Amanda grew up on a Lincolnshire farm and it was here that her love of nature began.
"Daisies, buttercups and clovers glistened like constellations in fields of gentle cows and sleepy sheep. Billowing clouds of cow parsley jostled with swaying spikes of rosebay willowherb on the edges of deep and mysterious woods. Luminous swathes of immaculate, pure-white bindweed flowers clambered boldly over gates and fences, as fragile violets hid shyly in hawthorn hedgerows and lofty poplars shivered and waved against expansive cerulean blue skies."
Amanda Willoughby 2016
Amanda went on to study Graphic Information Design in London, MA Graphic Design in Leicester and Botanical Illustration at the University of Sheffield. She has gained drawing, illustration, design, research and writing skills, plus botanical knowledge, through her studies and her work.
Amanda is currently illustrating metallophyte flora of old lead mines in the North Pennines and the Peak District. She is also collaborating with the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery, interpreting the abandoned colliery and illustrating the plant species colonising the site in the period between its industrial life and its regeneration into a mining heritage centre.
"The colliery is a kaleidoscope of colour as the seasons spin around, conjuring up spectacular displays of natural beauty on this site of industrial decay. Shivering autumn trees of sunset-orange, nightshade berries of bright tomato-red and snapdragon flowers of delicate lemon hues dazzle against a backdrop of grey-brown industrial features. In summer, the yard is a wild flower meadow of sunshine-yellow hawkweeds mingling with pompom-purple clovers and ox-eye daisies, whose fractal centres glow egg-yolk yellow amidst delicate clouds of quaking grass and masses of sticky cleavers."
Amanda Willoughby 2015
Amanda's past projects include a North Pennines nature calendar and a plant alphabet celebrating the RSPB's restoration of the Beckingham Marshes Nature Reserve. She has also illustrated endangered cornfield flowers to raise awareness of flower conservation work at Ryedale Folk Museum and she has written and designed interpretation boards about the countryside management and nature conservation work of the National Trust in the Peak District.
EXHIBITIONS AND SHOWS
Amanda has exhibited with the Campaign for Drawing, UK Coloured Pencil Society, Botanical Society of the British Isles, National Trust, Royal Horticultural Society and Society of Botanical Artists. She has shown work at Cumberland Pencil Museum, Whisby Natural World Centre, London Natural History Museum, Ryedale Folk Museum, Ruskin Gallery, The Barn Gallery at Patchings, Sheffield Botanical Gardens, RHS Lindley & Lawrence Halls, Westminster Central Hall, University of Sheffield Library Gallery, Malvern Spring Gardening Show, Portobello Centre (Sheffield) and at various arts centres and country shows.
Top: Common Poppy and Corn Marigold
Second row: Hogweed and Rosebay Willowherb
Third row: Sycamore and Hornbeam
Bottom: Fleshy Fruit - Lemon and Festive Fruit - Fig
Illustrations by Amanda Willoughby (Copyright 1996 to 2015)