I work with Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolours. I use sable brushes for their colour-carrying capacity, as well as less expensive alternatives. Tonal values are achieved with colour washes, layering the transparency unique to watercolours. I add water to lighten colour and to introduce tone variation; I like to introduce brushmarks, strokes, differing pressures and directions to blend hard and soft edges. I mask areas to preserve highlights as well as painting in negative. A wet brush is used to lift out areas and tissue is used for larger, diffused highlights. I maintain a notebook/diary of flowers throughout the year from my own garden.

I have to thank my Dad for inspiration. He showed me how to look, observe and appreciate nature around me. From winning a prize of The Observers’ Book of Wild Flowers in primary school and walks with my Dad, my love of flowers and nature began.  I am inspired by the way light shines on objects and how everything can change when this light alters, e.g. early morning and evening shadows, along with the varying moods created by changes in weather and the seasons. During the past few years, due to back trouble, I have taken to painting and drawing individual flowers in my studio.

I have been drawing and painting all my life. In 1962 I completed a foundation course in NCAD, followed many years later in 1994 with a visual concepts certificate in Dun Laoghaire College of Art. I was a member of a local art group for many years in Ballinteer, where we exhibited annually at Christmas and on St Stephen’s Green; also a number of galleries between 1980 and 1996.

I was asked to give art lessons to children in Rathfarnham Parish and Whitechurch National Schools, teaching there between 1982 and 1997; I loved working with the children and was constantly delighted by their work. I was then offered a place lecturing at the Church of Ireland College of Education (1995-2001). During this period I was also a member of the Committee on the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1991-98) for the visual arts at primary level.

My husband and I retired to Wexford in 1997 and soon worked again in local schools. I also undertook various workshops and primary teachers’ in-service at Enniscorthy Education Centre (2001-07).


Group Exhibitions:

2007-08, Denis Collins Gallery, Wexford

2007, Kennedy’s Gallery, Harcourt Street – Christmas exhibition

1998-2000, Kilkenny Arts Week, The Mills, Kells

Solo Exhibitions:

1997-2005, Wexford Opera Festival

1998-2003, Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford

2000, Kennedy’s Gallery, Dublin

1999, Spectrum Gallery, Wexford

Irish Society of Botanical Artists
Wexford Garden and Flower Club

Iris reticulata
(c) Joy Shepherd

(c) Joy Shepherd

(c) Joy Shepherd