PAMELA TAYLOR: MORE THAN JUST TREES
MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER – SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER
As a child Pamela was fascinated by the natural world, especially the beauty of plants and flowers. This led her to study Botany at University of Southampton, where she particularly enjoyed the trips out to the New Forest and learning about the traditional woodland management that created our royal hunting forests with their ancient trees. Her training as a botanist taught her to observe plants and animals closely, and when she went on to Cambridge University to complete a PhD, working on some of the plants that live on chalk grassland, she learnt much about how the environment shapes how plants grow. Over the years Pamela has written articles for local papers and magazines, such as The Countryman, on natural history illustrated with her pen drawings.
In 2008 Pamela completed a short masterclass course in botanical drawing with Ann Farrer at Kew Gardens, during which she rediscovered her love of drawing trees in ink. She lives in south Buckinghamshire, close to Burnham Beeches and Windsor Great Park, with their wealth of ancient trees, some over 1000 years old, which are an inspiration for her work. Pen is an ideal medium to capture the textures of bark, twigs and leaves, as well as the angles and the manner in which the branches grow. This medium is also wonderful for portraying the gnarled forms of ancient trees.
Pamela’s drawings record just one moment in the life of the tree. Young trees become mature specimens, which eventually become over mature, when the crown may begin to diminish in size. One day the tree may be blown down in a storm or die as a result of water logging, drought or fungal disease. Sometimes it may survive such ravages but bear the scars. All these events can be recorded poignantly and dramatically in pen and ink.
Since 2012 Pamela has exhibited her work with the Society of Botanical Artists and became a fellow of the Society in 2016. She was awarded the Margaret Grainger Silver Rose Bowl for her drawings of trees in 2017 and she received a certificate of excellence for work in ink for her portrait of a mature Oak tree in winter in 2019.
Pamela hopes that her work will stimulate interest and respect for the plants and trees that grow all around us. Drawing trees that grow close to where she lives enables her to show how even quite ordinary specimens have an individuality and beauty of their own. In contrast some of the ancient trees from Windsor Great Park and Burnham Beeches, which she has drawn, have witnessed 500 or even more than a thousand years of history. Such trees are unique and irreplaceable. By highlighting the beauty and wonder of such specimens Pamela hopes that her drawings will show how precious the natural world is and encourage interest, appreciation and respect for it.