If you are looking for an alternative to Georgia O’Keeffe I would definitely suggest the beautiful, dissected images photographed by globe-trotting botanist Robbie Honey. In fact, if you were doing a project on still life, flowers, collections or arrangements (popular GCSE themes here in the UK) Robbie Honey is an artist worth knowing about.
“When I was four, I insisted on attending my brothers art lessons and doing pottery and sleeping on the sofa in the studio. My art teacher was a great influence in activating me as an artist and years later was thrilled to have her attend the launch of my book ‘The Accidental Botanist’.”
I wasn’t sure if keeping a sketchbook was something a botanist and photographer would be interested in, but Honey tries to draw one sketch a day, even if it’s only 5 minutes. This came about after sketching flowers and then sketching the flowers separate parts. Life drawing is also part of his creativity and he tries to life-draw every month.
“I KEEP CREATIVITY ALIVE BY
TRYING TO DO SOMETHING CREATIVE EVERY DAY.”
I was pleased to learn that he didn’t think it would be too hard to dissect a flower in a classroom environment. He suggested choosing a robust but intricate flower. Something more complex than a daisy. It would involve scalpels and he also uses rulers, tweezers and a jewellers gem picker. He warned me of the issue of sap which can mark the paper and ruin an image. He uses grey paper as a background to his images.
A note to your students who take 5 pictures and think they are done: Honey takes about 50 photographs, using an iPhone, constantly changing the composition in order to get one shot he is satisfied with. He suggests having more material (plant parts) than you need as invariably some of the material wilts in the arranging process.
To learn more about Robbie Honey’s work visit his website and Instagram.