Making art for wetland conservation

After two decades working in TV journalism, Jessica Palmer’s passion for art was rekindled by her daughter’s love of drawing. She went back to university to do an MA in Illustration and since then has been inspired by the landscapes, birds, botany, wild things and the nature around her home in Bath. Since then she has exhibited all over the UK, in the US, and currently has pieces in the Matisse and the Contemporary Paper Artists in the Lake District and in the Brighton Atelier Open 2022.

I like to spend a lot of time looking at plants, birds and natural spaces up-close. To really study the character of a place, a feather or a leaf. I'll be painting it impressionistically but I'm very interested in specific details",’ she says.

After reading about WWT Steart Marshes in The Times Christmas appeal, Jessica ventured there on Boxing Day 2021.

The clouds were pink and the sky pearly. It was an immediately visually engaging wetland space. I just loved it,’ she recalls.

In creating her pictures of Steart Marshes Jessica used tapestries of watercolour, painted papers and cutout shapes. She works in layers, creating a landscape of distant space, middle and foregrounds in which different marsh species co-exist.

Steart gladdens the heart,’ she says. ‘It feels like a place to breathe. There is an enormous dome of sky punctuated with arrowheads of birds crossing the water. You feel at once a stillness while at the same time an ever changing sequence of patterns overhead.

Jessica believes connecting with nature is an important part of being human and in her art she seeks to link people emotionally to places they may never be lucky enough to experience.

For me as an artist, portraying nature is about reflecting the beauty of the natural world to other human beings. At an ecological level, the more you know about the natural world, the more you understand its jeopardy and the urgency for all of us to do what we can,’ she says.

Jessica’s art work is now for sale to raise essential funds for the WWT. If you would like to buy either Steart Marsh Hare (£575) 68 x 53 cm or Steart Marsh Sandpiper (£525) 68 x 45 cm. Each is framed in white washed wood with non-reflective glass. If you would like to purchase both pieces, the total price would be £1000.

Please contact Jessica via email at palmerk@outlook.com.

See more of Jessica's art on her Instagram: jessicapalmerart

Visit Jessica's website