In her one-of-kind botanical compositions, Virginia’s Anne Blackwell Thompson brings the outdoors in.
The artist: Born in Greenville, SC., Thompson grew up in Texas. She graduated from Texas A & M, trained in studio art and art history in London and worked as a decorative painter. In 2009, she apprenticed under botanical artist Stuart Thornton in Italy.
The company: Blackwell Botanicals started in 2010 in Richmond, where Thompson maintains a studio and herbarium. She has more than 1,000 specimens in her studio inventory, which is always changing depending on the season.
The materials: A myriad of plant material, including ferns, vines, blossoms, carnivorous species, foliage, grasses, aquatic plants and seaweed.
The process: The specimens are harvested, dried and pressed onto archival paper.
What’s popular: Seaweed, with its modern and graphic vibe, and lush Southern foliage and flowers, such as wisteria and hydrangea. Also collections from a client’s personal garden.
Size-wise: The standard herbarium size of 11.5 inches wide by 20 inches high ($350). Also “Baby Bots” ($50) that measure five inches wide by seven inches high. Large-scale specimens can run $8,000.
Big break: For the 50th anniversary of the Southern Living’s Idea House in 2016 in Mt. Laurel, Ala., Thompson was asked by architect Bill Ingram to provide 20 to 30 botanicals.
Claim to fame: A runner-up in the craft category of Garden & Gun magazine’s Made in the South awards in 2018.
What’s next: Exhibit at the Quirk Gallery in Richmond (June 25 to July 27). Also artist in residence at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Md., in 2021.
Where to buy: blackwellbotanicals.com. Also ask about custom commissions.
Get social at: Blackwell Botanicals on facebook and Blackwell_Botanicals on instagram