Saturday, January 28, 2023

Botanical Art or Plein-Air Painting?

Is there a difference between botanical art and plein-air painting? 

While both may result in attractive images of plants, the botanical artist is more concerned with portraying individual specimens with a scientist’s perspective, removing a plant from its context to understand the structure and exploring the beauty in that way. 

The plein-air artist pays attention to the whole living ensemble as influenced by light, air, atmosphere, spatial depth. It’s possible to combine the two visual approaches—and the thought process behind them—to see both the forest and the trees.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Hi James,

It seems like there's infinite detail to capture in plants, what's your approach? I can't wrap my head around the level of detail in Shishkin's paintings and how one could even approach that level of precision - your fern painting in this post also has a ton of detail.

It seems like capturing all that detail in tiny shapes goes directly against what I've read about shape-language, but obviously Shishkin's paintings are still 'readable'...