Baobab Flowers Fine Art: Gill Condy

What an honor and a delight spending time with Gillian Condy sketching baobab flowers under the boughs of the baobab trees in Limpopo.  Gill is South Africa’s foremost botanical artist and works for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) as a resident botanical artist.  Her award-winning works are world famous and include a plate in Highgrove Florilegium, a two volume book on the flowering plants in Prince Charles garden Highgrove House.

She has often illustrated baobab flowers in the past, the most well known is one done for the cover of South African Botanical Art: Peeling back the Petals (2001) 

One sultry evening I took Gill to a tree in Venda which had flowers that were just about to burst open at sunset.  With an ice cold beer in hand bought at a local Shebeen, we placed ourselves under the tree on our camping chairs to sit and watch the spectacle about to begin right in front of our eyes.  Flowers that were closed before sunset suddenly burst into glorious extravagant blossom.

Gill first sketches the flower in pencil and then fills in with watercolours. She says:  “I like to work in the field and see the flower in situ so that I can capture its true colours before they bruise.”  For more fascinating facts about Baobab flowers visit:  https://ecoproducts.co.za/baobab-science/tis-flowering-season

 

 

 

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