2022 TALKS

Meet the artists behind the art and enrich your knowledge of the plant kingdom, in these one hour online talks. Join live for an opportunity to interact with the speaker, or watch a recording in the days following. 

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Look over the shoulder of renowned botanical artists from the UK and beyond as they talk through their favourite projects or botanical art techniques. Presentations will be richly illustrated with examples of their artwork and/or technique demonstrations, followed by the opportunity for Q&A. Every talk is unique in style, reflecting the personality and interests of each artist.


PREVIOUS SPEAKERS Julia Trickey, Laura Silburn, Deborah Lambkin, Lizzie Harper, Lucy Smith, Martin Allen, Helen Allen, Mary Dillon, Sarah Morrish, Carrie Di Costanzo, Lara Call Gastinger, Ann Swan, Katherine Tyrrell, Gill Condy, Shevaun Doherty, Sarah Gould, Mariella Baldwin, Yanny Petters, Isik Guner, Jess Shepherd, Simon Williams, Rachel Pedder-Smith, Jackie Isard, Jarnie Godwin.

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With his extensive knowledge and experience of both botany and botanical illustration, Dr Chris Thorogood is ideally placed to guide us through the science of naming and organising plants, to take us on a 'plant evolution safari' and a 'deep dive' into the anatomy of plants. He will explain the place of botanical illustration and highlight the plant features that artists need to be aware of. 

BIOGRAPHY Chris Thorogood lectures in plant biology at the University of Oxford, where he holds the position of Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum. He is a wildlife artist and botanical illustrator, and an international best-selling author of specialist field guides and popular titles.


• Talks are delivered via Zoom Webinars (You will not be seen or heard, but you can write comments or questions via a Q&A box.).

• Talks are recorded and a link sent to registrants 24 hours after the live session. This will then be available to view or revisit for five days, making the talks accessible, regardless of your time zone or other commitments.

• There is a 25% discount if you book more than a month in advance.

• You can cancel your registration at any time before the date of the talk.

• NEW! @botanicalarttalks is now on Instagram, highlighting the artwork of Botanical Art Talks speakers past and future.

Please read the further technical notes at the BOTTOM OF THE PAGE or HERE



"Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Zoom talk last night and indeed all the talks I had signed up for. They have meant that I have been able to jump start my interest in botanical painting." SS

"It was an honour and delight to watch the webinar last night" LC

"All the talks I caught were immensely interesting and a wonderful botanical escape from the various lockdown restrictions." JA

"Thank you so much - the talks are something special  - I will certainly be joining again next year." SD

"I just wanted to say thank you for organising such inspiring and very informative talks. I’ve enjoyed all of them" JH

"The Talks were and are and will be fantastic! Thank you so much for the today’s, I loved it." OR

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4 AUGUST 2022 

7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Christina Hart-Davies

Flowering plants are beautiful and we love to paint them, but there are so many other subjects that are equally beautiful and interesting to paint. Mosses and lichens, for example, can be part of a plant portrait or subjects in their own right. Christina will explain why and how she paints these so-called ‘lower plants’ — and other ‘treasures’ too. They may not seem obvious subjects to paint, but are all part of the whole story. You will see how some paintings develop, with hints, tips and stories along the way.


Christina has been a professional artist and illustrator for a very long time. It has been a varied career: she was the first Honorary Secretary of the Society of Botanical Artists; worked for four years on The Collins Flower Guide; holds six RHS Gold Medals, many of them for her paintings of mosses or lichens; has written and illustrated several books. As an illustrator, Christina paints whatever is required, but her passion is for the unusual, less obvious subjects. She is fascinated by all aspects of the natural world and how they interconnect. 


£12 (£9 if booked before 4 July)

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25 AUGUST 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Chris Thorogood

This lecture will explore some of the dazzling diversity of plants that exist on our planet, and how they evolved. We will examine the journey of plants from the water to land 470 million years ago, the importance of the seed, and the evolution of the flower. On this ‘plant evolution safari’ Chris will point out specific groups along the way, such as mosses, lycopods, ferns, cycads, and early flowering plants (the basal angiosperms). He will highlight specific features and structures in each group which are important for the botanical illustrator to consider (sporangia and strobili, for example).


From this lecture you will gain an understanding of the main groups of plants, and the sequence in which they evolved, and which features are important to examine when illustrating them.

Instagram.com/illustratingbotanist  Twitter.com/thorogoodchris1

INTRODUCTION - Chris introduces this series of talks.
RENT - Catch up on the first Botany for Artist lecture.

£12 (£9 if booked before 25 July)

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7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Chris Thorogood

Find out why ‘sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have knees that bend to the ground!’ In this lecture Chris will take us on a ‘deep dive’ into the anatomy of plants. He will examine leaf morphology – common shapes and surface characteristics, for example. Then will example flower form, from simple to complex: we will look at actinomorphic and zygomorphic flowers, what to look for in a floral dissection, and how to navigate a complicated flower such as an orchid or aroid. Chris will share real life case studies from plants he has worked with.


From this lecture you will gain an understanding of how to navigate a complex flower, considerations for composition in botanical illustrations for scientific papers, and a basic grasp of botanical terminology relating to anatomy.

Instagram.com/illustratingbotanist  Twitter.com/thorogoodchris1

INTRODUCTION - Chris introduces this series of talks.
RENT - Catch up on the first Botany for Artist lecture.

£12 (£9 if booked before 1 August)

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7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Deborah Lambkin


Based on her ongoing illustration work with Nicotianas in Kew Gardens, Deborah’s talk will tell a story of a plant family with a unique 6 million year old history. Deborah will talk about the joys and sorrows of working on a long term, in-depth study of a single plant family. 

Since 2017, Deborah has been painting and drawing Australian Suaveolens nicotianas as a part of a international genetic study of these Australian plants. However, she has been working as a botanical artist since leaving the National College of Art and Design in Ireland in 1991. Deborah has won awards for her work including the Margaret Flockton Award in 2020 and since 2005 she has held the position of Orchid Artist to the Royal Horticultural Society Orchid Committee.



£12 (£9 if booked before 15 August)


13 OCTOBER 2022
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Lucy T Smith

Have you ever wondered about the life of a professional botanical illustrator?  Lucy takes us through the exciting and challenging times in an interesting 'year in the life of' a freelance artist. One, for Lucy, which involved drawing, inking, painting and describing plants for science and beyond.

Australian-born Lucy T Smith has been working as a professional botanical artist for over twenty years.  Since the year 2000 she has been based in London, established as a freelance botanical artist for Kew Gardens, producing scientific illustrations in watercolour and pen and ink for many projects, including the Palms of New Guinea and her own project, illustrating the Victoria Waterlilies.  She has taught botanical illustration at Kew and other venues for many years, and has received numerous awards for her work. Lucy believes that the best botanical illustrations combine both beauty and science, and this guiding principle informs all of her work.


£12 (£9 if booked before 13 September)

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7pm GMT (2pm EST, 11am PST)



Rui Jiang


Rui started her botanical art studies working in watercolour (gaining an RHS Silver-gilt medal earlier this year for twelve viola portraits). However, she is currently working in oils: painting botanical specimens on oak panels for a private client. And, her botanical artwork has been taken up for use on clothing by the fashion house Karen Millen. In this talk, Rui describes her journey through this range of projects and what she has learnt along the way. 

Rui Jiang came to the UK after graduating in Beijing, China in 2004, to continue her studies in Master's Degree of Graphic Design at the University for the Creative Arts. After a few years as a freelance graphic designer in London, she became interested in painting flowers and plants; she joined the Chelsea School of Botanical Art from 2016-2017 and graduated with distinction for her final project. She is a member of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, Amicus Botanicus and is a Fellow and Council Member of the Society of Botanical Artists.


£12 (£9 if booked before 3 October)

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17 NOVEMBER 2022
7pm GMT (2pm EST, 11am PST)



Katherine Tyrrell


Have you ever wondered where and how you can bring your botanical work to a wider audience? Katherine will guide you through the practicalities and pitfalls of exhibiting and selling your work, with a particular focus on how to send your work abroad. She will talk through a checklist, explaining what you need to know for this process to go smoothly. A must-see for those who what to go international!

Since she retired, Katherine Tyrrell has developed a blog Making A Mark, a world class website about Botanical Art and Artists and a comprehensive website about Art Business Info for Artists. Katherine has an MBA from the London Business School and qualified as both a teacher and an accountant. She now provides advice to artists, writes business articles for UK art journals and has talked on the business of art at a London Art School, ASBA and other art societies/organisations.


£12 (£9 if booked before 17 October)

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1 DECEMBER 2022 (Rescheduled from 18 August)
7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT)



Elaine Searle


At the best of times Botanical Art can be a solitary pursuit. How are artists responding to the pandemic? As they attempt to make sense of a new normal – does more introspection mean less productivity? How can enforced isolation affect working practice?  


Elaine will discuss these issues and share changes she has made to her own approach during the past two years. A major new work will be revealed for the first time. 

Elaine Searle is a UK botanical artist who creates portraits centred in her personal response to the plant. Her work has been exhibited and won awards internationally, is held in Pittsburgh's Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, several notable florilegia and private collections. Elaine loves to teach both face-to-face and via distance learning.


£12 (£9 if booked before 18 November)


15 DECEMBER 2022
7pm GMT (2pm EST, 11am PST)



hosted by Julia Trickey

A panel of 2022 speakers discuss frequently asked questions and compare notes on how they work, their favoured projects and equipment, together with other aspects of being professional botanical artists.

Laura Silburn is an RHS gold medal winning artist and tutor based in Cornwall.
Australian born, Lucy T Smith has been a freelance illustrator for over 20 years.

Irish artist, Mary Dillon exhibits and teaching all around the world.

Simon Williams is course director for the Society of Botanical Artists.

Lizzie Harper's work appears in books, magazines, on postage stamps and mugs.

£12 (£9 if booked before  15 November)

Profile photo ©Domestika

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You will need good internet bandwidth and a basic understanding of Zoom. (Your video and audio will automatically be turned off). 



Though payment is taken via Paypal, you shouldn't need a PayPal account as there is a 'Pay by debit or credit card' option.


After registering Zoom will send you a unique meeting link. (And a reminder, both 24 hours and one hour before the event.) 


The talk will be recorded and a link sent to you 24 hours after the live event. You will then have five days to revisit or view the talk before this link expires.


To ensure that the link emails do not go into your spam box, please 'whitelist' or add no-reply@zoom.us and julia@juliatrickey.co.uk to your safe senders list. See HERE for advice.


Rarely talks are rearranged for personal reasons. If this is the case you will automatically be registered for the new date.