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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

"Botanical art is a bit of a science" • Anna Uhlířová

We would like to introduce you to the Czech artist Anna Uhlířová, who has been living in England for five years now. She has always been close to art, yet for a long time she was a self-taught artist. However everything changed thanks to a botanical exhibition in London.

"One day I happened to open a magazine in a shop, and there was an advertisement for a botanical art exhibition called Plantae," says Anna. "From the first moment I was absolutely thrilled. I went through the exhibition several times over and over again, but I still couldn't understand how the artists had captured the plants so perfectly in some of the paintings. How could they play with a cactus, a fern, or a dead leaf for so long?" remembers Anna.

Anna was so intrigued by the paintings of plants that she decided to study botanical art at The Society Of Botanical Artists, where she enrolled the same day of this particular exhibition on the spot. "I liked the fact that botanical art was a bit of a science, that it had its educational value, that I was basically going to be a painter with a magnifying glass," says Anna about her enthusiasm.

When choosing which technique to use in her studies, she was deciding between drawing with pencil and coloured pencils or painting with watercolour, which has a long tradition in England. In the end, however, she opted for pencil and coloured pencils. And so Anna began her study of botanical paintings, which she almost immediately fell completely in love with.

Each of her elaborate drawings takes her at least fifty hours to complete, but more often much more. However it all starts with the selection of the plant itself. "This step is very important as after all I will spend maybe two months with that particular plant. I will spend hours looking at it, studying its characteristics and trying to put them on paper," explains Anna. "We should imagine the chosen flower, mushroom, fruit or vegetable the way it usually grows, what it looks like in its early growth, with buds, flowers, seeds, or what happens to it when it dries out," continues Anna. According to her, only through this precise and lengthy process a quality drawing can be achieved.

"My favourite tools at the moment are graphite pencils, coloured pencils, blenders and I can't do without a pencil sharpener. My biggest favourite, though, is the eraser in pencil. This is absolutely indispensable for me as I use it to create many effects, such as reflections on fruit and leaves. It's also very easy to blend the colours gently or remove it completely if I want to change the tone of the colour," talks Anna about her favourite Koh-i-noor products.

For her successful graduation two and a half years later, Anna was awarded an SBA degree and a membership in The Society Botanical Artist. Her paintings can be seen not only in England but also in Australia and South America. In the Czech Republic, however, we will have to wait to see the creations of this talented artist.

"The current situation in the world has slowed my plans for exhibitions in the Czech Republic, where I wanted to celebrate the successful end of my art studies," says Anna.

We sincerely hope that everything will go well and that we will be able to see the exhibition of Anna Uhlířová's artwork with our own eyes as soon as possible! For now, you can follow Anna's work online on Instagram or Facebook.



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