laura Silburn botanical art


I am a botanical artist working in Cornwall, where I am a Fellow of the Eden Project Florilegium Society and teach botanical painting and drawing courses at the Eden Project, the Sawpit Studio in Heligan Gardens and at RHS Rosemoor. I paint both to record species and celebrate plants. My work ranges from botanical documentation for archives and florilegia to artistic studies of plants exploring our relationship to them.

​​​Please use the menu at the top of the page for details of paintings, prints and cards, upcoming exhibitions and how to contact me.

Online botanical art groups

With many of us still being cautious not to travel I am continuing to meet online with students old and new to paint and share our projects using the Zoom app. It's been a great way to keep going, put aside some time to paint and share our work with others.

This will now be running two days a week on Thursdays and Fridays. Our days start by meeting at 10am and students can take part in a weekly set task or work on their own projects. We 'meet' as a group again before lunch and round up at 3pm and I am available in the virtual classroom to answer queries and help during the day.

Each session is friendly and informal, costs £15 and requires you to download Zoom, which is free. If you'd like further information then please contact me!

An Introduction to Botanical Illustration 7th-9th October now booking!

For details of the next three-day course now run from the comfortable Schools Team classrooms including a large PCTV on which to watch demonstrations whilst still social distancing see below or click here to visit the Eden Project Website.

Riot of Colour: Botanical Art at Dartington
Friday 23rd-Sunday 25th October
now booking!

See below for further information on capturing the colours of Autumn at Dartington or click here to visit their website.

Weekly courses for 2020

I teach the weekly botanical art courses at the beautiful Sawpit Studio at the Wagon House in Heligan Gardens in Cornwall. If you are interested in joining for a 10 week term of one day a week on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays then please contact me or to book direct with Charles Francis at the Wagon House.

Classes will be running with reduced numbers and social distancing and hygeine measures in place. Classes will be running from next week but spaces this term are currently full. If you'd like to join though please do get in touch as spaces do sometimes become available.


Introduction to Botanical Illustration with the Eden Project Florilegium Society

Friday 9th-Sunday 11th October 2020NOW BOOKING!
This course will spend three days, mainly drawing in the Mediterranean biome but also with a half-day introduction to botany session to enhance your understanding of the plants you are illustrating. You will be guided through the stages of producing a finished graphite illustration. This course is also a brilliant way to hone your drawing skills in preparation for moving on to watercolour painting. The course is £235 (10% off for Eden Members) and includes an Eden Project lunch each day and the materials you will need to create your final piece. Further details here.

Riot of Colour: Botanical Art at Dartington
Friday 23rd-Sunday 25th October
At the turning of the seasons the bright colours of summer change into more muted tones, but there is still a riot of colour out there from changing leaves to harvest produce and late flowers capitalising on pollinators still around before winter sets in.

We will be spending three days using the autumn colours of Dartington to inspire us to create a finished botanical watercolour.

As autumn sets in colours change to a warm and sophisticated palette. There are the browns and creams of seed heads, hot flushes of red, yellow and orange appear in autumn leaves and autumn produce in the form of squashes, onions and corn.

In autumn the structure of fruits and flowers is the focus of much botanical work, whereas the colours of fading flowers and falling leaves allow us to use colour in our pictures a little more freely, with the flushes of colour in autumn leaves or the remains of colour in drying summer flowers.

For details on pricing options and to book visit the Dartington Arts website here.


Past News

My painting of Dryopteris erythrosora is being featured in the RHS Lindley Library online exhibition 'Worth a Thousand Words, Gold Standard Botanical Art' which opened on the 17th September.

I have been running online taster days with the Eden Project using the Zoom app for competition winners. Participants were given an introduction to the history of the artform and how it is used today as well as a day of drawing and trying out botanical art techniques.

My painting of the fern Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata' was in the show at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens: 'Modern Masterpieces of Botanical Art'  The show opened in November 2019 and has an accompanying book and website.

The RHS Botanical Illustration Gold Medal Winners book by Charlotte Brooks was published by Accart Books in June 2019 and features my paintings of Geranium 'Patricia' and Dryopteris erythrosora.

Worth a Thousand Words exhibition at the RHS Lindley Library in London ran in summer 2019 and featured my painting of Dryopteris erythrosora. This exhibition is now available online.


Gamechanger Day at the Eden Project, July 2019

I had a fantastic day at Eden's training garden meeting amazing young people from the Gamechanger project and teaching a little about how a botanical artist communicates information visually.

Spring Bulbs in Bucharest, April 2019

I was welcomed by the newly-formed the Romanian Society of Botanical Artists in Romania  to teach a Spring Bulbs workshop, organised by Irina Neacsu and the RSBA

RHS Plant and Art Show 2018

GOLD medal and BEST BOTANICAL PAINTING for my ferns and painting of Dryopteris erythrosora at the RHS London Plant and Art Fair 2018. With around 40 exhibitors from around the world this was the biggest and best show I have ever seen. It was such a pleasure meeting so many wonderful people! Running alongside the show was an exhibition in the Lindley Library of recent acquisitions including my Geranium 'Patricia' (right).

For anyone contacting me about prints please use my contact form. 

Sydney Exhibition at Kew 

My painting of Calathea zebrina was part of the Florilegium: Sydney's Painted Garden Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney in 2016 and features in the accompanying book. The exhibition will be coming to the Shirley Sherwood gallery at Kew Gardens in London from April until September 2018.


Royal College of Physicians book and exhibition

'The Illustrated College Herbal: Plants from the Pharmacopoea Londinensis of 1618' was published in May, with an exhibition of the original artworks last August at the Royal College of Physicians. My illustration of Laurus nobilis is in the book and was included in the exhibition. Further details of the book launch and exhibition can be found here.