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by Quench Trip Design, posted by Deb Shaw

Fisher's Loft Inn.

Fisher’s Loft Inn.

Few people visit Newfoundland without being touched by the warmth of its people, the depth of its history and the haunting beauty of its rugged coastline. This seven day workshop, September 30 – October 6, 2013, under the expert guidance of renowned teacher and botanical artist, Margaret Best, promises an ideal opportunity to work uninterrupted in an inspiring coastal setting: Fisher’s Loft Inn in Port Rexton, on Trinity Bay. The large airy studio has breathtaking views. The hotel is the top-ranked rural inn in Newfoundland. The award-winning kitchen draws from the nearby ocean, freshwater ponds, seaside meadows and an abundant kitchen garden in season.

Street with colorful houses in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

Street with colorful houses in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

In early October, the meadows and woodlands will be turning to their autumn colours – blueberry bushes turning rich claret, wild rhododendron, sheep’s laurel, lichens in a subtle spectrum, partridge berries, cloud berries, tall sedges bleaching to every shade of blonde. This is a landscape of miniature set against vast vistas of sea and sky. Accessible trails make this a hikers’ paradise.

Make the short jump from the ASBA conference in Pittsburgh (ending September 28) to Newfoundland to extend your botanical painting for the Fall.


  • Personalized instruction by Margaret Best, tailored to your individual medium and needs.
  • Both coloured pencil – exciting new techniques with the latest materials – as well as watercolour instruction focusing on earth tones best suited to fall colours – fallen leaves, seed pods, berries, rose hips and late harvest vegetables.
  • Workshop participation limited to insure best possible learning experience.
  • Exclusive use of beautiful studio space and opportunity to work in the garden or farther afield.
  • Six nights in a dramatically beautiful setting, with charming top-ranked accommodations at Fisher’s Loft Inn, a collection of traditional buildings set on a hillside overlooking the ocean. Friendly gracious local staff will make you feel so at home you won’t want to leave.
  • Chartered boat tour. Learn about the fascinating history of the Newfoundland fishery and outports.
  • Walking tour of historic Trinity.
  • Guided hike around Skerwink Trail.
  • Six delicious full menu breakfasts, two three-course dinners at Fisher’s Loft restaurant, and two lunches.

NOTE:  To participate in the this trip, you must be able to walk up and down the hill between the studio and the various other buildings on the site.


  • Transfer from a central location in St. John’s to your hotel in Port Rexton
  • Transfer to St. John’s and the airport
  • 6 nights accommodation at Fisher’s Loft Inn
  • 6 full breakfasts
  • 3 course Welcome dinner, with wine
  • 3 course Farewell dinner, with wine
  • 2 lunches
  • Boat tour to visit outports
  • Walking tour of historic Trinity
  • Guided hike of Skerwink Trail
  • Gratuities for wait staff for meals on the programme, drivers and Trinity guide.

Not included

  • Flights in and out of St. John’s
  • Meals not mentioned in the programme
  • Tips for housekeeping staff
  • Drinks, except where specified

Cost: $2,995 CAD

*Price per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $420 per person.
*All bookings may be subject to HST and subject to availability.
Whale flute.

Whale flute.

PLEASE NOTE: Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis. We will do our best to accommodate single travelers who are willing to share twin rooms. If you are traveling with a non-artist partner, please ask us about a non-participant rate.

Get more information about this new adventure on Quench Trip Design’s destination page for Canada.

by Tania Norris, posted by Deb Shaw

Just a reminder for those that have not signed up, that there are still a few spots available in Jenny Phillips class at the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG).

Jenny’s classes are always fun and rewarding and this time the three day class is drawing in preparation for the watercolor class the following week. So if possible, please take both segments as they are really one class. For those unable to take the drawing section, it will mean that you won’t be able (probably) to finish the painting in one week.

Jenny suggested roses as the subject but as most gardens have been pruned am not sure of availability so we may have a different subject and if so, one that can be included in the Florilegium. Or we may have a choice of subject.

For those that took Anne-Marie’s classes and painted wisteria and/or coral tree, we are hoping that while Jenny is here that they will be judged and the best two added to the Florilegium.

Please bring your finished paintings to VRG by April 8th. Please have them in a protective cover, unsigned if possible but clearly marked on  the back of the painting with your name and phone number. Please remember that if your painting wins, you keep the copyright but you are giving the painting to Virginia Robinson Gardens and they will have the right to reproduce the painting for cards, prints, folio or anything else that flower paintings can used and that any monies from the sales of the reproductions belongs to VRG. The paintings will be aded to the permanent collection at the Gardens.



The following is the information for Jenny’s class:

April 10, 11 and 12, 2013
Drawing beautiful botanically correct roses in graphite

April 15 – 19, 2013
Focusing on a florileguim quality painting in watercolor of a rose

Jenny Phillips is one of the most renowned botanical artists in the world and one of the most popular and experienced teachers. She has her own Botanical Art School in Melbourne, Australia, and has her paintings in many notable collections, including that of H.R.H. Prince Charles. Jenny’s teaching always includes effective ways to achieve maximum effect with ease and her wit is always evident.

Classes will be held at Virginia Robinson Gardens from 9 – 3:30 on each of the days listed above.

A supplies list will be sent to all participants. Coffee, tea and water will be provided, but please bring your own lunch. Painting subject may change due to availability of garden roses in April.

Fees for the three day session are $375 for VRG and BAGSC members; $450 for non-members. The five day session is $595 for VRG and BAGSC members; $650 for non-members. A deposit of $100 per class to hold the space can be accepted, but is non-refundable.

To make reservations, visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens online; call 310.550.2068; or mail a check to: Friends of Robinson Gardens, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Questions? Contact Tania Norris.

by Jill Berry, posted by Deb Shaw

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens will be offering a weekly evening Botanical Art and Illustration class in addition to their Tuesday morning classes.

We are trying to set a day that will be convenient to most people, so if you are interested, let us know which day you would prefer, from Monday to Thursday. Class participation is limited to a minimum of five students and a maximum of 12.

Cristina Baltayian will be the instructor, and we will be exploring colored pencil, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on various papers, vellum and other surfaces. The emphasis will be on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques.

This year we have started a very exciting project, in which, in conjunction with BAGSC, we will be studying and portraying the many Arboretum introductions collected over a period of almost 50 years, to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California. [Search the BAGSC Blog for related articles about the Arboretum introductions project, and BAGSC members’ special purchase package. If you’re at the LA Arboretum, be sure to stop off in the gift store to buy the first edition of the cards.]

For more information, please contact Jill Berry, Education Manager at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

We look forward to hear from you!

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