The title of this post is a question that of late I have been asked on many occasions by Art Collectors who want to understand what is occurring in the world of Contemporary Botanical Art. The main concern they have is definition, and so regularly inquire if Botanical Art is Botanical Illustration, or if it is Fine Art. For an Art Collector there are always variable reasons for building an art collection and a serious Collector understandably wants to have clarification.
My answer is my personal opinion based on observation:
The definition is simple - Botanical Art is an umbrella term under which many types of artist working with plant imagery co-exist. Broadly speaking, this group of artists range from the highly technical Botanical Illustrators (including Digital Botanical Illustrators), Naturalistic Flower Painters (I place myself here), to the Floral Painters, and the free style Watercolourists. Across the board it includes artists who work with all techniques and all mediums, including print making. I say this without bias, with no sub textural belief that one is better than the other. I define Contemporary Botanical Art in this way because the over riding interest of all participating artists is a concern for the plant kingdom, which is a reason for us to reflect unity of purpose.
The title 'Contemporary Botanical Art' belongs to everyone involved. No one claims ownership over it at the expense of another artist's endeavour. I view this title as an art history term, and consequently I describe myself as a simply a Naturalistic Flower Painter who is a part of the Contemporary Botanical Art Movement. I guess this is comparable, for example, to describing a Cubist Painter as such, whilst also acknowledging them as a part of the Modernist Movement.
How artists in this genre entitle themselves is a key to understanding who they are and what they do specifically. It would be interesting to know statistically how many artists become full time professionals after training, and what percentage pursue the subject as a serious amateur.
My work as an ordinary Naturalistic Flower Painter is fuelled by a love of the plant kingdom, and the expression of observable truth, which to me is the end game of Beauty. This is my intent artistically and how I define myself under the banner of Contemporary Botanical Art. I also delight in seeing the whole of the Contemporary Botanical Art Movement blossom, flourish, and evolve with ongoing uniqueness and originality, via each artist's passion for the world of plants.