Sarah Howard


Botanical Illustrator

Awards


Medals awarded by Royal Horticultural Society, London, and Botanical Images Scotland, including Gold Medal for a display of Horn of African Aloes (2016). Paintings selected by the Hunt Institute at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2010) ; Flora Scotia (Worldwide Botanical Art Exhibition, 2018); Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (2019); and New York Botanical Garden 4th Triennial Exhibition (2020).

Career


Having always carried a sketchbook and paints on my travels I was invited to illustrate for the Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea between 1997 and 2000. This was followed up with a Diploma in Botanical Illustration, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (Distinction, 2014).

It was in Ethiopia that I discovered what fun it was to study plants as one drew and painted them. As well as black and white plates for the Flora, I produced colour paintings of endemic plants in order to inform local and foreign residents alike of the richness of the flora in this beautiful, mountainous country. This is a continuing project, and most years see me tramping the countryside for material to paint.

Otherwise, I am in Scotland working on commissions and projects, using both watercolour and colour pencil, and passing on my experience to students who are a wonderful stimulus to invention and high standards.

My childhood in Kenya determined a first degree in African History and Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental & African Studies, London, and a job as archivist at the National Museums of Kenya, which is why I am so keen on developing botanical art in this flora rich part of the world.

I have also had many commissions, some very personal and others from institutions, including the Savill Garden Windsor. I offer tuition on demand in both watercolour and colour pencil, my students being a wonderful stimulus to invention and high standards.

Artistic Statement


My approach to botanical art is sculptural. I like to dry brush my way round all the parts, examining them, feeling for shape and form, until I can reveal great beauty in the hidden parts.

Events


My picture, Ethiopian Limu Coffee was selected for the New York Botanical Garden 4th Triennial Exhibition opening Autumn 2020, Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm and Field. It will then be part of the American Society of Botanical Artist’s travelling exhibition in 2021.

Illustrations


  • Scottish Plant Lore: An Illustrated Flora. Gregory J. Kenicer, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018
  • Breckland Wild Flowers: Heaths and Grasslands. Iceni Botanical Artists, 2016
  • Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea Vol 2, Part 1. Sue Edwards et al (eds) AAU Press, 2000
  • Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea Vol 4, Part 1. Inga Hedberg et al (eds) AAU Press, 2003
  • Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea Vol 5. Inga Hedberg et al (eds) AAU Press, 2006
  • Flora of Ethiopia & Eritrea Vol 6. Sue Edwards et al (eds) AAU Press, 1997
  • Kew Bulletin, Vol 58(3), ‘Two new species of Acanthaceae from NE tropical Africa and Arabia' by Ensermu Kelbessa, 2003

Articles

(authored either as Sarah Howard or Sarah Sherlock)


  • ‘The Flower that Warms the Cliffs’ in Selamta, Vol 17(3), 2000
  • ‘A Flowering of History’ in Selamta Vol 18(4), 2001
  • ‘Ethiopia – Land of the New Flower’ in The Duncan Lawrie Journal, Autumn 2000
  • ‘Tramping Ethiopia for Aloes’ in The Botanical Artist (Association of American Botanical Artists) Vol 22(1), 2016
  • ‘Botanical Illustration Fieldwork in Ethiopia’ in News File, Summer, 2016 (The Anglo-Ethiopian Society)

Contact


For information about classes, or purchasing prints, please contact me using the form below: