Botanical illustration has been a popular art form for centuries, with its appealing traditions of the detail and beauty in plants, which can surpass most other art forms in achieving such precision and accuracy in drawing.

Botanical artist Gillian Receveur who lives in Havelock North has had two of her botanical drawings selected by Botanical Art Worldwide for an exhibition.

They will join a selection of 40 drawings from New Zealand artists for this show (the first of its kind) at the Auckland Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre Gallery, showing from March 30–July 1.

The exhibition will then go on tour to Wellington, Blenheim and Christchurch and later, the selected works from botanical artists around the world will be collected together into a major exhibition.


It is a very exciting development for Mrs Receveur, who was only introduced to botanical drawing four years ago at Keirunga Artists.

Gillian was captivated by the art form and was encouraged by the tutor, Terrie Reddish, to apply to the Society of Botanical Artists in London for enrolment into their distance learning diploma course.

"At first I was worried about the commitment in time and the two-and-a-half years the course would take. I would be sitting at my board every day for 6-7 hours. I just didn't know if I could do it," she says.

"But my daughter said 'just do it Mum!'"

So she submitted a reproduction of one of her drawings to London and was accepted into the programme.

She then began the rigorous regime of two-monthly assignments with 11 major assignments to be completed, a 2500 word essay on her chosen topic - the botanist Sir Joseph Banks and the New Zealand botanical studies he made on his 1769 voyage on the Endeavour.

On completing the diploma programme she travelled to London to receive her diploma at the Artworkers Guild Hall, and enjoyed meeting the other graduates from all over the world.

For Gillian the highlight was meeting her tutors with whom she had established strong relationships.