Fruits, Vegetables, and Bugs
This wonderful 5-day painting workshops’ focus will be on the essential watercolour painting techniques necessary to create a series of beautiful fruit and vegetable illustrations, as well as a day exploring insects, a favourite complimentary element of this work. Working with standard watercolour techniques of washes, the more complex process of glazing, (or layers of wash), as well as the intricate art of dry brushing, these wonderful subjects offer an ideal opportunity to look intimately at colour, form, texture, light, tone, structure, and techniques so specific to botanical illustration. My classes always have a strong focus on the watercolour medium in general, because when we understand the medium, we can apply these skills to any subject you choose. We will explore washes, glazes and dry brushing to help your work progress and to find the best way forward for you as an individual artist. Botanical painting is such a beautiful genre to work in, and it’s an especially ideal choice for anyone who feels they have a natural tendency for detailed work. I know that many of you will identify with this sense, and I am always one to say ‘go with it!’ For anyone familiar with my workshops, you’ll know that I have very practical, no nonsense approach to my work and teaching, and I don’t tend to get bogged down in theory in my classes. I prefer a very hands-on approach and one where we can get straight into it with our wet brushes and learn on the go. I have found it’s a comfortable and successful approach that many people love and appreciate. Through extensive demonstrations, step-by-step tuition, and guided learning we will work to demystify and simplify the process and create valuable strategies to achieve successful outcomes. Together we will find a new level of confidence and establish sound footholds for independent painting beyond my workshops. I’d like to welcome you to join this fantastic opportunity and group, I look forward to seeing you in the wash! Open to all comers 18 years and over.
Australian born, Heidi Willis is an entirely self-taught natural history watercolour artist. Her work illustrates our native and exotic plants, fruits and seed capsules, whilst her powerful, distinctive portraits of Australia’s unique and spectacular bird life offer viewers an insight into the world as she experiences it. Painting full-time since 2003, Heidi quickly established herself as one of Australia’s leading emerging artistic talents and her international reputation as an exceptional natural history, wildlife artist and botanical artist is well established. Her works can be found in significant public and private collections around the world and are often sold before completion. In 2004, Heidi had 20 works selected for her first Botanica exhibition in the Sydney Botanic Gardens. Dr Shirley Sherwood purchased her work for inclusion in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection of international contemporary botanical artists. Producing her first graphite illustrations in 2005, both her works were selected for the Margaret Flockton Award. Hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, the Margaret Flockton Award recognises outstanding achievement in scientific botanical illustration and receives international submissions. Heidi won awards for excellence in botanical illustration for her pencil works in 2005 and again in 2006. She has had two paintings selected for the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation exhibition in the USA and her works are held in the permanent collection of the University. Heidi was twice a finalist in the Focus on Nature exhibition, a Natural History Art Prize held in the New York State Museum. The Focus on Nature exhibition was recently placed in the top 10 exhibitions within the capital region. Her Kingfisher painting was selected for the cover of the colour catalogue and exhibition posters and her wildlife illustrations were on exhibition at the Museum for five months each time. Heidi was recently selected as a finalist for the sixth time in the highly competitive Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, hosted by the South Australian Museum. She was awarded the Highly Commended prize for the second time for her entry and her work subsequently joined the travelling national tour. This international exhibition is one of the most prestigious, competitive and most sought after art prizes in Australia, promoting and recognising excellence in natural history art.
Heidi was honoured to be taken on by Australian Geographic in 2015 as a freelance botanical illustrator. Her work is featured in their media and magazine publications on an ongoing basis for all things botanical. Her work has also been featured in several other publications, most significantly, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Craft Arts Magazine, Colophon, SA Life, International Artist Magazine, and Artist’s Palette Magazine multiple times over, with her work featured on the front cover of Artist’s Palette issue 123 and the front cover again in International Artist Magazine, Issue 111. In March 2017 her work will be featured on the front cover of Australian Artist Magazine, with an additional feature article to be run later in the year. Heidi’s recognisable style can be applied to contemporary or traditional pieces, capturing the life and beauty in all her subjects. While her technique is time-consuming and a single painting may take many months to produce, Heidi considers each painting as a precious record of today’s natural history that will be treasured for generations to come.
2017 Feature article in Australian Artist Magazine
2017 Front cover and feature in Australian Artist Magazine
2016 Work on exhibition at the National Archives, ACT
2016 Travelling national tour ‘Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize’
2016 Award winner, highly commended, ‘Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize’, SA Museum
2016 Front cover and feature of International Artist Magazine
2016 Australian Geographic Magazine article
2015 Australian Geographic Magazine article
2015 Became botanical Illustrator for Australian Geographic Magazine
2016 Work on exhibition at the National Archives, ACT
2014 Travelling national tour ‘Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize’
2014 Award winner, highly commended, ‘Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize’, SA Museum
2013 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize’, SA Museum
2013 Front cover and feature of Artist Palette Magazine
2013 International Artist Magazine feature
2013 Cover and feature article Colophon magazine
2013 SA Life magazine appearance
2011 Permanent Representation Boyd Gallery, NSW
2007 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2007 Combined wildlife exhibition, Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth
2007 Finalist Australia Day Arts Award.
2007 Permanent representation Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth, NSW
2006 Solo exhibition, Gosford Regional Gallery.
2006 Finalist ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum.
2006 Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration, ‘Margaret Flockton Award’.
2006 Finalist in the ‘Margaret Flockton Award’, Red Box Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (2 selected).
2006 2 paintings selected for permanent collection, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, USA
2006 Finalist in ‘Focus on Nature Exhibition IX’ natural history exhibition, New York State Museum (2 selected)
2006 Painting selected from finalists to use for colour catalogues & exhibition posters, New York State Museum ‘Focus on Nature IX’ exhibition.
2005 Finalist in the ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2005 Finalist in the ‘Margaret Flockton Award’, Red Box Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (2 selected)
2005 Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration, ‘Margaret Flockton Award’.
2005 ‘Botanica’ Exhibition, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2005 ‘Canberra Botanical Exhibition’, CSIRO Canberra2005 Artist’s Palette Magazine
2004 Finalist in the New York State Museum ‘Focus on Nature’ exhibition.
2004 Finalist in the ‘Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize’, SA Museum
2004 Work purchased for Shirley Sherwood collection
2004 ‘Botanica’ Exhibition, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2004 ‘Canberra Botanical Exhibition’, CSIRO Canberra2004 Appearance in Sydney Botanic Gardens Magazine
2003 Canberra Botanical Exhibition, CSIRO Canberra
2003 Appearance in Sydney Botanic Gardens Magazine
2001 Craft Arts Magazine