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Our learner - Wendy

Meet our learners - Wendy Smith

Meet our learner, Wendy, who has been a botanical artist since 2011. She has been sharing her love of gardening and nature through art and is launching her first solo exhibition on the 2nd June. The exhibition is titled 'From Corncob to Clematis, A Journey Through Plants'. Describing the exhibition, Wendy says, "An ornamental corncob completed in a Kent Adult Education class was the first picture of mine that I felt was worth framing! Eight years and many classes later I achieved my ambition to exhibit at the RHS Botanical Art Show with seven pictures of clematis. In 2020 another clematis picture was accepted for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Florilegium. It all started with a bad bout of depression and art saves me now. This exhibition tells my story through my artwork."

Learner art work

Wendy describes herself as a plant-a-holic, viola player and an artist. She confesses that her preferred medium at present is ink, but admits, this could change at any time!

Wendy initially enrolled on a four week Botanical Art Summer School in 2011. This led to her enrolling on the beginners class in September 2011 and a year later the course tutor, Claire Adams, encouraged her to join the advanced class. Wendy says, "As a passionate gardener plants interested me; art interested me. I was hooked! My initial reason for looking for any course was a bout of bad depression. Claire Adams is an inspirational tutor, full of ideas, always encouraging. The class has always been friendly and supportive (which I am sure comes from the tutor) and also stimulating, as ideas can be bounced around. It is sociable, challenging, never dull. I like that we stretch the boundaries of botanical art".

Learner Art work

Wendy has exhibited her work regularly at the Society of Botanical Artists and won a Certificate of Botanical Merit in 2015. In 2019, Wendy exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society Botanical Art Show and won a silver medal and in 2020, she had a picture accepted for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Floregium.

Wendy's biggest inspiration is Sarah Simblet, who works predominantly in ink. She also admires the botanical work of Rosie Sanders and Fiona Strickland. Wendy says, "Most of all I am inspired by women like me who are still ambitious at an age when we were once expected to just grow old gracefully!"

Learner art work

Wendy has enjoyed meeting like-minded people, visiting exhibitions, gardens and making new friends. She says, "It has enhanced my life. I would not be without my art and its benefits. It sounds ridiculous to say that the process of art makes me human but that is how I feel!"

'From Corncob to Clematis, A Journey Through Plants' is running from 2nd to 6th June 2021, between 10am and 4pm at The Brewery Tap UCA Project Space, Tontine Street, Folkestone.

Thank you to Wendy for sharing her story and we wish you good luck with your upcoming exhibition.