banksia love

This week my studio is full of Banksias. I have fallen in love with these strange and beautiful plants... I would not call myself a botanical artist..rather... I use flowers as paintings are not scientific representations of the plant but I try to remain true to the plant and paint what I see.

It”s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see
— Henry David Thoreau

Archaeological evidence suggests that banksias or Banksia-like plants have existed for over 40 million years. The first humans to discover and make use of Banksia plants were the Australian aborigines who used the nectar from the flowers as part of their diet.

The first Europeans to observe banksias were probably Dutch explorers who made several landfalls along the West Australian coast during the 17th and early 18th centuries. No botanical collections were made, however, until the discovery of the east coast of Australia by Captain James Cook in the Endeavour in April 1770. Accompanying Cook were botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander who collected many new species at Botany Bay including four which would later be included in a new genus, Banksia, named in honour of Joseph Banks' contribution to botany. (Australian Native Plants Society)