Tulipa 'Rory McEwen' Watercolour on Kelmscott Vellum
English Florist Tulips
"On a technical level this body of work, created over more than two years, represents a virtuoso feat of painting in watercolour on vellum, a challenging medium due to its non-absorbent surface. Using the most transparent rating of Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolours, Strickland paints meticulously and slowly, using a ‘dry brush’ technique to layer multiple translucent and subtly different shades to suggest variations in temperature and tone. This technique allows light to penetrate though the paint surface, suffusing it with a glowing quality as it reflects from the off-white surface of the vellum below, akin in technique and feel to a precious medieval enamel."
"Among the specimens depicted in this exhibition is the Tulipa ‘Rory McEwen’, a Bybloemen Flame tulip that was named in McEwen’s honour. It is particularly fitting that Strickland has painted the flower on one of McEwen’s own sheets of Kelmscott vellum, which were gifted to The Hunt Institute of Botanical Art by the McEwen family following his death in 1982"
Rebecca Wall, Jonathan Cooper