Choose from two outdoor workshops in beautiful locations, with dates throughout the summer months. Join me and Frances Standen at Birkdale Farm in the Howardian Hills for a day of sketching and botany, or spend a day sketching in the organic gardens at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens, just south of York. Details below…


‘Wildflowers and Rolling Hills’

A day-long outdoor sketching and botany day at Birkdale Farm in the beautiful Howardian Hills.

Saturday 6 July 2024, 11am–4pm

Birkdale Farm near Terrington, North Yorkshire. View map here.

Birkdale Farm is a 300 acre working family farm in the heart of the beautiful Howardian Hills National Landscape. It is a haven for wildlife and all their farming practices nurture biodiversity.

£120 per person including tea/coffee and home made cake at lunchtime (Max six people per workshop)

Bring your own materials. A selection of materials can be purchased from Kate on the day, should you need them.

Enjoy a day of guided botanical observations and sketching on a beautiful farm in the rolling Howardian Hills with Kate Pettitt (artist) and Frances Standen (conservationist, farmer and protected landscape management specialist). Frances will tell you about the abundance of wildflowers on the site, while Kate will guide your sketch book observations and techniques to collect useful visual information while out in the landscape.

Throughout the day, we will move around the farm together to explore areas where wildflowers grow and views of the surrounding countryside are optimal.

This is not a botanical illustration workshop, but Frances will tell you all about the plants and wildlife in front of you while you work, allowing you to understand the place and flora of the landscape you are drawing/painting in more depth.

The aim of the day is to take away a series of sketches and studies that capture the unique spirit of the place in whatever style you wish to work in, but in a way that will aide recall and develop a a deeper understanding of the fascinating ecology of the area.

There will be some short creative exercises designed to help you 'get your eye in', relax into your surroundings and peel back the layers of colour, tonal and textural information in front of you, before visually exploring the subjects that capture your own interest. We will discuss how to record useful information in your sketch book so that it will aide your work and trigger memories of the landscape, flowers and wildlife when you're back home. Throughout the day you will be guided in the use of your materials and Kate will share techniques that will help you to loosen up and work expressively.

Home made charcoal and fresh home grown produce will be available to buy on the day.

Nature / landscape lovers with an interest in wildflowers and ecology, and who love to draw, or who want to give it a go! You don't have to draw it all. You might want to focus on the flowers, or you might be more interested in drawing the views but enjoy Frances's insights – the locations we stop in will allow you plenty of choice and variety.

The workshops are suitable for all artistic abilities, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned artist. You will receive guidance based on your own needs.

You will be encouraged to explore your materials, learn to look/observe and record useful information in your sketch book for later use.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions, meet like-minded people and enjoy the very special location.

This is an outdoor workshop and some walking across farm land with some gentle hills and rough paths will be required. Please make sure that the location is suitable for your own mobility/health requirements. Some flexibility regarding inclement weather conditions is essential. See the Workshops terms and conditions and do contact me if you have any questions.

Kate Pettitt is an artist based in York. She is experienced in the skills required to paint and sketch outdoors and uses her own sketches and outdoor studies to inform her studio paintings. Her work is exhibited and represented by galleries in England and Wales. Kate will provide artistic advice and guidance throughout the day.

Frances Standen is a farmer, shepherdess, ecologist, wild swimmer and cake baker! She has worked in conservation and protected landscape management for nearly 30 years providing freelance services with a specialism in land management. Frances will tell you all about the wildflowers and ecology of the site as you sketch, and answer any questions you might have.

Bring your own materials but TRAVEL LIGHT! Don't be tempted to bring too much – remember you will have to carry it around all day, so think 'portable'.

I recommend the following:

  • Sketch book that can take a bit of water (A5 is ideal, but no larger than A3-ish)
  • Graphite pencil (water soluble if possible)
  • Charcoal/black pastel pencil
  • Chalk/white pastel pencil
  • Tube of white gouache
  • Watercolour paints
  • A maximum of three brushes of different sizes (can be water brushes)
  • Lightweight fold-up chair (seat pads are available for sitting on the ground, but you might prefer to have more support/comfort)
  • OPTIONAL – Any other (lightweight) materials you like to use or want to experiment with eg. pastels or acrylics.

Please do not bring oil paints or thinners.

I will provide mixing palettes, water containers, A3 boards, seat pads for sitting on the ground, pencil sharpeners and a selection of essential art materials that can be purchased on the day should you need them or forget yours.

Other things to bring/consider:

  • Bring a packed lunch and a drink
  • If sunny, bring sunscreen and you might find a hat useful
  • Bring any medication you might require
  • Wear sensible footwear suitable for walking on uneven ground and a bring a waterproof if it looks like it might be showery
  • Bring a bit of cash with you if you want to buy art materials, home made charcoal and/or eggs etc.

 

Book your Sketching and Botany Day

Knapweed at Birkdale Farm (image © Richard Baines)

 

Planned for early Autumn 2024…

Contact Kate to add your name to the waiting list for a ‘Fungi and Woodland’ sketching and botany day at Birkdale Farm here (date will be released soon):

Contact Kate

‘A Garden Sketch Book’

Day-long outdoor workshops at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens, North Yorkshire.

All dates are Tuesdays (when the gardens are closed to the public), 10am–4pm

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens, located to the south of York. View map here.

Stillingfleet Lodge Garden and nursery is an organically managed, wildlife friendly, family garden close to York. Described as a quintessentially English garden, it is first and foremost a family garden, lovingly planted-up over 40 years by owners Vanessa and John Cook. It is a fine example of how to balance encouraging wildlife whilst retaining all the beauty of a cottage garden. The four acre site comprises a series of themed areas surrounding the traditional farmhouse plus a pond, meadow and vegetable garden.

£75 per person including your first tea/coffee and home made cake of the day (Max eight people per workshop).

Bring your own materials. A selection of materials can be purchased from Kate on the day, should you need them.

Fill your sketch book under Kate’s guidance, observe and gather useful information, and use your materials to capture the colour and movement of the plants through the summer season from July–September.

During your day at Stillingfleet, we will meet for introductions, coffee and cake before owner, Vanessa Cook, walks you around the gardens. Kate will then work with you, moving around the different garden areas to observe and record them over the course of the day.

This is not a botanical illustration workshop – the aim of the day is to take away a series of sketches and studies that capture the spirit of the place in whatever style you wish.

We will start off with a series of short observational exercises designed to help you 'get your eye in', relax into your surroundings and peel back the layers of colour, tonal and textural information in front of you before visually exploring the subjects that capture your own interest. We will discuss how to record useful information in your sketch book so that it will aide your work and trigger memories of the place and time when back home. Throughout the day you will be guided in the use of your materials and Kate will share techniques that will help you to loosen up and draw expressively.

You will work independently for most of the day but we will move around the gardens together, taking in one garden space at a time, allowing us to talk and share our thoughts and experiences as we go.

All of these workshops take place on days when the gardens are closed to the general public so you will see the gardeners busy at work – an aspect of the place not usually seen by visitors.

Bookings are via Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens.

Garden / plant lovers who love to draw, or who want to give it a go!

The workshops are suitable for all abilities, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned artist. You will receive guidance based on your own needs.

You will be encouraged to explore your materials, learn to look/observe and record useful information in your sketch book for later use.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions, meet like-minded people and enjoy seeing the gardens in 'work mode'.

You will be walking around a working garden with some uneven surfaces that may be slippery wen wet. Some flexibility regarding inclement weather conditions will be required. You must ensure that the location is suitable for your own mobility/health requirements. Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens own terms and conditions will apply to this workshop.

Kate Pettitt is an artist based in York. She is experienced in the skills required to paint and sketch outdoors and uses her own sketches and outdoor studies to inform her studio paintings. Her work is exhibited and represented by galleries in England and Wales. Kate will provide artistic advice and guidance throughout the day.

Vanessa Cook has been gardening nearly every day at Stillingfleet for over 37 years. It is a labour of love which started after she and her husband, John, bought a near derelict old farmhouse in the 1970s, surrounded by four acres of open fields. Vanessa will introduce you to the gardens at the start of the day.

Bring your own materials but TRAVEL LIGHT! Don't be tempted to bring too much – remember you will have to carry it around all day, so think 'portable'.

I recommend the following:

  • Sketch book that can take a bit of water (A5 is ideal, but no larger than A3-ish)
  • Graphite pencil (water soluble if possible)
  • Charcoal/black pastel pencil
  • Chalk/white pastel pencil
  • Tube of white gouache
  • Watercolour paints
  • A maximum of three brushes of different sizes (can be water brushes)
  • Lightweight fold-up chair (seat pads are available for sitting on the ground, but you might prefer to have more support/comfort)
  • OPTIONAL – Any other (lightweight) materials you like to use or want to experiment with eg. pastels or acrylics.

Please do not bring oil paints or thinners.

I will provide mixing palettes, water containers, A3 boards, seat pads for sitting on the ground, pencil sharpeners and a selection of essential art materials that can be purchased on the day should you need them or forget yours.

Other things to bring/consider:

  • Bring a packed lunch and a drink
  • If sunny, bring sunscreen and you might find a hat useful
  • Bring any medication you might require
  • Wear sensible footwear suitable for walking on uneven ground and a bring a waterproof if it looks like it might be showery
  • Bring a bit of cash with you if you want to buy art materials, plants or extra cake/drinks.

Bookings are through Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens website and their terms apply.

Book your place

 


One-to-one / small group bespoke sessions

Do you want to gain confidence and experiment, with some more bespoke guidance in my studio in Holtby, or working outside?

You might want to come on your own or come with a friend/small group of friends.

  • Explore your own style and ideas in a relaxed studio environment or outdoors.
  • Experiment with mediums – play, explore and develop.
  • Connect/re-connect with your own creativity and skills.
  • Overcome nervousness about making mistakes – there are no such things!
  • Development your observational skills, sketching, working from studies etc.

Please contact me to discuss your own requirements.

Prices start at £40/person for a two-hour bespoke session. Please contact me to discuss your requirements and I will provide a quote.

Contact Kate

Terms and conditions

Click here to read the terms and conditions for booking workshops and tuition with me. If anything’s unclear, just get in touch.

Workshop terms and conditions