To introduce you to the artists, you can read their biographies here. Please see the Gallery for images of their work.

Deborah Ann Crago

Deborah Crago was born and brought up in Cornwall until studying woven textile design at Loughbourough University of Art and Design and graduating with a BA Hons in 1999. Following a career as an interior textile designer for over 20 years, she now works from her home in Horsham, West Sussex as a floral artist.

Deborah has a passion for flowers, gardens and the environment that is forever increasing and provides her with endless inspiration. Her floral illustrations are all created using pencil, either watercolour pencils or graphite. For Deborah, pencils have always been her favourite medium, and she loves the sheen they create on the paper giving the artwork a luxurious finish.

After exhibiting at Horsham Museum’s ‘A Garden of Botanical Art’ exhibition in 2019, she continues to work and exhibit as one of the Horsham School of Botanical Artists founding members. Deborah has also been a member of Horsham Artists since 2019 and regularly exhibits her work with this diverse group of artists and makers. With her background in textiles, she still enjoys working with fabric and uses the sewing machine as another means of drawing. She incorporates hand pressed flowers into layers of fabric to create unique and delicate artworks.
If you would like to see more of Deborah’s work please visit her website: www.deborahcrago.com or face book: www.facebook.com/deborahanncrago and Instagram: @deborah_crago

Eleanor Coate

My interest in flower and plant photography began when I retired and followed the conventional path of making flower portraits and close up images of both cultivated varieties and wild species.

In 2017 during the process of moving house the discovery of a book, long forgotten, containing several 18th century botanical paintings led me to consider whether the medium of photography could emulate this artistic genre which I have always admired.

Research at the RHS Lindley Library and experimenting with different techniques has resulted in the development of my own photographic botanical style.

In 2018 I achieved the Associate Distinction awarded by The Royal Photographic Society for a panel of 15 botanical prints. In the same year I won a gold medal in the Portfolio Category of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual photographic competition.

In 2019 I exhibited with The Horsham School of Botanical Artists at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery and my solo exhibition there opened at Easter 2022 (until 18th June 2022).

In May 2022 I achieved the Royal Photographic Society’s Fellowship Distinction with a panel of 21 prints which explored three wild flower habitats with the intention of drawing attention to the current threat to many species due to climate change, urban development and some farming practices and the need to record these plants before many are lost.

I have further developed my work by creating more complex compositions with wildflowers and grasses and also composite prints depicting a species or habitat. The elements in all my prints are photographed individually. Each composition can then be created in stages using a layering technique in Photoshop.

Hazel Barnard

Hazel grew up in rural Broadbridge Heath in the 1950s, where painting, drawing and the natural world featured strongly in the school’s curriculum. The watercolour illustrations in Edith Holden’s Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady inspired Hazel to develop her love of flower painting, and today she uses subject matter from the surrounding countryside and her garden, often favouring less glamorous specimens. Later, Hazel further developed her skills attending adult education classes in botanical illustration at Collyer’s College in Horsham, as well as local workshops, tutored by Leigh Ann Gale.

As an active member of Southwater Art Club and the Association of Sussex Artists, Hazel regularly displays work in the annual exhibitions. In 2015, she contributed to Horsham Museum’s exhibition on Capability Brown, and in 2019, at the same venue and as a member of Horsham School of Botanical Art, she exhibited in “A Garden of Botanical Art”.

Hazel lives in Southwater, and today continues to enrich her work, exploring new techniques and broadening her knowledge of botanical illustration.

Helen Andre

Helen started botanical illustration classes with Leigh Ann Gale in 2010 and fitted painting around looking after two small children. In 2019 she competed a two-year full-time diploma with the Society of Botanical Artists, gaining a higher credit. Lockdown schooling forced a break in painting, but since September 2021 she has been working on a number of commissions, including a selection of cards for local flower grower, InTheFlowers.

As well as using traditional watercolour paints for detailed paintings and graphite drawings, Helen also works in water-based oils for larger pictures.

Heather Glenny

Heather has always loved plants and flowers and grew up in the Surrey countryside. As an adult she was originally taught by Pat Harby, a botanical artist who also produced illustrations for books and cards. Since then, Heather has attended many short flower painting and botanical art classes including three at RHS Wisley. She is a member of several local art groups including the Association of Sussex Artists.

In 2010 Heather was asked by the Horsham Museum and Art Gallery to paint a book of flowers from their Museum garden and she completed this in 2012. She has also undertaken some local commissions; in 2017 one of these was presented to the Friends of Chesworth Farm depicting their relatively new wetland area, and two others were painted papier-m├óch├® animals in 2013/15 that were sold raising money for charities.

Heather obtains enormous pleasure from her painting and recommends art as a brilliant therapy, especially so in difficult times.

Leigh Ann Gale

A professional botanical artist, tutor, and author, Leigh Ann began her artistic career as a graphic designer after graduating from Ravensbourne art college with a BA (Hons) in Visual Communication in 1989. Following a move to Sussex, she took up botanical illustration and in 2004 completed a diploma in Botanical Art and Illustration at the English Gardening School, Chelsea Physic Garden, London. This was followed in 2008 with a post graduate teaching certificate.

Over the years Leigh Ann has been awarded medals for her work and has exhibited extensively around the world. As a member of Horsham School of Botanical Artists (HSBA) she exhibited at their inaugural exhibition at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery during The Year of Culture in 2019 and her painting of Camellia x williamsii ‘Bow Bells’ was purchased for the Museum’s collection. Many of Leigh Ann’s paintings are held in private collections in the UK and around the world, including the Royal Archives, and the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, USA.

Leigh Ann has extensive experience of working with, and contributing botanical artwork to several florilegia, including The Florilegium Society at Sydney Botanic Gardens, Australia; the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society and the Nymans Florilegium in Sussex. Recently, she has played a pivotal role in establishing the newly formed Leonardslee Florilegium also in Sussex.

Teaching botanical art has become a passion for Leigh Ann. She tutors a wide range of botanical art and illustration courses and workshops from her home near Horsham, and at various locations throughout Sussex, Surrey, and south London. With her wealth of experience, she is renowned for her encouraging and supportive approach to teaching students of all abilities and is a highly regarded mentor and adviser on the art of botanical painting.

Leigh Ann has written two books published by The Crowood Press: ‘Botanical Illustration – the complete guide’ (2018) and ‘Colour for Botanical Artists and Illustrators’ (2021). She has recently been commissioned to write a third book, ‘Drawing & Painting Leaves’ due for publication in 2024.

Leigh Ann welcomes commissions and is available for talks and demonstrations.

To discover more about Leigh Ann, please visit her website www.la-botanicalart.co.uk or social media www.facebook.com/leighanngalebotanicalart

Linda Lasham

Working as a botanical artist in West Sussex, I moved to the Horsham area in 2016 after retiring from my main career in antiques and sales and running my own business for many years. I have always had a passion for watercolour painting and combined with my love of nature and plants, botanical art was my natural choice. I particularly love very detailed work and draw a lot of inspiration from my garden and varied travels worldwide.

I have exhibited in and around Sussex, London and Scotland and have enjoyed sales of my originals, prints and cards in the UK, Europe and New Zealand. In 2011 I completed my Diploma with The Society of Botanical Artists (SBA), and exhibited with them at The Westminster Halls, London. Since 2016, I have been a member of The Association of Sussex Artists and have exhibited annually with them. Additionally, I have taken part in the Artists in Residence programme at the Horsham Museum and Art Gallery.

As a member of The Horsham School of Botanical Artists (HSBA) I exhibited at The Horsham Museum and Art Gallery during The Year of Culture in 2019. Previously, I was a member of The Society of Floral Painters and more recently have become a member of The Nymans Florilegium.

My work can be seen on Artists and Illustrators web page: https://portfolio.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/LindaLasham 
Contact [email protected]

Suzanne Merrikin

Suzanne is a keen gardener and grows many of her favourite subjects herself, particularly lilies.

She holds the RHS Silver-gilt medal for a collection of eight heritage vegetables nurtured from seed in her Sussex garden. Her theme was “Grow it, paint it, eat it”. She follows this practice today feeding family and friends with bumper crops of soft fruit, asparagus and organic vegetables, and cooking and preserving still play an important role in her life.

In her thirties she studied botanical illustration at Flatford Mill under Mary Grierson, the Kew Illustrator, and was taught and inspired locally by Jill Coombs, highly acclaimed RHS Gold medal winner, and the doyenne of Horsham School of Botanical Artists.

Whilst a member of RHS Rosemoor Painting Group in Devon, she was privileged to pick any subject in that glorious garden, each year the best studies going to the RHS Lindley Library. Other work is in Horsham Museum and Art Gallery as well as private collections, both in the UK and abroad. Recently she has been recording the heritage collection of apples in the Steyning Community Orchard. Of particular interest, amongst other wild trees found along the Victorian branch railway line, is the rare Golden Pippin Apple which originated from Parham near Storrington.