Canadian Museum of Natural Science honours our own

by Paul Gross

Heather Gross from St. John the Divine Cayuga burst onto the botanical art scene in early 2018 by gaining national attention in the Art of the Plant botanical exhibition. She is one of 18 artists from across Canada to have a painting selected by jury. Her watercolour of Gymnocladus dioicus, a rare tree native to the Carolinian forest, will hang in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s renowned Stone Wall Gallery in Ottawa during summer/fall of 2018.

Heather has always enjoyed art, fitting it into her busy schedule of wife, mother and school administrator. Now, in retirement, she has energized her art with a little nudge from her husband.

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Heather Gross. Photo: Paul Gross

Her first mediums were oil and acrylic. Something was missing though. Watercolour showed Heather the subtle play of colour, value, tone, light and shadow achieved using a transparent medium.

Heather ventured to take her first workshop in botanical art, January 2017, because of her love of plants. The Dundas School of Art offered a four-day workshop devoted to drawing and painting bulb flowers with Margaret Best, a renowned Canadian botanical artist. Heather absolutely loved it and has never looked back. After several workshops and a serious schedule of drawing and painting, Heather started her watercolour of the Kentucky Coffee-tree.

This show, Art of the Plant, is Canada’s contribution to the first simultaneous worldwide botanical art exhibition initiated by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) and involves 25 countries. The purpose is to celebrate the earth’s precious plant diversity of indigenous species and to link people to plants through botanical art.

Heather is now fully committed to developing her God given gift in art. She shares her passion and talent offering lessons at her church. Sessions centre on exploring and having fun, painting different subjects using a variety of watercolour techniques that she teaches.

Heather’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/ArtByHeatherGross