Lucy T Smith
botanical artist


Lucy Smith was born in Sydney in 1968, but it was not until her travels took her to North Queensland in the 1990s that her career as a botanical artist began. In 1994 she illustrated the plants growing in the Melaleuca woodlands for her Honours project at James Cook University of North Queensland. She then freelanced as a zoological and botanical illustrator producing paintings of palms and drawings of dugongs, whilst tutoring in visual arts.
In 1997–1999 Lucy painted 18 detailed studies of North Queensland palms in their natural habitats for her Masters in Creative Arts, four of which have been made into limited edition prints. In 2000, she arrived at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to begin illustrating the ambitious Palms of New Guinea project. In the meantime she has produced hundreds of black and white plates for Kew botanists, and contributed colour plates to Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.
In 2001 she travelled on the Endeavour replica from Australia to Indonesia for six weeks with the BBC for the documentary. The Ship, following in the footsteps of Captain James Cook, and specifically Sydney Parkinson, the original artist onboard. Several of her paintings and drawings made during the trip have been included in the book accompanying the series.
Lucy has received many awards for her work, including the 2004 Jill Smythies Award for Botanical Illustration, awarded by the Linnean Society of London. She won first prize twice, and second prize three times in the Margaret Flockton Award for Scientific Illustration, at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney since first entering in 2005. She has also received two Gold Medals from the Royal Horticultural Society.
As well as freelancing as a botanical artist for Kew, Lucy produces paintings for private commissions and exhibitions. She leads the Kew Certificate in Botanical Ilustration and runs short course in botanical illustration for Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Gardens, as well as tutoring for the Chelsea School of Botanical Art. She regularly gives talks and workshops to botanical art groups. She has led a “Big Draw” event, and has collaborated in London with contemporary artists.