Sadly Sheila died on 24th January 2014 of Pancreatic Cancer. Sheila was recognized as one of the foremost botanical artists in the world, so much so that the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew staged a retrospective exhibition of her work during April and May of 2014. Her paintings are held in ail the major collections of botanical art, including the RHS Lindley Library, the Shirley Sherwood Collection, The Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh as well as the Kew collection itself.
Early in her career Sheila was encouraged by Wilfrid Blunt who recognised the degree of detail and botanical accuracy in her work, he said: “your plants are alive on the paper” and he compared her work to that of Francis and Ferdinand Bauer.
Sheila was also passionate about the natural world in general. Indeed the worldwide interst in her painting of the flora and fauna of Warren Copse, saved 40 acres of Old Windsor Forest from becoming a motorway service station. Sheila designed products for many leading environmental charities, which helped to fulfil her wish to engage young people with nature conservation.
She shared her great skills with others for many years including lecturing at Brunel University, and in adult education.
Further details of her qualifications and awards
The painting shown is of Iris Gingerman. The plant itself is some 30 - 40 cm tall. The detailed images to the right are therefore larger than life size and so demonstrate the degree of detail Sheila achieved in her painting.