forthcoming here so do keep in touch. Artist members should contact email@example.com for project brief, tree choices etc.
For information on membership, please go to www.irishbotanicalartists.ie/membership.
Our previous project, SCEITSE, was somewhat curtailed due to the pandemic. However we are delighted to report that the original works will be exhibited alongside this exhibition and our book, SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks, as well as our other publications, is available to buy at www.irishbotanicalartists.ie/shop.
Friday 20 November 2020: the Irish Society of Botanical Artists proudly launch our new book: SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks
The culmination of a two-year project, SCEITSE – Irish Botanical Sketchbooks celebrates the complex journey of botanical artists as they collect information and prepare to illustrate a particular plant. This includes ‘visiting’ plants in their habitat or in gardens, to see them in their natural or intended setting. The sketchbook pages in this collection show the breadth of information a botanical artist may collect, from plant features and measurements, to colour notes and descriptions of the setting.
Irish botanical artists are fortunate to have access to unique and diverse gardens, both public and private, in which to glean information and complete research for their paintings. We have included beautiful pictures and writing from the gardens in which we worked for this project, hoping to celebrate our island’s horticultural treasures and to encourage visitors to seek them out.
Do visit our shop to see how you can order your copy of this limited edition. You can also buy our previous publications while stocks last.
The ISBA is a not-for-profit Society and your support allows us to continue our work all over the islandof Ireland, encouraging and promoting botanical art and artists. We welcome both Artist and Friend memberships: visit our Membership page for more details.
For further enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re so pleased to say that Irish botanical artist and ISBA member Yanny Petters has recently had two of her pieces acquired for national collections.
Yanny’s painting ‘The Plants We Played With’ has just entered the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) having recently featured in the ‘Drawn From Nature’ exhibition at the NGI . The painting was first exhibited with the Olivier Cornet Gallery in VUE at the RHA in 2015 as part of Hopscotch, an exhibition about childhood memories.
As well as that, Yanny’s ‘Hand Fan for Habitats’ (a verre églomisé piece) has been purchased by the National Museum of Ireland for their permanent collection. This piece featured in the 2020 Sculpture in Context exhibition, normally held on site at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, but this year held online.
You can find out more about these works of Yanny’s on the Olivier Cornet Gallery site here:
We are delighted to announce the launch of SCEITSE – IRISH BOTANICAL SKETCHBOOKS on Friday 20 November 2020.
This exciting new publication seeks to de-mystify and celebrate the complex journey of botanical artists as they collect information and prepare to illustrate a particular plant. This includes ‘visiting’ plants in their habitat or in gardens, to see them in their natural or intended setting. The sketchbook pages in this collection show the breadth of information a botanical artist may collect, from plant features and measurements, to colour notes and descriptions of the setting.
As botanical artists in Ireland, we are fortunate to have access to unique and diverse gardens, both public and private, in which to glean information and complete research for our paintings. We have included beautiful pictures and writing from the gardens in which we worked for this project, hoping to celebrate the island’s horticultural treasures and encourage visitors to seek them out.
Since its formation in 2014, the Irish Society of Botanical Artists has burgeoned into a thriving, lively and reciprocal group of botanical artists. The Society has undertaken three ambitious projects, staging successful exhibitions and producing three wonderful books, Aibítir – The Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art (2014), Plandaí Oidhreachta – Heritage Irish Plants (2016) and Éireannach – Celebrating Native Plants of Ireland (2018) For each book, our artists created finely detailed and finished portraits and illustrations of both cultivated and wild Irish plants. An enormous amount of work went into each painting as each artist sought to identify and illustrate the key features of their chosen plant and portray it in a beautiful way. The resultant collection of paintings in the ISBA books is of an extremely high standard and has been lauded in botanical art and botany circles.
SCEITSE – IRISH BOTANICAL SKETCHBOOKS is now available to pre-order from our shop at a reduced price of €20.00. Orders will be shipped soon after the launch date of Friday 20 November.
The normal retail price (from 20 November 2020) is €25.00. Trade prices available.
For further enquiries, please email email@example.com
We’re now accepting all submissions for our sketchbook project, please see the recent email from Elaine about how to send your sketchbook pages.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will need a lot of time to put the project together, so we’re asking members to make sure that we receive their pages by the end of June.
Small works will not be required until just before the exhibition, probably in October. They need not be directly related to the sketchbook page, but must be botanical and must not have been exhibited at the NBG previously. All small works should be framed by the artist.
We’re delighted to report that Irish botanical artist and ISBA member Deborah Lambkin has won a prestigious international award from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.
The Foundation and Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, has awarded the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in scientific botanical illustration to RHS Orchid Artist (Irish Botanical Artist), Deborah Lambkin.
The award was for her drawing of a new species of Gastrodia orchid from Madagascar which was chosen from 63 illustrations from 46 artists from 21 different countries.
The Margaret Flockton Exhibition is a yearly exhibition held at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and showcases work from the world’s leading scientific botanical illustrators. The exhibition is now in its 17th year and attracts submissions from artists worldwide. Deborah is the first Irish artist to ever participate in the event.
The award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The Maple-Brown Family and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens sponsor this annual, international award for excellence in scientific botanical illustration.
Visit the exhibition online here: 2020 Margaret Flockton Award exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Free exhibition Drawn from Nature opens on 7 March 2020
Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art opens at the National Gallery of Ireland on 7 March 2020 and runs until 21 June 2020. Admission is free.
Pioneering Irish artists are at the heart of the National Gallery of Ireland’s new free exhibition Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art. From William Kilburn to Lady Edith Blake, the exhibition celebrates artists who made significant contributions to art, science, and our understanding of the natural world.
Curated by Patricia Butler (Guest Curator), assisted by Janet McLean (National Gallery of Ireland), Drawn from Nature features art spanning almost 300 years, from the 1720s to 2019. Contemporary artists include ISBA members Mary Dillon, Shevaun Doherty, Deborah Lambkin, Siobhán M. Larkin, Margareta Pertl, Yanny Petters, Susan Sex, Jane Stark, Lynn Stringer and Holly Somerville.
A volume of designs by William Kilburn (1745-1818) will be on display for the first time in Ireland as part of the exhibition. One of the most eminent calico printers of the 18th century, Kilburn was born on Capel Street in Dublin and later settled in London.
Works by painter and geologist George Victor du Noyer (1817-1869) will also be on display, including studies of mushrooms and apples which he documented for the Ordinance Survey and the Geological Survey.
Over 15 women artists are highlighted in the exhibition, including Ellen Hutchins, known as Ireland’s first female botanist. Hutchins discovered many seaweeds and mosses before her death in Cork at the age of 29.
Many of the drawings, watercolours, prints, and books will be on display for the first time at the National Gallery of Ireland during the exhibition. Works from public and private collections include selections from the National Botanic Gardens (Glasnevin), National Museums Northern Ireland, Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) and the V&A (London).
Janet McLean of the National Gallery of Ireland commented:
While many Irish botanical artists ventured across the world, others barely stepped beyond their townlands. This exhibition highlights how they are bonded by a common curiosity in nature and a compulsion to record it.
It celebrates centuries of looking closely, drawing carefully, and treasuring the complex beauty of plants.
Guest curator Patricia Butler, author of Irish Botanical Illustrators & Flower Painters, on which this exhibition is based, commented:
There is currently a vigorous revival of interest in botanical art worldwide and this exhibition pays tribute to the extensive and distinctive Irish contribution to the area. I hope that visitors to the Print Gallery in the National Gallery of Ireland will enjoy exploring the work of over 30 artists ranging from the relatively unknown to the widely acclaimed.
See nationalgallery.ie for more details and check our calendar of events on this website for two interesting talks related to the exhibition: Talk & Tea: Irish Botanical Art and Irish Contributions to Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.
We’re well into 2020 already – a new year and a new decade. Our Sceitse/Sketchbook project is going well and the hand-in day has been planned to coincide with our AGM on 21 March. Visit our project page for updates.
Members, don’t miss the AGM, when our guest speaker will be Yanny Petters who’ll talk to us about her working methods for making her paintings on glass. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery, in Kew Gardens in London, is currently running an exhibition called Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art which includes Yanny’s life-size portrait, on glass, of a teasel!
In April we’re delighted to host Sarah Morrish who will travel over from the UK to provide two one-day workshops to members on Pen and Ink methods in botanical illustration.
Also in 2020, the National Gallery of Ireland is holding an exhibition called Drawn from Nature, which provides an interesting historical perspective on botanical art in Ireland over the centuries, right up to contemporary work (including some ISBA members):
Take a closer look at Irish botanical art in Drawn from Nature. Spanning almost 300 years, artists include William Kilburn, Ellen Hutchins, George Victor Du Noyer, Lady Edith Blake and Wendy Walsh. These pioneering men and women have made significant contributions to art, science and our understanding of the natural world. Inspired by Patricia Butler’s book Irish Botanical Illustrators and Flower Painters, the exhibition features prints, drawings and illustrated books from public and private collections in Ireland and the UK.
Curator | Patricia Butler (Guest Curator), assisted by Janet McLean (National Gallery of Ireland)
Spring is in the air, and along with the lengthening days and warmer temperatures, we’re receiving new opportunities for ISBA members.
We’ve been contacted by a number of different organisations/galleries here in Ireland with queries about possible collaboration. Below we’ve listed three such opportunities. We’re leaving it up to members to contact any of the organisations themselves. If you do decide to contact them and all goes well, do let us know!
Old Weir Lodge Hotel, Killarney – Contact: Niall O’Donoghue
This is a small hotel in Killarney which is currently being renovated. They would like to feature some prints of native plants on their corridor walls. Ideally the prints would be similarly sized (approx A3 portrait or square).
Excel Exhibition Space, Tipperary – Contact: Carissa Farrell
Carissa is the Venue Director of the Excel in Tipperary Town which has a gallery and would be very interested in holding a group botanical art exhibition in 2019.
Shanbally House and Gardens – Herb Dispensary
Also in Tipperary, Shanbally House and Gardens is currently under restoration. As part of their work they plan to create a small herbarium and they would like to collaborate with botanical artists–who have an interest in medicinal herbs–to create some artwork that will showcase in the house, can be sold in the house and made into cards/notepaper etc. They would like the artwork to complement the work they are doing of growing, promoting, preserving and processing these healing plants. We’re in contact with Shanbally House at the moment with a view to their providing a tour for interested members in the summer. Once dates have been arranged, we’ll announce the event here on the website and will be in touch directly via our members’ email list.
Paintings from our Botanical Art Worldwide exhibition, Éireannach, are currently on display at the North Mayo Heritage Centre. You can combine a visit to the exhibition–which runs until 31 October–with the upcoming Enniscoe Biodiversity Blitz:
Many thanks to June Wright for this post on something all artists should know more about – protecting our art! After graduating in Classical Animation in the early 90s, June began her animation career in Don Bluth Animation Studios in Dublin and has since worked in the US and Europe with many film studios over the years including Fox Animation in Arizona. She has also lectured in Traditional Animation and Digital Design. Currently, June is working as a Product Designer for clients based mainly in the UAE and Hong Kong, such as Legoland Dubai, The Louvre Abu Dhabi and the tallest building in the world ‘The Burj Khalifa’. She has been an artist all her life and loves botanical art and drawing portraits, using coloured pencil, graphite and watercolour.
As an artist, when you create a painting, your intention may not be focused on its commercial value; however once you start to exhibit and sell your art, it is in your best interest to become aware of the potential positives (and not so positives) that may occur as a result of exposing your work to the grand public.
There can be a lot of confusion–still–on the ownership, legal aspects and expectations of how your work may be used. Therefore, in order to protect your art, it is important to know the fundamental guidelines both for protecting your original images and commercialising your work.
Selling Original Art – Who Owns What?
When you sell an original painting, it’s important for both you and your buyer to be aware that the ownership rights of the painting’s image do not transfer with the physical painting itself and unless it is specifically requested and agreed upon in writing between the artist and buyer before the sale, all rights remain solely with the artist. A painting is sold on the basis that although the buyer will own the original piece of art for their enjoyment, they will not own the rights to make any commercial gain from its image in the future. This is irrespective of whether the painting was bought from the artist’s own collection, through a reseller or gallery, or on a commissioned basis.
Following any sale of their art, the artist can still go on to create prints of the painting and use the painting’s image for further commercial purpose, as and however they wish. If the current owner of a painting wishes to reproduce the painting for any purpose commercially or non-commercially, they must first request written permission from the artist.
Reproducing your art in print format
If someone wishes to reproduce your painting in part or full, for example, within a book, magazine, online or on products, they must obtain written permission from you prior to doing so. It is solely at your discretion whether you choose to allow use of your images for payment or for free, however if you are unintentionally lax in protecting your art, not only can you lose out commercially, but your painting may be used in a way that may harm the integrity of the work or your reputation as an artist and what you stand for. You may have to consider whether it is most suitable to agree a one-off fee for a single-use permission or create a licencing agreement for more complex or larger-scale use.
Licencing your art commercially
If you are approached with a request to reproduce your art, especially for commercial purpose, it is normal to licence art for certain agreed usage. This will protect you from any unauthorised commercial use of your art. In most cases, it is normal that the artist agrees an initial licencing fee, plus royalties per sale of each item containing your image. A possible circumstance is where the image may be used, for example, on greeting cards, homeware, fabrics, prints etc.
Some artists may allow non-commercial use of an image for free (in which case, it is a good idea to make sure you receive an artist credit), but commercial use should be considered carefully in advance, in order to prevent the artist being poorly compensated, where no clear written terms were agreed by both parties prior to the handover of any imagery.
Terms between the artist (the licensor) and the individual or company requesting permission to use the painting’s image (licencee) should generally cover at least the following and should be agreed in writing and signed by both parties:
- Fees agreed: initial upfront fee and/or percentage of royalties that will be paid per piece sold.
- Permitted usage: most licences are limited to a certain amount of reproductions within any given specified format. For example, if you agree permission for your painting to appear only on mugs, another agreement would need to be further negotiated where the licencee wishes to later add the image onto plates.
- Duration of licence for its specified use: you may want to limit the time of specified usage to a certain period or time-frame.
- Territorial restrictions: whether the use is limited to one location or country, or whether it is allowed to be used worldwide.
- Termination basis: for larger agreements, it could also be worth adding the basis in which the agreement can come to an end, such as a certain period of notice for either side.
Online, the potential for unauthorised downloading, sharing, or misuse of your paintings is fairly high. It is natural to want to share images of paintings online, whether it may be to contribute and participate in the larger art community and art groups, or to gain wider audience exposure and build a fan-base of admirers for your art through social media platforms etc., but no artist wants to see their art stolen or misused for the commercial gain of another, without prior consideration for its use. Although the internet proves to be the easiest, most cost-effective way to reach people with your art, this undoubtedly leaves you wide open for the misuse and theft of your intellectual property.
The fact is that no matter what lengths you go to, there is no 100% foolproof way to prevent images being saved and shared over the internet; but weighing it up, it’s usually better to take a couple of simple measures to minimise these risks, rather than to deny yourself such great opportunity of exposure to a world-wide audience for your work.
The easiest forms of reducing the misuse of your art online would be to add a copyright warning on or beside your image, or better still, add a minimally-invasive watermark over the image itself, before uploading it to the internet. This at least means that if an image is shared, your name is attached to it and at least travels with your picture which can have its own advantages, as it may even attract new viewers to your site to view more of your work.
There are many apps both for iPhone and Android that will allow you to easily place a watermark over your image. They allow you to experiment with suitable placement and opacity of your watermark, so that it won’t interfere too much with the enjoyment of viewing your paintings online. If you don’t like to obstruct your image at all though, you can still use these apps to add your copyright and contact details more discretely to the side of your image before sharing.
It is often a fear for many artists–especially those less familiar with computing and digital imaging–that once you upload your images online people may just print out copies of your work. In addition to adding watermarks, a good way to enure your image is not going to be printed successsfully from the internet is to make sure it is only uploaded at 72dpi instead of full resolution of 300dpi required for full print quality. Many social media platforms will automatically compress your image on upload, meaning a low resolution image is all that is seen online. Although your image will still appear nice and clear for online viewing, once it is printed, it may be too pixilated to reproduce at any great quality.
Another good option, is to take a photograph of your work at an angle, for example, on your desk with pencils or paint brushes on or next to the painting itself. This means that viewers online can still admire your work, but again, can’t print it out for use as a straight-on image.
The above measures are often enough to show the average person that you are serious about protecting your images and may at least make them think twice before using your art without your permission.
Hopefully this has given somewhat of an introduction into how you can protect yourself from unauthorised copying or misrepresentation of you and your art and may have broken down some of the confusions and misconceptions associated with the commercial and legal side of being an artist. The information given is not intended as definitive legal advice, but as an initial guide to how you can begin to better implement the safe sharing and comercialising of your art. www.junewright.com
Our Éireannach exhibition was scarcely over when the 6th Annual Botanical and Floral Art Exhibition took place. The exhibition was, as always, held in the Visitor Centre in Phoenix Park, at the heart of the Bloom in the Park festival. Well done to all who entered, many of whom were ISBA members, and many thanks to Éanna Ní Leamhna who opened the exhibition in such style! You can find out more at the Botanical & Floral Art in Bloom Facebook page. Congrats to all who exhibited and to the medal winners! You can see the list of awards here, and you can read a review of the medal winners on the Botanical Art and Artists blog here.
When the Bloom exhibition closed, many of the paintings headed over to the Claregalway Botanical Art Expo, held in the beautiful setting of Claregalway Castle, during its annual Garden Festival. Many thanks to the ISBA members who ferried paintings safely across the country in both directions!
Summer activities were rounded off with a stand at the RHSI Summer Garden Show at the end of July, which didn’t leave a lot of time before our Autumn activities start, with two workshops in August and another in October. See our Calendar for more details.
At last May has arrived and after a lot of work by our artists, mentors, framers, (and the committee!), our exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens will be officially opened this weekend on 05 May, by Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Opening to the public on 06 May, the exhibition will run until the 27th. Forty-eight native plants, painted by 43 artists, will feature in the exhibition. The book that we’re publishing to coincide with the exhibition contains all the paintings, plus articles by Irish organisations involved with botanical, environmental and biodiversity issues, plus articles and paintings from the other 24 participating countries. On the 18th, which is the official Worldwide Day of Botanical Art, we’ll hold an open day at our exhibition, where artists will provide demonstrations of how they work; Zoe Devlin (Wildflowers of Ireland) will provide a tour of the exhibition, and there’ll be a chance to see paintings from all the other exhibitions from around the world. For more details, check our Éireannach page and our Calendar.
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