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The Heart of Flame project

It all started with an email from a friend of mine...

He sent me an email with details about a potential job as an illustrator for a book called 'Heart of Flame'.  They were asking for an illustrator to paint or draw 100 plants and flowers and to send a sample image of some peonies so that they could choose an artist from the submissions they received.

I thought I would give it a go.


I wasn't doing much at the time as I was still getting to grips with my chronic illness.  So I painted my peonies in watercolours as I assumed that watercolours are the general standard medium for botanical illustrations.  I hadn't touched my paints in years.  It was like catching up with an old friend, the kind where you haven't seen them in years, but when you do finally meet nothing has changed.

I submitted my peonies and didn't hear anything for a few weeks.  I thought I hadn't got the gig but when I was away in Wanaka for a friends wedding I received an email asking if I could come in and talk about my peonies!  I was delighted. 

126 paintings later and the illustrations for the book were done!  I've never painted so much in my life before.  I've worked mainly on computers for the bulk of my professional life so this project changed everything.  I found that I had become a painter.

Painting the illustrations for 'Heart of Flame' has given me the confidence to work as an artist and illustrator.  You can see the illustrations for the book here.

The originals paintings will also available to buy in my shop, which will be coming soon!


Go to Gallery

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