Mainly graphite and watercolour, and sometimes gouache. I also work in pastel, acrylic and mixed media.

Approach and Inspiration

I enjoy the analytical discipline required of botanical art.  I also enjoy the constant search for subject matter on my daily walks with my dog; for that plant, flower, seed head, lichen or toadstool, or farther afield for a specific plant, such as wild carrot, for the Éireannach project.

Nature constantly amazes, surprises and inspires.  In the Burren, arctic, alpine and Mediterranean wildflowers, such as mountain avens, Irish saxifrage, bee orchid, and Irish eyebright, grow side by side.  The discovery, for the first time, of a carpet of blue spring gentian, in an area of bare limestone pavement, beside a tiny Irish eyebright, is a wonder, but equally wonderful, is the first bank of celandine along the Lagan, in spring, or the clump of dandelion ‘clocks’, in Tesco’s carpark.

Artists who have inspired me with their exquisite work, are Elizabeth McEwan RUA, and ‘the orchid man’, the late Raymond Piper RUA.

I am also inspired by the poem ’Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake, and the beautifully descriptive poetry of Michael Longley, (friend of Raymond Piper, and fellow orchid-hunter), with titles such as ‘Autumn Lady’s Tresses’, ‘Burren Prayer’, ’Pale Butterwort’, and even ‘Flora’, and ‘Botany.’


I was born in Limavady, Co Derry, and spent my childhood in the countryside

I graduated with First Class Honours from Belfast College of Art and Design in 1975, followed by an Art Teachers’ Diploma in 1976.

I have lived in Belfast ever since, but my work continues to be influenced by my rural upbringing, my parents’ cottage garden, animals, birds, wildflowers, fields, the coast, and natural forms within the landscape.


I exhibit annually with the societies of which I’m a member.

In addition, my work has been selected for numerous group exhibitions, including the Royal Watercolour Society Open Contemporary, London; Bloom, Dublin; the Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art, Dublin, Derry and Belfast; Éireannach, Dublin; and the ECWS, Cracow.

I have held four solo shows, two in Phoenix Park, Dublin; one in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Co. Antrim; and one in the Graffan Gallery, Castle Espie, Co. Down.

Awards include several from the Pastel Society of Ireland, as well as the Arts Society of Ulster, the Anna Cheyne Visual Arts Award, the H.R.Brown Award, Rose Society of Ulster. I’ve also received the Whyte’s Auctioneers’ Award and the James Adam Salesrooms Award, both from the Water Colour Society of Ireland.

My paintings are held in the collections of Limerick University, Lisburn City Council, The Water Colour Society of Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland, as well as many private collections.


Association of Art and Design Education

Arts Society of Ulster

Dublin Painting and Sketching Club

Irish Society of Botanical Artists

Pastel Society of Ireland

Water Colour Society of Ireland