Sue McLean was born in
the UK and now lives in the regional city of Geelong, Victoria,
Australia. Her love of the natural world has inspired her
life and work. From an early age she was interested in the
natural world and plant kingdom, collecting and pressing flowers,
helping in her parents’ garden and spending many hours
walking her dog or riding in the nearby countryside. As an
adult, Sue expanded this connection with the practical use
of colour through a varied career – particularly in
fashion design, running her own knitwear business, gardening
and more recently – botanical art.
After immigrating to Australia in 1999 Sue studied applied
colour & design and visual arts at the School of Colour
& design in Sydney gaining a diploma and two awards of
excellence. In 2003 after a move to Geelong she joined the
Geelong Art Society and started to focus on watercolour as
her artistic direction.
After discovering The Botanic gardens held classes in botanic
art, it dawned on Sue that watercolour and plants were the
ideal combination. Over the next four years, she studied under
Margaret Muffet and John Pastoriza-Piñol and participated
in workshops held by other well known Australian Botanic Artists,
including: Mali Moir, Jenny Phillips, Rita Parkinson and Stephani
In recent years, Sue has been fascinated by the smaller flora
that grows in the Australian bush. She spends many weekends
walking with her husband watching birds, learning the identity
of the wildflowers, seeking out the wild terrestrial orchids,
fungi and strange insects that they come across.
Sue has exhibited locally and internationally. She
gained her first medal – a bronze – at the Kirstenbosch
Biennale exhibition of fine botanical art. This was held in
Cape Town, South Africa in September 2006 where she displayed
four paintings of South African plants. She followed this
with a Silver medal from the Royal Horticultural Society at
their February 2007 London Exhibition, for eight paintings
of native terrestrial orchids of Victoria.
Please see Exhibitions for
a list of her achievements and awards.
Sue has continued her painting over the last year with another
series of native orchids and a series of fungi which she will
be taking to the UK for exhibition.
She is a member of The Botanical Art Society of Australia,
Geelong Botanic Artist group, Australasian Native Orchid Society
and is a Friend of the Melbourne and Geelong Botanic gardens.