Growing up in the North Island of New Zealand I was surrounded by green hills and native forests, as all Kiwis are. It is not hard to imagine how you can fall in love with nature in such a beautiful country. Flowers, with their vibrant colors and delicate petals were always a strong attraction to me as a young girl and with a paintbrush in hand, I discovered I had a way of translating that beauty onto paper. I began painting botanical watercolors semi full-time when I joined the Distance Learning Diploma Course with the Society of Botanical Artists UK, graduating after two years with a Distinction. I spend 5-6 months a year in our cottage in the medieval village of St Cirque Lapopie, South-West France. In the beautiful location of the Lot, there are many walks on the river’s edge or about the fields and untouched countryside to entice any botanical painter and I find my time in France very inspiring. Many of the subjects I paint are collected on my walks from the country fields around our village. Actually, I only need to go out the backdoor into my rather ‘wild’ backyard to find delightful Forget-me-nots or Lilly of the Valley fighting the grass for space to show their blooms. My garden is left to its own devices for half the year, so there is always an interesting subject to paint on my return.. some might call them weeds, I call them naturally occurring surprises! All my subjects are carefully observed and then painted with a strong sense of style and drama. I think my love of dramatic lighting for my subjects has come from my past career in the fashion industry. My formula has evolved significantly over the past few years and I have recently started to paint on a dramatically larger scale using heavy watercolor paper imported from the UK and Italy.