OUR TEAM

Lamprima beetle - watercolour illustration by Julia Landford
JULIA LANDFORD - Founding Director of NatureArt Lab, established in 2017. Julia is an award-winning wildlife and botanical artist with a passion for nature. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary art and science approaches environmental conservation and advocacy. Over the past 25 years, Julia has initiated many art science programs including:
  • establishment of Wildlife & Botanical Artists Inc (WABA, 1989-2018) in Canberra
  • initiation of new art, science and conservation networks across Australia
  • coordination of annual member art exhibitions and biannual national wildlife art exhibitions, and organised regular field trips and workshops for members
  • curated and led the first Australian symposium on wildlife art and science in partnership with CSIRO Discovery Centre in 2014
Julia has an extensive background in federal public sector management including a twenty-year career with Australia's Aid Program and Department of Foreign Affairs. Her career has included international development roles in South-East Asia, PNG and the Pacific region as well as in New York, Geneva and Rome with the United Nations. Julia is a qualified secondary education and adult education teacher and has a Masters Degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (Australian National University). Julia is a member of the Australian Association of Environmental Educators (AAEE), and is an Executive Committee member of the ACT Chapter. She was awarded the 'Environmental Educator of the Year for the ACT' in 2019, as recognition for excellence in environmental education and sustainability.

 

Photograph of green coloured tree snake by Damien Esquerre

DAMIEN ESQUERRE  - Originally from Chile, Dr. Damien Esquerre is a PhD graduate and research scientist with the Australian National University who specializes in snake and lizard evolution. He is also an extraordinary nature photographer with over 10 years of experience, having travelled to some of the wildest places in South and Central America, Australia and Asia (including our 2019 Borneo and 2020 Costa Rica field trips) exclusively to photograph wildlife and nature. His photos have appeared on several books, expos, magazines, scientific journal covers, newspapers and websites. Damien teaches nature photography courses and workshops at NatureArt Lab, and accompanies many of our nature immersion field trips in Australia and around the world.

 

LESLEY WALLINGTON - professional artist and tutor with more than 20 years’ experience. During this time she has collected a series of awards for her unique and innovative paintings and has followed her journey in water based media through studies at the ANU. As a teacher Lesley combines theory and technical advice with straightforward practical instruction on working with watercolour, gouache, pencil, ink and collage. With an in depth knowledge of her medium and extensive experience teaching all age groups and levels, Lesley has the ability to inspire and direct a class while encouraging the unique style of individual students.

 

ANNA VOYTSEKHOVICH - holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Ecology, and a PhD in Botany. She is a professional scientist, scientific illustrator, botanical artist and wildlife illustrator. Anna was born in Ukraine in 1982, and is an author of several books and scientific papers. She is also a well-known a scientific illustrator. In 2016 she moved to Australia and became a member of the Botanical Art Society of Australia and the Wildlife Art Society of Australasia. She currently resides in Sydney and works on a Bush Habitat restoration of critically endangered plant community ESBS. Anna is a regular NatureArt Lab tutor, and has taught many scientific illustration programs and masterclasses since 2019. 

 

magpie lark chicks in scratchboard 

JOAN MCKAY - Canberra based artist and wildlife carer, Joan McKay, has been honing skills in the art of scratchboard during the last three years. When Joan saw how images could be realistically represented on a scratchboard, Joan understudied Australian Master Scratchboard artist Rikki Fisher to develop her scratchboard skills. She has found scratchboard to be a fantastic medium for realistically portraying macropods and birds she has cared for. Joan is a Signature Member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. She has been a finalist in several exhibitions and is currently shortlisted for the National Capital Art Prize. Joan holds science, education and library studies degrees and has studied and practiced art throughout her life, including drawing (Vanderbilt University) and watercolour media (ANU).

 

ANNETTE DAHLER - is an established artist based in Canberra who has a passion for nature-inspired art and a depth of expertise with the use of colour pencils for natural history art. 

 

butterfly and lichen drawing

FIONA BOXALL - Dr. Fiona Boxall is a practicing artist, nature journaler and writer living in Canberra. Through her art and journaling, she combines her multiple interests in the environment, botany, the natural world and the written word. She works with numerous mediums, including graphite, watercolour and coloured pencils. She is interested in the interconnections between scientific knowledge, human experiences and creative processes, and her work allows her to explore her interest in birds, insects, plants and fungi and the relationships between them. Prior to expanding her art practice, she gained a doctorate in anthropology and worked for many years as a magazine journalist and editor.

 

MARGARET SAUL - is a highly experienced botanical artist, illustrator and teacher. Margaret’s interest in nature and art developed in a family of artists and amateur naturalists who delighted in frequent nature rambles and excursions  with time to sketch and paint during summer holidays.  While staff illustrator for the Queensland Herbarium she produced illustrations for field guides and floras and developed a keen interest in botany and in helping to bring a greater awareness of native plants to the general public.  Since 1988 she has enjoyed teaching botanical art and facilitating “the art of seeing” for her many students in Australia and across the USA and as founding director and designer of a comprehensive curriculum for the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration, USA (2004 – 2015).  Margaret is represented in private and public collections including The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, USA, the Sherwood collection in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and in science and art publications. Her botanical portraits are published in four books that document botanical art. 

 autumn leaves painting in watercolour

ERAINE MCARTHUR - Eraine McArthur is a practicing artist studying watercolour under the renowned natural history artist and NatureArt Lab tutor, Lesley Wallington. Eraine turned to art to manage chronic pain, and has learnt about connection to “self” through art, and its capacity to reduce stress and help those with trauma & PTSD.  Eraine reinvigorated her appreciation for natural history during trips to the South Pacific region over a 30-year career as a nurse in the Australian Army.

Eraine tutors watercolour courses at NatureArt Lab in Canberra and enjoys connecting with others in our community who find inspiration in the natural world. She is also supporting Veterans and children through her interests in Art Therapy. Eraine has exhibited her artwork in Canberra. 

 

pine cone drawing

RENEE PRESCOTT - Canberra based, Renee Prescott, has a passion for sharing her love of nature that many of us walk past or often can’t see. Renee is an avid photographer of nature’s awe-inspiring macro world, with a particular interest in fungi, moss and insects. Over the past years she has complemented her photography by focusing on various art mediums, including graphite; pen & ink; coloured pencil; and watercolour, to re-create the beauty and uniqueness of natural subjects (particularly when photos don’t do them justice). Renee looks forward to sharing her practical knowledge and experience to inspire participants in developing their artistic endeavours with nature.

 

Whale painting in acrylic

YVONNA DE JONG - Yvonna de Jong is passionate about nature and expressing her love of the natural world through creating large Acrylic artworks on canvas. Yvonna is a Canberra-based artist who has been honing her skills of observation and connection with nature for over 20 years through nature photography. Over the last 6 years Yvonna's painting has developed into such a passion, she can now be found most days painting in her studio. Her intention when teaching, is to encourage people to connect with what moves them about nature and develop skills to express this on canvas in their own way. Yvonna is interested in promoting the use of sustainably-sourced and environmentally friendly art materials and approaches. 

 

galahs in pen and ink

JESSICA RIESE - Jessica is a bird-enthusiast and science communicator who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She loves experimenting with new media, painting with bright colours and using expressive lines.

Jessica has had four years of experience as a graphic designer and freelance artist, while completing her undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. Jessica has worked in an extensive range of mediums, including – but not limited to – watercolour, inks, coloured pencil, chalk pastels and oil paints. She also has a passion for nature and the great outdoors, and is constantly inspired by the world around her.

 

DAVID REYNOLDS -  is an experienced botanical and natural history artist who enjoys painting in rich natural pigments, always looking to achieve a high level of accuracy within his work.

He describes his style as ‘Accurate Realism’ and is always looking to portray his botanical and wildlife subjects with the most accurate detail possible yet doing it in a ‘painterly’ way honouring the watercolour medium.

In May 2018, David had two Banksia paintings represented in the World Wide Botanical Art Exhibition held in Canberra – Banksia integrifolia and Banksia serrata. For further information about David's work please see his website at: www.davidreynoldsart.com.au

 

VALERIE KIRK - studied art and design at Edinburgh College of Art, where she discovered woven tapestry. As a graduate she came to Australia and worked in the Australian Tapestry Workshop and travelled the country to teach in communities and colleges. Valerie works as an artist-in-residence, exhibits and leads community tapestry projects and textile tours. Between 1990-2017 she was a Senior Lecturer and Head of Textiles at the Australian National University.

During 2004-2019 she was commissioned to design and weave six major tapestries to celebrate Nobel/Japan/Kyoto Prizes in Science associated with the Australian National University.

Awards such as the Australia Council New Work grant, ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, Muse Arts Woman of the Year Award and the Canberra Centenary Community Tapestry project mark substantial success and her artwork can be seen in collections nationally and internationally.