Teacher Directory: Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano


Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano (pen name O.M. Braida) is professional certified botanical artist whose quality of work is evidenced by the purchase of “Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem #2’ by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation for their permanent collection. This prestigious acquisition did not go unnoticed by Tribune Art Critic Kurt Shaw who in 2004 stated, “Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano knows a thing or two about the fine-art side of painting botanicals. Her watercolor of a magnolia branch titled “Little Gem #2” is just as smooth and delicate as any painting by Basil Besler or Pierre-Joseph Redouté— two giants in the history of the genre whose levels of accomplishment are still aspired to today." Ms. Braida's artwork appears in two additional United States museums:  The South Florida Museum acquired the watercolor painting  "Nelumbo 'Baby Doll' " in 2010 and The Museum of Botany & The Arts in Sarasota, Florida commissioned "Bromeliad Dwellers" in 2016.  Also in permanent collection are thirteen oversized plant portraits for the Theodore W. Kheel Conference Center in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as part of a study on biodiversity and medicinal plants, encouraged by Cornell University.  Miss Braida exhibits in museums, gardens, galleries, universities, and with horticultural societies and works almost exclusively on private commissions. Olivia’s participation in “Seven” an exhibition at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida (September 2006 to January 2007) and the Fine Arts Society Creator and Collectors Tour (March 2007) garnered praise for the work of this master botanical artist. Museum curator, Suzanne White (now retired), expresses her opinion of Ms. Braida’s by stating that, “Olivia’s work marries science and art and presents a sound knowledge of botanical accuracy while incorporating fine art standards of color, form and classical design. Immersed in shadows and light that create an ethereal quality her exquisite compositions are of the highest professional level and pay homage to the great masters.” Kevin Costello, Art Critic, Herald Tribune: 9/24/06 who saw Ms. Braida as an “outstanding practitioner” of “elegant watercolors.” Thyrza Jacocks, The Pelican Press: September 2006 saw the “ethereal beauty” of Ms. Braida’s “lavishly accurate” botanicals. In addition to her work as an artist, Miss Braida is also an author and educator who has founded the Academy of Botanical Art and created a Certificate Program for both local and distance learners. Her program in Botanical Art and Illustration has been offered at the Ringling School of Art and Design Continuing Studies and Special Programs division from 2000 to 2011. Her twelve volume book and thirteen companion course paks, "Ten Steps – A Course in Botanical Art & Illustration” is the basis of her teaching program and has brought praise from students and Ringling’s Director of Continuing Studies and Special Programs Nancee Clark (now retired), who states: "The 'Ten Steps…' series of books represents an exciting and complete survey of botanical art techniques and explores the practice of this art form in a well-conceived, understandable, and extremely useful way. These effective books are easy to follow text guides and the basis for the very successful program." O.M. Braida’s Academy of Botanical Art for local and distant learning is available at Studio 20 in Sarasota and at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  She is the founder and president emeritus of the Florida Society of Botanical Artists and lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband. More about her work can be found on her webgarden www.omartdesigns.com. For information about her course books visit www.omartbooks.com.  Join her blog site at www.myartteacher.com.  See her perspective tool trademarked "Perplexi®" at www.myperspectivedrawing.com


Sarasota, Florida USA


Phone: (941) 953-9999 Email: olivia@omartdesigns.com Website: http://www.academyofbotanicalart.com


Watercolor, Pen & Ink, Graphite, Pastel


Flowering Plants, Fruit, Vegetables, Tropicals, Succulents


Academy of Botanical Art, Copley Society of Art Boston, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, South Florida Museum, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Florida Native Plant Society, National Museum of Women and The Arts, Art Center Sarasota


Own StudioTeaches AdultsTeaches Children Ages 12 to 19 Critiques offered Critiques offered by mail

Travel Range



Olivia Braida teaches Art History & Intro to Drawing & Watercolor, plus Drawing I through Drawing IV; Drawing Level II is an introduction to Botany; Drawing Level III is an introduction to Orchids; Watercolor I through Watercolor IV, Pen & Ink Levels 1 & 2, Colored Pencil, The Business of Art. Botanical Art for Children ages 12 and up. The Academy staff teaches: Research on the Internet, Plant Morphology for Artists, The Business of Art