About

Me with leo

I now live in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. After graduation from Radcliffe College, I studied art at Boston Museum School and the Corcoran in Washington, D.C. and was a printmaker in the 1970s. Near the end of another career as an antitrust lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, I encountered botanical art at the Corcoran in 2000 and decided that was what I wanted to do. While living in Paris from 2003-2010, I studied with Anne-Marie Evans at the English Gardening School in London and at a workshop at her home.  I also received a Certificate in Botanical Painting from a distance learning course offered by the Society of Botanical Artists in England.

I am a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the New England Society of Botanical Artists, and the Guild of Berkshire Artists.  I have exhibited in New York, in Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon, VA, Portland, OR, Great Barrington, MA, and in Paris and Périgueux, France.  I have participated in several of the American Society of Botanical Artists’ juried exhibitions at the New York Horticultural Society.  More locally, I have shown work in a group shows at Pomfret Audubon Society in Pomfret, CT, in West Stockbridge, MA, and other places, and have had one-person shows at Shire City Sanctuary gallery, Pittsfield, MA, and the West Stockbridge and Stockbridge Public Libraries. 

 

Garlands of the Gods

I recently finished a multi-year project of illustrations for a book about wildflowers and other plants at Sicilian archaeological sites.  These illustrations are included in a book, The Garlands of the Gods, written by a Radcliffe classmate and noted author, Mary Taylor Simeti.

The Arnold Arboretum in Boston exhibited of some of these illustrations, with accompanying texts by Mary Simeti, from May 12 through July, 16, 2017. 

In 2018, Mary Simeti was invited to make a presentation on our Garlands project at a symposium called Botany at the Intersection of Nature, Culture, Art, and Science at Selinunte, Sicily, 28-30 June2018. Some of my illustrations were part of the presentation, in which Mary Simeti pled with the authorities in charge of archaeological sites to avoid using weed-killing chemicals that devastate wildflowers, and to encourage emphasis on the beauty of these flora as a subject worthy of tourism in its own right.  Mary’s summary of the presentation is included in the Acts publication of the symposium.

The University of Palermo Press published Garlands of the Gods on December 14, 2018, the same day as the opening of an exhibition of my illustrations in the exhibition building at the Orto Botanico in Palermo. That exhibition continued until the end of February, 2019.  The brochure for the show and two gratifyingly favorable reviews (in Italian) are included on this web site. 

At the moment, Garlands of the Gods is available in the EU and UK, by mail order from the University of Palermo Press and in some bookstores.  Plans are underway to have Ingram Spark handle the book on a print on demand basis in the US and Canada, but so far it is not yet available in the US. 

Brochure for our exhibition of illustrations from Garlands at the Orto Botanico:

Un percorso ad acquerelli sulle tracce della storia
Sarà un viaggio illustrato attraverso piante e varietà botaniche nei siti archeologici siciliani, come i viaggiatori del Grand Tour. La mostra anticipa la pubblicazione di un libro

27 Novembre 2018
di Ruggero Altavilla

È un viaggio illustrato sulle orme del Grand tour attraverso 79 acquerelli che ripercorrono la storia del territorio: “The Garlands of the Gods. Wild Flowers from the Greek Ruins of Sicily” è il titolo di una mostra che sarà inaugurata venerdì 14 Dicembre alle 16, nella Sala Tineo dell’Orto Botanico di Palermo.

La raccolta di acquerelli di Susan Pettee, illustratrice botanica americana, ritrae la flora che fa capolino tra le rovine greche della Sicilia. Un percorso nella bellezza, nella natura e nella storia secolare dell’Isola, da intraprendere con lo stesso spirito di fascinazione che guidava i viaggiatori del Grand tour.

La mostra anticipa la pubblicazione di un libro di cultura botanica, nato dall’incontro tra la scrittrice Mary Taylor Simeti e l’illustratrice Susan Pettee. Le due donne accomunate dalle stesse passioni per l’archeologia e la botanica, e animate dalle medesime suggestioni che tre secoli prima avevano sperimentato i viaggiatori del Grand Tour, si sono impegnate in un progetto pluriennale di esplorazione di alcuni dei siti classici più importanti dell’isola (come Segesta, Selinunte, Siracusa, Agrigento, Morgantina).

Il loro obiettivo è aiutare nell’identificazione dei principali fiori che crescono nei siti archeologici dell’isola, trasmettendo la loro curiosità e il loro amore per queste “creature a cui spetta alleviare la pena delle rovine con la loro gentilezza”. Il titolo della mostra rimanda all’immagine di questi fiori che, facendo capolino tra le antiche rovine, sembrano intrecciarsi quasi a formare una ghirlanda, un omaggio a quegli dei in onore dei quali sono stati eretti quei templi.

La mostra è articolata in quattro sezioni distinte dal colore dei fiori, al fine di semplificarne il riconoscimento; una sezione a parte è dedicata alle piante più comuni della ‘macchia mediterranea’. Ogni dipinto è accompagnato dai testi della scrittrice Mary Taylor Simeti che associa ad ogni fiore ritratto qualche nozione mitologica, letteraria o storica.La mostra sarà visitabile fino al 20 febbraio 2019, tutti i giorni dalle 9 alle 17.

Webpage at Palermo University Press for Garlands:
https://www.unipapress.it/it/book/the-garlands-of-the-gods_110/

In June 2018 The Symposium “Botany at the Intersection of Science, Art, & Culture” invited Mary Simeti to make a presentation on our project that resulted in Garlands of the Gods. Her presentation can be found at the following link:

Screen showing one of my illustrations during Mary Simeti’s presentation with dim outline of Mary’s head.
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