Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality
Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Inspired by the old masters throughout his childhood training in art, McEwen developed a distinctive style of botanical illustration. He approached each portrait with scientific precision, capturing the individual contours of each plant instead of offering up an unrealistic ideal. Drawn on plain backgrounds without shadows, often on unadorned vellum, the resulting paintings are extraordinarily realistic, as if a rose-colored petal or sharp green leaf were suspended on the canvas, ready to be touched. McEwen was a master at balancing technical accuracy and artistic flair, without ever compromising one for the other.
Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality brings together over one hundred of his illustrations in a collection that celebrates McEwen’s art and artistic ability. Full-color artwork is featured alongside essays that explore his botanical work, his influence on fellow artists, and his other talents for music, poetry, and sculpture. It is a lavish tribute and the first major collection of McEwen’s work in decades. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality will delight old fans while drawing in many new ones.
Foreword, by Grey Gowrie
1 Rory McEwen – His Life and Music, by James Fox
2 Rory McEwen and the Avant-Garde in Europe, by Richard Demarco
3 Rory McEwen as a Botanical Painter, by Martyn Rix
4 Rory McEwen’s Legacy and Lasting Influence, by Shirley Sherwood
Notes on the McEwen Paintings
List of Exhibitions
Bibliography and Acknowledgements