Mapleton Botanist Artist takes Scientific Look at her Creations
It could perhaps be argued that there should be no better person to create intricate and detailed images of Australia’s flora than an artist that also happened to be a qualified botanist – well, that’s what the hinterland region has in Dr Nita Lester of Mapleton.
Dr Lester is a practicing Queensland Government botanist, and also consults on all things flora for several other organisations, including a botanic garden and a number of Brigalow and western Queensland offset projects.
She has operated out “The Wilde Woode Studio” at her home in Mapleton since moving to the hinterland from Brisbane in 2012.
“We moved from Brisbane to a 30-acre piece of land that backs onto the eastern edge of Mapleton Forest,” she said
“It has a view to the east to the ocean and the brilliant blues of the ocean and the greens of the forest really inspire me.”
While, as an artist, Dr Lester focuses on zoological and botanical subjects, mainly Australian natives in pen and ink, graphite and watercolour, she has many other create outlets.
She is a graphic designer, owns a publishing company and publisher of scientific and fictional stories, creates botanical and wildlife drawings for interpretative signage and national park information boards, she hosts botanical art and botany workshops, and is a talented photographer of flora and fauna wildlife and human portraits.
Dr Lester is the author of several research articles plus two editions of “Woodland to Weeds”, a text used by universities, mining exploration companies and land holders. It features many plant species of the southern Queensland Brigalow region.
One of her graphic design projects, an invitation for a Zonta event, was awarded the prestigious international Adobe Graphic Design prize 2016.
She was awarded a life memberships of the Queensland Arts Council and the American Waterlily Society, and serves as the president of the Botanical Artists Society of Queensland.
Her passion for early childhood education is an influence behind recent projects that include illustrating, designing and publishing a children’s book, Pinpoint, introducing a mischievous echidna.
While lecturing at universities, Dr Lester encouraged a number of aspiring educators and artists to write and illustrate, resulting in the book “For Sharp Eyes Only”, which she designed and published.
In her capacity as volunteer convenor of the Mapleton Community Library, Dr Lester is illustrating another children’s story to raise funds for the library, featuring a bright-eyed mischievous echidna called Pinpoint and an endearing mouse-like marsupial named Stuarteye.