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Paperback Contemporary Botanical Artists: The Shirley Sherwood Collection Book

ISBN: 0297822705

ISBN13: 9780297822707

Contemporary Botanical Artists: The Shirley Sherwood Collection

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Book Overview

Dr. Shirley Sherwood toured the world over a period of five years. The result is more than 100 stunning pieces that offer a global view of contemporary botanical art. "Descriptions combined with sumptuous, full-page illustrations make this a book that will appeal to botanists, or anyone who just wants to page through delicate and beautiful images."--"Publishers Weekly. "

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

First exhibition catalog

This book is the catalog for the first traveling exhibition of the Sherwood Collection. The volume features painters from several countries, although most artists represented are from the United Kingdom, in part because, to quote Sherwood, "there are simply more good illustrators in the United Kingdom than anywhere else in the world." The arrangement of the book is simple. There is a brief essay for each painter, a full page illustration, and an occasional smaller illustration. Some of the full page illustrations are close ups, which is not an advantage to the picture as this device typically shows all minor faults. The essays are mostly trite, providing information about when or how Sherwood found the artist, a few snippets of biography, and almost no technical information about the making of the painting. The arrangement of the book is alphabetical order by artist's last name. The appendix consists of 23 pages of small reproductions, grouped from five to seven on a page, with brief comments. The reproductions speak well for themselves. Where a thumbnail size reproduction is presented on the verso with an enlargement of part or all of the picture on the recto, one can glean a lot of information about the colors, style, technique, and materials used by the painter. This is delightful if one is technically interested in the details of the pictures, but not the best for overall effect of the painting. Because some of the images are enlargements there is some degredation of visual impact, but that is nicely offset by the magnifying glass view of detail. Most pictures are presented on a full page, some are, sadly, cropped. The collection shows a luscious variety of styles, from scientific accuracy of Brigid Edwards, to the calligraphic style of Jinyhon Feng, to the stylized work of Arundhati Vartak and the hard edged superrealism of Paul Jones. The full page illustration by Tai-Li Zhang shows how a master handles color, complexity of subject, and realism resulting in a beautiful and accurate design. Helen Haywood's overly complex rendering of a wild cabbage almost gets in the way of the clarity she strives for in the deft way she manipulates the plant to show all aspects of its anatomy, including, appropriately for scientific botanical illustration, the root system. Contrast that with Mishima's tillandsia, a study in clarity. He shows how to make simple a most complex arrangement so that it does not overwhelm the eye. Paul Jones' camellia is a super realist, decorative study, and one cannot fault it for its cold elegance. A few painters get in their own way as they seem to aim for virtuoso performance. There are five examples by Margaret Mee, that artist who always shows great respect for her subjects. Sherwood is a biologist collecting contemporary botanical paintings. She states that there is a resurgance in popularity of botanical painting, as suggested by the foundation of the Society of Botanical Artists in the 1980's, and recently the

A book for all lovers of art

When I saw this book I was blown away by the range and quality of the work in it. As soon as I was back at my computer, I purchased a copy for my sister who does botanical illustration. She too was very impressed with it. You cannot go wrong buying this book if you enjoy a) art; b) botanical illustration, or; c) all things beautiful.

A must-have for botanical artists

Have recommended this book to other botanical artists and every one who sees it has purchased it. Full of exquisitely rendered specimens in many different styles of botanical painting. Gives some background on each of the artists, but the real feature is the large reproductions of the art work. An excellent reference book for painters and a beautiful book to display. Don't miss this one!

An absolute stunner of a book!

This is a book of dazzling beauty. The first time that I read it I had to keep trying to remember to breath! This is not a how-to book but a WOW! book. The range and quality of the illustrations is astounding, particularly in view of the large number of pictures and the comparatively low price


The pinnacle of botanical illustration books. I own this book and have slowly gone through it many times. It contains paintings by today's most talented botanical illustrators and is both awe inspiring and humbling.
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