A little bit about Billy
In late spring last year (2018) I was offered and took on the role of President of the Society of Botanical Artists. As with most things I do in life I didn’t know what I was taking on but just went with my gut feeling; this is not always the most foolproof method of going through life, however the job has so far been interesting, stimulating and exhausting all in one.
The SBA has been a part of my life for 20 years or more exhibiting with them every year and latterly getting involved with the SBA council. During my time with the Society I have met so many wonderful artists and made many good friends; this was part of the reason I took on the role of President.
I really love meeting other artists but like many artists we can often be too busy to get together so the Society has been a gift for connecting and discussions with fellow creators. Chatting amongst your peers you can find out about opportunities, exhibitions, awards, etc, and get advice on how to achieve the best results. Starting in 2019 we have a host of new aspects to the Society of Botanical Artists, which we hope will be inclusive, friendly and educational. Botanical art is for everybody, it’s aspirational, enjoyable and rewarding. Through this form of art we learn about the world around us the beautiful plants that need protecting and exquisite plants that demand portraying and the wonderful detail that nature has in abundance.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on botany but I do love the plant world, I love nature and I love art, I hope that with the new SBA we can bring new artists (beginners and professional and lovers of botanical art) into our society. Together we can paint, protect and prize the kingdom of Plants.
Best wishes Billy x
Artist Billy Showell, is based in Tunbridge Wells, she graduated from St Martins School of Art with a degree in fashion design and illustration but later changed direction to pursue a career in painting, illustration and tuition.
Watercolour has been a passion of Billy's for some years now, she fell into botanical painting by chance but has since written 3 best selling hardback 'how to' books, 'Watercolour Flower Portraits', 'Watercolour Fruit and Vegetable Portraits' and 'The A-Z of flower portraits' and another book on the way all published by Search Press.
Billy is a member of the Society of Botanical artists, the SBA, and has won several CBM awards (certificates of botanical merits).
She also has work held in the Kew archives and those of the Hunt Institute in America. Billy has been teaching botanical painting since she began painting watercolour and has a passion for sharing all that she has learnt, all her tips and skills.
As a contemporary botanical artist Billy has a reputation for her unusual and creative compositions for example her hearts, shoes and necklaces, as well as her unique take on traditional arrangements that challenge the norm. Great designers such as Charles Rene Mackintosh, Alphonse Mucha and sculptor Alberto Giacometti inspire Billy together with elements from her own background in fashion design and illustration.
Billy endeavours to create stylish and beautifully balanced compositions of flowers, fruits or vegetables.
Billy has worked her career around bringing up two sons and spends most of her time in her studio teaching and creating new works for exhibitions and books. Billy loves to encourage others, in her own words “I love to share all that I have learnt and discovered with painting over my career and would encourage anyone who has dreamed of having a go at watercolour to just jump in, even with minimal kit I can show anyone how to get started, it’s a journey of discovery and little moments of eureka, with my know how and a little time set aside to practice, painting could become your passion”