Plants are good to paint. They don’t fidget or run off; but they will fade, so that gives you a deadline. Besides painting them, I grow flowers, having become the guerrilla gardener for a curious Neo-Gothic establishment in deepest Dorset. And in high summer I make hay, wazzing through the long grass with a scythe. Nothing beats first-hand observation. Nature is really fun. Apart from the midges.
In 2003 I was elected to the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) whose usual penchant is for paintings of a single small apple adrift on a sea of expensive white paper. I prefer wayside weeds in all their tangled splendour. Inevitably, I was soon expelled for being bolshy. Now, after my name, I sometimes put SBA(ex).