The botanical illustration course draws to a close! Head to the coast for more Up Close action

The botanical illustration course draws to a close! Head to the coast for more Up Close action

Each Wednesday evening for the last 4 weeks the seed-sieves, secateurs and smoke water were moved aside as the NGT community nursery transformed into an art studio for the ‘Up Close’ botanical illustration course.

Local artist and botanist Yvonne Riley ran the course for an enthusiastic bunch of students. There are many bad botanical puns that could be used when describing the group’s progress across the 4 weeks – like ‘budding artists’, and ‘confidence was growing’ – but we won’t use any of them here. We especially won’t say that the ‘students blossomed under Yvonne’s instruction and the results flora’d us’. That would be criminal.

We will say though that Yvonne was a star teacher and took everyone through the vital considerations when positioning a specimen and approaching the blank page, and helped to point out the tiny details that make botanical illustrations both scientifically accurate and so compelling when you take a closer look. The first batch of completed illustrations looked great and species included Calocephalus citreus, Dianella longifolia and Arthropodium milleflorum. See some pics below and more of the final artworks may be posted later.

Botanical illustration classes might return later this year with a focus on the threatened species of the region – so send an email to if you’d like to be notified.

Some of the work

detail 1

detail 2


Up Close events head to the coast in April!

The Up Close program is heading to the coast for April with a marine theme, starting with SA marine life events at Mt Gambier and Port MacDonnell this weekend. Download a pdf of the flyer here, and keep an eye out for more details on an upcoming seabirds event at Warrnambool on Sunday April 27.

‘SA Marine … Life Up Close’  talk at the Mt Gambier Library – Friday April 4 at 7pm

The coastline of South Australia is home to an incredible variety of weird and wonderful marine creatures. Nature Glenelg Trust hosts marine scientist Alex Gaut from Conservation Council SA as she heads to Mt Gambier with an armload of real-life marine specimens and some insider info on what’s happening in our ever-changing intertidal zone. Join us for an entertaining talk and some refreshments afterwards. This event is family friendly (esp. kids over 10). 

Rockpool Ramble at Port MacDonnell – Saturday April 5 at 9am

Alex will also guide a rockpool ramble during low-tide at Port MacDonnell the next morning.  There are limited spaces for this event so register with Jonathan (details below)  and be sure to wear shoes that can get wet! Refreshments will be provided afterwards and the ramble is suitable for all ages – so bring the kids along.

For more details or to register for the ramble, contact Jonathan Tuck on 0432 406 486 or

SA Marine Life talk and rockpool ramble

About Alex…
Alex Gaut is the current Biodiversity Program Manager at CCSA and also oversees the Reef Watch (SA) and Feral or In Peril projects. Ms. Gaut has an extensive background in marine science as a marine biologist and educator, a lecturer in science education at UniSA, research scientist at the state department of fisheries, and an assistant collection manager for South Australian Museum.

For more information on the 2014 Biodiversity ‘Up Close’ events see the webpage at


Jonathan Tuck