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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
We hope you had a lovely summer and that you’ve all been busy working on your sketches for our latest project!
If you’d like to get together with other members, meet up for coffee, or if you have some questions about the Sketchbook Project, you can meet with members of the Sketchbook Committee and the ISBA Committee for chat and advice in the Curvilinear room from 2.30 to 4.00pm.
Sketchbook key dates!
Pages for sketchbooks are to be handed in at our AGM which will probably be held in March 2020.
We have a date pencilled in for the Sketchbook exhibition: it will be held in November 2020 in the National Botanic Gardens. This exhibition will showcase the botanical artist’s sketchbook.
Small works at the exhibition
As you know members who participate in the Sketchbook project will also be invited to hang one piece of finished work at the 2020 exhibition. The work should be no larger than 500mm x 550mm framed.
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.
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
Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Du Noyer’s Images of Ireland
17 November 2017–24 February 2018
An artist imbued with a keen appreciation of the sciences—particularly geology, botany and zoology, George Victor Du Noyer was born into a Huguenot family in Dublin in 1817.
Over the course of a half century, he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, sketching and recording as he went. Thousands of drawings and sketches by him are preserved in the libraries and archives of institutions such as the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland. In the National Botanic Gardens are exquisite watercolours of Irish
apple varieties, roses and other botanical specimens.
In celebration of Du Noyer’s extraordinary achievements, and to commemorate the bi-centenary of his birth, the Crawford Art Gallery will host a major survey exhibition, featuring over one hundred and fifty watercolours and drawings. Opening in November 2017 and continuing until the end of February, 2018, the exhibition will be curated by Peter Murray, former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, in collaboration with Petra Coffey and the Geological Survey of Ireland.
Although best known as a geologist, Du Noyer called himself ‘a labourer in the field of science’, and from an early age he laboured well: the two beautiful botanical paintings shown here are dated 1837, and so were painted when he was only twenty years old.
As the name of the exhibition implies, the works on display will focus primarily on landscape, rocks and the sea, and it promises to be an exhibition of interest to many of us with an interest in the natural history and a wonderful opportunity to see a slice of Irish art and science history.
To find out more, visit the Crawford Gallery description of the exhibition.
The inaugural outing of the ISBA was a visit to Burtown House in May 2013, where we were privileged and delighted to meet Wendy Walsh, and were welcomed to Burtown by Wendy’s daughter Lesley Fennell. A group of ISBA artists returned to Burtown House on 13 May 2017 where Lesley made them very welcome and a tour of the garden and studios was enhanced by lunch in the newly opened Green Barn. Here, ISBA member and the Society’s Hon. Secretary Elaine Moore Mackey gives a brief overview of the lovely visit.
A small group of members were lucky enough to visit Burtown on Saturday 13 May and, while the weather wasn’t great, we made the most of the beautiful setting in which we could admire and learn about the work of Wendy Walsh, who lived at Burtown for the last years of her life.
Lesley Fennell, Wendy’s daughter and an artist herself, took time to show us the gardens–which she manages with enormous talent and committment–as well as Wendy’s paintings which are exhibited in the Gallery at the Green Barn.
Lesley’s generosity and intimate knowledge of Burtown, her home for many years, allowed our group to experience this lovely place on an intimate level. Lesley knows every plant, every corner of the garden, and her enthusiasm for plants and of course, for painting, is infectious.
We were so grateful to her for making us welcome, and to see Wendy’s work up close was a real privilege. The unexpected gift of the visit was to understand and appreciate the long association of Burtown with painting. Lesley’s own studio, formerly that of her mother, is a living workplace and she extended a genuine invitation to our members to paint in the gardens.
I was personally touched by Lesley’s sensitive portraits of Wendy and her own work which celebrates Burtown, her passion for plants, and her home.
The carrot cake was also decidedly memorable!
To read about our first visit to Burtown in 2013, see this post: Wendy Walsh.
It has been a busy autumn for some of our members! Here’s a quick round-up of what’s been happening:
Botanical artists from around the world gathered in Pittsburgh in October for the Annual Meeting and Conference of the American Society of Botanical Artists. The event coincides this year with the 15th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration at the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. We are delighted and proud that Ligularia dentata by ISBA artist and committee member Siobhán Larkin was selected for this important exhibition and we congratulate her.
Siobhán works in coloured pencil and watercolour, and recently won an award at the Irish Watercolour Society exhibition in Dublin. Another ISBA artist, Shevaun Doherty, is among the artists invited to the ASBA Conference to demonstrate ‘Mastering Beautiful Bloom on Fruit in Watercolour’. Mary Dillon is also attending and spreading the word about botanical art in Ireland. Thanks to Shevaun and Mary for sending us photos.
Congratulations also to ISBA member Yanny Petters whose Teasel for finches, November will join the prestigious art collection of Dr Shirley Sherwood at the Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew, London. The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art is the first gallery in the world dedicated solely to botanical art. This painting is part of Yanny’s very successful solo exhibition–“Come with me, I’ll show you something beautiful” / “Komm mit mir, Ich zeig’ Dir ‘was Schönes”–at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Dublin, featuring her exquisite Verre Églomisé paintings. The exhibition continues until 6 November, so if you are in Dublin, do make a point of viewing the exhibition. You can see photos from the exhibition opening on Yanny’s Facebook page @YannyPettersBotanicalArtist
Another ISBA member, Ida Mitrani, is one of the artists whose work features in the Lines of Negotiation exhibition in the Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, running until 05 November. Congratulations to Ida, whose work Totality was bought by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office for their public collection.
The second Art in the Garden exhibition took place in October (9th to 16th) in Tourin House, Co. Waterford (the first of these exhibitions was held in the National Botanic Gardens in 2014, featuring art work based on the Kilmacurragh Gardens). Close to thirty artists had work in the exhibition, in various media; almost a third of the artists were ISBA members. The exhibition was opened by Patricia Butler, Art Historian (who wrote the forward for our own Aibítir catalogue). Well done to all!
Over the weekend, members of the Aibítir team arrived in Derry~Londonderry~Doire to hang Aibítir: The Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art exhibition at The Playhouse. The preparations and the opening of the exhibition coincide with the annual Apprentice Boys’ parades in the ancient walled city. In order that we can all get a flavour of the atmosphere, Colette Roberts and Oonagh Phillips are providing us with ‘despatches from Derry’:
The Apprentice Boys march commenced just outside The Playhouse, as we worked inside. The grey smoke of the dying embers of the previous night’s bonfire drifted over the ancient city walls in the direction of Artillery Street, the Lambeg drums pounding out their relentless annual message, and the boys marched past with ‘No surrender’ on their black tee shirts. The girls had never seen anything quite like it before, and we have a great photograph to prove it, all good fun. There was no trouble and although celebrations went on into the night it didn’t affect us in any way.
The exhibition looks great, I took photographs of the work in progress, and the completed display. In the main entrance area we hung the alphabet starting with Liz Prendergast’s Aiteann gallda (gorse), and in the main room, which looks great, the other two alphabets were hung, starting with two ‘As’ one top and bottom with about two inches between each painting, name ID to the side and about 4 inches from the base. Each painting was cleaned and checked to make sure they were all at same height and spacing, and that we had the correct artist’s name on each.
The ‘five extras’ were hung, three top and two bottom on a separate wall, and also look good. All the signage was hung on the wall to the back of the sales table, with pride of place going to the huge information poster with the photo of Wendy Walsh and Raymond Piper. We are ready for the preview on Monday. Many, many thanks to Liz Prendergast and her daughter, Megan, for the professional way in which they hung the paintings.
Photographs will be taken again once we set up this afternoon (Monday), and Oonagh has arranged a photographer for the evening. Publicity is good (thank you Betty Christie), and Oonagh did an interview on Radio Foyle about the ‘Aibitir’ exhibition last Friday. Much appreciation also goes to Keith at The Playhouse, who was tremendous help, and provided us with storage for all our bits and pieces.
Everyone worked hard and it took us every minute from 10am to 4pm to set up, though we did have an hour for lunch. The weather was glorious, the B&B good, and we had a hilarious meal later that evening.
Watch this space for more news about the exhibition, and if you happen to be in the Derry~Londonderry~Doire area between the 11 and 24 August, do drop by The Playhouse and view this wonderful visual celebration of Ireland’s native language and some of our indigenous plant species.
Some of the Alphabet team with Dr Shirley Sherwood and her husband, James Sherwood. L to R: Mary McInerney, Oonagh Phillips, Susan Sex, Mary Dillon, NBG Assistant Librarian Colette Edwards, James Sherwood, Marie Stamp, Dr Shirley Sherwood, NBG Glasshouse Foreman Brendan Sayers, Yanny Petters, NBG Librarian Alex Caccamo and Siobhan Larkin.
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