Inky Leaves

Botanical Paintings by J R Shepherd

Inky Leaves

What I do

I am a botanical painter. When I paint plants I try to become them. There is a great deal of observation involved even before my brushes touch the paper. I believe that a good picture is made using not only sight, but also touch, sound, smell and movement. One has to be aware of all of these elements in order to portray the plant well and describe the space that the plant is growing into, both over and underground.

I trained in botany before committing myself fully to painting so that I would understand the processes of plants more comprehensively. Equipped with this scientific knowledge, I am now testing new approaches to my artwork to push the capacity for botanical illustration to bring greater awareness of plants and our interaction with them. I hope to inspire people to think beyond their experience whilst enriching our current perceptions of botanical illustration, its applications and how it sits within the larger scope of the visual arts.

If you are interested in what I do and want to work with me, you can contact Inky Leaves at the end of this page.



Blue Flower: Australasia
October – December 2018

Large painting on exhibition at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art
6th October 2018 to 17th March 2019
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London, UK

Talk in the library at the Real Jardín Botánico
11am on 27 April 2018
Madrid, Spain

Offical Launch of INK Quarterly, London
1st March 2018

Guest Artist at the Moscow Watercolour Festival
20th – 22nd October 2017
DI Telegraph, Moscow, Russia

Artist in Residence
17th – 29th June 2017
River Cottage HQ, UK

16th – 25th February 2017
Solo exhibition at Abbott and Holder, London, UK

May 2016: Live painting demonstration at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Incredible Exploding Pomegranate
15th July – 15th October 2015
Group exhibition in Granada, Spain

February 2015: Appearance on BBC4’s documentary ‘In Search of Rory McEwen‘.
An excerpt of the programme can be watched via the video link below.

In 2014 Inky Leaves was invited by the RHS to set up a pop-up studio at their RHS Botanical Art Show in London.

Read the review

In 2013, Inky Leaves exhibited at the Espacio Gallery, London, as part of the Chelsea Fringe. Below left is a video made for the Espacio Gallery during the exhibition.

Contact Inky Leaves

If you are interested in following Inky Leaves and knowing more about the world of botanical illustration, subscribe to the newsletter where news about her work and developments in botanical illustration can be delivered directly to your inbox.

For any questions about obtaining prints and originals, please use the form below to send a short message.