Plants are our Teachers

2023 Workshop Programme

Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

2023 sees the exciting launch of the year long Plants are our Teachers programme.

Over a series of bi-monthly weekend workshops participants will be led on a journey of learning from plants through deep attention. Different approaches to drawing, painting and printmaking will open up new ways of seeing, to build a conversation and kinship with the natural world. Workshops take place at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, working outside or in the shelter of the A+E project space (in the Chapter House). Participants will be expertly guided through different approaches to drawing, painting and printmaking by the experienced artist and teacher Sarah Gittins.

These workshops are suitable for all levels of experience and ability, from beginners to advanced.

March 11th and 12th 2023

Drawing the Path of Spring: making mixed media, drawn scrolls that celebrate the flowers, growth and colours of early spring. This workshop includes a close look at the flowers lining the paths of Phoebe Anna Traquair’s Song School Mural (located onsite).

May 13th and 14th 2023

Blossom Print: a celebration of blossom through drawing and relief print. Paying close attention to seasonal blossoms through observational and expressive drawings and linocut print carving. Each participant will make a small edition of prints, adding colour through chine colle.

July 8th and 9th 2023

Climbing Inside a Flower: taking a bee’s eye view of summer colour. This workshop promises a rich immersion in the worlds of flower colour observation, colour mixing and oil painting.

September 9th and 10th 2023

Drawing a Homage to the Harvest: a celebration of food plants. Celebrating the plants of the allotment garden and hedgerow through exploratory drawing. Using foraged, plant-based inks and mixed-media.

November 11th and 12th 2023

Being with the Earth: drawing and painting withering and wintering. Making and using simple earth pigments, we will observe the dying back and return to earth of garden plants in the winter. From swift studies made through close observation, a small series of paintings will be developed to tell a story of wintering.

Workshops will run over weekends from 10am to 4.30pm

One workshop: £120 (£80)*

Block booking discount: all five workshops for £500 (£350)*

Participants may wish to sign up for the whole series of workshops or to book particular sessions if preferred. The course fees include all materials.

*Limited subsidised places are available on request.

Plants are our Teachers – Summer School

28th, 29th and 30th July 2023

What can we learn from a delicate poppy or seedhead about the art of line drawing? What can a tree teach us about simplifying complex shapes and mapping connections? What can the foliage and flowers of a dandelion teach us about working with the drama of light and shade?

This three day course will observe the particular qualities and characteristics of plants and use these to inform and explore different approaches to drawing. Inspiration will also be drawn from contemporary and historic artists who work with plant forms, such as Albrecht Durer, Ellsworth Kelly, Jim Dine, Suzi Davidoff and Brigid Collins. The course is designed for beginners as well as offering enriched learning to the more experienced artist.

Course fee: £185 – all materials included. (Limited subsidised places are available on request.)

Contact A+E for further details.

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