Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty; that is all Ye know on earth, and all Ye need to know. -John Keats
William Wheeler states that in order "[f]or a botanical drawing to be 'successful', it must combine beauty and precision".
Part of my Masters degree was an introductory course to botanical art by renowned botanical artist, Vicky Thomas. Vicky's immense love and respect for this age-old genre is infectious and I was immediately taken with the skill and utter control the subject matter and medium of watercolour demanded.
Botanical illustration, like all other forms of scientific illustration, requires the artist to study his subject with scientific precision. What this entails, for an illustrator, is painstakingly accurate observation and an immense amount of patience.
Like the humble medium of watercolour whose splendour is lost to many current fine art students, botanical art is unselfish and without any pretense. It has no ulterior motives and asks for nothing more than what it is, a realistic and accurate representation of nature. At a time when the purpose of visual art sometimes seems uncertain or confusing, botanical illustration bestows a refreshing and valid motive for creating visual imagery.