Botanical Art Groups
There are lots of friendly groups that have been formed both in the UK and abroad, and all are a really good opportunity to help you learn more about botanical art and to enjoy chatting like-minded enthusiasts. I'm a member of the first five listed.
- Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society about the Florilegium Society at the Chelsea Physic garden.
- ABA the website for the Association of Botanical Artists, a group for every one - every where - every ability offering support to aspiring botanical artists, with a particular interest in native plants and two web-based exhibitions a year.
- ASBA the website of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Great member gallery with lots of botanical art images to look at, as well as details of exhibitions, meetings, and some interesting articles within the Education section.
- RHS this link is to the page on the Royal Horticultural Society website about exhibiting botanical artwork at their shows. Their picture committee sets the standard for quality in the botanical art world and the art exhibitions are a good place to begin if you want to start a botanical art collection, as prices are generally very reasonable and the artist is often there to answer any questions you might have about their work.
- Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration (IAPI) encourages the scientific illustration of flowering and non-flowering plants and communication of the diversity and intricacy of plant structures not necessarily visible to the naked eye.
- Botanical Art and Artists by Katherine Tyrrell is an extraordinary compendium of all things Botanical Art. The News section is well worth keeping an eye on and the History section and Education are a veritable rabbit hole of fascinating information.
- The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation hold an exhibition every three years of the best in contemporary botanical art. "Collectively, the International series catalogues are the most comprehensive record available of contemporary botanical artists and illustrators with individuals represented now totaling 1,212." Out of print catalogues are available to download
- SBA the annual Society of Botanical Artists exhibition, held in London, is well worth visiting to see the work of a broad range of botanical artists. They also run a distance-learning Diploma course.
There are many local botanical art groups in the UK either open to everyone or with some selection criteria - some just meet to paint, others have a programme of invited speakers or teachers.
It is possible to get grants for illustrating particular projects.
Finnis Scott Botanical Art Prize is a new fund intended to support and promote collaborative botanical art projects in the UK and Ireland.
The UK National Lottery is also worth a look. You do need to fulfil certain criteria, but it can be a good way to pay for the costs of hanging an exhibition, raising awareness of your group, and getting some extra tuition and advice. One group received £3950 from the lottery for a Study of the Vascular Plants of Anston Stones Woods.
You may be able to team up with your local Wildlife Trust to be part of one of their grant applications.
And there are lots of groups forming around the world which is fantastic to see