1. One family story claims she was caught with pockets full of garter snakes as a toddler. Soon after that, Lauretta discovered drawing was easier than baseball and more fun as well.

    Several themes are woven through Jones’s work. First is a fascination with the hidden beauty – and rich history – of spices and herbs. Seen beneath the lens of a microscope, she paints them as much as forty times life-size. A second theme is a subject nearer to hand – native species, invasives and familiar garden plants. Many of these subjects are painted from specimens in Jones’s garden. Recently, she has begun to move from strict botanicals, exploring the tension between chaos and control dictated by the watercolor medium.

today  After a long and varied career, Lauretta is indulging in the things she loves best. In addition to painting and maintaining an active teaching and exhibition schedule, she devotes time to the Somers Land Trust, keeping the books and blazing trails. She wrote a weekly column on nature for the Somers Record, which are collected on the Somers Land Trust website. She is also happily stumbling in the footsteps of Fred and Ginger as a student of ballroom dance.

2000 Lauretta began a focus on botanical subjects, working primarily in graphite, watercolor and colored pencil. Her work has been widely shown and is held in a number of private and public collections including the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh.

1990 Lauretta was the first artist hired by IBM Research where she worked on projects ranging from a visitor services system for the 1992 world’s fair in Seville, Spain that anticipated much of what we take for granted on the internet today, to an in-gallery learning system for the Museum of Modern Art, NY.

1975 After receiving a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art, Lauretta moved to New York City. She worked as a freelance illustrator and designer and was an early pioneer in computer graphics. Her clients included many publishers such as Scholastic Inc. and Ziff-Davis. She taught for many years at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and also directed their Department of Computer Art.

1958 After her parents asked Lauretta how she drew, she reportedly explained, “You LOOK, and THEN you draw!”  She still believes that.

Selected exhibitions

Cleveland Botanical Garden
Wave Hill

Bruce Museum
New York Botanical Garden
Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Ursus Books
The New York Horticultural Society
New York State Museum
New Canaan Center for the Arts
The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Lauretta is passionate about teaching and believes that anyone who truly has the desire can learn to draw.  There are three basic secrets to drawing:

  1. Learn to see as an artist.

  2. Find a compassionate teacher to demystify technique.

  3. Practice, practice, practice.

Each class she teaches includes:

  1. Clear demonstrations and concept discussions

  2. Time for students to practice new techniques

  3. Encouraging critiques that help students develop the ability to analyze their own work

Lauretta teaches at
The New York Botanical Garden which
offers a standardized curriculum and certificate programs and the
Greenwich Art Society which features ongoing classes in a supportive studio environment.

Lauretta specializes in shade gardening by necessity; by choice, she grows native plants in an attempt to preserve a tiny bit of our natural heritage. Good sources of ethically propagated native plants are the annual sales at:

  1. Garden in the Woods

  2. The Native Plant Center

  3. Before botanicals...
    ... there was
    MAD magazine Issue 258. Enjoy!