Botanical 2024 Art Exhibition - May 2024

Best in Show

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Chantal Bourque


Acrylic paint, mixed media and tree barks on canvas

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I believe that each tree has its own identity, its own story. Through my paintings, I convey a moment in their lives when they caught my eye, a unique moment that pays tribute to them.

Combining a realistic style with my artistic vision, it’s with acrylic paint that I tell the unique story of these admirable trees surrounding us. My approach is studied and meticulous, my brushstrokes precise and delicate. I regularly expose the material to various transparency effects, often working in successive layers. My artistic technique is constantly researching and evolving, and the exploration of different mixed media has led me to add more and more texture to the trunks I paint, and I now incorporate real pieces of bark. This technique creates bas-reliefs that are a tangible reminder of the fragile and precious relationship between nature and humanity. These small pieces of bark hidden in my paintings are now the common thread running through all my works.

My artistic work is a combination of passion and patience. In this creative process, I always try to give the best of myself in order to communicate my vision as faithfully as possible. The beauty that emanates from a tree and its environment is at the heart of my art. I invite the viewer to see trees from a different angle, to see the story behind each one. I create links between people and trees, I give birth to stories between them and the forest. I like to think that I’m able to convey to the viewer the emotional balance I feel when creating my paintings. Ultimately, I hope to raise awareness of the great beauty of the trees and forests around us, which can bring us both physical and psychological benefits.

Where flora 


Artistic expression…

1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners

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1st Place

Lucas Bononi

Dried Roses

Oil on panel



Lucas Bononi artwork reflects nature through the lens of the modern world. With nuance, color and light. He investigates beauty and chaos as an expressive naturalist painter.

Realism is a vehicle that allows me to slow down long enough to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. It allows me to take the time to understand nature, space and form on a more granular level….and, ironically, at that level everything is abstract. It is the unseen world. Before I started painting high realism, I never realized that I ignorantly glide past 99% of the abundant beauty that nature offers me. The least I can do as an artist is attempt to connect to that beauty and describe it in an honest and respectful way. My oil paintings are documents of those attempts.
I first worked with oil paint as an in-painter and technician for a fine art conservator in the 1990’s. I would recreate the missing pieces from damaged paintings to make them whole again. I’ve seen firsthand how negligence, poor materials and unproven techniques can ravage an oil painting over time. I draw from my experience in the lab and my inspiration from the old masters’ methods and painting techniques.
The ground on my paintings on panel consists of 8-9 coats of real gesso made of rabbit skin glue, marble dust and pigment. Lots of layers and sanding provides an unbeatable painting surface that will last for 500 years or more. I use a 2 brush oil paintings technique. One brush to apply paint and with the second brush I use a dry brush technique to manipulate the paint and build form. I trim down soft fan brushes in very specific ways to work detail that melds color together without completely blending the area.
The medium I use is a slow-drying blend of stand oil, refined linseed oil, Venice turpentine, odorless mineral spirits (OMS), and oil of cloves, allowing me the flexibility to paint wet into wet for extended periods thanks to a longer open time.
As a multidisciplinary artist there are recurring themes that span my body of work. Solitude, the void, redemption, and the nature of the unseen world are common subjects. I draw inspiration from my time living as an expatriate in the Netherlands and France from 1999 to 2006. My compositions, both musical and visual, are carefully orchestrated to elicit very specific emotional responses. And as such, I’m engaged in a never-ending pursuit to capture that emotional energy in my practice.

2nd Place

R Dale Simmons

The Quiet In Between

Oil on triple primed and gessoed linen Heavy duty wooden stretcher bars

3rd Place


“Plants and Light”

Aluminum Wire Weaving + Clay Vessels – Handcrafted Clay Sculpture

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To see the most beautiful side through my view point, then through the way of clay hand-forming to show off the most beautiful sense of flowers and plants.
Adopting different materials- clay/pottery clay/aluminum wire/ oil paints etc, makes the beautiful world of plants/flowers in my view to heal the spirits each other.

Artwork was judged on a variety of criteria:



Theme Relevance



Honorable Mentions

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