July 19, 2010

Botanical Illustration

I took my first ever class in botanical illustration today, at Melbourne's beautiful botanical gardens. I've been somewhat preoccupied with both natural history art and with plants for a while now, and this seems like the logical way to explore these interests. So far we've only done some sketches of gum nuts, but already I get the impression this is going to be a life-time passion, and something that feels natural and intuitive for me as an artist. There's something about the meditative process of observing nature so closely, and the discipline of replicating it as faithfully as possible, that I find really appealing - perhaps because the focus is on the inherent beauty and perfection of the subject, rather than on the artist.

For me, obsessing over how impossibly beautiful something is, whether it's a flower, a melody, a sentiment or another human being, is precisely what inspires me to make art in the first place. The art may not always resemble what I'm obsessing over, but profoundly emotive responses to things are always what inform my visions and stimulate my desire to put them on paper. It's only when my whole being is consumed with that kind of euphoria that I can make art that really feels alive and meaningful. I think this is why music provides me with the most inspiration of all - because as a visual artist it communicates to me in a way that feels entirely mystical and beyond my comprehension.

There's nothing nicer than recognising in another person the same creative impulses that I feel, but expressed in a completely different way, and I think that's why I have a tendency to become enamoured with artists who work in formats other than my own. People I find hugely inspiring like David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Justin Broadrick and Emil Amos are all operating from a sincere and deeply felt desire to express themselves, and they do so tirelessly and without compromise. Often it's their approach and dedication to their art that touches me more than the art itself, but the one commonality between them all is their ability to make me feel as though the world is essentially a beautiful place. Looking at some of the botanical art pictured, it's an easy thing to believe.

I scanned these images from a Taschen book called Garden Of Eden which was my birthday present from Shaun this year. Thanks babe.

No comments:

Post a Comment