Artist Profile - Nilavan Adams


I came to Canberra, Australia, in 1974 as a member of a diplomatic family attached to the Royal Thai Embassy. I started to paint for pleasure in 1978 while working in the Public Service. This pleasure was interrupted for a few years when I studied at the University of Canberra. After my graduation, I started to paint again, mainly landscapes, portraiture and still life in oils, acrylics and pastels.

As I had time on my hands when traveling overseas with my husband on business, I started to experiment with watercolour painting while staying in hotels. In 2001, I left the Public Service and started doing watercolour techniques and botanical painting classes at the Australian National University.

In 2004, I developed a passion for botanical art and decided to focus on this type of painting. I have also attended various botanical art workshops. The most influential teachers/artists have been Noel Ford, Helen Fitzgerald and Susannah Blaxhill, to all of whom I owe my gratitude.

Subject, style and media

I enjoy painting voluptuous and textural fruits and vegetables, particularly tropical exotic plants. Also, I am attracted by plants that have often been overlooked by many artists because of their unattractiveness. I find it challenging to transform a beast into a beauty. Samples of my work can be viewed at


  • 2005, 2006 and 2007 Canberra Institute of Botanical Art
  • 2007 Canberra Times Outdoor Art
  • 2007 Wildlife and Botanical Artists Inc.
  • 2007 Orchid Society of Canberra


  • 2007 Wildlife and Botanical Artists Inc. - Encouragement Botanical Art Award
  • 2007 Orchid Society of Canberra- First Prize, Art & Photography Section
  • 2007 Orchid Society of Canberra – Best Exhibit: Art

Telephone: + 61 2 62543989