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Laura Silburn

Portrait of Laura Silburn Tutor at Clos Mirabel.

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Artist's Bio

Artist's Projects

Laura Silburn was taught botanical watercolour technique by Mally Francis FLS, at Mally’s studio in Heligan Gardens, Cornwall, where Laura now teaches. Laura is also part of the Eden Project Florilegium Society with many of her works now in the archives there.

Laura has received three prestigious RHS Gold Medals for her botanical artwork, in 2013, 2014 and 2018 and has also received the RHS Best in Show Award (2014) and RHS Best Botanical Painting award (2018).

Laura now has work in the RHS Lindley Library and the Shirley Sherwood collection, which shows at the gallery in Kew Gardens, The Hunt Institute and the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Laura has had work published in the RHS Plantsman, Cornwall Today and Eden Friends magazines.

Laura was invited to travel with a group of artists to Transylvania to study the flora there and has since had seven paintings accepted into the prestigious Transylvania Florilegium. Laura also travelled to South Africa in 2021 as one of a handful of international artists chosen to paint for the Grootbos Florilegium Project documenting the plants of the Fynbos.

Laura teaches extensively in her home county of Cornwall and online, at the Eden Project botanical gardens, the Sawpit Studio in Heligan Gardens, and at other sites across the country. Laura continues to take inspiration from the diverse flora of Cornwall and considers herself lucky to have such a botanical treasure trove to work from.

Laura marries ultra-crisp detail and botanical accuracy with compositions reflecting the richness, character and beauty of the plants she depicts. She uses painstaking dry-brush techniques to meticulously control the rendering of each tiny section of plant material in balance with the harmony of the overall picture.

Using layering and aerial perspective Laura enjoys adding depth to her work without losing its scientific value or clarity. Attempting to capture the habit and character of her subjects she is interested in showing the whole plant in novel ways to explore the boundaries of traditional botanical composition.

Personal website

Quotes from students:

These classes have helped me enormously to continue painting again and I can’t thank you enough for that.

I can't believe how many techniques I have learnt, the demonstrations are especially useful as I can see close up how you are holding the brush, how much paint and so much more.

Your courses have been a very worthwhile influence for me, you providing the rudder I need to keep trying to improve my painting.

As I had not painted for some time, it has been so good to have your excellent tuition to push me along and renew my interest in the botanical world.

Thanks Laura for all your brilliant teaching and inspiration.

Thank you so much for such a good day was great to do some painting but most of all to watch your demonstrations, I learnt so much.

Excellent sessions and notes.


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Dryopteris Wallichiana, watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
Lobelia Cardinalis 'Victoriana', watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
White Camelia, watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
Auricula Sophie, watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
Kashmir White, watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
Senecio Jacobaea, watercolour illustration by Laura Silburn.
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