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Fellowship Qualification:

After a couple of false starts and plan changes I’ve finally submitted my qualification panel. And I’m really excited to say that I passed, and am now an Illustrative Fellow of The Societies.

Following the success of The LadyBugs, I decided to persist with photographing models but this time with my other love – flowers. After 3 long years of waiting for everything to fall into place, La Boule de Fleurs Mascarade was complete.

I will do a behind-the-scenes blog on how the images came about but for now I just want to thank everyone who has been part of this incredible journey (apologies if it’s a little long winded).

My wonderful models – Aly, Anita, Katie, Lorelai, Sarah, Simone & Soria.
My lovely judges – Adrian, Christina, Mike, Ramon & Tracy, and not forgetting the awesome Chair, George.
To the very special Damian, Diane, Lee, Michelle, Unni & Vicki for their encouragement and advice in getting the fine tweaking just right. And just in case you were wondering – they’re all pretty special!
The very knowledgeable Alex at Permajet for his advice on papers.
To my inspiration – the gorgeous Podge, who opened my eyes to another world and gave me a small glimpse of what could be achieved.
Also to Sebastian and his wonderful AWAKE photoshop-artistry course for the tools and techniques to make this project come alive.

AND last but not least to John, my long-suffering husband, for believing in me even though they’re not his cup of tea 😀

And finally to the panel itself – enjoy 🙂

Statement of Intent:

French extravagance, Palaces of European Royalty, the opulence of the Russian Tsars and English stately homes set the scene for La Boule de Fleurs Mascarade.

Inspired by the overindulged Louis XIV and the sumptuous riches lavished on the Palace of Versailles and its inhabitants. I set out to create a series of illustrations depicting female royalty and courtiers across Europe attending a masked ball. Influenced by the flamboyant Haute Couture of the fashionable French, all the gowns have been lavishly created from traditional flowers found in today’s homes and gardens.

On each of your seats you will have found an “Invitation” inviting you to take a look behind the scenes into how some of these illustrations were created. Each envelope contains a couple of the initial seeds and ideas I used to nurture, grow and develop this floral ballgown project. You will see that each illustration is a composite of several photographs; predominantly a model shot in the studio, a flower grown in my garden, and a background image shot in palaces, stately homes and gardens across England and Europe.

It was my intention to illustrate these portraits as pieces of art; as if they had been commissioned by the Chatelaine of the house to show off both her wealth and sense of style. To fulfil this impression, I formulated a unique sketched, watercolour painting style to enhance the beauty of the gowns, and as a technique to blend each element together seamlessly. Every photograph element was processed individually then merged to create a single portrait illustration. The average time spent creating each artwork was approximately 12 hours.

I am presenting these illustrations to you as they are sold to my clients, as limited editions embellished with acrylic paints and occasionally decorated subtly with Gold Leaf.

(Please note these are photographs of the finished images)

(20 images in total)

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