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Rita Parkinson studied fine arts at the Central St Martins College of Art, London and Art History at the Courtauld Institute, London University. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from a New Zealand institution. Rita has been a freelance illustrator working over a wide field, including magazine artwork, children’s books and scientific illustration. She took up botanical art 12 years ago. She says, 'I have had a diverse artistic life. But there is a thread that runs through it all, something fundamental in my practice. It is a love of detail and natural patterning; also the challenge of achieving clarity in a story well told visually, and as always, the exploration of materials and techniques to realize the conception'.