Catching up

The front cover of Éireannach: Native Plants of Ireland

The front cover of Éireannach: Native Plants of Ireland

It has been a very busy year, and I have been woefully neglectful of my website, so in an effort to catch up, this post will take the form of a newsletter.

Éireannach: Native Plants of Ireland is the latest project of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists (ISBA) and was part of exciting Botanical Art Worldwide project initiated by the American Society of Botanical Artists. Irish artists painted native Irish wild plants and exhibited the paintings at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin last May. A high quality book containing all the paintings was launched at the opening of the exhibition. While all of the paintings were featured in the book, it was much more than a catalogue. Each artist wrote a short piece about their plant(s) and a number of Irish conservation groups wrote articles and supplied photographs. Sharon Greene of Wild Irish Foragers contributed a lovely article about traditional uses of some Irish wild plants. In addition, each of the 25 participating countries supplied a representative painting from their own submissions to Botanical Art Worldwide, along with information about their native flora and how it is being portrayed by botanical artists.

The book and the exhibition were very well-received, and sales of books and paintings were brisk. You can still order the book (a great Christmas gift !) at For more information about the ground-breaking Worldwide project, see – well worth a look at some of the wonderful artwork and stories relating the project.

Arum maculatum Lords and Ladies. ©Jane Stark

Arum maculatum Lords and Ladies (watercolour). ©Jane Stark

My own contributions to the project were paintings of Arum maculatum (lords and ladies),  and Eriophorum angustifolium (bog cotton).  Please scroll down the page for a picture of the bog cotton painting. Also included in the exhibition were paintings from two of my students, Anne Burns and Hataitip (Tim) Walsh) who were exhibiting for the first time as botanical artists.

Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom
As the Éireannach exhibition closed, the annual Botanical and Floral Art in Bloom exhibition was beginning at the Phoenix Park in Dublin, in association with Bloom in the Park. For this exhibition I submitted a watercolour of an Anthurium hybrid, and was delighted that it was awarded a silver medal.

Anthurium hybrid (watercolour) ©Jane Stark

Anthurium hybrid (watercolour) ©Jane Stark

Claregalway Castle Botanical Art Expo
The annual Claregalway Castle Botanical Art Expo was held in July in conjunction with the very popular Galway Garden Festival. This is the largest botanical art exhibition in the west of Ireland, and many visitors to the Garden Festival find their way in to the gallery. A number of the ur pop-up shop in the gallery featured Éireannach paintings were on view, along with a selection other works by Irish botanical artists. The pop-up shop, which offered botanical cards, prints, and other products, was very popular and sales were brisk.

A small selection of paintings on view at Claregalway Castle Botanical Art Expo in July 2018

A small selection of paintings on view at Claregalway Castle Botanical Art Expo in July 2018

A lovely surprise!
Autumn brought a lovely surprise when my painting of Sarracenia leucophylla found a very good home with a collector in the United States. Three of my limited edition prints also accompanied the painting. It is a huge pleasure to know that the painting has gone to someone who shares my own passion for carnivorous plants!

Looking to the future
Although 2018 is drawing to a close, there are still classes and a workshop to look forward to, and next year is shaping up to be another busy year. My next post will give more details on my classes, workshops and a couple of special events coming up in 2019.

Thank you to those who follow my blogposts, and for your great patience with the long periods in between them. I will try next year to make them more frequent!

Botanical Art at Claregalway Castle during Heritage Week 2015

I’m delighted to be taking part in Heritage Week at Claregalway Castle this year. As botanical artist-in-residence, I will be working in the Farmhouse at the castle every afternoon (12.30 – 5.00) from Monday 24 – Friday 28 August inclusive. On Thursday 27 August, I am also giving a talk at 6.00pm in the lecture hall: Heritage of Irish Botanical Art from 1750 to the present. There is a small admission fee (€5: adult; €3: concession; child: free) for the talk, but there is no charge for visiting the Farmhouse to see my work in progress, as well as the exhibition of botanical paintings by several members of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists. If you are in the area, do drop by for a chat and a cup of tea. There will be some free handouts about botanical art, along with some beautiful botanical art books to browse through.

Heritage Week will be celebrated in many different ways at Claregalway Castle and there  is something for everyone. Dr Chris Doyle will be doing his fabulous tours of the castle every day during Heritage Week at 12.30, 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30 – no better way to learn more about the fascinating history of this sensitively restored castle. On Wednesday 26 August, Chris will also give a talk at 6.00pm about Cromwell’s siege of Claregalway Castle. If you are interested in medieval combat, there are demonstrations on Saturday the 22nd, along with archery displays and a children’s bow and arrow workshop. And the following weekend, Saturday 29 August. 6.00pm–10.30pm, there is a celebration of the life and work of Ciarán Bairéad (1905-76), and especially of his work as a folklore collector and recorder of Irish dialect in Claregalway, County Galway.