The Extinction Crisis in Watercolor and Oils: Using Art to Save Plants

rare exotic plant in bright red and green The Extinction Crisis in Watercolor and Oils: Using Art to Save Plants

Chris Thorogood is surrounded by plants — both around his office and on his drawing table. As an evolutionary botanist, he serves as head of science and public engagement for Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum in the United Kingdom. But when he’s not researching the genetics or taxonomy of plants around the world, he’s often drawing them. His stunning illustrations have appeared in scientific journals, magazines and books like 2018’s Weird Plants and 2020’s The Botany of Gin (the latter coauthored with Simon Hiscock). We connected with Thorogood by video to talk about the fine line between science and art and how both serve to aid in conservation. What’s your evolutionary story? Where did the science and the art combine for you? Well, I think they go very well together. Often we can put subject areas into boxes. In school we think of everything as compartmentalized, whether, you know, it’s math or science or art, and whether you’re good at this or not so good at this one, or which one you like. And one of the things I love about my career is that all of those boxes disappear and everything starts to overlap. Wow. That’s great. It’s […]

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