Kristin Jacob's headshot
Kristin Jacob at Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival 2018

Shows and Awards (PDF)

Born in Marin and raised in Mill Valley, where she still resides, Kristin grew up entranced by the region’s extraordinary natural history. Encouraged from the start by artistic parents, she began drawing animals, but shifted her focus to plants at the age of twelve when her family joined the newly-formed California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Her first published illustrations appeared in the CNPS Marin newsletters and in the state organization’s quarterly journal Fremontia, and two of her largest subsequent commissions, the poster “Wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada” (1985) and a set of four placemats/posters depicting California grasses (2004) were published by CNPS.

Essentially self-taught, Kristin honed her pen & ink technique illustrating a book on poisonous plants of the world (Poison Plants, 1977 Houghton-Mifflin) while her parents were stationed for two years near Paris, then further developed her watercolor skills at London’s Royal College of Art, where she received an M.A. in1981. While residing in England, she produced botanical illustrations for several books, periodicals, and packaging designs, and was awarded silver-gilt medals in 1981 and 1982 for works exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society, before returning to Mill Valley in 1983.

Kristin’s watercolors graced catalog covers, packaging, greeting cards and prints for the Mill Valley-based Smith & Hawken garden company from 1985-1990, and she has illustrated articles for several botanical journals and horticultural periodicals. Her largest project was to illustrate with pen & ink drawings a book on the cultivation of California native plants, Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses (2003, UC Press, Berkeley), which she also co-edited. In 2013 she was given a Milley Award for Creative Achievement by the City of Mill Valley.

Kristin’s botanical art has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions; San Francisco Bay Area venues include the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley City Hall, Library and Community Center, Larkspur Library, Bolinas Museum, the Oakland Museum and Oakland Airport, UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden’s Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, and Filoli Estate.

A member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the American Society of Botanical Artists, Kristin volunteers for the latter organization’s Northern California Chapter as a Regional Rep, and frequently serves as a juror for group shows. Outside of her professional art sphere, Kristin has served for decades on the board of the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, and has contributed horticultural advice to the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club, the City of Mill Valley’s Parks & Rec Dept, the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, and Mill Valley Bloomathon, for which she designed the logo. She also works part-time as a nursery and garden consultant.