Friday, 21 March 2014

Society of Botanical Artists Receiving Day 2014

Getting Ready

Phoenix dactylifera, believed to be Khesab variety

 With my five SBA paintings finished, it was time to prepare them for the next stage of the journey.  First I took them to Fire.ie to be scanned professionally. Whilst it’s not cheap, it’s always worthwhile getting a good digital image of your artwork.  Once scanned, it was off to the framer, Liam Slattery, whose workshop in Rathmines is a veritable treasure trove of fabulous paintings. Most importantly, he has impeccable taste in frames. 
Choosing a good frame for a painting is like choosing the shoes for a party frock- the right one can make the painting sing. The wrong one can look as clumsy as wellies with a wedding dress. 


Needless to say, I was delighted with his work which was simple and elegant.
Then it’s a matter of packing it all up safely for the plane! Fortunately I have a mother who has a great workshop and a lot of experience in packing up paintings!! 

My lovely mum hard at work!
Paintings can be badly damaged by glass shattering en route, so as a precaution, we bought a roll of clear window film from the local hardware shop. It peels off quite easily, although you might need nail varnish remover wipes to take off any sticky residue. Then we wrapped the paintings in layers of bubble wrap, put the paintings glass to glass, and taped them together tightly. 


As a final precaution, we covered the paintings in Aluminium Thermawrap, which gave the parcels extra security and a very impressive Nasa-inspired look! My good friend Jarnie also wrote about the packing of paintings in her blog. It's worth reading Katherine Tyrrell's resource site for packaging and moving artwork.

It's important to label your parcel clearly and to use a soft rope to make a secure handle

Paintings, passports and Paddy’s day


Finally the big day had come! No parades for mum and me as we were off to London!

The Society of Botanical Artists hold their annual exhibition in the very impressive Westminster Central Hall.
 From all over the country, people were arriving with their precious cargo of paintings and prints. Inside a huge pile of paintings sent in by artists from all over the world was also waiting to be filed and sorted. The huge room was a hive of activity and bustle, overseen by the ever-efficient Pam Henderson, SBA secretary. 

Sandra Wall Armitage, President of the SBA and Pam Henderson, SBA secretary! Despite the task ahead of them, they still found time to smile!

Forms were filled, cheques were signed and the paintings were sorted neatly into alphabetical piles. Sandra Wall Armitage, president of the SBA, was busy dealing with the huge influx of artwork, cards and prints. In the end, there were over 800 submissions, which is a phenomenal amount of artwork to choose from.



 The room has recently been revamped, and whilst it is certainly brighter and better lit than in previous years, it means that valuable wall space has been lost. I eyed the line of paintings that were being carried in by hopeful artists and thought “There will be tears.”

Simon Williams SBA now runs the hugely successful SBA DLDC course

Thankfully all my paintings arrived intact and with the help of some kindly souls who lent me scissors, glass cleaner and a hand unpacking (thank you JG, TM and FB!), I was soon ready to sign in my artwork. Judging was to take place the next day, so everyone had their fingers crossed.

This morning I got the phonecall! 

Sandra Wall Armitage rang to say that all of my paintings were accepted and that I am now a full member of the SBA!! I am so incredibly thrilled! It’s been a long journey which has taken four years and a total of twenty-six paintings to get there. I would definitely recommend doing the SBA Distance Learning Diploma Course as a means of achieving this goal.


 The Society of Botanical Artists annual exhibition will take place at Westminster Central Hall, London from May 9th-18th, 11am-5pm including Sundays. The theme this year is The Botanical Garden. Everyone is welcome.

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! That is so exciting. Your paintings are so gorgeous! I really laughed at your comment about the wrong frame being like wearing wellies with a wedding dress. That is so true. You are so deserving of this honor! I am so happy for you. Enjoy the trip!

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  2. Congratulations! You must be thrilled! And you and yor work are so worthy. Well done!

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    1. What a nice thing to say! Yes, I'm over the moon! Thank you!

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  3. It's wonderful to see your paintings framed and to hear about your experience of receiving day. Thanks for another fascinating blog post. Most of all congratulations on your SBA membership--your hard work has paid off!! I am happy for you.

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    1. Thank you very much, Janene, and congratulations to you too!! I'm looking forward to the exhibition. :)

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  4. Congratulations, I hope to get there one day. Looking forward to seeing your art hanging at the Exhibition! Lori V.

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    1. Lori, you are certainly on your way to becoming a member. Doing the course was definitely a great way to gain experience and discipline. Best of luck with your studies!

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  5. Congratulations Shevaun! This is superb news - I am so happy for you

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    1. Thanks a million, Jess! What a pity that you won't be there! Best of luck with your pop-up studio at the RHS next month!

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