What are the ingredients for a successful career as a botanical artist?
In The Tapestry of Life, Susan Christopher-Coulson identifies the threads that have formed the warp and weft of her profession: the natural world and her love of drawing woven together with skills in design and making. A self-confessed collector of ‘unconsidered trifles’, she shares her compulsion to collect and then record the treasures she finds as well as her sources of historical inspiration – from medieval prayer books to 17th century Florists.
Working in coloured pencils on board or watercolour paper, Susan’s enthusiasm for joyful juxtapositions of colour and form is infectious and a practical section detailing the tools of her trade along with a step-by-step tutorial featuring a broken English Florists’ tulip will equip readers interested in trying the medium for themselves.
Take inspiration from the compositions, the subjects and the presentation of Susan’s award-winning work but most of all, from the joy that permeates this account of a life spent making botanical art.
Susan Christopher-Coulson. Paperback, 200 x 200 mm, 84 pages, beautiful colour illustrations, June 2023.
About the author: Susan Christopher-Coulson is an award-winning botanical artist and tutor. She trained at Kingston School of Art as a fashion designer and worked for several years in London as a designer and illustrator before her interest in the natural world led her to take up botanical art. It was the response to her first solo exhibition in 1998 that encouraged her to pursue a focus on botanical work and she has been awarded two Royal Horticultural Society gold medals as well as awards from The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, The Society of Botanical Artists, and The Society of Floral Painters and Florum. She is an elected fellow of The Society of Botanical Artists where she was vice president for eight years, and a member of the Sheffield Botanical gardens Florilegium. Her original artworks are in private collections in the UK and abroad as well as in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery collection at Kew Gardens, the RHS Lindley Library and the Florilegium archive of Sheffield Botanical Gardens. An experienced teacher, Susan was the coloured pencil tutor for several years when the Society of Botanical Artists established their Distance Learning Diploma Course.
Botanical Art Portfolios is a new series featuring distinguished botanical artists, their work and their inspiration. Intentionally both beautiful and useful, these handy-sized paperbacks are designed to be taken anywhere, referred to, collected, and gazed at. Each book brings out the personality of its individual artist, showcases their work and shares why they love what they do, explaining their choice of subjects and the distinct techniques they have developed. The Series Editor is Julia Trickey, author of Botanical Artistry and award-winning botanical artist.