In 1991, Gunn attended a conference on botanical art at the Royal Horticultural
Society in London. During her stay, she visited Kew Gardens, where she
was enthralled by Margaret Stones’ illustrations of the flora of
Tasmania. Upon learning that Ms. Stones lived nearby, Gunn made an appointment
to visit the artist. Gunn showed examples of her paintings to Stones,
who responded favorably. Stones encouraged her to keep painting and provided
constructive criticism, which guides Gunn to this day.
Gunn’s unique perspective grows out of her work as both a botanical
artist and biologist. Her understanding of the interrelatedness of plants
and of their inner workings infuses her art with a deep sense of their
true essence. She plans to continue combining science and art, using
her talent and training to support her ongoing efforts in rare plant
and ethnobotanical conservation.
In 2000, Gunn enrolled in a Masters degree program in plant systematics
at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. She was also offered free-lance
work as an illustrator for the Flora of North America project at the Missouri
Botanical Garden. The free-lance work not only helped with tuition, it
fed her interest in plant taxonomy. She completed her Masters of Science
in 2003 and was hired shortly thereafter by the Missouri
Botanical Garden to work on an ethnobotanical training project based in the eastern Himalayas.