2018_Philadelphia_1b_(low_res)   BEN AVERIS

Welcome to my website. I am an artist and naturalist. I grew up in Wales, studied at art college, graduating in Fine Art (Painting) at Bath Academy of Art in 1980, and have lived in Scotland since 1986.

Since my art college days I have worked mainly as a botanist (www.benandalisonaveris.co.uk), but still do a lot of artwork. My pictures, in coloured pencil, graphite pencil and black pen, are mostly landscapes of some kind. Why landscapes? Because wherever I am, I can’t ignore the landscape around me: the scale of it, the wonders within it, the innocence of it . . . objects and environments just existing innocently without the concepts of status, cleverness, right, wrong and so on that can enhance but also overcomplicate or even undermine our human lives. Many people's worlds seem to be centered strongly around our species: money, business, careers, politics, economics, religion, tradition, nationality and other social stuff. I've never had whatever it takes to be one of them, especially those who are so urbane and worldly-wise about human matters. They might look down on someone such as me, but I've got used to that and live in my world of landscapes and environments within which we humans and all our affairs are just a part.

I like to draw pictures of all sorts of landscapes. For example, trees in winter woodland settings with an atmosphere of still, innocent quietness and muted colours. And urban scenes, because I’m fascinated by towns and cities, I enjoy their varied and busy ways, and, despite being a naturalist who often works alone in wild places and lacks that urbane confident wisdom I just spoke of, I do like people and am a sociable person.

There are links between my art and botany, not just through shared subject matter but also through parallels in their processes of exploration, finding patterns and relationships, and developing ideas and understandings. Relevant to this is my Seeing Thinking document - a 4 MB PDF file available from the Downloads page of this website.

I hope the writing that accompanies pictures on this website adds some interest. My writing style might seem rather casual to some people in the art world.  I avoid the jargon that makes some artists' writings offputtingly vague, difficult, pretentious, self-indulgent or 'superior'. The commercial side of the art world can make me feel overwhelmed, belittled or even unworthy of the term 'artist', but I'm more productive if I don't let that bother me too much. Making progress my own way is more interesting and important to me than trying to follow established ways of the professional art world. Landscape painting/drawing might not appear to be as fashionable as some other forms of art these days but I think it still has an important place, for various reasons including the ongoing changes to our landscapes and the need for people to be aware of the environments around them.

In recent years I have exhibited pictures at Resipole Studios gallery in the west Highlands, and drawn pictures to illustrate various publications:

An Illustrated Guide to British Upland Vegetation (JNCC/Pelagic Publishing, 2004; ISBN 9781784270155)
Exploring Morvern, vol. 1 (Morvern Heritage Society, 2004)
Plants and Habitats, by Ben Averis (2013; ISBN 9780957608108)

A Morvern Nature Diary, by Stephen Hardy (Morvern Heritage Society, 2013; ISBN 9780956589330)
The Rainforests of Britain and Ireland, by Clifton Bain (2015; ISBN 9781910124260)
The Whisky Dictionary by Iain Hector Ross (Sandstone Press, 2017; ISBN 9781910985922)
Into Morvern's Woods by Alasdair Firth (Morvern Community Woodlands, 2017)
the French botanical journal La Garance Voyageuse (ISSN 0988-3444 / March 2016)

and cartoons in the Australian equestrian magazine Horses and People.

In 2017 I worked on an art project about a west Highland nature reserve (see Morvern 2017 webpage).


To make images on this website appear larger, hold down the 'Ctrl' key and press '+' as many times as required; 'Ctrl' '-' makes them smaller again.


Originals. Prices are indicated by each image and include postage & packing within the UK. In most cases they are for pictures presented in a card mount, but in some cases they are for a framed picture (because it is already framed) or an unmounted picture (too big to post safely in a card mount).

Prints of any of the images shown here are available. These are giclée prints. Their prices are as follows:

Mounted A3 (30 x 42 cm) print: £60 each (including postage & packing within the UK)
Mounted A4 (21 x 30 cm) print: £40 each (including postage & packing within the UK)
Mounted A5 (15 x 21 cm) print: £30 each (including postage & packing within the UK)
Note: prints can be smaller than originals if desired (e.g. an A4 print of an A3 original).
Cards (folded to 10.4 x 15 cm + envelope + transparent plastic packaging) of any of the images shown here are available at the following prices:
£1.80 each if ordering up to four cards (including postage & packing within the UK)
£1.60 each if ordering five or more cards (including postage & packing within the UK)

To place an order or to arrange a visit here (East Lothian) to view or collect pictures, please send me an email or telephone me on 01620 830 670 or 07767 058 322.

Copyright note: all images shown on this website are © Ben Averis and may not be used in any way without my written permission.

MATERIALS. I draw my pictures with the following types of pencils and pens: Derwent 'Artists' coloured pencils (these have relatively hard leads that keep sharp points well and are good for details), Derwent 'Coloursoft' coloured pencils (with softer leads and richer colours), Derwent 'Drawing' coloured pencils (with soft, thick leads and subtle colours), Caran d'Ache 'Luminance 6901' coloured pencils (with quite soft leads and rich colours; fabulous pencils but relatively expensive so I try to be economical with my use of them), Faber Castell 'Albrecht Durer' coloured pencils (I have a few of these, mainly for doing details in certain dark colours; their leads are strong enough to keep a sharp point and the colour is good and strong), Staedler 'Noris' HB graphite pencils (the yellow and black striped ones; my favourite 'ordinary' pencil; always reliable, keeping a good sharp point for detail, and versatile too from very light and pale to darker stronger markings) and Pilot Drawing Pens (in four thicknesses - 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 0.8). In coloured pencil drawings I often use an old 'empty' biro (that has run out of ink) for scoring the paper where I want thin white lines to stand out uncoloured after colour has been applied to the general area. Sometimes I draw pictures in biro too (proper working biros of course). I like biros whose outer casings are in bright happy colours. I bought them from a £1/biro charity box at the Co-op foodstore in Balloch (by Loch Lomond) and from the amazing Tokyu Hands shop in Sapporo, Japan, where I found a quiet corner with bright-coloured biros and was totally in my element! My biro collection sort of matches my little collection of washing-up brushes which, rather worryingly, I haven't actually seen since we moved house in summer 2016...


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