Detail from Serapias lingua,
Gouache 51 x 35.5 cm, 2009

Welcome to Art for Orchids

Two years ago, I set out on a new chapter in my life, to focus my energy on nature conservation. To formulate exactly how I want to approach conservation, and how I as an individual can hope to achieve something, I have gone back to my childhood passions for the observation of nature and its representation through art. I have painted a lot, not as much as I would like, but have refined my methods down to three simple techniques, and my palette down to nine basic pigments. In doing so, I am able to spend more time on contemplation of the subject and how to capture its essence, and less on the technical process of representation.

This process of maximising subconscious, intuitive and inherent processes by breaking through a dependence on acquired technical ability has been a revelation: an intense period of reflection and discovery, and from it, Art for Orchids was born.

Art for Orchids was initially conceived as my way of using art – with an initial focus on orchid watercolours – to raise awareness and money for the protection of orchid species and conservation of their habitats worldwide.

As the concept has evolved, I see its applications more clearly not just as a product (images), but equally as a process (the observation and representation of nature).

I am proud to have become an active member of both the Orchid Conservation Coalition, (OCC; http://www.orchidconservationcoalition.org/) and the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA; http://www.amsocbotartists.org/), and through the support of both organisations have been able to launch two projects in 2011. Read more about these projects.