An Introduction to Botanical Art


An Extract from the Notebooks of Professor Valerious Conuletes

As recorded by Alistair Mason ‘Pip’ McCosey

An Introduction to Botanical Art

Emily came to Professor Conuletes at Tewit Grange for help and advice some months previously. She had been very depressed and the Professor had showed her ways to lift her spirits. She had tried country walks on advice of her mother and father. This had helped a little but was not really solving the problem. It was acting on advice and recommendations received from Tewit Grange that had permanently changed her life for the better.

The Professor had discovered that anxiety could be eased and spirits lifted through engagement with the natural world. His relationship with the natural world went rather deeper than simply walking. He was a Consultant Naturalist and his advice and recommendations were based on detailed studies and observations over many years. Tewit Grange was chosen for the surrounding diverse habitats, both wild and man-made, and easy connections by road and rail with the outside world. The Professor converted and constructed buildings at the Grange to accommodate individual clients and and to support their studies, contemplations, and practical activities. The nearby railway station enabled clients to visit for a day or for a longer residential period. Tewit Grange became very popular over the years and the buildings, yards, gardens and surrounding habitats , were often busy with people carrying their butterfly nets, drawing boards, vasculums, pots, tools and all the other equipment needed to fully enjoy the natural world. My duties were as diarist, assistant at consultations, archivist and chronicler of the various activities that took place at Tewit Grange. Having worked with the Professor since we studied together at University I was sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable to assist him in his work.

Emily had contacted the Professor again to express concern about of her friends. Charlotte was suffering from the same affliction that the Professor had cured in Emily. An introduction was proposed at Tewit Grange and Emily could accompany Charlotte and enjoy the gardens while Charlotte received a consultation. This means of introduction by word-of-mouth and consultation was not an unusual event at the Grange.

The Professor had many clients with some coming to the Grange to use the facilities for detailed technical studies, and others for the healing effects, and general restoration of spirits obtained from close contact with nature. Clients with artistic interests consulted with him on nature as a subject for drawing and painting and the Grange had facilities dedicated to artistic pursuits.

Charlotte was married to Charles whose work led him to be away from home for long periods of time. She indicated that this left her feeling rather lonely and sad. Charles had suggested she take an interest in their rather large and neglected garden at their home which needed a lot of work. A gardener had been hired to do the heavy extensive works. Charles proposed that Charlotte focus on the design, planting and lighter work, perhaps taking up painting with the flowers and garden for subjects. However, this was still a rather lonely activity. The gardener was very uncommunicative and was occupied by the amount of work needed to maintain the large garden.

At the consultation Charlotte was told of the botanical art group that met at the Grange at regular intervals, and the Professor and I suggested that she should join the group to practice drawing flowers with them. Drawing compels participants to examine specimens with some rigour. This has a number of benefits bağdatcaddesi escort such as enabling the identification of species more easily and deepening appreciation of their beauty.

A folder was lifted from the shelf in the study and offered to Charlotte to open and examine the contents. These were some drawings and paintings of local orchid flowers the group had produced.

She showed a deep interest and asked many questions about the subjects and the drawings. Turning one after another from the folder her demeanour seemed to lift a little becoming slightly livelier in spirit. She lifted out a sheet of paper and turned it over to reveal a most surprising drawing that should not have been in that folder. It had the appearance of an orchid flower but was clearly a figure of female pudenda. I immediately apologised for the indiscretion and took the drawing from her. I explained that some ladies from the drawing group had begun using each other as drawing subjects. This drawing had probably found itself in the wrong folder due to the resemblance to other orchid drawings. I apologised again for the mistake, but noticed that the Professor seemed to be covering a smile behind his hand.. Charlotte also seemed to find the incident, and my apologies more amusing than disconcerting. I placed the drawing in the correct folder from a locked drawer where it was supposed to be.

We had the afternoon available so we took some drawing materials and searched for orchids on a grassy bank near the Grange. Charlotte expressed surprise that orchids could be found near Tewit Grange as she thought them an exotic group of plants from tropical climes. I assured her there were many species to be found in the local district. We soon found some and helped her produce a few simple sketches which seemed to delight her. One is included here.

An Orchid Flower by Charlotte E.

At our parting the Professor offered to introduce her to the botanical drawing group. He was sure she would make new friends and develop an interest and skill that could well improve her spirits and interest in life.


It was nearly mid-summers day when the drawing group, with eight participants including Charlotte and Emily, assembled in the work room. This room was in an old stable block in the grounds of Tewit Grange. The stables had been converted into a work room for clients to use for their studies. The group returned from a short field excursion in nearby fields and were busy discussing and examining their finds. Charlotte, who seemed to have rapidly integrated into the group was examining some orchid flowers with another lady. They were in intense and hushed debate over some detail. I made myself available for an hour or so to help and offer advice.

The Group had requested access to the secure drawing studio. Only the Professor and I have the key and the use of the studio is conditional on our presence if we wish to attend. It is on the second floor of the converted stable block. The studios were developed with an expenditure of considerable time and expense and had large windows all around the room with the window sills at head height. Thus the rooms were filled with light but the activities inside the room remain hidden from the world. The roof had extensive skylights to allow light in from above. All the windows and skylights had shutters so the room could also be in complete darkness. Controlled artificial light could then be used as required. In life drawing classes I arranged soon after the room was completed I found that models often struggled to hold poses for any length of time. To address this issue beykoz escort the Professor commissioned a furniture maker I came to know very well. Along with his wife we designed and built various stands, chairs, benches, tables and other contrivances to assist the models in holding poses. Some of these were specially upholstered to maximise comfort of the model. Ample large and small cushions, drapes, screens and sheets were also produced.

Charlotte was persuaded to attend the secure studio session through the quiet encouragement of two ladies. One, with her arm round Charlotte’s shoulders whispered quietly into her ear.

In the studio Emily was prepared for exhibition by our old acquaintance Miss Lee. Miss Lee made her living as a midwife and provider of various therapeutic services to women in the district. She also attended to many clients around the country travelling by rail to private personal consultations. In particular, she specialised in a treatment for so-called ‘hysteria’ which had given her a considerable reputation with many clients. Emily was laid on a table, fully clothed with cushions beneath her. Her pelvis was raised slightly, with her knees and ankles together.

The participants sat in a close semi-circle at Emily’s feet with drawing boards on their knees. Miss Lee stood facing them on the left side of the table from the point-of-view of the participants, and waited for the chatter to die down. Charlotte was one of the participants and looked a little anxious. She was briefly reassured by the lady sitting next to her that everything was alright and that she should simply watch carefully. Miss Lee reminded everybody that this was a great challenge for Emily and that we should try to be silent and respectful as possible. Drawing was not to start till Miss Lee instructed and this would happen when Emily was in the best condition for exhibition. Miss Lee quietly asked Emily if she was ready and for her consent for preparation. Emily smiled and nodded her head in assent. Miss Lee lifted the hem of her dress which was laid across the top of her bent knees which were still together. She then gently separated Emily’s knees and feet and supported them using cushions. Emily was wearing some underwear with a gusset that could be untied. Miss Lee smiled and whispered reassurances as she released the strings.

Miss Lee then quietly addressed the participants. “Ladies, as most of you know our subject needs to blossom to be at its most beautiful, like the other flowers we seek to study. I will now try to encourage that blossoming”. She picked up an ornamented brass container from a nearby table, opened the hinged lid and dipped some fingers into the liquid contents. This seemed to be scented oil which she cover all the fingers of her right hand. Reaching between Emily’s legs she proceeded to apply the oil to her inner thighs and the lips of her quim, smearing and flattening the surrounding hair, darkening it and masking the greyer hairs that mixed with the mostly russet colour. Miss Lee gently circled the lips and ran a finger between producing a liberal lubrication. This continued for some time as Emily seemed to relax greatly and eventually issued some low sounds of appreciation. Miss Lee while bent to Emily’s ear whispered things which were inaudible to any of us. She pressed gently on Emily’s pubis with her left hand while continuing to massage with the fingers of her right. As the massage continued Emily’s legs widened and Miss Lee rearranged the cushions to better support her relaxing posture. Emily’s quim lips seemed to redden noticeably as fingers separated the folds. Miss Lee draw back the hood caddebostan escort to reveal a small swelling nub. Quiet whimpers could be heard and Emily’s thighs and calves began to visibly tremble as the first ambrosia appeared.. Miss Lee spread the lips wider than seemed possible, which caused an emission of ambrosia which she spread around the nub and inner lips. Using two fingers she spread the labia apart to form the Cobras Head and then withdrew her hands, stood back, and pronounced ‘begin drawing’. The participants immediately began rapidly scribbling and closely examining the exposed, blossoming charms. Some bent forward to gain a detailed view, two required spectacles to see the details clearly. One lady used a hand magnifier for a closer examination. The blossoming seemed to continue with increased redness and small contractions at intervals. Occasional Miss Lee reinstated the Cobras Head by gently placing the labial flaps in the appropriate position. This would inevitably set off some more small rapid contractions and muted whimpers.

Emily G.’s Cobra Head sketched by Agnes B.

After a very short time, maybe five minutes, Miss Lee stepped in and said ” Stop drawing. I think Emily has had enough. I must relieve her tension.” She placed Emily’s inner lips between thumbs and first finger and very gently massaged and stretched the lips. Moving to her nub Miss Lee traced circles around it and then turned her attention to an expanding hole that had begun to gape. She traced the pad of a finger around the hole, repeating the movements again and again. I had noticed when holding her hand while navigating the steps to the studio that the pads of Miss Lees fingers were slightly roughened from years of use. Her touch was very like fine sandpaper. Emily’s thighs quivered and quivered, more whimpering came, with short muted squeals, heavier breathing, gasping, then tensing, arching, with a twitching hole which flowed with ambrosia, contracting, relaxing repeatedly, then finally a deep sign which seemed to relax all her muscles. Miss Lee held Emily in her arms for a short period, and restored her clothing. The participants dispersed around the room to review their sketches. Miss Lee took Emily to an adjacent room to compose her, have a cup of tea, and a quiet chat about what she had experienced. The sketches were pinned to exhibitions boards around the room. Emily and Miss Lee returned and the group embraced Emily with affection and thanked Miss Lee with the utmost respect. As the group discussed the sketches and began work on refining them to more finished drawings I left the room.

All drawings were compiled into folders from the library, including a special folder in a secure location for the more sensitive pieces of work. A vote of thanks was always offered to the volunteer exhibition model on the day. It is one of our policies that all participants must be grateful and respectful, and conduct themselves with discretion, tact, confidentiality and decorum. We received many frequent requests for the key to the secure drawing room.

A few weeks later the Professor received a note from Charlotte asking for a consultation. This was arranged and Charlotte met us in the study. After much discussion with Emily and other members of the drawing club she had been persuaded that she would benefit from the same experience as Emily. This was only possible with the consent of the Professor and Miss Lee. It was explained to Charlotte that a signature on a form of consent was required in order to protect everyone from indiscrete disclosure. Payment was also necessary for Miss Lees services in addition to the normal fee for the services and facilities of Tewit Grange. Charlotte readily understood the need for this, signed the appropriate documents and made the payment. Further arrangements were made with the botany drawing group and Charlotte requested the Professor and I witness the event in person on the advice of Miss Lee.

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