Have you noticed the insurgence of botanical themed everything? From prints for your home to textiles, from fashion to accessories, from companies logos to packaging and much more! I have, and I love it!
There are many different styles of illustrations out there to please every cultural and generation's taste and to suit every type of market and brand.
We are seeing botanical illustrations everywhere as many big name companies and brands have adopted the use of botanicals to better portray the image and values of their brand.
But what really is Botanical Illustration and why is it so powerful?
The word Botanical is an adjective of the noun Botany, which means "plant life". Botany is a branch of biology dealing with plant life. The first known use of the word Botanical goes back to 1627, when botanical illustrations were mainly produced for the scientific purpose of identifying and studying plants.
Technically, there are differences between Botanical Illustrations, Botanical Art and Flower Painting;
- Botanical Illustrations are representations meant for the scientific purpose of identifying, classifying and studying plants in their different parts and stages of life. They are generally monochromatic representations and they depict scientific names of all the different components of the plant represented. (For example, one illustration will represent the plant in its entirety, a bud before the flower blooms and a section of its flower when it's in full bloom, and its leaf in full detail).
- Botanical Art is a less detailed representation of the plant itself as there is no scientific intent behind it. These forms of art are colourful and often represent a specific plant in its natural context by adding other specimens and insects around it.
- Flower Painting is a much more subjective and creative representation of a specific plant or flower. The artist modifies shapes and colours of a plant to add a subjective aesthetic value to it.
If you are interested in learning more about Botanical Illustrations and Art, I recommend you visit the Botanical Art & Artists website, and the American Society of Botanical Artists website. Here you will find a lot of information on the history of Botanical Illustration and Art, technical details and even upcoming events.
How to Use Botanical Art in your Home
All technicalities aside, as an Interior Designer, I believe Botanical Illustrations and Art have a huge impact on the environments they are placed in. They can provide a great dose of nature to your space even in the middle of a busy city; where you don't have access to natural light; if you don't have time or desire to grow and water plants.
One of the reasons people love Botanical Illustrations and its derived forms so much is probably a response to the digital world in longing for a simpler and natural world. Our ever fast and multitasking lifestyles make us anxious and stressed. Nature has its own way to calm us down, to make us feel more relaxed and at peace with the world...This is where reproduction of natural looking products, such as Botanical Illustrations, textiles, wallpaper and wall colours takes place. Some of them are amazing work of art.
Where to Find Botanical Art
It is quite easy to find all sorts of Botanical Illustrations and Art for every taste and budget. From affirmed Artists belonging to Botanical Societies to local artists promoting their work through Instagram and Etsy. From Interiors and Home Decor stores to Amazon...(I just bought a 45 Ready-to-Frame Vintage Botanical Prints book on Amazon and I am having a great time looking for different frames for these lovely prints so I can hang them on our new lake cottage walls!). You can check them out here.
I found some amazing Botanical Artists on Instagram; #botanicalart!
Be Creative with your Botanical Art
Botanical Illustrations and Art bring such an amazing touch to your space and tend to be very neutral in tones making it an easy home decor accent to place pretty much everywhere. The trick, like with any other form of art, is to find the right frame for the right subject and space.
If you are looking at framing one Botanical Print you may choose a small one for a small space or a big one for a larger space. In this case you will have to determine what is the proper frame type and size for the space. Matting size is an important factor for the composition as well. It takes a bit of an art to combine print subject, proper matting colour, size and proper frame style.
If you are looking at a group of Botanical Prints, depending on the space they are going to be hung in, you can choose to have them all the framed with the same frame or to mix different frame styles in the same range of tones. You would choose the latter option for a statement wall.
if you have any questions on selecting Botanical Art, please ask in the comments below!