Artist in Residence - 2012

The Friends of Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park named Jeanette Atkinson as their resident artist for 2012.

Jeanette Lee Atkinson, born 1949, grew up in Estero. Experiences in a still wild Florida landscape, especially canoe trips on the Estero River and family camping trips gave her a keen appreciation for the fragile and unique beauty of Southwest Florida.

After graduating from the University of Florida she attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, earning a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures in 1978. In addition to articles, book reviews and editorial work in her field she wrote a column for a weekly newspaper in Corner, Georgia. She worked as an income tax preparer and teacher for H&R Block in Georgia and Florida from 1989-1992.

While living in rural Georgia from 1973-1990, she developed an interest in native plants. After retireing to Miami in 1990, she and her husband made frequent trips into the Everglades, on foot and with their small motorboat.

Although she had drawn since childhood, the dislocation after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 led her to pursue art seriously. She found the traditions of botanical illustration ideal for uniting her artistic and scientific interests. She and her husband relocated to coastal Collier County in 1993 where they explore the mangrove backwater with a small, shoal-draft sailboat.

In December 2011, she completed all requirements for the certificate program in Botanical Art and Illustration through the Adult Education of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota.

Her goal is to increase awareness and appreciation of Southwest Florida’s natural and cultural history through writing and art.