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Lesley Alexander - Aotearoa Artist
Lesley Alexander

Lesley Alexander - Aotearoa Artist

Lesley Alexander fondly remembers receiving a book from her Aunt Betty for her 9th birthday titled ‘How to draw flowers’. She poured over the pencil drawings and thoroughly enjoyed following the step-by-step instructions. This is probably the spark that started her on her very creative journey.

"I have always loved ‘creating’, whether it be knitting, card or jewellery making, mosaic or painting but it was the chance visit to an exhibition of botanical art back in the 90s in London that set me on the path to where I am today.

In 1987, after deciding nursing wasn’t for me, I took an Art Foundation Course at Chelsea School of Art, London, and followed that with a First Class Honours BA in Graphics (Scientific Illustration) from Middlesex University in the UK. I began a career as a freelance medical illustrator but I soon became disillusioned when computer generated illustration started to take over scientific illustration. My watercolour skills were becoming obsolete in the medical field. My first foray into botanical art was when the editor of the UK Clematis Society asked me to paint a Clematis of my choice for the cover of their journal and write an article describing the process. This happened in the middle of our UK winter, and with great excitement I naively went to buy a Clematis from the local garden centre. Of course they were just bare twigs, having been pruned weeks before. I bought one anyway and somehow I managed to nurse and sweet talk this poor ‘Nelly Moser’ specimen into thinking it was spring. It eventually obliged by producing a few leaves and eventually a flower! They titled the article ‘The Illustrator’s Challenge’ - rather an understatement I thought. However, I was asked to paint another one so I must have done something right".

See Lesley's work here: Lesley Alexander - Artist.

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