Wendy Walsh was born in Cumbria,
England on 9th April 1915, but for the last 50 years has lived and
worked in Ireland. She has exhibited widely at international level,
and has received many honours and awards, including several gold
medals from the RHS in London. She is particularly well known in
Ireland for her stamp designs in the 1980's, and her illustration of
botanical books, with text by Dr
E.Charles Nelson, formerly taxonomist at the National Botanic
Gardens, Glasnevin. These include An Irish Floriligeum: Wild and
Garden Flowers of Ireland (published by Thames &
Hudson), An Irish Flower Garden, Trees of Ireland: Native
and Naturalised, The Burren: a Companion to the Wild Flowers
of Ireland's Limestone Wilderness. Most of these are now out of
print and collectors' items, as are her limited edition fine art
books A Prospect of Irish Flowers and Flowers of Mayo.
In 1997 Wendy Walsh was given an Honorary D.Litt. by the University
of Dublin (TCD) and in 1998 was made a Life Member of the Royal
Dublin Society. She is the only living artist represented in the
Chester Beatty collection.
All of this has been achieved at
the age when most people are thinking of slowing down and putting
their feet up. She rises very early, and paints for several hours at
a time, as she will only paint from life and never from photographs.
She is blessed with good eyesight, and a still steady hand.
"She is at the pinnacle of
botanical art" said Prof. Grenville Lucas, ex-keeper of the
herbarium and library at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London.
"She has gained international recognition for the beauty of
Irish Flora, which had never been shown before."
The botanical artist who put
Irish flowers and trees 'on the map' internationally celebrated her
90th birthday in April 2005, and a special set of four commemorative
prints of 'Hellebore' were released to mark the occasion.