I've always loved botanical illustration. My boyfriend and I own a few books, one chewed to bits around the edges by our dog (maybe she loves it too), because we both find this art form so beautiful and inspiring. Recently his parents bought a new one for me about the history, and upon seeing it, a fellow artist we know told me about how the Smithsonian offers internships in botanical illustration, and about the head illustrator who gets brand new plant species sent to her to paint... and so since yesterday I've been unable to get the idea out of my head. What a dream job! We went to a local nursery today and I felt my heart fluttering seeing everything up close. We took apart and examined some of the flowers in our yard. To get paid to do this would feel almost unreal. It doesn't look like they have anything currently available, but I'm going to keep looking into it.
Until then, Smithsonian, if you see this: call me!
To help with my cravings for all things flowery, I've been collecting some images from The Botanical Magazine, first published in 1787 by William Curtis. It's still being published today. Here are some of my favorites of the images I've been able to find. While many talented artists have contributed to The Botanical Magazine, it was not as easy as I'd hoped to find artist credits for each image, but some do feature the artist's name in print. (And if you're interested in further reading, here's the wiki page for starters!)