Claire Loon Baldwin is a freelance illustrator based in Brunswick, Maine, who specializes in floral illustrations and botanical patterns.

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Art has always been part of my life, and is deeply connected with my love of nature. The summer I was 19, I followed this passion to a summer job in Glacier National Park, and was enthralled by the moss gardens, mushrooms, and meadows of wildflowers. Over the years my passion for nature-inspired art has grown as I worked as a ranger and environmental educator in parks including Grand Canyon and the North Cascades, always with my sketchbook in tow. To create a successful botanical illustration, I believe it’s crucial to combine scientific precision with an appreciation for the plant’s beauty. I use both digital and traditional media including watercolor and pen and ink to create detailed, accurate, and evocative illustrations. 


  • DK Publishing
  • Down East Magazine
  • The Nature Conservancy of Maine
  • Grand Canyon National Park


What flower do you draw the most often?
My favorite wildflowers are in the Castelleja genus, known by their common name, ‘paintbrush’ or ‘prairie fire’. Their colors range from white to orange to blazing red, and I fell in love with them the summer I worked in Glacier National Park in Montana. It seems so improbable that these candy-colored flowers would grow in such harsh, high-alpine environments, but they thrive, blooming in thick drifts and bunches, like naturally-occurring bouquets. I’m deeply passionate about native plants, and the pollinators they support. 

What grows in your garden?
My native plant garden and vegetable beds keep me really busy during Maine’s short—but gorgeous—growing season. I grow a variety of heirloom vegetables, including a rainbow of tomatoes, and an array of squash, the stranger-looking the better. My favorite native plant to grow is Milkweed, not so much for the flowers as the monarch caterpillars. They get so big, and those stripes of green, black, and yellow make them look like something that should live in a tropical jungle. I spend an inordinate amount of time on my belly watching them go. 

What do flowers symbolize to you?
Flowers are the perfect symbol of human emotion—whether it’s joy or sympathy or hope, flowers are just as beautiful, and as fleeting. I think this is why we give them as gifts for such a range of occasions. 

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