19 Jun

Tutored by Rosemary Dodgson.

The day was glorious and seven participants arrived keen to learn about botanical painting techniques.

Staff at the Fen provided us with a lovely range of plants from white comfrey to bramble buds and flowers, though they were disappointed that there were no yellow flags or common orchids for us, which we all put down to very wet weather conditions during the previous weeks.

The teaching room had all facilities you could want, with tea and coffee on tap for the whole workshop so the participants could break off when good for them. The light was good for our work and there was lots of space.

I have not previously had such a general group where everyone was at the same level, and all wanted to develop techniques rather than having the aim of a finished picture. This was wonderful for me as a tutor as I was able to give in-depth attention to everyone present.

We decided to focus on painting techniques based on simple leaf shapes, and I was delighted with everyone’s progress; it was very inspiring to see the differences between the first leaves attempted and the last - for several people the improvement was dramatic.

Five participants completed the simple feedback form that I provided. All said that they had achieved their aims and that the venue and the materials provided were good. They were all happy with the tuition and the comments included “ An excellent, friendly workshop, I would love to come back for more”

I think that this would be a very good venue for the more advanced artist too, as the plant materials provided warranted more in-depth exploration. The staff were extremely helpful and the price for the participants through the National Trust was very reasonable.

Words and pictures: Rosemary Dodgson.

* The email will not be published on the website.