A new Venture Botanical Tiles
Following my accident in 2019 when I fractured my spine I felt it was time to review my life. In September 2020 I moved to Italy and took up residency here in Monteveglio and began to look for a property to buy. I eventually found what I was looking for up in Ca Bortolani in the Appennine Range of Mountains with a magnificent view of Monte Cimone. However it needed a huge amount of work to create my forever home.
The house was gutted and renovations began then came the task of finding the right flooring, tiles, lighting, bathroom, cloakroom fixtures and kitchen. The floor tiles for the kitchen, hall, cloakroom, studio and bathroom were easy to find as were the wall tiles for the cloakroom and bathroom. I searched everywhere for tiles for the splash back in the kitchen but couldn’t find what I wanted. I then hit on the idea of painting my own using Pebeo 150 Ceramic paints. Next came the decision as to size. We tried out 20x20cm tiles which looked great but not right, then 10x10ccm that proved to be too small and finally found 15x15cm tiles all are brilliant white.
Painting Flowers is something new for me as I am really a wildlife artist not a botanical artist, even I did a short course focusing on natural history since my accident, and I had never used ceramic paints either. I bought a wide range of brushes and couple of packs of Pebeo paints that gave me a good selection of colours and which could also be inter mixed to give greater variation. I must confess it took a while to get used to how the paint worked but eventually I got the hang of it and am thrilled with the results. There are 44 tiles in total all of which have been fired and now ready to be put on the wall in the kitchen.
I decided to focus mostly on wild flowers that grow in the area and with the aid of a wonderful book by Jill Winch entitled Drawing and Painting Flowers, I began to paint the flowers I had photographed. There were so many to choose from and even now I keep finding more species that would make really lovely tiles. I have also included some of the lovely berries including sloes and blackberries.
Sadly the photos of the tiles are not brilliant as both lighting and using my iPhone haven’t created the best results, but they will give you an idea of how they look. I will post photos once they are in situ