Nina Marks

Biography

I have only been painting botanically for about 12 years, coming to the art form late in life after retiring from a career in sales and marketing. I have always had a love of flowers and the natural world and enjoyed art whilst at school, but it was not until I picked a particularly beautiful rose from my Mother’s garden that I was inspired to paint again and I soon found that I had embarked on a new career.

Botanical illustration is an exacting discipline and whilst modern photography has the ability to document a plant, only a fine paintbrush, quality materials, and an artist with skill and painstaking patience can accurately capture the beauty and intricacy of an entire plant. I strive to reproduce the colours and textures of my subjects as accurately as possible and am a true purist in this exacting art form. No white paint is ever used since this reduces the translucency of the paint and any white observed is achieved by leaving the paper unpainted. My style is detailed and consequently slow, resulting in each panting taking many hours to complete.

With no formal training in art I am privileged and fortunate to have been introduced to Pandora Sellars, considered by many to be one of the finest contemporary botanical artists of modern times and amongst the true great botanical painters of the last few centuries. She inspired me greatly, taught me to see plants in a totally new way and remained my friend and mentor until her death in 2017.

I am a Fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists.

My paintings are held in private collections both in the UK and abroad.

Preparation for painting by Nina Marks (PDF)

Awards

In 2011: awarded a Silver Gilt Medal for a series of paintings of the genus Paphiopedilum (slipper orchids)

In 2014: awarded a Gold medal for a series of paintings of the genus Arisaema (cobra lilies)

In 2019: awarded a Silver Gilt for a series of paintings of the botanicals used to flavour the Salcombe Gin Distillery’s ‘Start Point’ blend