Meet Our Tutors

Jessie Rose Ford

Jessie Rose Ford is a botanical artist based in Thornbury. After she completed studies in Graphic Design and Illustration in 2011, she developed an interest in creating plant subjects through watercolour painting. As part of this process she discovered Botanical Art, which allowed her to align two interests – the natural environment and art – as a chosen profession. She undertook lessons at the Botanical Gardens, Melbourne with the excellent guidance of Mali Moir to further develop her practice.

Jessie now runs workshops, term classes and private lessons around Melbourne and Australia. In 2018 she embarked on a workshop tour around NSW, VIC and QLD which included an Artist Residency at the Cairns Botanical Gardens. She has received two prestigious awards including the Celia Rosser Medal for Botanical Art during The Art of Botanical Illustration 2018 at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne for her Barringtonia asiatica painting, and the Highly Commended Award during ReFraming Nature 2015 for her Argonauta nodosa painting.

Jessie’s botanical pieces celebrate the intrinsic beauty in nature. An exhibiting artist, her most recent show in Sydney showcased the cross-sections of flowers, each painted with selective colour palettes. Through her botanical art Jessie focuses on bringing us closer to the natural environment, and highlights the connection formed between artist and plant through the process of observing and recording each incredible detail.

Helen Burrows 

A professional Graphic Designer, Helen has also worked in both secondary and tertiary education sectors teaching Art and lecturing in Design and Graphic Communication. 

Helen’s botanical watercolour illustrations are represented in the Victorian National Herbarium collection, The Government House Florilegium Project, The National Library of Australia, The Illustrated Garden Collection (Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens), The Huntington Library (California), The Hunt Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania), The Lindley Library Royal Horticultural Society (London), The Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum of Berlin-Dahlem, The Missouri Botanical Garden Library and Herbarium Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Her work is also held in the permanent collection of The Hunt Institute as well as in galleries and private collections throughout Australia and overseas. Helen has also completed three volumes of Camellias in limited edition.

With a background in adult educational training, Helen`s pedagogical theory is to deliver instructional strategies that create the best learning experience for both beginners and advanced students. Her curriculum, through personalised designed workshops, encourages students to experience and embrace the beauty and intricacies of nature in its many forms.

Dianne Emery

Born in the UK, Dianne attended the National Gallery of Victoria, School of Art before teaching Art at tertiary TAFE and High School levels. She discovered her interest in Botanical Art whilst studying Horticulture at Burnley Horticulture College. Dianne has been painting and exhibiting since the early 1990’s when her background in Fine Art and interests in Botany and Horticulture combined to direct her into a new career!

She has won the Celia Rosser medal for excellence in Botanical Art three times, in 2002,2004 and 2016. Her work can be found in private and public collections in Australia and overseas, including The Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Ballarat Regional Gallery, City of Melbourne Collection, Esso, and The State Botanical Collection at the National Herbarium of Victoria.

Dianne currently works for The Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, where she has been running workshops and classes since 1996. She also regularly conducts Botanical and Natural History painting workshops in regional Victoria and interstate.