Toddington artist draws top position

It’s a top position in an exclusive organisaton – and award-winning Sandra Wall Armitage is delighted with the honour.

Saturday, 7th September 2013, 11:00 am
Toddington artist Sandra Wall Armitage who has been appointed president of the Society of Botanical Artists
Toddington artist Sandra Wall Armitage who has been appointed president of the Society of Botanical Artists

The talented Toddington-based artist whose exquisite drawings can be seen across a wide range of products has been appointed president of the Society of Botanical Artists.

Sandra – previously the Society’s publicity and marketing director – said: “It’s a three year tenure and my main objective is to promote botanical art and educate people about it, as well as looking after our membership.”

She’s already planning a visit to Australia and has been invited to speak in Hong Kong.

She added: “We also want to improve our presence on social media - we’ve seen a nice influx of younger members through our distance learning courses.”

The accolade comes at a time when Sandra’s up to her immaculately groomed eyebrows organising an exhibition at Luton Hoo Walled Garden to celebrate the tercentenary of Lord Bute, its founder and a keen supporter of botanical art and artists.

More than 30 of their members will be taking part in the event and each has been asked to submit one illustration of a plant from Lord Bute’s archive.

There will also be a talk by Maureen Lazarus – an authority on Bute’s Botanical Tables - from National Museum Wales.

Luton Hoo Walled Garden project co-ordinator Charlotte Phillips was thrilled to hear of Sandra’s appointment.

She said: “Sandra’s been involved with the walled garden for the last five years.

“She’s full of energy and ideas and is always raring to go. I’m sure she’ll be just as much an asset to the Society of Botanical Artists as she is to us.”

Sandra has more than her fair share of creative genes – her mother was a dressmaker and her aunt worked as a stylist for an American film company.

She recalled that as a little girl growing up in Manchester, she always loved sitting in the garden painting and added: “Botanical art has really had a renaissance in the last decade.”

It’s a view echoed by a former director of Kew Royal Botanic Garden, Professor Peter Crane.

In his foreword to the Art of Botanical Painting, he said: “There is simply no substitute for the discerning talents of the artist capturing the essence of plant form.”

> The SBA’s Botanical Art Exhibition takes place at Luton Hoo Walled Garden from October 30 - November 6.