My degree in Fashion and Textiles was followed by several years working in London’s fashion industry as a designer/ illustrator. Returning north with a young family allowed me time to develop drawings based on subjects from nature (an interest since childhood walks), plus an opportunity to expand techniques with coloured pencils (used dry), which have been my preferred medium since childhood. Their potential to create rich tonal depths, subtle transitions and translucent colours is a constant fascination as are the infinite possibilities offered by botanical subjects. I prefer drawing directly from live subjects, finding inspiration in my garden and beyond.
An award from the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the response to my first solo exhibition encouraged me to continue with botanical subjects as the main focus. Subsequently my work has been given a variety of awards, including two Royal Horticultural Society gold medals and several awards from The Society of Botanical Artists and The Society of Floral Painters, where I am an elected member of both, exhibiting regularly. Since 2010 I have been Vice President of The SBA. More recently I have been invited to exhibit at Florum, where I received the Elizabeth Smail award in 2012.
Besides private commissions, images have been commissioned for greetings cards and a museum. Original artwork is in private collections in the UK and abroad, as well as The Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens, The RHS Lindley Library and The Florilegium archive at Sheffield Botanical Gardens, where I am a member of their Florilegium Society. My work also appears in a number of books. Besides taking part in solo and joint exhibitions, teaching has become an increasing and enjoyable part of my practice, particularly with the rise in popularity of Botanical Art and a widening interest in the medium of coloured pencils.