Sunday, 25 October 2009

Waterlily

Punkbotanist just sent me a photograph of a painting I did years ago of a waterlily... Thought I'd put it up to show you.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

We Got a New Book Today!

Having read that last post, I have noticed that I didn't really highlight how important those two labels were... Well they are very important, because nobody had seen all of the Count de Bournon labels 'lined up' before, so no one had ever seen, (except maybe his contemporaries 200 years ago), how de Bournon came up with his solution for cataloguing all those minerals. I believe that my boss H. Fothergill and myself were the first! Although several people have continually searched the globe for a portrait of the Count de Bournon, one still hasn't materialised... Therefore things such as seeing how he made and designed a label are the only pieces we have left to build his personality with.
Today the natural history team received a wonderful book on the Making of the Geological Society of London from its author, C. Lewis. It's a magnificently in-depth book, and it discusses the Count and many of Sir John's friends. It made my day to finally get my mitts on its pages, especially when I saw a whole plate containing images of the collection I am working on.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

18th Century Minerals



In June last year I saw a rather special collection of minerals at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge. This trip was part of the project I was working on at the time on Sir John St. Aubyn. Throughout his lifetime, Sir John had two very good friends, one was called the Rt. Hon. Charles Greville and the other was Sir Abraham Hume. I visited Sedgwick Museum, because I understood that they held the 18th century mineral collection, which was amalgamated by Abraham. The collection itself was beautifully arranged, and above is an example of some of his diamonds. They are mounted on small, slender ebony mounts, so that they could be studied in more detail during the time of collection.

Although many of the minerals were indeed beautiful, the most important insight I got during the visit was from these two labels. Interestingly, they are rather similar in their design. One can only assume that either the same person made them, or two very close friends around 200 years ago. I actually know who created the label on the right from the handwriting - a French expatriate called Comte Jacques Louis de Bournon. He catalogued John's, Abraham's and Charles' collections from 1794-1815. I am guessing that it is labelling a piece of lead, looking at the description 'Plumb'...!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Otherwise Known as Ginkgo Girl

When I was at University I thought, as one does, that it would be an awesome idea to have a pseudonym. I liked the idea of no-one knowing who I was. I was also rather entranced by the thought of a 'treasure trail' of items branded with such a pseudonym so that people in a hundred years or so would be puzzled. I had daydreams of books with the Ginkgo logo inside suddenly becoming very valuable. Oh I do dream don''t I?! Anyway, I had forgotten this notion, mainly becuase I have learnt to like my name. Then today I managed to download four years worth of images off of my mobile phone, and found this rather delightful photograph of all my book labels piled on top of eachother, reminding me of the days when I did take my pseudonym rather seriously!


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Lathyrus odoratus


I have finished my Sweetpea painting. It is one of the varieties which I had growing on my allotment this summer. It was so beautiful, a really deep crimson-purple colour, and so I had to paint it.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Operation Plymstraw 2009: Complete

It's the start of a new week, and all 50 Plymouth Strawberries (Fragaria vesca var. muricata), are now enojoying life with their roots in Plymouth soil. It took us all day to get to the eight sites we carefull chose for them, but we did it. For a full account with pictures, please visit the Punkbotanist's blog.


The beginnings of my family tree (a corner!)...