The Chelsea School of Botanical Art offers courses based on sound educational principles taught by accomplished and respected artists, academics and botanists.
The school, under the leadership of Helen Allen BA, (Hons) PGCert Ed, Dip EGS, FLS, is now in its third year offering the popular and unique Diploma Course in Botanical Painting and Illustration. Helen Allen the Principal, was Course Director at the Chelsea School of Botanical Art until the appointment of Elaine Searle, BA (Hons) Dip EGS(Dist). Under her leadership the diploma course, continues to grow and thrive.
The Chelsea School of Botanical Art has entered the technological age in the way lectures and classes are delivered. Tutors continue to research understand and develop techniques guiding students through the use of the multitude of modern materials.
Classes at the Chelsea School of Botanical Art take place at the Chelsea Physic Garden on Mondays during school term time. Homework is set each week and students are expected to practice techniques and prepare work each week for open critique. Personal feedback is also given.
The original course, at the English Gardening School, was devised, introduced and taught by Anne-Marie Evans setting the high standards for the diploma course now offered by the Chelsea School of Botanical Art.
During the same period Dr Shirley Sherwood was collecting botanical art and between these pioneering and inspirational women there was renewed interest in the teaching and collecting of this genre.
The course adheres closely to the philosophy, teaching and practice of its predecessor under the meticulous direction of Helen Allen and Elaine Searle.
The art and scientific practice of depicting plants has evolved over centuries and continues to develop worldwide. Botanical art and illustration are crucial conservation tools in the description of endangered species, of collections of rare and native plants, and of plants in particular botanic and historic gardens.