Botanical Painting

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Botanical Painting

Susan Sex
14th Aug 2017 to 18th Aug 2017

Five days of intense demonstration and individual tuition while making every effort in observing flowers native to the Burren where possible. This course would suit participants who have already gained  experience in this area and are looking to top up their skills, with a maximum of 12 students on the course.

Susan Sex is a self-taught artist, born in Dublin in 1947. An early interest in the identification of wild flowers brought her to focus intensively on botanical subjects for the past 20 years. She has established close links with the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Dublin and has painted tropical orchids from their collection. A solo exhibition  held at NBG in 1996 sold out. Susan, in company of Brendan Sayers, the specialist keeper of the orchid house at the time, developed a special interest in native Irish orchids. For her work in this area, she was awarded Gold Medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, London in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
‘Sex and Sayers’ published the award winning “Ireland’s Wild Orchids” in 2004, now designated as a Rare Book with copies housed in the National Library, the Lindley Library in Kew and the Glucksman Special Library in Limerick. The original paintings have their home permanently in the archive at NBG and are periodically exhibited. Susan was commissioned to provide the paintings of wild flowers for 32 stamps for the An Post definitive series, the Wildflowers of Ireland. She also painted 4 native trees for the Flora and Fauna series in 2006.
In 2008, Sex and Sayers published a definitive field guide to Ireland’s Wild Orchids. This publication was awarded the annual literature award by the Council of Botanical and Horticultural Librarians in Washington 2010.
Following this collaboration, Susan was awarded the Jill Smythies medal at the Linnean Society, London in 2010 for her work in the area of botanical painting in support of scientific notation. Susan has been a member of the Watercolour Society of Ireland and has exhibited annually since 1998.


What People Say: 
"Susan Sex is an inspiration, an excellent mentor / tutor. She is a fountain of knowledge and experience and this is a wonderful place, full of vigor and possibility in what can only be described as a magic location". Jenny Trigwell
" I have enjoyed the experience thoroughly. All my needs were met in this warm, open, creative environment." Barbara Cullen
"The botanical art shop is really great. Susan is a generous, talented teacher and I learn something new every year. The Lodge is clean and comfortable and the company of the others on the course is really good. All in all, a good week - I wouldn't miss it for diamonds!" Margaret Doyle



The accommodation in our self-catering college housing is located within 10 minutes  walk from Burren College of Art. The  bedrooms are en-suite, bright and well appointed. Communal areas include a large living room with an open fire, dining room, TV area, well equipped kitchen, laundry and public washrooms.  A roofed patio area with chimney is an ideal outdoor summer gathering space. The housing has WiFi throughout and is wheelchair accessible.

Single rates are charged at €45 per person per night. Twin-room accommodation is also available for those wishing to share a room - please enquire separately for rates.

Although the availability of the college self-catering housing is limited, alternative options are available in various guesthouses and hotels throughout Ballyvaughan. For further information please go to or contact for our accommodation list.