Synopses & Reviews
Rory McEwen strummed his way onto the Ed Sullivan show, sat in on a sitar session with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, and was a leader in the post-war folksong revival. Yet arguably his greatest legacy was not in the field of musicand#8212;a talented, precise artist, McEwen revolutionized the field of botanical art.
Inspired by the old masters throughout his childhood training in art, McEwen developed a distinctive style of botanical illustration. He approached each portrait with scientific precision, capturing the individual contours of each plant instead of offering up an unrealistic ideal. Drawn on plain backgrounds without shadows, often on unadorned vellum, the resulting paintings are extraordinarily realistic, as if a rose-colored petal or sharp green leaf were suspended on the canvas, ready to be touched. McEwen was a master at balancing technical accuracy and artistic flair, without ever compromising one for the other.
Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality brings together over one hundred of his illustrations in a collection that celebrates McEwenand#8217;s art and artistic ability. Full-color artwork is featured alongside essays that explore his botanical work, his influence on fellow artists, and his other talents for music, poetry, and sculpture. It is a lavish tribute and the first major collection of McEwenand#8217;s work in decades. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality will delight old fans while drawing in many new ones.
Climate change, the need to conserve water, the desire for more exotic and dramatic plants — all of these are prompting gardeners to seek out interesting new plants that thrive in subtropical or dry climates and microclimates. This book offers expert guidance and sensible advice on a wide range of plants — native to California, Florida, Australasia, South America, South Africa, Turkey, and the Mediterranean region — that can be successfully cultivated in many regions of North America and Europe. A general introduction offers advice on choosing and designing with these plants, with particular emphasis on hardiness and overwintering in cooler climates. An A-Z plant directory profiles over 1000 plants, and there are useful lists of plants for different situations.
About the Author
Martyn Rix has travelled widely around the world, collecting and photographing plants, and has been involved with designing and planting gardens in California, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Turkey, France, and Italy. He has worked for the Royal Horticultural Society at their Wisley headquarters, and co-authored many books with Roger Philips, including The Botanical Garden (vols 1 and 2), Indoor and Greenhouse Plants, Shrubs (the "Garden Plant" series), The Random House book of Herbs for Cooking, Ultimate Guide to Roses, and Perennials (vols 1 and 2). At present Maryn is working at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by Grey Gowrie
1 Rory McEwen andndash; His Life and Music, by James Fox
2 Rory McEwen and the Avant-Garde in Europe, by Richard Demarco
3 Rory McEwen as a Botanical Painter, by Martyn Rix
4 Rory McEwenandrsquo;s Legacy and Lasting Influence, by Shirley Sherwood
Notes on the McEwen Paintings
List of Exhibitions
Bibliography and Acknowledgements