Trip to Wellesley Botanic Gardens

20th May 2017

Just returned from a busy eight day trip to Wellesley College Botanic Gardens. I spent day one assessing five excellent final portfolios from the certificate programmme with Sarah Roche, the programme director. This is a very comprehensive and well organised Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration ( for more information visit their website ) and here are some of the final year pieces.


I then took two, three-day workshops; the first ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ focused on composition and encouraging students to think outside the box and by day three they were certainly doing that and produced some excellent ideas. This is one of my favourite workshops to teach and in my view much needed by a lot of botanical art students, as it gives them some guidelines and then the freedom to push themselves out of their comfort zone and to start to really think about what needs to go into their pictures and how to place the chosen elements to gain maximum impact.

Day five of my trip was a rest day and I was able to travel into Boston to see some very different art, more on this trip in my next blog!

The second workshop focused on creating ‘Vibrant Colours and Tactile Textures’ with demonstrations on methods of underpainting to create stronger, more brilliant colour mixes and various techniques for textures such as hairy stems, velvety peaches, shiny fruits and more complex colour mixes.

Judging by the intense look of concentration on some of faces they are all working hard.

Now back in the UK and over the jetlag, I have added an extra ‘Introduction to my Basic Coloured Pencil Techniques’ workshop on 11th-12th July at my studio in Wiltshire.  I am keeping these classes small but there are still a few spaces if you are quick. Book on the website.


Ann and Ollie in the greenhouse
Me and Ollie in the greenhouse

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