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Originally Billy trained in fashion design and illustration, she quickly turned to her first love, painting and illustration. Her works are distinguishable by her striking, fluid and sometimes unusual compositions; she has won various botanical awards, an RHS SGM, 7 SBA Certificates of Botanical Merit and a gold medal from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society as well as many awards for ‘People’s Choice’. Billy’s work is held at Kew Botanic gardens, the Hunt Institute USA and one in the Shirley Sherwood collection; her work is also held in many private collectors worldwide. Billy has also created over 100 species illustrations for the International Fragrance Federation and has painted many illustrations for commercial food companies.
In late 2018 Billy became the President of the Society of Botanical Artists and in late 2019 she invited Gael Sellwood to share the role, they remained in that role until September 2021. Alongside Billy’s painting and illustrating, she is also a prolific teacher. Teaching at her studio and regularly across the UK as well as America, Russia and Australia and many more. Passionate about sharing her tips and skills, Billy has produced four best-selling books on her painting style.
The Billy Showell school of Botanical Art was set up to help Billy reach students worldwide in order to share her knowledge and love of the medium and genre.
Join Billy and enjoy learning the process of watercolour and botanical watercolour art! I will hold your hand but also encourage you to take the steps to paint to perfection.
"At the heart of my work is the love of plants, the love of watercolour and the desire to bring as many people to this art form as I possibly can. On occasion my work can be seen as light hearted as my compositions are joyous but over the 24 years I have been painting and teaching I have introduced this love of painting plants to huge numbers of budding students, sharing what I do is my passion and loving what you do is my mantra. Botany brings enlightenment and painting helps spread the word and the pure joy of composing encourages artists to challenge the norm."
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”