Stuart Lafford

Image Stuart Lafford

Photograph of Stuart Lafford who made an enormous contribution to the work of the gloucestershire society for botanical illustration

Born in St Andrews, Scotland, Stuart lived in Germany and Hong Kong with his army father and family.

Art was always his favourite subject and after he sat his A level in Hong Kong, persuaded the family to return to the UK so that he could go to Art College.

On their return, the family settled in Malvern. Stuart decided that he would rather earn some money and, aged 17, began work at the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory. He still wanted to paint for himself, so in a damp unheated cellar he prepared a portfolio. On seeing his work, Linden Artists Agency accepted him immediately and he remained with them throughout his life.

Mike Hickey had by then started the GSBI, teaching botany and illustration with pen and ink. He invited Stuart to help out with watercolour classes and a long association with the GSBI was born.

Stuart illustrated many books on gardening, dinosaurs, fungi, landscapes and all forms of wild life. He won RHS gold and silver medals and painted three Chelsea plates. Some of his original works are held in the collections of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

He continued teaching until his death in 2016 and many GSBI members are grateful to him to this day for his superb tuition and instilling in them his love of botanical illustration.

Here are some examples of his work:-

Stuart Lafford watercolour illustration of a Cattleya Orchid on display at GSBI

Cattleya Orchid 

Stuart Lafford illustration in watercolour of a Cattleya Granulosa Orchid on display at GSBI

Cattleya Granulosa Orchid