030320161305
Cabbage Leaf (Brassica oleracea)
37° 10’ 31.3” N / 3° 41’ 28.7” W

Jessica SHEPHERD (1984)

Biography

Jessica Rosemary Shepherd is an artist and botanist. A fellow of the Linnean Society, she obtained degrees in botany and plant taxonomy at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. After working as a Curator of Natural History at the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, she joined the staff of the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, where she worked between 2010 and 2014.

As the artist has written, ‘I am a botanical painter. When I paint plants I try to become them. There is a great deal of observation involved even before my brushes touch the paper. I believe that a good picture is made using not only sight, but also touch, sound, smell and movement. One has to be aware of all of these elements in order to portray the plant well and describe the space that the plant is growing into, both over and underground.

I trained in botany before committing myself fully to painting so that I would understand the processes of plants more comprehensively. Equipped with this scientific knowledge, I am now testing new approaches to my artwork to push the capacity for botanical illustration to bring greater awareness of plants and our interaction with them. I hope to inspire people to think beyond their experience whilst enriching our current perceptions of botanical illustration, its applications and how it sits within the larger scope of the visual arts.’