Recent paintings

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Iris ‘Killiney’ – Copyright 2017 Jane Stark

This watercolour on Fabriano Artistic 640gsm was painted for Heritage Irish Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta, a joint project between the Irish Garden Plant Society (IGPS) and the Irish Society of Botanical Artists (ISBA). Fifty-nine botanical artists painted Irish heritage garden plants in eight categories: snowdrops, iris, sweet peas, dahlias, plants bred from native Irish species, daffodils, primroses and woody plants. Members of the IGPS and other Irish plantsmen wrote the text to accompany this selection of cultivars, most of which have been bred since 2000. Iris ‘Killiney’, along with two other bearded iris (‘War and Peace’ and ‘High Command’) were exceptions, having been bred and named by Bertram Long: ‘Kilkenny’ was first exhibited in 1939, whilst ‘War and Peace’ and ‘High Command’ were introduced in 1943 and 1945 respectively. All the paintings featuring in the book were exhibited at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, in November 2016. The exhibition was opened by Martyn Rix, editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.
The original painting of Iris ‘Killiney’ has been sold to a private collector, but a limited edition of 20 full-size, mounted, archival pigment prints are available for sale at €120 each, plus postage and packing. For further details, please email me at janestarkbotanicals@gmail.com.

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Eriophorum angustifolium ‘Bog cotton’ Copyright 2017 Jane Stark

Anyone who has visited the west of Ireland in the summer has almost certainly seen large drifts of this beautiful, delicate member of the sedge family covering tracts of bogland, the fluffy white seed heads standing out against the surrounding earthy tones. ‘Bog cotton’ or ‘cottongrass’ is native to Ireland, but is found throughout the Northern hemisphere in areas of peatland and heath, as far north as Alaska and Greenland.

After painting the magnificent and stately Iris ‘Killiney’, I decided to paint something much less showy and decided on this modest little plant. It seemed in keeping with receiving the news that my parents, after nearly 75 years of marriage, were both experiencing the effects of their impressive ages (95 and 97) and had to give up their independence to be cared for in a nursing home. As I painted the bog cotton, my Dad’s condition deteriorated following a bout of pneumonia. On Friday, 23rd June, around 1.30pm Irish time, I put the finishing touches to the painting. Shortly afterwards, I learned that he had passed away very peacefully in Canada at about the same time. I decided to keep the painting in my own collection as a special reminder and tribute to my Dad, who had encouraged me to develop my gifts as an artist from the time I was a little girl. A limited edition of 20 full-size, mounted, archival pigment prints are available for sale at €95 each, plus postage and packing.

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Sarracenia leucophylla ‘White-topped pitcher plant’ – Copyright 2017 Jane Stark

Carnivorous plants hold a huge fascination for me after painting the South American sun pitcher Heliamphora heterodoxa a couple years ago. Sarracenia leucophylla is a native North American pitcher plant belonging to the same family Sarraceniaceae. It’s a fairly large painting, as I was working at the actual plant size. I was under time pressure to finish the painting in time for the Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom exhibition at Phoenix Park at the beginning of June 2017, and found the number of pitchers I had decided to paint quite challenging, particularly since I had to work with the painting upside down when I was doing the flowers and tops of the pitchers. Fortunately, I managed to finish it in time for the exhibition and was delighted when it was a awarded a bronze medal. The original mounted and framed painting is for sale for €1250.

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