The Tutors

The Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens are pleased to have a team of accomplished artists who tutor classes to new and advanced students.

Dolores Skowronski-Malloni

Dolores Skowronski-Malloni is a botanical artist who trained in Graphics and Interior Design in Buenos Aires and also gained a BA in Melbourne at Monash University.  Dolores has been a practising botanical artist since 1993.  Her work develops in a theme format; always searching for a new subject to challenge her imagination.

Dolores teaches Botanical Art at the Geelong Botanical Art School with the same approach; keeping her students interested and looking forward to learning new skills, further developing their designs and learning more about the subjects they are studying and painting.

Three of Dolores' original works are held in the State Botanical Collection at the National Herbarium of Victoria. Original paintings are in private collections in Australia and overseas.  Dolores was awarded Gold and Silver Medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, London.  Dolores was commissioned by Wyndham City Council to produce a calendar of Australian plants, Christmas cards and prints of Australian trees.

Dolores recently established a Pop-Up Gallery in the Tea House at the GBG, featuring works by botanical artists from the FGBG School of Botanical Art.

John Pastoriza-Piñol

John Pastoriza-Piñol is an internationally renowned contemporary botanical artist, residing in Melbourne.  His practice operates somewhere between both the centuries-old tradition of botanical illustration and contemporary art, prompting a reading that goes beyond the purely representational whilst remaining true to the fundamental principle of objective observation of the natural world.  John has an exceptional ability to create a tension between the beauty and perfection of the specimen depicted and the symbolism with which it is infused. 

John studied botany at both Monash and Melbourne Universities, completing a doctorate course at the Universidade de Vigo, north-west Spain. As a young artist, John studied in Melbourne under Jenny Phillips, emerging as a significant artist in his own right. John's work is held in numerous public and private collections around the world including: Hunt Institute, USA, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew UK, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, RMIT University and the Collection of Alisa and Isaac M Sutton, to name a few.  In October 2013, John was awarded the prestigious Dianne Bouchier Award for Excellence in Botanical Art from the American Society of Botanic Artists and he is currently collaborating with Nellie Castan Projects in South Yarra. 

John has been teaching intermediate/advanced classes at the Geelong Botanic Gardens since 2005 and has expanded his teaching circuit to include interstate and international Master Classes, educating his unique approach to the art form. John's classes are held fortnightly on Saturdays during the school term.

If you would like to discover more about John and his extraordinary work you should visit his web site.

Rita Parkinson

Rita Parkinson studied Fine Arts at St Martin's College of Art in London and Art History at the Courtauld Institute, London. Following a career in illustration, she now concentrates exclusively on Botanical Art. Rita is an accomplished artist participating in exhibitions nationally and internationally.  Her work is represented in collections in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

"I really enjoy the process of teaching Botanical Art, particularly in this most beautiful of heritage gardens.  It is rewarding to see how our students advance over relatively short periods of time.  I think a lot of our students enjoy the Botanical Art course because they do see that they and their fellow students acquire some very accomplished skills.

I like to give my students a broad experience of this art form. The main focus is always on developing their rendering skills in drawing and watercolour.  It encourages close observation and a basic knowledge of plants, but also focuses on aspects of design to take full advantage of those skills.  I like to have a diverse choice of subjects, often coming from within the gardens.  We encourage our more experienced students to extend their experience outside at exhibitions etc." Rita commented.

Web page and blog:


Dolores Skowronski-Malloni 

John Pastoriza-Pinol

Rita Parkinson