An idealised weekend full of painting beautiful – and often rare – plants at Benmore Botanic Garden, in Argyll, is on the cards.
It event offers the chance to sign up to a rhododendron botanical art extravaganza from Friday 6 May – Sunday 8 May.
Stunning rhododendrons will be the muse as they are in their prime around the garden. This activity is all about learning and developing art skills with no pressure whilst having fun and experimenting. This course is suitable for those with some drawing experience, from all different art backgrounds.
This weekend provides an immersive, mindful experience exploring Benmore Garden through an artistic perspective. Be at one with nature whilst developing skills.
Teaching in this course is a combination of demonstrations, group discussions and supported independent work, led by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s (RBGE) botanical artist Alison Cutts supported by director of botanical art Jacqui Pestell.
The course starts off with loose expressive sketches of plants.
Jacqui said: ‘Drawing from life in the garden is a real immersive experience, where the surroundings – smells, sounds and richness of the environment are as important as the plants we are studying. It is a real pleasure being so close in this way to nature.’
Moving on to mindful observational plant drawing, focusing on lifelike proportions and looking at close-up unique features. Finally, participants will have the chance to play around with more graphic or abstract representations.
Between the four Gardens of the RBGE are 819 species of Rhododendron, out of 1200 species already known around the world. This is one of the leading rhododendron collections in the world. Nearly half of all threatened species of rhododendron are found across these sites, a unique collection and a valuable conservation resource.
Peter Baxter, curator of Benmore, explained: ‘Having such a large collection of rhododendrons proves to be an excellent scientific and horticultural resource, and we play a vital part in the conservation of these often misunderstood species.’
This botanical art course coincides with a new exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Rhododendrons: Riddle, Obsession, Threat.
Running until 5 June, the exhibition shows all aspects of the Garden’s rhododendron collection including their origin, history behind them, artwork and much more.
Learn more at www.rbge.org.uk