The last SFP workshop and the next Gaynor’s Flora workshop

This seems a very busy time of year! Two weekends ago I had a pen and ink workshop with IAPI(Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators), and this last Saturday I had my last workshop with SFP (Society of Floral Painters). This coming weekend will be a three-day workshop in Bosham – Colour in the Hedgerows. This will be the last workshop before I travel to Pittsburgh to teach a workshop at the ASBA (American Society of Botanical Artists) annual conference.

All of that was in one paragraph and one breath! As I said it is a busy time of year.

But before I tell you about the next workshop where there are places available, I will tell you about the lovely but sad time spent with members of the SFP in Pitton near Salisbury.

Unfortunately the SFP has had to make the decision to wind up the Society for the time being. In actual fact they were a really good Society, although I’m not too sure how many members there were. They were very good at producing a regular newsletter throughout the year, with a lot of useful information to help and support artists interested in developing their skills in floral painting or drawing. In addition to the newsletter, they offered workshops to members and one day a year was allotted to selection of applicants to full membership. It wasn’t left to a simple yes or no, but good feedback was given about the reasoning behind each decision that was made.

But I wanted to show you a little from the workshop near Salisbury. AS usual it was a lovely group of people who got along well and encouraged each other throughout the day. The rest can be shown in pictures rather than words. Although I will give you information about the next workshop in the UK.

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SFP coloured pencil workshop

After I return from the USA, there will be another three-day workshop in Bosham. The subject this time is Autumn colours. Wow! The date is Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October. For those who book in time, I will give you a recipe on preserving some of those gorgeous leaves so that they stay reasonably still to allow you to paint them. So book now!

Look at some of the work being painted at the SFP workshop.

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To book your place on the next workshop contact me via the form below.



Exciting news!

I have been seeing some amazing pictures on Instagram, of a fabulous looking 19th century house in France. They were posted by a friend, Alistair, who had been experiencing it first-hand. The house itself has beautiful architecture and was furnished in the style you might expect from that period.

In late spring this year I received an email from Simon and Nicholas, brothers who have restored Le Manoir to its former glory. They wanted me to consider running a botanical art workshop holiday in this splendid place. I hesitated!

There was much to consider here. I had seen the beautiful pictures, but there can be a lot of other things hiding behind beautiful pictures. Was it suitable? How did Simon and Nicholas envisage it would be? How many artists? Etc. Etc.

I got back to them, we had an initial meeting in London a few weeks ago and in the last 24 hours we experienced staying in this amazing house, being looked after by Simon and Nicholas. We now know that Le Manoir is very suitable for an exclusive botanical art workshop holiday.

Le Manoir
Le Manoir

I don’t use the term ‘exclusive’ lightly. Le Manoir is beautiful. Each bedroom is large, with a view and with a very well equipped bathroom (two of them in turrets). In addition to that the kitchen, dining room, sitting room and lounge are all extremely comfortable and very homely. The gardens and surrounding Dordogne countryside are lovely, although slightly baked following a long hot and dry summer. The swimming pool and large open-sided dining area with equipped kitchen completes the feeling of luxury. Actually, not quite; the peace and calm that pervades dots the i’ s and crosses the t’s.

We spent the time available going through details and deciding how together we can create the ideal botanical art workshop holiday. We concluded that the mornings should generally be devoted to tuition and the afternoons to trips to explore the area and meals to experience the regional cuisine, both at Le Manoir and local restaurants.

We do know that the workshop holiday will be one week at the end of September 2017, it will be all inclusive, from local airport transfer (Limoges or Bergerac), full board and lodging, tuition and all planned trips.

But, to make it even more exclusive, it is only available to an absolute maximum of seven students, ensuring a period of individual and undivided attention to everyone. Accompanying partners will be able to take part in all the trips or can be otherwise occupied by exploring the area, hanging out by the pool, visiting vineyards, or playing golf locally.

As time goes on I will give more information about this exclusive botanical art workshop holiday, but, watch this space.


For more information about Le Manoir visit:

Workshop last weekend and this weekend

Last weekend started off pretty laid back in comparison to how it developed. I had a botanical art workshop on pen and ink with IAPI (Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators)at Leicester Botanical Gardens. Apart from getting there slightly later than planned, we had a lovely day and again with a lovely group of people. The group is composed of Botanical artists and Botanists. The aim is to work together to document botanical subjects. We learn from each other to produce the documentation needed to identify plants.

IAPI at Leicester Botanical gardens
Well into the subject in pen and ink

After the workshop, we took a plane directly to Amsterdam to watch my son and daughter do the Dam to Dam 16 km run.

It was a great privilege to see them take off. They are the ones with their arms in the air. Believe it or not, Robin and I cycled to meet them at the finish line, but they arrived there 15 minutes before we did! By the time we got there, worn out, they were full of beans and raring to go. It really put us to shame.

I don’t normally talk about things we do, keeping the blog mostly to botanical art. But I was very proud of them.

The trouble is, after the run, they got transport back to Amsterdam and we had to cycle – getting lost on the way! At 20:00 in the evening, they were about to send out a search party when we eventually got back.

Age is apparently taking its toll.

Now I am in the process of preparing for the last workshop with the SFP (Society of Floral painters). Unfortunately, it is now folding due to lack of offers to take on some of the committee roles. The Society has been spoilt for years with the same people doing the work. But after all this time they too need to take a breather.

I want to use this small opportunity to thank the SFP for all that they have done over the years.