Giovanni Cera of Florence is a retired architect and botanical artist who sometimes goes by the English moniker he has adopted, Johnny Wax—a direct translation of his Italian name. I first made contact with Giovanni in 2019 on social media when I was completing initial drawings of an heirloom quince for the ASBA’s Abundant Futures exhibition.
He mentioned how much he liked the unusually large and sculptured cone of the unopened pink bud with which he was so familiar from summers spent in Puglia as a child. I mentioned how much I liked Puglia after teaching two destination workshops there and added how much I admired his remarkable geometric architectural rendering of a teasel I had seen on social media.
Not long after that an unexpected parcel arrived from Italy. Giovanni had sent me his original drawing of a quince bud inspired by our conversations. Original art is always a joy to receive but original art with a personal connection is a special joy. Such talent. Such thoughtfulness. Such generosity.
His work reflects his skill as both an architect and a botanical artist. I had never seen plant structures portrayed this way. It made my quince bud rendering so much more of a treasure. But now everyone can enjoy Giovanni’s work because he has just published a forty-eight page book, Applications of Descriptive Geometry in Botanical Art with fascinating illustrations on every page. For instance, you’ll find my quince bud drawing on page 4 complete with an explanation. He also takes the understanding of Fibonacci features in plants to another level through his familiarity with both pinecones and palm trees. His watercolours of pine cones in the book explain how his geometric drawings facilitated his understanding and improved his results.
You can see some of Giovanni’s drawings from the book in the ASBA’s members’ gallery by clicking here. Applications of Descriptive Geometry in Botanical Art is available from Amazon.it and etabeta-ps.com and will shortly be available from Amazon.com.