I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing. But it was

not until I moved south to San Diego that I drew what I saw around me: bananas and birds of paradise growing along

the streets could not be ignored. I began to draw them just as they were (such great shapes and colors!) and when we started a garden of our own I documented each and every plant in a series of garden journals.

I studied botany, researched the thousand-year history of botanical illustration and joined the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. I was invited to illustrate local and national garden periodicals and to teach botanical illustration at the University of California San Diego. My unique contribution to the field is my use of prismacolor pencils for their subtle control and luminous colors.

Drawing in my sketchbooks is something I do every day -- it keeps me fully focused on the world around me just as it is. My subjects now include just about everything: from the bananas in our backyard to the Western deserts and Eastern mountains and, from time to time, even the cities of Asia.

I teach drawing at the Athenaeum School of Art in La Jolla and have taught workshops in botanical and color pencil drawing, and travel journalling in various institutions, among them Sun Valley Art Center, Mendocino Art Center, and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.

                                                            Irina Gronborg


contact    resume