Our Featured Artists

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Our inaugural Featured Artists are the Founding Members of ABBA whose efforts and artistic talent have established a model for this association. To celebrate their contribution we have provided a short biography and display some of their artwork in our new virtual gallery.

Gaynor Dickeson

Gaynor Dickeson
Chair, Trustee and ABBA Founding Artist

Gaynor exhibits widely with her work in important art collections in the USA, UK, and Norway. Her botanical art media are graphite, coloured pencil, watercolour and ink, on paper or vellum.

In 2018 Gaynor organised the successful UK contribution to the Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition, leading to her founder membership of the Association of British Botanical Artists.

Gaynor is kept busy painting, teaching workshops both at home and abroad, with online students from around the globe. Her teaching is based on the philosophy that drawing is not an innate ability, but the result of ‘wanting to draw’.

Elaine Allison

Elaine Allison
Deputy Chair, Treasurer, Trustee and ABBA Founding Artist

I have a scientific background, having a degree in Botany with Zoology and a PhD in microbial physiology. I began painting botanical illustrations in 1984, bartering an illustration as payment for the typing of my thesis.  After the next 14 years as a natural history illustrator and botanical art tutor I became a science teacher and later deputy head in secondary education. 

In 2013 my move to Australia provided me with the time and the inspiration to paint again. My passion is the depiction of the relationships between plants and insects. I am a member of BASQ, The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and a founder member of ABBA.

I am really excited about helping ABBA become a group that enhances our understanding and love of the natural world that surrounds us but unfortunately, is rapidly disappearing. We hope ABBA can play role in turning this around no matter how small.

Claire Kathleen Ward

ABBA Founding Artist

My base is the beautiful and inspiring scenery of West Wales where finding material to paint is easy. I have studied botany, horticulture and field ecology and consider myself to be a watercolour, gouache, & oil artist. After years of drawing many different subjects, in 2005 I became hooked on botanical illustration. In 2007 I completed the Society of Botanical Artists, Diploma with distinction to then become a full member in 2010. I have had two solo exhibitions, received awards for my work, and I am now a tutor on the SBA diploma. In 2019 I am exhibiting at the 16th International Exhibition at the Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh, USA.

Dianne Sutherland

ABBA Founding Artist

My work requires the observation and exploration of  the finer details in living forms and nothing captures my attention more than the natural world with all its intricacies and beauty. 

Having trained in both science and art, it felt like a natural progression to put the two together and become a botanical artist and illustrator of nature and in the 1990s I made this leap.

Being an artist is an ever evolving  process, there's always something new to learn, in my work I strive to portray plants accurately and in a way that represents their character, sometimes this can be a simple portrait because nothing more is required, at other times it can be a  complex arrangement with interacting subjects with but every subject welcomes new challenges.

My chosen mediums are graphite and watercolour on paper and vellum and love to create sketchbook and study pages. in 2019 my sketchbook work will be published. 

Adrienne Roberts

ABBA Founding Artist

Adrienne Roberts is a Fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists, and a member of both the Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists and the American Society of Botanical Artists. She began to paint in 2011, a progression from a passion for plants and the natural world, designing and working in her garden. Since then she has exhibited with the Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators and the Society of Botanical Artists as well as in local galleries. Most of her work is watercolour on paper although she also enjoys working on vellum, with pen and ink and graphite.

Martin Allen

Botanical Advisor, Trustee and ABBA Founding Artist

I began painting plants in the autumn of 1992, studying with Colin Swinton. What was intended initially as therapy, quickly turned into a serious interest.

In early 1995 my first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) exhibit was awarded a Gold medal (the second in 1997 also gained Gold) and in the same year RHS Enterprises Limited commissioned three autumn flower designs as part of their Collectors' Plate Series. Awards at The Society of Botanical Artists' exhibitions followed in 1996 and 1998.

I became a member of the then newly formed Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society in 1995, taking part in their 1999 RHS Gold medal group exhibit, becoming a Fellow in 2000 and regularly writing articles on botanical art for their newsletter. I am now honoured to be an Emeritus Fellow.

In between paintings I work on loc