Featured Artist Jennifer Bass

Artist Jennifer Bass presents a portfolio of botanical paintings drawn from her experience as an herbalist. See more by visiting her website.


painting of a mayapple

“Mayapple” oil on panel, 12″ x 18″


I grew up in the studio of my mother. She was a painter who would put me on her knees and let me paint the grass on her large intricate landscapes. Many of my ancestors were artists, and I carry on their need to center life around creative practice.


Botanical and nature painting by Jennifer Bass

“Panax Quinquefolius” oil on canvas, 12″ x 16″


My paintings are born from my lifestyle as an herbalist, a way of life that started in my childhood. I grew up on a large farm in Virginia, surrounded by a magnificent garden of roses, irises, fruit trees, vegetables, and ancient oaks.


botanical painting triptych

“Spring Ephemerals” (triptych), oil on panel, 19″ x 15″


Often my paintings center on plants from my own garden or the forest nearby. These are plants I have relationships with as food, medicine, teachers, and friends.


botanical painting of witch hazel

“Witch Hazel” oil on panel, 16″ x 16″


I paint in my home studio, located within our botanical sanctuary on a steep mountainside in Western North Carolina. Studying plants directly by noticing their tiny details allows me to open myself to the plants’ whispers, to express gratitude for their medicine, and to know them in a different way than memorizing their uses.


painting of a peony flower

“Peony” oil on panel, 10″ x 10″


This body of work is a fusion of passions, painting and crafting plant medicine. Decades of studying herbalism from local teachers, books, and more recently within the traditions of my ancestors, has led me to spend more time in direct communication with the plants.


Botanical painting on wood panel

“Pedicularis Candense” oil on panel, 13.5″ x 10.5″


The act of painting the plants I grow or live near is an act of care and reverence. The importance of having a relationship with the medicinal plants before even thinking of taking a harvest is central. I feel that in deepening my awareness of the textures, colors, patterns, and quality of edges within the plant world, my practice as an herbalist grows like a river becoming the wide-open ocean.


botanical painting of an herb

“Ligusticum Canadense” oil on canvas, 24″ x 18″


Instead of portraying the plant isolated on a blank page as is most common in botanical art, I prefer to surround them with their environment, honoring the interconnection in ecological relationships.


Oil painting of a yew tree

“Yew” oil on canvas, 16″ x 12″


The process of creating this body of work is an intimate conversation with invisible worlds, with places far past and forward in my own lineage. Working with plant medicine can open the deepest hidden mysteries with an ancient key.



Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Click below to sign up for our twice-monthly email. You’ll get all this plus opportunities and special offers that you can’t get anywhere else!

Sign Up For Updates!

Speak Your Mind