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 my work; having spent her childhood in the Caribbean countryside where tropical wildlife abounds. Her suggestive original abstracts are also influenced by colours and textures existing in nature twisting towards a human interpretation of emotions, responses to challenges and challenges the perception of perfection and beauty. Self taught, her work is admired and collected by private collectors in Europe, USA & Ireland. ‘Kerry Foxgloves’ was selected for The Society of Botanical Artists ‘Plantae 2020’ exhibition. Her paintings are also featured in the Association of British Botanical Artists’ Purely Botanical Exhibition I & II, 2020 and 2021
Nature, Art & Soul
Burnell Mckenna is a lauded and self-taught artist specialising in large scale, expressive botanical watercolour compositions that celebrate the wonder of nature and uplift the soul. Watercolour encourages a bold and deliberate approach, yet is a romantic, delicate and unbridled medium. It is the medium of choice for her striking depictions of botanical specimen. In the artist’s own opinion, no other medium allows her such freedom and versatility to explore her creativity.
While watercolour remains her medium of practice, she allows herself the joy of artistic exploration in abstract work, landscapes and seascapes in graphite, gouache and inks. She is however perhaps best known for her larger than life, bold botanical paintings.
Born in Trinidad & Tobago, there is a telling character in her work that characterizes her Caribbean roots. Her paintings are rich in texture, bursting with intense, alluring colours suggestive of her preference to a warm primary palette. Burnell started her watercolour creations in 2017 and since then has amassed a vast body of 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 home-based studio there. The natural world and the bucolic Irish countryside provides ample inspiration.
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.