Rosie Sanders – Botanical Artist

I came across the artist and illustrator Rosie sanders in the March addition of Country Life magazine. I was attracted to this issue as they were running a ten page spread on various botanical artists. Sanders work really stands out for its exquisite attention to detail, vibrant life like pallet and interesting compositions.

Mainly specialising in producing large square floral portraits of 1m squared or larger Sanders uses water colour paint to produce her almost hyper realistic representation.

She also uses various print techniques such as mono type, etching and dry point to interesting effect.

Sanders lives and works in Devon. she has produced a few quality land scapes a s well but is usually preoccupied with horticulture. Producing countless works of art and a spattering of illustrated publications such as the Apple Book, recently rereleased. This holds many intricate illustrations of many of the apples species found in Britain.

She is a self taught artist and now runs short courses to pass on her secrets to others. she has had major exhibitions at Kew Gardens and the Jonathan Copper South Walk gallery in resent years.

Often I have looked at flowers and thought how difficult it is to truly do there natural beauty justice when making studies of them. The iridescent colours of each petal is so vibrant and changes with the light.

Sanders has mastered this challenge by shining a lamp from behind the flower she is working on, through its petals to bring out all the hidden hues from within. The fact she scales the flowers up to over 10 times there size not only leads to a striking effect but gives the artist lots of room to represent every delicate vain and colour transition she observes.

Sanders work realise heavily on the contrast between positive and negative space. In the positive we see the high detail, high saturated flowers in contrast to this the negative ares, of which tend to hold a higher surface area than the positive, are left bright Wight.

As a result the edges of the flowers create a striking sculptural composition suspended in nothingness.

Another compositional traits of the artist is to crop a section of the flower stem. So on the picture plane we see typically one to four flower heads. the stems enter and leave the picture usually on the diagonal. Some of the flower heads are even cropped.

This style of framing the subject is commonly seen in photography, rarer in painting. The result of all these factors combine to make truly breath taking botanical works of art. The style is highly recognisable. Once you have seen one Sanders it’s easy to pick her work out in a room full of others.

Rosie Sanders is a prolific worker and active blogger. Her website offers a rare insight into the workings of an artist who is on top of there game.


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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