Monday, March 05, 2018

The Fabulous Launch of the New Website

'The site features selected works representing Coral’s amazing 40-year career as a painter and draughtswoman'  ~ Tania Marien



This is a very huge thank you to everyone who has enabled the new website to be seen by so many people worldwide.

The response has exceeded all my expectations. After months of work, the magic came to a conclusion in a spectacular way that took original page views to over a 1,000 a day.

For myself, as a quiet and somewhat reclusive type of artist, this was a joyous and humbling experience. The key seems to have been in planning the launch with the aim of reaching the audience in tranches so that the initial momentum could maintain a wave.

The work on the site became a kind of pilgrimage to review aspects of a forty year career, to explain and piece together my ongoing mission to evolve the art of the New Flower Painting. I hope to add a little more to its ongoing history. The story in the bigger picture is not yet over, and what I cannot do the artists of the future will achieve.

Deepest thanks go to the existing and the new audience that the work now has, and, for the many messages of enthusiasm and good will - around 600 - that have been received. It has been a moving experience to read so many appreciative comments. Viewers have described the many moments of beauty they experienced from the site and how it has inspired them to look at more Flower Paintings, to practice the art themselves, and to spend more time in the company of Flowering Plants.

My gratitude goes to all the artists, and art lovers, who have shared the news of the site and their enthusiasm for it, on their media pages. Much appreciation goes to the goodwill and generous responses that have been received from the Collectors, Societies, and Institutes, who have Flower Paintings in their homes, archives and galleries.

Times are changing for websites and this example is no exception.  This  new botanic site is aimed at being a kind of online publication of a biographical timeline in words and pictures. It is a series of events in the life of one Flower Painter.

In recognition of this approach, writers and educators are now reviewing websites as something that stands up as a kind of monograph.

The first person to run with this idea with respect to my new botanic site, is the erudite, and most eloquent editor of Artplantaetoday in the USA, the award winning Tania Marien.

Tania has written a fabulous review of the new site. Deepest thanks go to Tania for bringing so many viewers and lovers of the plant kingdom, to the New Flower Painting.

If you would like to flag up the site or review it, please do contact me through the Information/Contact  page of the website, so we may point our readers in your direction.

Thank you again, to everyone who has participated with such generous and positive responses to the new site.



Friday, February 23, 2018


Placed in natural daylight

Painted directly from life

Depicted life-size  

Through spontaneous inspiration

Its fast

Its magical

It is..... 

The SEED                                                

Many of you who know me will recognise the Study Works from a project on Seeds that began in 1993, which became a series of rapidly drawn and painted observational images. 

Visit the second half of the Study Work page at the brand new website and see these wonderful natural forms.

As more seeds come forward, from far away storage and into the bright natural light of the studio, the project is growing again and emerging from its rest. Watch this space for gradual and intermittent snippets of news, as we work in the silence of the studio.

Above:Seed Pods from Papua New Guineawatercolour on paper1993

View the new website and take a tour of the extraordinary paintings and drawings. Read all about it at the wonderful world of  CORALGUEST BOTANIC



It is important that you read the Copyright Notice below.


This website, including images, information, and content are the copyright of Coral G Guest and associated copyright holders. It is prohibited to reproduce or copy, adapt, modify, pin or otherwise use any of the images, text, or information herein, in any manner or form, recreational or commercial, without specific written consent.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


The new website is here .....

Celebrating the plant Kingdom 

through the life and work of the

painter and draughtswoman

Coral G Guest

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Art of Copying

This blog is sometimes been archived on draft for a number of reasons.
Firstly, if I am travelling and not able to keep watch over things, or if something happens like an excess of copying comes to light, it closes whilst the situation is observed.

Currently, much of the archive is closed. This relates directly to what has arisen in this past month.

Most professional painters have originality as their ultimate aim. All art students have this awareness drummed into them from an early stage in their education. This is because to be original is the only way to really make your mark on art history. The issue of copying, plagiarism and the stealing of ideas and imagery is one thing, influence is another. All art students are expected to learn through influence, but this is also expected to drop away as originality emerges.

Each month here in my studio we do a digital reverse image test, and also receive digital notifications of where the images from my website and blog have been copied and or pasted.
This is on the rise as a problem, for many artists who have not only their imagery stolen directly but their ideas also copied.

Last month two commercial companies cut and pasted my images from another art website, and placed these images on their own commercial websites in the USA and in Indonesia. Both were using these images to sell their products. They were both discovered and consequently removed these images.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and the problem is on the increase. I am told there is now technology to remove watermarking and take screen shots directly and then increase the resolution of an image, flawlessly. In addition, this kind of act is detrimental to any company who legitimately purchases the rights to imagery.

In my world, it has recently come to light that some of my writing on this blog has been used by a PhD student as a part of their dissertation. This has been reported to me by their tutor.
Also, some of the writing on this blog has been taken and translated into a book and published in another language, in another country. This came back to me via someone who understood that language.

What many don't seem to grasp is that I allow the use of my imagery and my written words, if permission is applied for. It would appear that what some people want to do is actually take what is not theirs, and put their own name to it.

On each of these occasions, I was informed by well wishers and generous people who don't like to see this kind of thing happen.

I also have seen a rise in the number of emails from young artists who's work has been plagiarised by older more successful artists. Understandably, this is very alarming, and I tend to view this habit as a kind of intimidation.

I know from how many times I have been copied that it is damaging and difficult to come to terms with. I have replied in person to all those who have contacted me who have been plagiarised in this way, and asked me for help in how to cope.

My personal approach is to forgive, because I see that plagiarism in the fine art world is often an unconscious act. One that is a desperate form of aggression. Both plagiarism and the stealing of imagery is the opposite of generosity.

If I could give every desperate artist a free idea of originality I probably would. But first they would need to understand that giving and receiving are separate from the desperate desire to be famous.

Given the above, I have been advised to have the new website password protected.
This is so that I can have control over who views it.

I am told that things are going this way for more and more artists. Looking ahead, my view is that a password can also hide copying, so this may actually not be the way forward.

We know that with this issue a culture change is being demanded.
Thank you to all the kind and loyal people who have informed me of what has been going on.

On reflection, I will carry on being open, and placing security as a priority.

Currently the copyright notice for the new website is being composed, and this makes for interesting reading.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Flower Painting in context

Flower Painting is an aspect of Fine Art, and lives within the domain of the Painter.
For the serious artist, Flower Painting is not only about observational drawing and painting, it is also about the meaning that is encapsulated within the work. 

The description of Flower Painting as decorative, pleasing to the eye, or as limited to aesthetic concerns, is an aspect of the truth. However, for many artists past and present, it is by no means the entire truth. The messages that a Flower Painting offers are profound and layered with purpose.

The message held in a Flower Painting depends on the criteria and the intent that the artist has, and the statement they want to make. Their statement may be philosophical, emotional, ecological, spiritual or reveal any number of passions that relate to, or can be relayed through, the flower image. The priority of the Fine Artist as Flower Painter is to convey this content within the bigger picture of the art world.

To view Flower Painting as having a potential that is limited to the production of a pleasing image, only exposes a lack of awareness as to how Fine Art fuses content or how a message is absorbed into an art work.

Flowers have often been associated with still life in Western Art, and the flower stayed there for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Historically, this was not always so. Through the many efforts of contemporary Flower Painters, it is again no longer only associated with either still life, or illustration.

Flower Painting, even as a part of the still life genre, never has been exclusive to making only a pretty picture. Historically, it is steeped in symbolism, to name but one time-line associated with this genre. For the serious artist, Flower Painting has never been a vacuous pursuit. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Charcoal Dust

Space Like Black Velvet Series 2 
The Potential Irradiation of Particles as Tulipa 'Triumph' 
charcoal with watercolour wash on paper
70 x 50 cm
Coral G Guest


Having developed the use of charcoal and watercolour wash in combination, since 1974, I look back upon a long personal and professional history. 

A few years ago, I sought the advice of a kindly and well known charcoal artist on their use of fixative, as I did not generally employ it. I received the most helpful advice, but in the end decided against using the fixative, as it had the effect of turning the dark black of charcoal into more of a satin-like surface, which reflects light. I felt this was not my style. I sustained my original practice, wherein I had already determined a way to create the blackness of the charcoal as an entirely stable mat surface. 

In addition to this, the eternal problem with charcoal is that it will drop dust. After it is framed, the drawing may shed this charcoal powder continuously. This powder then accumulates within the lower inside edge of the frame, between the artwork and the glass. Framed artworks of the experienced charcoal artist tend not to reveal this kind of problem. The management and elimination of this problem, during the creation of the work, is a sign that the artist understands their medium well enough to stop the build up of fall-out dust before it actually happens. 

I am often asked by Collectors to comment on the charcoal techniques of other artists, and I always decline to comment. Discernment is a personal choice, and can be achieved by comparing works by different artists in the way an art historian might do. Artists themselves tend to enjoy talking about their work and often welcome questions about their process. The Collector has the task of reassuring themselves that the work they are purchasing is authentic in its understanding of a technique.

'Charcoal has a nature that is rich in its darkness.

I have named this Space Like Black Velvet.

If this velvety texture of the darkness is not preserved, the surface of the drawing loses the sense of space it creates. Consequently, the image located within the black then appears rather like an object falling backwards into darkness. However, if the mat blackness is maintained, the image has the sense of emerging from a dark space. The discerning eye and mind will always recognise the difference between these two momenta.

I offer my monochrome drawings as a representation of my experimental techniques, when I feel they are developed enough to represent my ideas. I see myself as the the first artist to develop the combination of mixed media to create a dark space for a light image of a flower, which is held and emerges from the darkness of space. 

This is a rare subject to think through,and it is based upon my need to investigate how form relates to, and is inseparable from, space. I understand how my ideas connect to the techniques I have developed. This is not simply a superficial issue, it is a profound awareness that holds a monumental meaning for me. I am aware that this work has been seen by many of my contemporaries, who are perhaps now beginning to look deeper into the meaning of light and dark, possibly by following this lead'. 

Coral G Guest 2015

This quote is the copyright of the artist Coral G Guest and may not be copied or used without permission.

See the Drawings website for more

                       Space Like Black Velvet Series 2 
                    The Irradiation of Particles as Tulipa 'Triumph' 
                    charcoal with watercolour wash on paper
                    90 x 70 cm

                    Coral G Guest

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Prints at the Kew Shop


Sending a huge thank you to all who visited the British Artists Show at the Shirley Sherwood gallery at Kew, with a special acknowledgement to the many visitors with whom I spoke during my weekend visits to the exhibition, when many intriguing conversations ensued regarding Botanical Art in its many forms. 

Prints of work from the show are still on sale in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery shop and also online

All the artists, including myself, who's work has been made into prints, have been delighted with this outcome.

We hope you liked the show, which meant a great deal to all who exhibited there.

Monstera deliciosa  
Coral G Guest
Available as a print from the Shirley Sherwood gallery shop.