Who we are

Image: Botanical Illustration of a PansyWe are a small friendly group of retired women. We have been meeting together for several years in Dronfield to paint and draw botanical subjects. We try to do this in a realistic manner to present a factual representation of the botanical features of plants, but with our own personal interpretation. 

We began as a Further Education class with a professional tutor. Our tutor retired and was not replaced so we became a self supporting independent group. Our former tutor Sheila Thompson has been very supportive and encouraging of our efforts. 

We like to discuss our work and other things in our coffee and tea breaks and support each other with advice and constructive criticism. We are keen to encourage new members who would be most welcome.  We can offer new members, be they male or female, a structured programme and advice if required as we have no permanent tutor at present. 

To encourage new members we have recently joined the Dronfield Hall Barn Project. The Project has supported us in organising workshops. We hope to have more in the future. 

Image: Botanical illustration of a toadstool

What we do

Our inspiration comes from a wide range of living subjects; from flowers and fruit to fungi. In Spring we often use plants growing in pots such as hellebores or narcissi. In Autumn, leaves and fruits provide us with a different range of subjects. We use different media such as pencil, inks, and crayons as well as watercolour in our work. 

Botanical Illustration is a way of portraying plants accurately. In the past these illustrations were used by botanists and scientists to study the parts of the plant; roots, flowers, stems, fruits and sexual parts. Even today an illustration can provide a more accurate representation than a photograph. However, the appreciation of the beauty of plants has led to a more relaxed approach to Botanical Illustration known as plant portraiture which is the approach we tend to use.

Every year we hold a small exhibition of our work to provide us with a focus. More recently, with the help of the Barn Project, we have organised one day workshops on the basic techniques required for Botanical Illustration and we are planning others. We hope to build on this by inviting well known artists in the field to talk about and demonstrate different aspects of botanical art.

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