We have so many wonderful artists here in Sonoma, and I wanted to mention a recent discovery. I’ve always admired classic botanical drawings that document plants in beautiful detail. Martha Kemp of Healdsburg is a botanical artist who has won numerous awards, including six medals (five Gold and one Silver-Gilt) from the Royal Horticulture Society. She specializes in exquisite graphite pencil drawings, though she works in other media as well. She illustrated the book Wildflower Walks and Roads of the Sierra Gold Country by Toni Fauver and her illustrations are also featured in Celebrating Clematis by Kaye Heafey and Ron Morgan and in The Trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco by Elizabeth McClintock.
She’s a lovely person, warm and enthusiastic. She’s illustrated quite a selection of our native California plants for some of her projects, but I especially love her gorgeous graphite pencil rose illustrations since I’m so fond of roses. She is represented by Susan Frei Nathan in Millburn, New Jersey and you can see some of her artwork at this link:
Martha’s work is in the permanent collection of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, and in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, as well as in the Shirley Sherwood Collection in London. Here’s a link to some information and images at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s site:
She offers prints and also has notecards with her illustrations. If you’re interested in her work she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) is a great resource for locating botanical artists in your area or for finding workshops to help you improve your artwork (Martha usually teaches one of the workshops at the ASBA annual meeting). Here’s their website: