JANNE RICHARDSON has always been inspired by the complexities of natural form. Graduating with a BA Honours Graphic Design in 1980, she specialised in Medical & Scientific Illustration. After teaching in Aberdeenshire Schools for 28 years she wished to focus more on her own personal creative career. In 2013 Janne graduated with Distinction from the 2 year Diploma in Botanical Illustration course at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and is now working toward exhibiting at the RHS London Botanical Art Show. The Curator of the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation has asked Janne to submit work for the prestigious 16th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration in America. She commented :
“Your watercolour technique and use of color and space and the transitions you create between the detailed and ethereal areas is especially exemplary ... But more than the technical aspects there is something specific to your way of seeing that comes through in your work.”
Living in coastal Aberdeenshire Janne has presented several lectures and taught a “Botanical Taster Workshop” at the University of Aberdeen. She taught a weekend “Taster Workshop in Botanical Painting” at Tolquhon Studio which was very successful. Janne finds working as a tutor stimulating and fulfilling. Tutorial days at Secondary Schools, Art Clubs and private tutoring keep life and work exciting. Her personal artwork involves a great deal of time spent on drawing and painting annotated research notes on plants that inspire her; searching for plants at specific moments in their life cycle; collecting specimens and devising ways of keeping them alive in order to observe them in detail. Then there is the ultimate moment ...
“Discovering something that I find so beautiful and unexpected that it cries out to have that moment in it’s life cycle captured in my own personal way, to share it with other people and value the wonder of nature.”
In her work Janne is especially interested in the entire growth cycle of the plants she studies, the beauty, the importance and validity of portraying all the stages of life and the way that they endure and strive to survive in the ever changing environment. Depicting not only the detail and structure of the plant form but also the intensity of the plant’s need to survive, the quality of light in winter, spring and throughout the seasons. The reality of life with all it’s variations and imperfections, the changing colours and textures of the plant as it ages. Even in it’s dying stages there is still a sense of the beauty of the plant striving to live again through the seeds it produces. In her investigation and observation Janne enjoys looking for the delicacies and differences in the colours depicting solidity and fragility using watercolour, she has a unique way of perceiving the details of the botanical world.
If there was only one thing she would like to achieve with her work, it would be to inspire people to look at life again, with a fresh and innocent vision, to be excited and inspired to really see what is going on before their eyes and to consider the enormous importance of all plant forms for the survival of life on this planet.
“When I draw and paint a plant form, I almost feel I am touching every layer of detail, texture and structure within it, as if I have a physical connection with its form and character, the essence of the plant and what it means to me personally. It takes time to have that familiarity. As I paint layer upon layer of transparent watercolour and texture, I am getting to know it, inside out. I feel the need to portray vulnerability, fragility, strength and the ethereal beauty in the fabric and structure, the true existence of the plant. I want there to be a perceivable honesty in my artwork.”