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Vaughan, Jenny

There is nothing better than finding an unusual or interesting ‘piece of nature’. This can be something you stumble upon, while searching for a missing cow, or finding a jettisoned nest, while repairing fences. Sometimes inspiration can be the simplest object. What I really like is collecting and then choosing the items. Which items will suit my current theme and which items will be set aside for another day and another idea. My artroom is currently clogged with such items, as well as boxes of wine that need a cool place to live out their maturing days

My main medium is pen and ink, but I occasionally work in gouache, acrylic and pastel. My strategy for beginning an illustration is to start the drawing with one item and then work the rest of the items around it. I often don’t plan the drawing at all. It just develops and in many ways is a problem to be solved. I keep returning to the drawing or painting to add more, to view it, squinting, as if viewing the work from afar and to look at the reflection of the image to check the balance and focal points. It is interesting that while most of my botanical drawings look well-planned, the actual process of drawing is entirely the opposite. I guess it is a botanical artist letting loose.

In terms of themes, they are quite variable, from whale and dolphin studies, shells and ropes, to butterflies, birds, orchids, pumpkins and seed pods. Some of my work has involved painting images of birds on their actual feathers. The feathers are sealed and these works are well over 10 years old and continue to hold their integrity.

The great thing about drawing is that you can take your work with you in the outdoors. The only problem is keeping the bugs off the paper. Smeared bugs can, however, be reinvented as plant seeds or gum nuts.

I completed a Bachelor of Education (Art), in the early 80’s. I majored in painting. This was a time when we were all emulating the ‘Blue Poles’ experience- throw the paint on and rub it into the canvas with your feet. I failed painting in my first semester – probably because my artwork resembled something. My teacher often attacked my work with a sweep of a large brush.

I still paint an occasional abstract, but the more I add to it, the less abstract it becomes

I have worked on many projects related to drawing ideas presented in text or illustrations to help the reader understand the text. Some of the TAFE modules I have illustrated, have been for hospitality, medical, engineering, geology and IT courses. Other commissions have been illustrations for novel covers, children’s books, herbal medicine manufacturers and nursery businesses, real estate (property projections) and commissions for illustrations of historic buildings by companies and individuals. I have also been fortunate to work for ‘Country Look’ magazine, as an illustrator. This involved illustrating the regular feature ‘Garden Path’.

What next? I am working on a collection of bird nests, some with baby birds and some nests empty and the idea is to draw in a manner that resembles old lithographs. I have also been drawn to illustrate shells again – something of which I have never been cured.

For more information please contact Jenny via her email address jennyvaughan00@gmail.com


The images and feature are courtesy of Jenny Vaughan.

Listing Details

Pen and ink, gouache, pastel, and varying textiles, wools etc for "woollypots"
Current Projects
Study of potatoes in pastel – examining the variety of shape, colour and texture of potatoes
Available For
Available for both - specialising in commissions, particularly illustrations for magazines and promotion, property/building studies/architectural, flora and fauna detailed studies, book illustrations etc
Sub Category
Illustrator, painter