by Margaret Best

Prosopis pubescens seed pod (Screwbean Mesquite, or Tornillo), watercolor and graphite on honey vellum, © 2012, Deborah Shaw, all rights reserved.

Prosopis pubescens seed pod (Screwbean Mesquite, or Tornillo), watercolor and graphite on honey vellum, © 2012, Deborah Shaw, all rights reserved.

It is with great pleasure that we share the wonderful news that BAGSC member Deborah Shaw has had one of her recent graphite and watercolour works on vellum accepted into the Hunt Institute’s International Exhibition in 2013.

About 11 years ago, shortly after I met Deborah at a class in Arizona, she showed me a graphite study of a white phalaenopsis orchid. Having enjoyed teaching and using graphite myself for a number of years, I recognized that Deborah had exceptional skills in this medium. I was struck by her mastery of perhaps the best continuous tone I had ever seen! The ultimate control required in the smoothest of value changes was evident throughout the piece. The work also displayed a keen awareness of the finest of edges and tiniest of details. Needless to say, I gushed about it and I clearly never forgot it.

Business and family commitments, as well as generosity of heart to fellow artists, have been obstacles to Deborah being able to focus fully on her own art. More recently she has managed to carve out time for her botanical art. She has begun exploration of a surface uniquely suited to her touch and intense awareness of texture – vellum. Vellum has brought it all together for Deborah. What has been so exciting to witness is how she has achieved a marriage of skills in a truly magical way on a surface that challenges even the most experienced artists.

Everybody is very proud of your well-deserved selection in the next Hunt Institute exhibition!

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