Last weekend, Mary Brewin and Anne Bebbington reviewed the pilot course with students and other IAPI members at a group meeting. This review of the pilot course was held in conjunction with an exhibition of student work at
Nature in Art in Gloucestershire. Anne Bebbington explains:
Anne continued to explain that feedback from participants was very positive and all participants felt the course will benefit their future work. Participants felt the home-study projects were especially helpful and that they are an important part of the IAPI curriculum.
A well-attended meeting began with a brief course description, followed by presentations from several of the course members. These interesting talks demonstrated well both the variety of background of the students, their interests and how the course would inform their art work in the future. Michael Hickey was the founder of IAPI and is remembered by many of its members not just for his botanical illustration skills, but for his inspirational teaching about plants. We were therefore delighted to welcome Robin Hickey, Michael’s widow, to the meeting and honoured that she had agreed at the end of this session, to present the students with their certificates of course completion.The extended lunch break provided an opportunity to talk to both students and tutors and look at the exhibition. This included a display of course materials and some finished pieces of artwork. Of particular interest, however, were the students’ botanical sketchbooks and works in-progress, demonstrating the botanical journeys they had followed and the impressive amount of work they had done. A short practical session in the afternoon on fruit structure and seed dispersal also gave the meeting a flavour of the course.
The meeting concluded with a discussion session considering the delivery of future courses. A number of courses are already running or being planned for 2012 as a result of the pilot course and there was general agreement that there was real demand for such courses. The format of the pilot course was successful, but it was felt that there was room for a variety of formats to suit different needs. These might include one-day workshops, weekend courses, residential courses and distance learning. They should be accessible over as wide a geographical area as possible. Working with other organizations, for example the Field Studies Council and art societies such as the South West Society of Botanical Artists (SWSBA), the IAPI with its membership of botanists as well as artists, and its aim of drawing botanists and artists together, is uniquely placed to help support and deliver such botanical courses .
Learn more about the Institute of Analytical Plant Illustration in upcoming articles.
Sincere thanks and appreciation go to Anne Bebbington and Mary Brewin for their significant contributions to this week’s teaching and learning column. Read more about Anne and Mary below.
- Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration
- Read about Anne’s research in Plant Identification & Environmental Literacy
About Mary Brewin
Mary Brewin, an adult education tutor since 2002, was able to develop her interest in art and plants through pursuing the University of Birmingham Higher Certificate course in Botanical Illustration – completed in 2005. Mary has worked with many adult learners through teaching botanical illustration and organizing various exhibitions of their work. She was secretary to the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration (IAPI) and now serves on the IAPI education subgroup. Mary is keen to promote a good understanding of plant structure and plant family characteristics among students, artists and illustrators who want to draw and paint them realistically. The pleasure of discovering the finer details of the plant world through running a botany for botanical artists course with Dr. Anne Bebbington, cannot be over-emphasized as adult learners always open up avenues of interesting inquiry!
About Anne Bebbington
Dr. Anne Bebbington, a keen naturalist, trained as a botanist and worked for over 30 years for the Field Studies Council. As well as teaching environmental studies at all levels from young primary pupils to undergraduates, she has tutored many wild flower courses for adults both in Britain and further afield in Europe, Canada and Australia. Her interest and expertise in illustration have always formed an important part of her work. In retirement, as a freelance natural history illustrator, she works mainly in pen and ink. She is also very keen to share her enthusiasm for plants and runs a local botany group as well as running botanical workshops for artists. She is President of the Institute of Analytical Plant Illustration.