5th day botanical art workshop holiday by Oslo Fjord.

If I start writing a little bit weirdly, it’s because I gave fallen asleep writing this. Today I am tired, but not because of the course itself.

We have had another super day in the Thon Hotel, Åsgårdstrand. Even the well travelled amongst us feel that the hotel is really looking after us well.

This care and attention to detail by the hotel, has meant that we can immerse ourselves in botanical painting. Everyone has worked hard to perfect their individual techniques – and it’s paying off.

The afternoons are meant to be used on doing what we want to do as this is a holiday. However, except for short excursions, the majority have just wanted to work. I have taught and given individual attention in the morning and in the afternoon I am with them in the studio, but can give them help and advice when it’s asked for. In the meantime I paint only in the afternoons And evenings.ikpj

I have been painting a plant that we begged and borrowed in Åsgårdstrand, on the condition that I sent a card of the finished painting. I have been working to achieve this before it dies. The plant is a Cornus and I carried on after supper this evening and until midnight.

Anyway the pictures. I hope you will agree that the improvement is very good.

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4th day Botanical art workshop holiday by Oslo Fjord

Again a lovely busy day with some really good results. Practice certainly makes perfect. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of some of the finished paintings today, but promise to do so tomorrow. But I am very thrilled with some of the results so far.

I have promised the others on the workshop holiday to tell you and show you a little of how the Thon Hotel Åsgårdstrand is looking after us. They have been absolutely marvellous and do everything they can to make our stay as comfortable and worthwhile as possible.

You have already seen the room that we are using as a studio, with its view facing east over the Oslo Fjord. You have also seen some of the pictures taken from my room and possibly realise how early the sun is up. The hotel is even making sure that our plants don’t suffer with the early morning sun and warmth, by closing blinds etc. for us.

The food has been amazing and they have even catered at extremely short notice for people with a combination of allergies and still made them feel excited about the flavours in the food they were getting.

There is quite a choice of food right from breakfast through to supper and they make a point of normalising gluten and lactose intolerance as a minimum.

These are pictures of just one coffee break!

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When the coffee arrives, the room empties very quickly!

This afternoon we went to a Viking House museum not too far away and got a different perspective on how the Vikings lived and were appreciated.

When we got back, we still were served our tea! and in the same style as these pictures. A choice of a very healthy or a very unhealthy snack – or a combination.

Getting back from a light evening walk with my visiting family at 24:00, I took this at 01:00.

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3rd Day Botanical art workshop holiday by the Oslo Fjord

Everyone is getting into the thick of their botanical art pictures. Some have chosen quite small plants which is quite difficult to do. Others are learning new techniques and have been so patient in practising them.

It isn’t often that one gets a whole week to go into such detail and I am very pleased to see such improvement. Some have practiced getting smooth washes, others intricate detail and some have not done botanical art before. I think and hope they might have become smitten.

Today the sun was shining all day and those new to Norway understood about the very special clear light here. Both sea and sky seem extra blue and nature in general seems more sparkling than we are used to in the UK at least.

This afternoon we visited a lady’s garden. We had seen some lovely and unusual specimens in her garden and one student was brave enough to ask to visit her. The lady had a beautiful pink Cornus (Dogwood) in her garden. She promptly cut off a piece and kindly gave it to us to paint.

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First day botanical art workshop by Oslo Fjord

The sun shone in my window at 05:00 this morning – bright and powerful. I went back to sleep!

After a lovely breakfast in the Thon Hotel Åsgårdstrand, we started the workshop by choosing specimens to paint.

I had been very lucky to get some Norwegian plants from the mountains in Telemark as described yesterday. I had also got some standard flowers from the local garden centre, but nothing exotic from warmer climates. In addition to this, some of the students had been out and picked some flowers (with permission) round the hotel.

The plants chosen to paint were Multe or Cloudberry, pansies, Dianthus and the lovely Hydrangea Paniculata. Some people will be using watercolour, and some coloured pencil. It already looks very promising. So far graphite drawings have been done and traced ready to start painting tomorrow. Although one person has already completed one small picture.

The first picture is from my bedroom at 07:00 this morning. The remainder are from the room we are using to paint. Please make particular note of the final picture which is a view from our painting room.

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