Mariella has a breadth of knowledge within the Visual Arts and was
awarded her M.A. from the University of Sussex following her post-graduate
studies at West Dean College, Chichester. Her passion however is the
portrayal of plants. She studied Botanical Illustration under the tuition
of Anne-Marie Evans at the English Gardening School in Chelsea Physic Garden,
She went on to become a tutor of the subject teaching at both the
English Gardening School and West Dean College as well as running workshops at
numerous venues, including The Wallace Collection, Sarah Raven’s Cutting
Garden, The Museum of Garden History, The Eden Project, The National Trust as
well as private groups.
She has exhibited both in the United States of America and the
United Kingdom and has paintings in both private and public collections.
She is a member of the Chelsea Physic Garden
Florilegium Society, an organisation which is in the process of documenting the
historic collection of plants within the garden.
Zack started making his paper and wood birds
after experimenting with his own Children’s book in which a little boy makes a
bird lantern out of old book pages and willow sticks. After struggling to
envisage what it would look like He went about making his own as a prop to draw
from, this sparked something and after much playing and experimenting Zack made
more and more detailed birds over the years, detail is his obsession.
Each bird takes
anything from 30 – 120 hours to create, Zack takes great pleasure in creating
each bird as realistically as he can, from the first drawings to the last
stroke of paint every little feather is lovingly crafted. Pop over to his
Instagram, (tab on the left) to get an idea of how much work goes into each
Sadly, we were unable to showcase any of Zack’s incredible
birds as he is off on an exciting adventure to Alaska and Mexico where he will
be taking his paper and wood creations. We are lucky to have two of his limited-edition
prints ‘Hummingbirds’. We hope to have some beautiful handmade birds for you to
see in our gallery soon.
Mandy Hudson lives and works in London. She studied at Maidstone
College of Art (KIAD) and has shown in group exhibitions in the UK and
internationally. These include Re-Assemble at Collyer Bristow Gallery
Painting Prize in
of Romance, White Conduit Projects, London 2015, MK Calling at the Milton
Keynes Gallery; One Day, Gallery Korridor, Reykjavik and The
Contemporary Art Societies Art Futures at
the Bloomberg Space in 2007.
She has frequently depicted plants in her
work. Originally these were specifically in an urban enviroment; weeds growing
out of cracks in pavements, small trees on waste-grounds, office plants and
flowers in windows.
More recently she has been focusing in on
the plant-forms themselves. On short trips out of London she has spent time
making small watercolour studies of individual plants, working
these up into oil paintings and prints in her studio.
After completion of a
Diploma in Graphic Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
(Australia), Anita Barley worked as a professional botanical illustrator with
the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne from 1977.
She performed this role for sixteen years, working mainly on the
illustrated Flora of Victoria project, completing hundreds of coloured and
black-and-white plates for this major scientific reference work. She also
provided illustrations for scientific papers, the Flora of Australia, and other
Since departing from the botanic gardens in 1992, Anita has continued to work
freelance, providing further illustrations for scientific publications,
together with other botanical paintings and commissions. She has twice been awarded the Celia Rosser
Medal (2002, 2006).
In 2013 Anita relocated with her family to live in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew, where she continues to produce extraordinarily detailed botanical and
other nature-themed artwork. She has
contributed plates to Curtis’ Botanical Magazine and also for the Kew Bulletin,
and has also undertaken commissions. In 2016, Anita was chosen for the Jill
Smythies Award for Botanical Illustration by the Linnaean Society, London.
Lale trained as a printed textile designer, graduating with a 1st class degree from Chelsea College of Art and Design before working with Sir Terence Conran. After designing with Terence and gaining the experience of the commercial marketplace she believes that good design can be made affordable. Lale had the ambition to work for herself, she loved to draw from an early age and believes that pictures transform a room’s aesthetic dramatically. So, she decided to become an artist, selling affordable prints and taking personal commissions. Her training as a textile designer can be seen in her work as the detail and craft of her drawings are what make them. Her appreciation of quality materials, sense of design and colour give her work a sophistication and freshness.
‘My favourite medium to work with is pencil on paper. With these simple tools I capture as much detail as I can of my subject, creating highly detailed drawings. I sometimes add colour with gouache paint which suits me to work with because of the paint’s characteristics. The colours are strong, they can be carefully layered like watercolour but are versatile by being opaque with a soft chalky finish. I love to work with clients on commissioned projects. My website has examples of my work including pet portraits, and drawings of buildings that are the perfect wedding present.’
Though Mary Ellen was born in
New York, she had more adventurous plans. University in Washington DC turned
into a brief career in graphic design, a few years of studying art in London
and a job in adventure tourism in NYC which led her to settle in the Galapagos
Islands, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
South America to London
After two decades
of earthquakes, volcanic and political eruptions, motherhood, divorce and a
handful of creative business opportunities, Mary Ellen returned to London to
pursue a Diploma in Botanical Painting at the English Gardening School located
in the Chelsea
Physic Garden– an adventure in itself.
Chelsea Physic Garden
Mary Ellen was the Diploma
Course Manager at The English Gardening School for 7 years and painted in her
spare time. Most of her artwork focuses on the plant’s relationship to its
habitat, from places close to her heart.
Returning to Galapagos
In 2008 Mary Ellen
was sponsored to return to the Galapagos in celebration of Darwin’s 200th
anniversary, to research and paint the six most endangered birds and their
habitat. The resulting watercolour paintings continue to raise awareness and
funds for the Galapagos Conservation Trust, based in London.
Butterflies in Chelsea
In 2011, the Chelsea Physic
Garden commissioned Mary Ellen to paint the butterflies found within the garden
and their nectar source. This was done to honour James Petiver, the
‘grandfather of British butterflies’ and past demonstrator of the Physic Garden.
These watercolours were used for a series of note cards sold in their shop
reminding visitors of the delicate environmental balance of this special
Eleanor Percival is an artist from South London with a BA and an
MA in Illustration from UCA Maidstone and UAL Camberwell respectively. She
works mainly in watercolour and runs a small business producing paper goods,
homewares and accessories.
Percival’s work can be decorative or narrative, but it’s always
lovingly made. With influences including Ancient Greek pottery, Renaissance
painting and Indian miniatures, her paintings are delicate, stylised and
usually a little wonky.
Her interest in nature, and accordingly a love of painting leaves
and flowers, comes from her parents: obsessive gardeners both.
Sarah Graham’s work is uniquely beautiful. Her twisting,
flowing, sensuous flower forms, executed with a restrained elegance yet a
contemporary brio and layered with ravishing colour, have an echo of Isnik art.
Some have an even more distant orient form which influences her pale delicate
drawing, while others executed in bold chiaroscuro, recall Japanese ink
paintings. Here is an artist who knows her metier intimately and faultlessly,
and who has studied her subject with diligence and devotion. Sarah’s paintings
and drawings are a delight to the eye, mind and heart.
Sarah Graham was born in Edinburgh in 1973. Between 1992 and
1996 she completed two MA’s at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of
Art in History of Art and Fine Art. Graham travelled extensively for many
years; Australia, Turkey and the Far East, culminating in a journey on
horse-back across Central Asia in 2001. Discovery Channel bought the film
“Beyond the Mountains of Heaven” that Graham co-filmed. She also spent many years
in the USA working for Antiques Dealer John Hobbs. Graham lives and works in
Chelsea, London and has two children with husband James Holland-Hibbert.
Natural forms, insects and the plant world provide her main source of
inspiration, either borrowed from the Natural History Museum or forming
collections from her travels in the studio.
Diana Mercado is an Ecuadorian oil painter living in London
and the US.
paintings evolved from memories of my childhood in Ecuador. It was a
childhood where stories of superstitions, spirits, ghosts and water always
surrounded me. It was not unusual to walk our gardens and imagine elves and
fairies that might inhabit the luscious walks, full of ferns, hydrangeas
and the water lilies of our pond. It made me believe such magical
could only inhabit a world full of light and vibrant colour.’
The memories travelled with me to New York and later to London, where I
worked on “Amapolas.” When it came to finding inspiration, I relied heavily
on those childhood memories, remembering the feeling of awe in nature but
most of all its treasured peaceful calm. The woman immersed in the pond is
by no means trapped in the water, she’s embraced by it and has become a part
of it by giving herself completely to the absolute purity of the natural
habitat. It is a mystery to the viewer whether she’s Nature herself,
admiring the beauty of her creation or perhaps a nymph taking in a moment
of drowsy oblivion. Regardless, the feeling is of powerful but quiet
celebration. This woman has come far, travelled long and for a short while
she’s enjoying a moment of meditation.’