All my life I have been interested in natural history and wildlife and have pursued this interest as and when possible, through my illustration work. I now have the time to focus on these interests and to make them available for others to enjoy should they wish to do so.
At the age of five my family moved to New Guinea, where my father took up a teaching post in Malabunga High Schoo, New Britain. It was there, whilst surrounded by the region’s unique flora and fauna, that I developed my interest in natural history. After three years we returned to the UK and went to live in Connel, Argyll, where my father became Head of Art at Oban High School, teaching art and art history. I moved to Glasgow in 1978 to start a degree course in Graphic Design at Glasgow School of Art. During this period I trained in design, printmaking, illustration and photography. As part of my final year studies I researched, wrote and published a book on the history of Connel Ferry.
On leaving art school, I worked on various commissions before taking up a post as an artist in the Education Department of Glasgow Zoo, where I designed and illustrated a range of educational materials. It was here that I met my husband Graham, an animal keeper at the time, who was involved in the husbandry of cats and bears. His research into the care and management of carnivores in captivity led to the publication of a number of papers, many of which I illustrated.
The dormous Muscardinus avellanarius illustration was commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to raise awareness of the plight of this species.
These illustrations attracted the attention of the zoological community and resulted in a commission by Whittet Publications to produce a set of ink drawings of animals, accurately depicted in their natural environment, for a book “The Big Cats”, written by Douglas Richardson. The book, with special reference to its illustrations, was favourably reviewed in New Scientist.
I later became Assistant Director of Learning Services at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow with responsibilities for Design and IT Training – where I worked for 26 years with professional teams that produced quality teaching, learning and promotional material, as well as IT training to support all faculties – using a wide range of media and technologies.
Working in an educational environment was both challenging and very rewarding, however, I am now looking forward to concentrating on my own design and illustration work to hopefully generate interest in wildlife and its conservation.