San Francisco Botanical Garden About San Francisco Botanical Garden
Artist's Reception
Thursday, January 18

Original artwork and giclée prints are available for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library

Art Exhibit

Looking Closely: the Hidden World of Mushrooms and Lichens

Paintings by Lucy Martin

January - April 2018

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture presents Looking Closely: the Hidden World of Mushrooms and Lichens, an exhibition of paintings in gouache and watercolor by Lucy Martin.

Lucy Martin's paintings reflect her lifelong connection with nature. They express her love of the beautiful and surprising life forms found in the forests she explores. Her hope is to awaken in the viewer a feeling that there are myriad tiny worlds to be discovered right at our feet, if we only stop and look.

Lucy's interest in botanical art has evolved to focus on the amazing diversity of the kingdom of fungi. She generally paints mushrooms and lichen in their natural environment rather than as isolated specimens, as in more traditional botanical art. Her paintings may be seen as small landscapes, glimpses of the hidden life of the forest.

A new painting begins with a walk in the forest. Lucy collects her subjects and their surroundings - fungi, lichen, moss, fir cones, bark, decaying leaves, twigs - and brings them to her studio. There she arranges them in a container so as to be able to paint from life as much as possible. She uses photographs as reference for a background, or for objects such as a mossy tree trunk that are too large to bring home. Lucy paints mainly in gouache, with the addition of watercolor and occasionally a little colored pencil. Gouache is similar to watercolor, but more opaque. The qualities of gouache and Lucy's technique of layering the paint create a sense of density and depth appropriate to her subject matter.

Her art draws us to contemplate the vital, intimate relationship of fungi with trees and other plants, often growing in mutually beneficial symbiosis. Lucy paints the mushrooms with scientific accuracy, but says "my goal as an artist is to awaken a sense of the mystery, strangeness and beauty of the natural world."

Lucy lives in Sonoma County, California. She exhibits in Sebastopol Gallery and Calabi Gallery, as well as annually in Art Trails, the juried Sonoma County Open Studio art tour. She has also exhibited several times in international shows of the American Society of Botanical Artists and in a previous solo exhibition at the Helen Crocker Russell Library in San Francisco Botanical Garden.


General Exhibit Information

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is recognized as one of the finest horticultural resources in the nation. Its 27,000-volume collection ranges from new gardening titles to antique herbals. The Library is open, free of charge, from 10am–4pm, every day except Tuesdays and holidays.

Exhibitions of art related to botany, horticulture and the natural world run for four-month periods. The artworks in our exhibitions are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 ext. 403.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.
SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

ADMISSION  FREE for Members, SF Residents (with proof of residency) & School Groups | $8 Non-residents | Discounts for Seniors, Families & Children

LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse (Friend/North Gate) | Phone: (415) 661-1316 | Mail: 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2370

© Copyright San Francisco Botanical Garden. All Rights Reserved.