The two greatest influences on my work as a botanical artist come from my earlier career. Over the years that I worked as an interior designer, and before that, when I studied oil painting in the Old Dutch Masters’ tradition with Nigel Thomson, the aesthetics and framework for my art were established. As an interior designer I was greatly inspired by the beautiful textile designs of William Morris and The Arts and Crafts Movement. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright also had a profound effect on my aesthetic conscience. Wright’s love of the natural world and consummate expression of form and space have, and always will, intrigue and inspire me.
Nigel not only taught me the skills of classical oil painting but nurtured my appreciation of modern art across many genres.
With this grounding and within the strict definition and science of botanical art, I always strive to reach beyond the obvious, to look for new ways of seeing and portraying my subjects. Above all I try to connect with the essence of the plant.
Currently I am working on a major project to produce a monograph of significant Australian native plants growing in the North Head Sanctuary, Manly. The site is one of Australia’s last remaining pockets of bushland known as Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. Here a rich diversity of native heathland plants grow on ancient, nutrient poor aeolian sands. It is classified as an endangered ecological community so the recording and celebration of what survives is important.
- The Shirley Sherwood Collection of Contemporary Botanical Art, London
- The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
- The Florilegium Society, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney
- The Royal Botanic Gardens Victorian State Botanic Collection, Melbourne
Selected Group Exhibitions
- Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Botanical Art Show, London, UK 2016
- Botanica, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, annually since 2006
- The 14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, USA 2013
- The Eternal Order in Nature: The Science of Botanical Illustration , Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne 2011
- The Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney 2009
- The Florilegium Society, Red Box Gallery at The National Herbarium, Sydney 2008, 2010
- Keeping Company with The Collection, Manly Art Gallery and Museum 2011
- The Florilegium: The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Celebrating 200 years, (April 2016), Ed. Morris, C. & Murray, L. The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Inc.
- The Garden, (April 2016) Royal Horticultural Society Magazine, ‘Celebrating the World’s Best Botanical Artists’.
- The Gardens’, Issue 100 (Autumn 2014) front cover image promoting the exhibition ‘Botanica’, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
- 14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, 2013: cover image for the exhibition catalogue and promotional advertising;
- Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, USA, Oct.2013 Vol.10 Issue 5 p.110;
- Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust / Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2013 Season’s Greetings card and blank greeting card;
- Friends’ Botanical Illustrators’ 2013 Calendar, Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Inc;
- ‘The Gardens’ Issue 92 Autumn 2012, Friends of the Botanic Gardens Inc, Sydney
- ‘The Eternal Order in Nature, The Science of Botanical Illustration’, Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Inc, 2011: exhibition catalogue
- ABC Gardening Australia magazine, July 2011 issue
- ABC Sydney Gardening website, “Passion for Plants: Maiden’s Palm Rediscovered” 5 March 2009
- Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Artist captures rare plant in the palm of her hand’, Richard Macey, 16 September 2008, p6
- Perpetual Water’s Garden Angel advertising brochure, 2007
The Royal Horticultural Society Botanical Art Show:
- Gold Medal 2016
- Best Botanical Art Painting in Show 2016
The Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Annual Exhibition:
- People’s Choice Award 2009
- First Prize in 2 categories 2008
- First Prize and Highly Commended in 2 categories 2007
- Highly Commended 2006
- Highly Commended 2004
- The Florilegium Society at The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
- Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Sydney
- North Head Sanctuary Foundation Inc
- Botanical Art Society of Australia
- Manly Art Gallery & Museum
- Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society of NSW
- American Society of Botanical Artists