Helen Brough often depicts flowers or natural landscapes in her paintings. Brough uses watercolours to create loose representations which are infused with a sense of vitality. In the image Dahlia Purple Gold (2018) she boldly traces the outline of the flower with gold ink to capture the flourishing shape of the flower.
Botany relates to the study of life on earth by tracing the historical development of plant organisms. Botany originated in Ancient Greece, where the practice was said to be invented by a student of Aristotle’s, Theophrastus, who has come to be known as the ‘Father of Botany’.
In the 18th century, an overwhelming amount of plant discoveries were being made as a result of European exploration and scientific developments. In response, Carl Linnaeus published a system for classification which relied on botanical painting and eventually developed into the modern system we use today.
Artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet were fascinated by natural beauty and painted multiple well-known series of flowers. To capture the environment naturally, both artists practiced en plein air painting (painting outdoors), a practice popularised by the Impressionists.