Thinking the Plant: The Watercolour Drawings of Rebecca John
Artist(s): Rebecca John
Author(s): Rebecca john
Year published: 2020
Publisher: Pimpernel Press
Total Pages: 160
Illustrations: colour throughout
Rebecca John was born into a family of painters, the most famous among them being her grandfather, Augustus John, and her great-aunt, Gwen John. And the last thing she wanted was to become a painter herself. So how did this happen? In Thinking the Plant she traces the path that led to her beautiful botanical watercolours. She takes us through her childhood – the cottage in the Cotswolds ‘where I first became intensely aware of nature in its wild state’, her grandfather’s home at Fryern Court in Hampshire and her parents’ London house, both of them forever associated in her mind with ‘growing things’; the Fine Jewellery course where ‘I learned to draw – and to concentrate on things close up’, her days as a picture researcher and her growing delight in botanical paintings. Rebecca John was in her thirties when she began to ‘make tentative pencil studies of flowering plants’. In 1994 she enrolled for the new Botanical Painting course at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Soon after, she began to spend more time at her mother’s cottage in Wales where she could work close to nature. She achieved recognition as an artist when she was in her 50s. Drawing on contemporary diary entries and notes Thinking the Plant is a unique record, illustrated with Rebeccca John’s exquisite watercolours.
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