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“Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ grows in my garden but is local to the area, having been introduced at Nymans Gardens at Handcross and named after owner Leonard Messel.
I have been a botanical artist for nearly 20 years and specialise in watercolour. I am fascinated by the union of science and art in botanical illustration and draw inspiration mainly from my garden for subject matter. Of particular interest are specimens that are rich in colour, feature interesting textures or have an intricate structures. Because my work is very detailed and has to be as accurate as possible, I use smooth, hot-press paper and mainly dry brush techniques to convey all the nuances of form, structure and texture in a specimen.
Alongside my personal work, I have been teaching botanical illustration for around ten years across Sussex and Surrey. I get tremendous pleasure in sharing my knowledge and passion for botanical illustration and enjoy seeing the talents of my students develop. I am a member of several florilegiums whereby I produce paintings which are donated to the archives of Hampton Court Palace, Nyman’s Gardens and the Sydney Botanical Garden. These individual collections of paintings form important bodies of work which provide historical and scientific records of plant material for future reference.”
– Leigh Ann Gale