She has an extensive background in studio art and holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina. As a botanical artist for the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG), Nellie Sue illustrated a trail guide for an area of North Carolina which had escaped glaciation and was unique in its biodiversity. She used a combination of resources to produce the illustrations, including fieldwork and herbarium specimens. She also participated in NCBG’s Plant Rescue Program for rare and endangered plants, gave tours of the different habitat areas at the garden and illustrated a guide to NCBG’s native fern collection.
Nellie Sue was awarded Third Place (2009) and two Honorable Mentions (2010) for her artwork in the First and Second Annual Juried Exhibitions of the Botanical Artists of Canada. She has served as Programs Director, Exhibition Director and President of that organization.