Jackie Isard (BA Hons) SBA Fellow CBM
RHS GOLD MEDALIST
Jackie Isard is an award-winning botanical artist having won a Gold medal at RHS in 2022. She is passionate about painting and teaching. Based in Bristol, her delicate watercolours are much admired for their intricacy and detail. She teaches a regular Saturday group and various workshops in Abbots Leigh, Bristol. She also runs workshops with Society groups in the South West, Wales, Gloucestershire and other venues across the UK.
In 2022 Jackie completed her RHS exhibition entry entitled 'Wet Meadow Wildflowers ~ their pollinators and as food plants' and won a Gold medal. Two of her RHS paintings are now held in the RHS Lindlay Library and The Shirley Sherwood Collection. Jackie is passionate about wildflowers, pollinators and nature preservation which is why she chose this theme for her RHS exhibition. Jackie posts regularly on her Facebook and Instagram pages (links below) showing images of her work and process. See more on the RHS Gold page.
Jackie graduated with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from Ravensbourne University in 1989. This was her career until a few years ago when she tried her hand at botanical painting in 2015, now her present career. She is a graphic designer by trade but has now chosen a new path in life. She is passionate about plants and the beauty of nature and enjoys watercolour as her favoured medium."Nature is so beautiful and it gives me such pleasure capturing it on paper." She is a self-taught artist. Her work is mainly on watercolour paper. Painting the beauty of decaying plants is also one of her fortes. In her work, she spends a great deal of time researching her subjects and studying their botany under a microscope to ensure she paints true botanical form. She strives for accuracy in her work.
“Botanical illustration has been a passion of mine since I first took up the paintbrush only a few years ago. My journey so far has been inspiring, rewarding and immensely satisfying. As I stroll through nature I see a whole new world opening up to me, the beauty of which words cannot describe but I hasten to say, it fills my heart and soul with a great deal of joy.”
"In recent years I have become very passionate about wildlife and meadow wildflowers, as well as important pollinators. I’ve also been following Plantlife and their project to preserve our declining meadowland. This affects our pollinating insects and wildlife and is of great concern. Plantlife and many other organisations are working very hard to ensure our wildlife and wildflowers are protected and I feel very strongly about this, so much so that I decided to choose to portray important wildflower species and pollinators as my theme for my RHS exhibition. I have a great love for nature and flowering plants, especially our native wildflowers. I am passionate about the protection of our declining meadows and the survival of our beloved bees.”
In 2014-2015 Jackie studied Garden Design and was awarded a Distinction. After doing this course her passion for plants and nature began.
In 2016 Jackie exhibited for the first time with the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA).
In 2016 Jackie was accepted to prepare an exhibition for the Royal Horticultural Society.
In 2017 Jackie was awarded a CBM (Certificate of Botanical Merit) for her painting ‘Vessels of Life’ exhibited at the SBA exhibition in London.
In 2017 Jackie started teaching Botanical and Nature watercolour courses at venues in Bristol and at the University Bristol Botanic Gardens in 2018. Jackie very much enjoys teaching and the rewards it brings. “I like to think I inspire, encourage and give confidence to my students!”. She also started launching online courses.
In 2018 her painting of Origanum Majorana was featured in the book ‘The Illustrated College Herbal – Plants from the Pharmacopoea Londinensis of 1618’ organised and published by Jane Knowles, Henry Oakley and Gillian Barlow. Royal College of Physicians.
In 2019 Jackie was awarded Full membership with the SBA becoming an SBA Fellow.
In 2019 Jackie was awarded the Margaret Granger Memorial Award for her Protea neriifolia ‘Snowcrest’ painting at the SBA exhibition, Mall Galleries, London.
In 2020 Jackie wrote a book on colour mixing for the botanical artist, ‘Watercolour Mixing Techniques for Botanical Artists‘ (published by The Crowood Press in 2021). For an in-depth look at my book please watch this talk I did with NESBA on YouTube : https://youtube.com/watch?v=g8YZxOYdGrI&feature=share . I also wrote ‘The Little Book of Watercolour for Beginner Botanical Artists’ (Self-published) which includes helpful tips and techniques. Only available as a pdf now.
In 2022 Jackie entered six paintings to the renowned Royal Horticultural Society Botanical and Photography Show and won a Gold medal. She was a first-time exhibitor. The subject of her exhibition was ‘Wet Meadow Wildflowers ~ as food plants and their pollinators’. The series of wet meadow plants included: Cardamine pratensis (Cuckooflower), Silene flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin), Geum rivale (Water Avens), Lotus pedunculatus (Greater Bird’s foot Trefoil), Succisa pratensis (Devil’s bit Scabious) and Sanguisorba officinalis (Great Burnet). Some of these are featured on the gallery page of my website www.jibotanicals.co.uk and there is a collage of them on my RHS Gold page. Two of these paintings are now held in the RHS Lindlay Library and the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
In 2023 Jackie was invited to teach in October 2024, for a week, by James de Candole in Transilvania at Copșa Mare. Exciting news!
In 2024 Jackie was delighted that her painting, 'Vessels of Life', had been accepted to be exhibited by The Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh in 2025. Thank you for this great honour!
In 2024 Jackie was selected to be a tutor for the DLDC Diploma course run by the Society of Botanical Artists. She is very honoured to have this opportunity. Thank you Simon Williams!
In 2025 Jackie will be travelling to Copșa Mare, Transilvania again to paint alongside the renowned artist Sally Pond. A week of painting grasses from the are together.
Certificate of Botanical Merit - 2017
Margaret Granger Memorial Award - 2019
SBA Full Fellow Membership awarded - 2019
RHS Gold medal - 2022
AsPIB Bureau (Associations des Passionnés d’Illustration Botanique)