Billy Showell BA SBA
Billy has become an internationally known botanical painter, illustrator, and tutor living in Kent, UK.
Originally Billy trained in fashion design and illustration, but she quickly turned to her first love, painting and illustration. Her works are distinguishable by her striking, fluid and sometimes unusual compositions. Billy has won various botanical awards, an RHS SGM, 7 SBA Certificates of Botanical Merit, a gold medal from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, and many awards for 'People's Choice'. Billy has artwork at The Botanic garden's collection at Kew, the Hunt Institute USA, and the Shirley Sherwood collection; her work is also held in many private collections worldwide.
Billy has also created over 150 species illustrations
for the international Fragrance Federation
and has painted many illustrations for commercial food companies.
Alongside Billy's painting and illustrating, she is also a prolific teacher. She teaches at her studio and regularly across the UK; Billy has also taught in America, Russia, and Australia.
Passionate about sharing her tips and skills, Billy has produced four best-selling books on her painting style; she also runs a successful and popular online tutorial watercolour website-
The Billy Showell School of Botanical Art, the link to which is www.billyshowell.com.
In 2019 Billy was the Co-President of the Society of Botanical Artists for three years.
At the heart of Billy's work is the love of plants and watercolour. Billy desires to bring as many people to this art form as possible. On occasion, her work is light-hearted, as the compositions are often joyous and whimsical. Over the 24 years of painting and teaching, Billy has introduced her love of painting plants to many budding students; sharing is her passion and loving the process of making pictures is her mantra. Botany can bring enlightenment, painting helps document the beauty of nature, and the pure joy of composing can encourage artists to challenge the norm.
Billy Showell Fine Art
With a passion for fashion, plants and family, I have been working with new vigour. Home is a meaningful part of my work life; I have worked hard to inspire my sons to be creatives, as I was supported this way by my dear parents and husband. With significant changes in my life, I began to assess what identifies my character and what influences my choices.
My art career began in fashion, but my career path veered towards painting, later developing the idea of knitting together botanical painting and inspirations from the dressmakers cupboard. I collect objects that intrigue me to incorporate them into my designs to create stories through my work. I have taken these same themes into my paintings; the collection began with a plethora of botanical shoe-inspired compositions and then morphed into a story of the Dressmaker.
The Dressmaker's Painting Collection
‘The Dressmaker’s Painting Collection’
I am the Dressmaker. I moved to new surroundings and was beset by emotionally, challenging times. I loved my new, unique, rural setting; nature is ever present at my new home. My desire to collect and harvest plants from the garden is overwhelming. I use them to decorate and inspire my work and connect nature to home and place, like bedding in or planting old roses into the new soil.
The first idea to materialise was the hanger, intricately observing flowers tied to a rustic hanger as though to dry. I combined tools and found things to the hangers to complement and balance the designs. The hangers are a chance to celebrate the changing seasons and objects that play a part in my working and personal life.
The second idea is the Dressmaker’s treasures, items found in boxes or out on walks, assembled to conjure memories of childhood, garden and home. Like the contents of a child’s pocket so intriguing and demanding that they be carefully rendered. A lead toy, a plastic ‘Gonk’ or a paper butterfly made from a music sheet are laid out. Seeds or ribbons, dried flowers and pins, each item treasured for the memories they evoke.
The third set of images is the beginning of another new dressmaker series. This concept sparks new ideas on adornment, floral studies transform into unusual brooches or corsages, and botanical studies ignite the imagination to inspire garment design.
I am an artist that relishes the captured moment in the life of a flower. It is fascinating to me now that I am combining this love with images of objects representing who I am at this time in my life.