Elisabeth

Sherras Clark

Bold and Beautiful Botanical Art

OnionsElisabeth paints flowers as botanical illustration, flower portraits and silk paintings using the subjects from her own cottage garden in Surrey and Australia. Her knowledge of flowers, enjoyment of colour and freedom of style is evident in the subjects she chooses - a large banana flower with the bloom on it's petals, the spiky form of a huge Peruvian cactus, flamboyant peonies and old fashioned roses.

Her portfolio includes a collection of botanical portraits of fruit, herbs and vegetables creating natural, colourful and fresh watercolours of breathtaking accuracy.Elisabeth Sherras Clark surrounded by her art

UK Telephone:
01483 222303

Email: sherrasclark@hotmail.co.uk

A DAY PAINTING IN A RAINFOREST

By LIZ SHERRAS CLARK

“Burrawang” macrozamia communis


Australia's south east coast has extensive temperate rainforests full of tall spotted gum trees and cycads ,these cycads; are called “burrawangs” and have spectacular cones which split open when ripe releasing many large red fruits. It is wonderful walking through the quiet forest searching for a cycad with cones to paint, but of the hundreds around me I am only able to find one suitable. Liz, paiting in the forest

I spray myself with “Rid” and apply “Stop itch” to fend off the mozzies and leeches and take up position standing between the fronds, carefully avoiding the spikes as they are like penknife blades sticking into you, and lay my board horizontally across them.

I struggle for two days with the initial analytical drawing and putting on the underlying watercolour washes. The sunshine comes and goes making it difficult to capture the right tones so that it is easy to lose your place and paint the wrong row of segments, in fact it is the most difficult plant I`ve ever painted.

Cycad Burrawang

On the third day, my legs are no longer tired as I walk up the steep path with all my gear and my back no longer aches from leaning over my board all day.The smell of the damp trees after a night of heavy rain is intoxicating and huge orange strips of bark litter the ground.

By late afternoon the forest is very quiet with only tiny birds flying from branch to branch in the tall trees. But gradually there is a build up of bird song/squawk,with flights of chattering rainbow lorikeets, piping crimson rosellas, the bubbling song of magpies and the mad laughter of the kookaburras. Fortunately what I thought was a pulsing generator turned out to be the mating call of a wonga pigeon which finally stops after two days!

The painting is progressing quite well and has strength and movement but is rather crudely executed.I must be careful not to drop paint brushes as they become camouflaged in the litter of the forest floor. However I drop my soft “putty” rubber and accidentally stand on it.It has become very soft and is impossible to scrape off so I go home with half the forest stuck to my sole like a boot.

One or two people pass by and are rather shocked to come across a lady peering at them through the foliage. I am startled to hear crackles behind me amongst the trees and see a harmless five foot long goanna slowly descending the trunk of a huge gum tree. It takes no notice of me and finally retreats in the opposite direction.

My last hurdle in this painting is to paint the fronds but I have run out of time so will take some photos which may help me finish it at home in England.