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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

January 1, 2022

Happy Floral New Year!

 

I wish you, dear friends, a happy, creative and floral New Year! Botanical Art Society of Australia published a beautiful 2022 Calendar. January starts with my painting of King Protea that symbolizes courage and transformation. Let it be then the year of the strong dedication, the bravest things and changes for the better.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

November 20, 2021

Dip in Ink

 

I run a workshop at CDU Art Collection and Art Gallery on Botanical Art ink drawing techniques. It is one of the most interesting themes as ink is an exquisite medium for botanical illustrations.

We found out the difference between different types of pens such as rapidograph and isograph pens, fineliners, dip pens and the purpose they could be used for. Then we moved on to a variety of inks and we sunk into an amazing world of Iron gull, Walnut, Indian, Sumi, fountain pen and acrylic inks.

Having studied the basic techniques, the participants started drawing fabulous Kimberley heather (Calytrix exsipulata) from the Myrtaceae family. The Gallery has immediately filled with the divine aroma, miraculously complementing the atmosphere of creativity and excitement!

November 12, 2021

CDU News

on Royal Botanical Gardens exhibition

I therefore would like to thank CDU Media team for their professional overview of an important event that is one further step forward towards the popularization of contemporary botanical art and its role in plant biodiversity conservation.

Iconic Australian plant is the toast of UK’s botanical artist community

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

November 11, 2021

“Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination”. William Longgood

 

That’s true and everyday practice and hence one more step forward is necessary to see the progress. However, it could be even the day of testing a new brush, diving into the beauty of Nature and enjoying en plain-air sketching.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

October 13, 2021

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere” Chinese proverb

 

The 27th International Conference, organized by the American Society of Botanical Artists is the thrive of contemporary Botanical Art, the opportunity to learn a lot from the masters, providing workshops, and to communicate with colleagues and friends all over world. 

The most impressive for me were the workshops by Lucy T Smith and Sarah Morrish on plants observing and dissecting, by Elaine Searle and Jean Emmons on lightning the objects and Shevaun Doherty on applying opaque pigments in Botanical Art.

It is such an intensive training, that I feel myself motivated and immensely inspired!

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

September 18, 2021

People and nature, mountains and sky, mysteries of the Universe and wisdom – Nepal

I continue experimenting with ink botanical drawings on hand-made Nepalese paper made of native plants. The paper is tender and silky with lightly silvery glow. Frankly speaking it is absolutely gorgeous and I highly appreciate the Nepalese maintain the traditional knowledge and practice of this ancient crafts work!

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

August 13, 2021

Out of your comfort zone

Everything I have achieved is the breaking out of the comfort zone. It is sometimes half-heartedly, often painful and always scary. However, I have never regretted. This is the only way of our personal growth, I guess. So, I took up a challenge of participating in “Accelerator for Enterprising Women” workshop in August. Apart from working out business plans, analyzing pro and contra, assessing risks and consulting with the experts, I enjoyed a galaxy of incredibly charismatic, talented and successful women.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

July 19, 2021

Scientia potential est

Our botanical drawing studies with CDU students continue. Many of the participants are interested in art skills because of the peculiarities of their research works and the necessity of precise scientific illustrations. As a matter of a fact, the techniques we study and practice could be applied to any objects of flora and fauna.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

June 5, 2021

Feeling the plants

 

Far before the start of the painting I spend some time understanding the ecosystem of the species, observing the plant in its natural environment, making notes, colour swatches and necessary measurements. Someone may think that is a boring preparatory stage but it is actually not the case because nothing could be compared to the feeling of interconnection and emotional experience of nature.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

May 13, 2021

“The beauty of simplicity is the complexity it attracts” Tom Robbins

Sometimes you feel you need to keep calm and focus on work but struggle with that. A good start is a cup of aromatic herbal tea and something simple to practice like this tiny pansy. An hour later you feel surprisingly fresh, energetic and ready to start working on the main project.

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April 15, 2021

See shells by the sea shore

You cannot stop looking for them, touching their smoothness or texture, listening to the sounds of the ocean through their shells and finally drawing them. I have got a special sketchbook for these treasures of the ocean, made out with vintage paper and with an ancient pattern on the cover. Sketching seashells with a nib pen on the delicate ivory paper gives a gift of the connection to the past and harmony.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

March 8, 2021

Femininity and feminism

International women’s day (the 8th of March) is not only the day of femininity and beauty but also rights and freedoms and surely the achievements of women all over the world. The most talented and bravest of them changed the history of Botanical Art, contributing to its development and promotion. One of them was Maria Sibylla Merian, who left Europe for a remote Surinam in the 17th century to explore and paint tropical plants and insects. Another excellent example is Mary Morton Allport who became the first Australian professional female artist in the 19th century, dedicated her knowledge and skills for Australian landscapes and native flora.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
Mary Morton Allport (1806-1895)

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

February 12, 2021

 

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man”

Charles Darwin

 

Today is his birthday. There could be speculations upon his discoveries but the undoubtable fact is that he really changed the history of the humankind and promoted the science greatly. I am proud to study at university, the only one in the whole world that is named after him.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

January 21, 2021

“We do not inherit the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

I successfully defended my PhD proposal on Botanical Art and Environmental Sustainability and got the approval of the Ethics. It means the start of the much-awaited practical part of the research, amazing time of explorations, personal and professional breakthroughs.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

December 20, 2020

Flower power

 

Since my visit to Wolfsburg in early 2000s, I fell in love with VW Beetle. Now I am a happy owner of this cute and speedy cabriolet. Do you want know how it is connected to plants? Supporting the environmental and peace movement of the 60s, Volkswagen became the first brand in the world known for such splendid accessories in their beetle cars as bud vases. The first “blumenvasen” were made of finest German porcelain. Natural fragrance and the beauty of flowers made people happy and VW Beetle became a global icon of peace and love.  

November 21, 2020

“You have to know the past to understand the present” Carl Sagan

 

Having joined the Botanical Art Society of Australia (BASA), I was pleased and honoured to be finally a part of Australian rich cultural heritage and old school of Art and a member of the community of contemporary botanical artists. Australia is famous for its acknowledged masters: Celia Rosser, Jenny Phillips, Philippa Nikulinsky and others. The article in BASA Summer Newsletter was devoted to my activity in Darwin, including the workshops and PhD research, connected directly to this unique and gorgeous Art.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

October 14, 2020

 

Harmony of the Universe

 

The charming cosmos flowers are from an Asteraceae family. Cosmos mean the harmony of the Universe. They are bright splashing stars in the sky like perennial meadows. Being native to Mexico, they are presently widespread all over the world, having won also the hearts of Australian people.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

September 3, 2020

 

“What keeps my heart awake is colourful silence” Claude Monet

Plain-air sessions with friends is a curious adventure of exploring new places, a pleasant distraction from work and meaningful time for inner silence. Tumbling Waters have made one of such days. Looking back on my memories I cannot stop wondering how paintings can carefully keep thoughts and feelings of a moment.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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August 15, 2020

Return to Nature

As a member of CDU’s International Higher Degree Research team, I had a chance to participate in a trip to Kakadu National Park and got acquainted with picturesque landscapes and unique nature of the Northern Territory, breathtaking rock art and sacred stories of the Indigenous community. I have explored quite different Australia, which is very much connected to the Land, its past and its future.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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May 24, 2020

En Plain Air

The nature of Australia is unique and its landscapes are divinely beautiful. While devoting all my attention to botanical art, I cannot refrain from en plain air painting.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

March 17, 2020

Dots to be Connected

Once I read Steve Jobs’ wise words: “You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” He motivated me greatly and there’s been a breakthrough in my life. All my dots such as creativity, teaching experience, academic background, love to plants and a childhood dream of visiting the Land of Oz had to be connected.

 

Actually, they did! Having won a Scholarship, provided by the Australian Commonwealth Government, I became a PhD student at Charles Darwin University, where I have been doing a research on the educational, social and cultural capacity of contemporary botanical art. The dreams come true but they are only new dots for the new future!

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January 9, 2020

The Future We Make

A thrilling film “2040: The Regeneration” on sustainable development issues will be released in the majority of countries in 2020.

The film is a breath-taking story about an environmentally concerned father and his cute young daughter, going on a journey and discovering best eco-friendly and prospective practices in different spheres all over the world.

I highly recommend you watching that film with the whole family, discussing the key points and sharing your ideas about our common future.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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December 23, 2019

What does Sustainability Mean to You?

There is a variety of hypotheses about the origins of the term “sustainable development”, connected with a fact that the word “sustainable” was actively used since the 18th century in the European forest policy (sustainable forestry), Canadian fishery (sustainable yield) and different philosophic doctrines, including the theory of Vladimir Vernadski “Noosphere” (sustainable society), etc.

 

The very concept of sustainable development was formulated for the first time in 1987 in the report of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development “Our Common Future”, known also as the Brundtland Report and defined sustainable development as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

 

The concept has gradually become one of the dominant directions of contemporary scientific researches.

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

November 7, 2019

Upgrade Your Mind

I strongly believe in the Concept of Lifelong Learning. Today’s digital education gives an incredible opportunity for self-study.  Coursera, edX and other online learning platforms offer excellent courses from top universities on different topics. You can learn for free unless you would like to get a verified certificate. Why don’t you start studying different aspects of sustainability, including ecosystems, population, energy, etc. I find it of vital importance for being a sustainable human of the 21st century.

edX courses:

 

Coursera courses:

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October 18, 2019

Green Oslo

Did you know that Oslo was the European Green Capital and an ambassador for sustainable development in 2019?

I was fortunate enough to visit it last fall, taking part in an international conference "What Works: Bridging Research and Policy on Sustainable Development", organized by the University of Oslo.

Besides that, I visited plenty of amazing places, including the Nobel Peace Center, where KlimaLab, an interactive exhibition on Climate Change, took place. The exhibition was an excellent example of socially engaged eco-project with art installations, formed and transformed by the visitors themselves. I was impressed with how a comprehensive concept of environmental sustainability was presented in a simple and easily understandable way.

Being in Oslo I felt myself as a part of an environmentally conscious society. Having met new friends from an urban farming project “Sprouting Oslo”, I was really fascinated by their initiative to create green public spaces, welcoming and bringing people together.

Sustainable development is about people and begins with our own green steps forward!

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Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

May 24, 2018

Mysterious Calypso

My artwork “Mysterious Calypso” was included in the presentation of wild plants of Russia for display on May 18 on the World Botanical Day in 24 countries of the world in 2018. The orchid, named after the ancient Greek beautiful nymph, is shrouded in mystery and legends. Here is one of them.

In Tyumen region, the orchid Calypso bulbosa was identified as an extinct species because it was last seen only at the very beginning of the 20th century. Since that time, nobody has seen it again.

 

Fortunately, miracles do happen, and a few years ago, the famous Tyumen biologist Evgeni Bayanov became a pioneer and discoverer of Calypso bulbosa, having found the extinct flower in a dense coniferous forest at a distance of 30 km from the city. It became a sensation!

 

Having read about that in the news, I became obsessed with an idea of seeing Calypso myself. My dream came true and Evgeni Bayanov showed me that miniature, elegant and incredibly beautiful flower!

 

Calypso, by the way, loves cold, blossoming along with Siberian primroses, and exudes an enchanting aroma!

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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July 15, 2018

Hand in Hand with Nature

Camping in a tent and enjoying fourteen fascinating sunrises and as many sunsets by the campfire, two weeks in Siberian taiga and not a day of regret, 100 strangers in the beginning of the expedition and the same amount of friends in the end, plenty of mosquitoes and an endless number of smiles of friends!

 

This is the real life where the main thing is the man and his unity with nature. The 28th environmental expedition «ChIR» was absolutely unforgettable!

 

The youth and the professionals (ecologists, geographers, biologists etc.) studied the local flora and fauna and carried out scientific research projects.

 

I am grateful to had an opportunity to join that team, improve my botanical knowledge and teach the master class series in botanical drawing and painting.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

maximumbotanicalart
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September 3, 2017

Lost in the Wild

Two summer months in the wild Russian taiga gave me an unforgettable experience for the rest of my life!

 

An environmental expedition to Zabaykalsky Krai (June-July 2017) was devoted to rare and endangered plants. The primordial nature and the diversity of Flora enthralled me greatly!

 

What I managed to find, describe and sketch exceeded all my expectations: the queen of meadows, Lilium pensylvanicum, charming fragrant rhododendrons, tiny irises, sparkling in the bright sun, etc.

 

However, my heart belongs forever to a plain and at the same time regal edelweiss. It was a cherished dream to find it and it came true.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

maximumbotanicalart

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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August 8, 2017

Taking Up the Challenge

Botanical sketching makes a lot of sense! Could it be the practice of drawing skills or the enhancement of knowledge in Botany?

 

Yes, it could be but that’s not all! The most important thing is communication! A fleeting moment of a true dialog between the artist and his lively, constantly changing and too quickly escaping species of Flora!

Do you know how exciting it is to observe the petals of a dwarf lily blooming and instantly twisting?

How much does the shade of the calypso flower change while fading?

How funny become the wet petals of lilies after the summer thunderstorm?

 

It’s a thrilling challenge to reflect the wealth of shades, textures and forms of Nature through drawing and painting!

maximumbotanicalart
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July 10, 2016

Comprehending
the Divine Wisdom

In summer 2016, I participated in an environmental expedition to the Krasnodar Krai.  Among the familiar flora of that region, it was astonishing to find the introduced species of the most marvelous plant of the world Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera).

 

It has an interesting history, by the way.

The fact is that the flower has been growing on the territory of Russia in the Volga River for thousands of years and there is a hypothesis that the species might have survived from the period preceding the last ice age.

 

By the beginning of the 20th century, its population dramatically declined and the numerous attempts were undertaken to relocate the lotus from the Volga territory to the Krasnodar Krai. As a result of persistence, patience and hard work, an exotic plant took root in the new estuary in the Taman Peninsula.

 

Presently, exotic lotus feels great, grows and flourishes beautifully in shallow, warm and fresh water. According to one of the most magnificent legends, associated with the lotus, a man who inhales its exquisite aroma becomes wiser.

Anastasia  Maximova

maximumbotanicalart.com

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