image - Water Lily by John Pastoriza Pinol

The Botanical Illustrators

Join the Illustrators. This group is just part of an exciting range of activities and events the Friends run for their members. The Friends support the Botanic Gardens providing financial and volunteer support for projects and events. Love the Gardens? Join the Friends! 

The Botanical Illustrators
are artist members of the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, who meet regularly to paint, take classes and workshops, and put on exhibitions of their work. Volunteers to assist with the organisation of Botanical Illustration with the Friends and with exhibitions are most welcome.

Following the success of the Eucalypts of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Nature's Small Wonders Exhibition held in October 2011, the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Botanical Illustrators Group held a similar exhibition from 5-20 October 2013 - From the Forest to the Foreshore - Natural History: Ferns, Fungi and Their Allies.  In October 2015 an exhibition called reFraming Nature was held. reFraming Nature was again held in October 2017


The Whirlybirds

  • The Whirlybirds are a group of Botanical Artists who will meet in Domain House (due to renovations in the Great Melbourne Telescope Building including the Whirling Room Studio) on Tuesdays until further notice.
  • They share ideas and support without a tutor.
  • We are now enrolling for ten-week sessions each term and there are four terms per year.
  • There is both a morning and an afternoon group.  
  • The first term for 2018 for Whirlybirds commences on Tuesday 30 January 2018
  • The cost is $88 for the full term and $33 for 3 casual meetings per term.
  • We have vacancies in the afternoon group from 1pm to 4pm and you are most welcome to join us.
  • If you are interested please call Sandra Sanger on 9598 9532.
  • Members of this friendly group range from beginners to professionals, and there is no instructor. Rather, members encourage each other in their artistic endeavours, discuss works-in-progress, offer advice, and occasionally, work on a group project. 


Botanic Art Essays  >>

A series of short essays in which text is accompanied by a few examples of superb art works produced by our talented Botanical Illustrators. Even though many artists will paint the same (or a related) species, and take great care to record it precisely and accurately, individual interpretations can be vastly dissimilar.

Beckler's Botanical Bounty


To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the expedition, a group of botanical illustrators, led by Mali Moir, formed Beckler’s Botanical Bounty art group and travelled to Menindee NSW (south of Broken Hill) each year for the last seven years, to find these specimens and illustrate them. The work has established a permanent verifiable comparative collection which will act as an invaluable resource of lasting significance for scientists, land managers and historians. It provides a rich data resource for further scientific study, including location maps for each species collected, in a format compatible for entry into The National Herbarium Victoria’s MELISR plant collection data base. We thank Mali for organising the project, her leadership, support and encouragement. 

Dr Tim Entwisle, Director of the RBGV will open an exhibition to be held in the Ballarat Regional Gallery from Saturday 24 February 2018. The exhibition will include information about Dr Beckler, artifacts of the surrounding area, photographs, our paintings and pressed specimens. We welcome everyone to attend.

Cranbourne Friends' Botanical Illustrators and Botanic Art Classes

The Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Botanical Illustrators meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month on the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens site to paint, encourage and support each other.

The group also holds workshops, talks, presentations and exhibitions
For information go to http://rbgfriendscranbourne.org.au/group/botanical-illustrators/