People's Choice Award 2021

Vivienne Rew


Jackson's Painting Prize 2021
Acrylic, Watercolour
63 x 89 cm

“I paint Botanical subjects in watercolour. My paintings are detailed and vibrant, often on a large scale they aim to reveal the hidden beauty of botanical subjects, exploring a view that isn’t seen with the naked eye. I find decaying subjects with flaws and imperfections more interesting than a perfect specimen, the process of ageing, wrinkles and fading beauty applied to the botanical world.

This thistlehead was cut on a walk and sat in the studio for nearly a year, although I’d tried to paint it many times it looked a little uninspiring until I started experimented with black backgrounds which add dynamism and power to the muted colours making the subject more striking. I wanted to capture the seedheads dispersing, reminiscent of crawling spidery creatures twisting across the painting. The medium of watercolour reflects the textures of the subject, building up layers to the achieve dry, almost flaking granulated texture of the thistle stem and body whilst the lightest of washes and finest of brushstrokes captures the translucency and softness of the fluffy thistle head.”