Burnell McKenna’s botanical paintings are larger than life sized, bold rich in colour and explorative of the natural world. She has a deep affinity for all forms wildlife, an array of flowers, birds and insects which feature in her work; having spent her childhood in the Caribbean countryside. Her suggestive original abstracts are also influenced by colours and textures existing in nature twisting towards a human interpretation of emotions, responses to climate change and challenges the perception of perfection and beauty.
Burnell endeavours for everyone to be more than a passive observer but to be participant in the appreciation and preservation of our natural habitats and our flora and fauna; by opening paths through colour play and hyper-sizing of her subjects that would lead to a more meaningful interconnection to the natural world.
Nature, Art & Soul
Burnell is a Caribbean artist, born in Trinidad & Tobago with a telling character in her work that distinguish her Caribbean roots. A dynamic artist with years of experience in painting for private collection and exhibition.
She utilises a bold, deliberate approach to the romantic, delicate and unbridled medium of watercolour in her striking botanical and nature subjects; juxtaposing the fragility of nature with the harsh realities of threats to our environment and biodiversity. In the artist’s own opinion, ‘no other medium allows such freedom and versatility to explore my creativity; or ability to communicate every aspect of nature’.
Burnell has produced an impressive body of botanical work that has been publicly exhibited and purchased by collectors in Ireland, UK and USA. She has been living in Ireland since 2008 and has her creative practice there. The natural world and bucolic Irish countryside provide ample inspiration. While watercolour remains her medium of practice, she explores abstract work, moodscapes and seascapes watercolour, graphite and inks; low relief on paper.
Her work has been featured in a number or acclaimed exhibitions and publications abroad and within the the Republic of Ireland.
Her original painting ‘Kerry Foxgloves’ was featured in The Society of Botanical Artists‘ Plantae 2020 exhibition with a number of works also featured in the Association of British Botanical Artists’ Purely Botanical Exhibition and in the Moscow State Biology Museum.
July – Aug 2022 — Irish Botanical Art Expo, Claregalway Castle, Galway, Ireland
April – May 2022 — ArtNet Dun Loaghaire Emergence, Dun Laoghaire Dublin
Mar 2022 - Mart Studio Members Exhibition - Harold's Cross, Dublin
2020 — Association of Botanical Artists, Purely Botanical Exhibition I, UK
2020 — Association of Botanical Artists, Purely Botanical Exhibition II, UK
2020 — Moscow State Biology Museum, Tropic 20 Flora & Fauna Exhibition, Moscow, Russia
2020 — Society of Botanical Artists - Plantae Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2019 — Group Exhibition, Pielow's Restaurant, Cabinteely, Dublin
2018— Myers McKenna Multimedia Exhibition, Sandyford, Dublin
2021 — Featured Artist Inside Soca Magazine -Cherry Plum (Prunus Cerasifera)
2020 — Featured Artist, Inside Soca Magazine – Red Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
2020— Featured Artist, Inside Soca Magazine -Kerry Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea)
JOY OF THE GARDEN
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2019
Joy of the Garden is one of my earliest works. I was very focused on capturing its texture and depth of colour of the petals of this delicate flower, and even individual pieces. Please get in touch in order to learn more about this piece.
Watercolour on Paper 56x76cm - 2019
Sweet Peas is a large scale painting of the Lathyrus odoratus often grown for their colour (usually in pastel shades of blue, pink, purple and white, including bi-colours) and unique fragrance for private enjoyment or exhibition. I am a great fan of sweet peas and this is an example of my appreciation for this climbing beauty.
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2020
Scarlet is one of my recent watercolour works. It speaks to my Caribbean roots and bears elements of a tropical character that continues to fascinate me and pervades throughout my work. This painting has been featured in the Moscow State Biology Museum's International Animal & Botanical Painting and Illustration Exhibition - Tropic 20 Flora & Fauna 2020.
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2019
A charming fruit, the cherry plum. I was drawn to the deep rich colour of this fruit mellowing in the evening sun, having spotted it on one of my jaunts. It is a popular ornamental tree for gardening or landscaping, grown for its very early flowering. Its enticing drupe and near purple foliage translated well on paper.
This painting has been featured in the British Botanical Artists Purely Botanical II Exhibition 2021
Original Watercolour 56x76cm - 2020
Vibrant and delicate, the foxglove is one of those flowers whose bells beam with delight. There is a certain allure about the warm fuchsias and violet. I found this particular specimen on a trip to County Kerry, the most south-westerly of the Irish counties; a true heaven for a nature enthusiast. This painting was done at 6x scale and one of my largest paintings to date and featured in the Society of Botanical Art's Plantae 2020 exhibition and most recently the Association of British Botanical Artists' Purely Botanical Exhibition I & II in 2021.