Information on our tutors

Amber Halsall

Art and creating things has always been a part of my life. From Art A level at 18 through my working life I kept my love of painting and making books even when l only had small slices of free time. In 1995 I took the plunge and gave up full time work to focus on my art.
After completing a fine art degree at Canterbury Art college I became interested in botanical art on a trip to Kew gardens. My love of the countryside and an eye for the quirky side of plants inspired me to paint subjects from nature that I love.

Ann Swan

Ann works primarily in graphite and coloured pencil and is well known for her exquisitely fine detail, vibrant colours and strong contemporary style. She champions the underdog in the plant world, drawing our attention to Brussels sprouts or beetroots feeling they are just as beautiful as the iris or tulip. She is passionate about coloured pencils believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can quite quickly produce work of quality. She began to exhibit in 1990 and now shows her work worldwide.

Brian Robinson

I come from a family of artists and therefore my interest in painting began in my early childhood. I pursued a career in graphic design for more than 30 years which included periods of teaching at various art schools and in later years I trained students of all ages in computer graphics.
I like to experiment with all media but my main interest is watercolour on gesso often combined with collage. In my landscape work I like to conjure up an atmosphere of quiet serenity whereas with my more prosaic subjects I try to capture the poignancy of neglect and dereliction.

Fiona Strickland

Fiona was trained in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, which included a year of Post Graduate study and a Travelling Scholership.  An experienced teacher of twenty six years she tutors Master classes at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.  Fiona is an award winning member of the Society of Botanical Artists and recipient of an RHS Gold Medal.  Recently invited by the RHS she exhibited a series of paintings at Fulham Palace in an exhibition designed to give the visitor a taste of the best standard in Botanical Painting available today.  Fiona has exhibited her paintings nati

Gael Sellwood

Gael is a qualified teacher and illustrator of over 15 years experience and runs local classes specialising in developing compositions that suit the material she is painting. Gael has written and published a number of articles, the most important of which was ‘painting nature on vellum’ in 2004. Gael has been teaching adults since 1992 utilising natural objects, affected, renounced and used by nature. Painting in watercolour (usually on vellum) recreating a season, a feeling, a scent or an experience for posterity.

Gaynor Dickeson

Gaynor Dickeson Dip SBA(Dist), SBA, SFP

Gaynor is an experienced teacher with many years in natural history illustration.  She works in watercolour, coloured pencil and graphite and has pictures in collections in Europe, the USA and Australia.

After school, the choice was between art or nursing.  Nursing won but she still kept up her artistic interests while living in Norway for 25 years.

Helen Hanson

Helen Hanson has always been interested in creating a “window on the wild”. As a child she loved the countryside and its flowers, spending much of her spare time painting and drawing. She spent many years as a professional printmaker, exhibiting her evocative landscape etchings . A member of Greenwich Printmakers and a founder member of South Bank Printmakers Helen is also a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and a winner of the President’s Award for her printmaking.

Jackie Hunt

Jackie has worked as a glass artist for nearly twenty years. She has had a design and fine art education, and a training in stained and architectural glass. Jackie has worked collaboratively with other artists and professionals to develop glass design in a variety of contexts.
Jackie Hunt designs and makes distinctive stained glass windows and panels using traditional and modern techniques, for both public and domestic commissions.

Janie Pirie

 Just a quickie to say how very much I enjoyed the two days with you. Your work is outstanding and your enthusiasm electric. From one teacher to another, I would like to compliment you on having that special gift to teach, and so generously pass on invaluable information about your skill, so much of which you have learned, I am sure, through experience.

Janie with good friend Alan Titchmarsh
at BBC Gardener's World Live.