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Finding inspiration: behind the scenes

Vibrant and delicate, the foxglove is one of those flowers whose bells beam with delight, the warm fuchsias and violet were a pleasure for my artistic taste. Having grown up in the countryside of the small tropical islands of Trinidad and Tobago, I am very drawn to the outdoors, wildlife and plant life. My family lived in the midst of nature, close tropical forest and in my current abode in Ireland, I am always in pursuit of outdoor inspiration, usually on forest hike or a coastal exploration and at times I feel a certain compelling desire to paint wild flowers. On this occasion, 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; moving from coastline, to forests, to wild gardens where I found the spectacular foxglove amidst a multitude of other wild specimen. I was excited at the beginning to return to my studio to start painting as plant matter is best rendered when it is fresh otherwise it becomes a task in preserving it to maintain its best form. This watercolour painting was undertaken at 6x scale and probably one of the largest flower paintings to date. The first washes already bringing warmth into the room. It was a challenging painting however as it took a number of weeks on the details, sticking to the goal of bringing the viewer as close to reality of this beautiful flower as I could. The process of finishing a painting as always fills me with joy and anticipation to present it to the world. This piece has been selected in a number of exhibitions such as the Society of Botanical Art's Plantae 2020 exhibition and most recently the Association of British Botanical Artists' Purely Botanical Exhibition 2020.

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