Rose Marie James is a New York botanical artist working in watercolor and colored pencil. When discussing the value of botanical art and how she works, Rose Marie states:
“I believe botanical art has the unique ability to bring the viewer’s attention to all the physical details of a growing plant – the shape of its leaves, the color of its petals, it’s growth processes. It also endeavors to illustrate the intangible – its manner, its stance, its aliveness, its beauty.
I collect specimens from my garden, from the roadside and woodlands, preserving them in pots and water jars, cooling them in my refrigerator or sunning them on my sun porch.
I start with detailed pencil line drawings on tracing paper, studying the live specimen and taking photographs to create a reference. Using a magnifying glass or printer’s loop to study details, I may dissect significant components that I want to add to the drawing, or I might unearth the plant to reveal its root system. I finally do a series of color studies to determine matches to the live specimen; the color mixes are notated for consistency and future reference. Finally the process of rendering begins. Working with watercolor paint, or watercolor pencils with colored pencils on Fabriano Artistico paper, I strive to bring the drawing to life, to illuminate the forms and colors – and the intangibles – so the viewer will see the plant anew and pronounce it beautiful.
I shall forever be a student studying with other botanical artists. I find that each artist has different skills and knowledge to offer. Along with studying and creating new work, I also teach classes in botanical illustration for the New York Botanical Garden.”
You are invited to meet Rose Marie James at the artist reception that will be held for her in the Main Library on Monday, April 11th, 7:00 – 8:45pm. All are welcome. Click on the image to download the postcard.
Rose Marie’s work can be viewed in the Members Gallery of the American Society of Botanical Artists.