Sumiko Davies









A few years ago I picked up a book called A Passion for Plants compiled by Dr. Shirley Sherwood. I was so attracted by the botanical paintings that I had to buy the book there and then. That was the moment that I first became fascinated by the world of botanical art.

Since then I have been eagerly enthusiastic about painting my favourite flowers. I particularly enjoy depicting those that are associated with Japan, such as cherry blossom, magnolia, wisteria, peony and camellia. No doubt this is because I am Japanese myself, though I have been living in the UK for more than forty years. Nostalgia or an attempt to hold on to my identity, perhaps?

Botanical painting is hard, both mentally and physically, but it gives me great satisfaction. The life of a flower is short, especially when it has been cut and placed in a vase of water in front of my desk. I have to work fast because the shape, posture and colour of the flower change all the time. But when I hold my brush and closely observe the flower that I am painting I'm always delighted at the impossible beauty of nature. That is my inspiration.