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by Deb Shaw

Meadow. 11 May 2009Margaret Best will be teaching a 10-day botanical art workshop in the Cotswolds, England in September, 2014. This Quench tour combines must-see botanical art destinations with a week of botanical art at the Cotswolds estate, Colesbourne Park. The Cotswolds are home turf for Margaret, and the Fall offers delightful specimens to paint from the English countryside.

Destinations include: Kew Gardens, with guided tours of the library and archives through the renowned Shirley Sherwood Gallery and the beautifully restored Marianne North Gallery, as well as an excursion to The Prince of Wales’ country estate Highgrove, home to his gardens and the Florilegium. Colesbourne Park, the estate of Lady Carolyn and Sir Henry Elwes, will provide an inspiring setting of gardens and woods The estate boasts 900 acres of private arboretum with some historical trees.

Highlights of the itinerary, from September 17 – 26, 2014 include:

  • September 17: Arrive at London Heathrow airport and transfer to Kew. Settle into your hotel. Join Margaret, Kiloran, and your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.
  • September 18: Full day visit of The Royal Botanical Gardens that includes a talk and viewing of the archives/historical collection, followed by a tour, led by Margaret, in Shirley Sherwood Gallery and Marianne North Gallery. Evening at leisure.
  • September 19: Late morning transfer to The Cotswolds. Stop at the charming village of Bibury for High Tea. Continue on to Colesbourne, where you can settle into the inn. Welcome drinks at Colesbourne Park with your hosts. Evening at leisure.
  • September 20: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 21: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 22: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Evening at leisure.
  • September 23: Mid-morning excursion to Highgrove for garden tour and lunch. Afternoon at leisure in nearby village of Tetbury. Return to Colesbourne. Evening at leisure.
  • September 24: Morning and early afternoon in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Late afternoon excursion to Cheltenham, which includes time in the Montpellier Parade shopping district. Dinner in Cheltenham.
  • September 25: Full day in studio. Lunch in studio or in village. Farewell dinner.
  • September 26: Return home.

Snowdrops at Colesbourne ParkThe cost is for the trip is $4,775 (Canadian dollars). Non-participant discount is $925 per person. Maximum group size is 14 people.

England, Gloucestershire,   Cotswolds, Naunton, sheep grazing in fieldMargaret is an internationally recognized botanical artist and teacher offering classes and workshops in graphite, colour pencil and watercolour. She has taught workshops to all levels of experience from  beginners to advanced  in Canada, the UK, Italy, the US, Morocco, and Bermuda. Workshop venues have included the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens; San Diego Natural History Museum; Filoli Gardens; Dow Learning Center in Zoo Conservatory, Calgary, Canada; and the Bermuda Art Center, Hamilton, Bermuda. Margaret’s watercolours have been widely exhibited in New York; Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles; Denver; Bermuda; Toronto; San Francisco; and her work is found in numerous private and corporate collections around the globe. Margaret has designed four coins with botanical themes for the Royal Canadian Mint. For the past six years Margaret has painted regularly with her mentor, Pandora Sellars who is widely regarded by experts as the leading contemporary botanical artist of our time. A professionally qualified art teacher, Margaret is known for her nurturing style and her ability to readily identify student skill level in order to steer advancement.

For more information, download the PDF: Quench_Itinerary_England, call 416 366 2777, or email

by Jill Berry, posted by Deb Shaw

Now that 2014 is here, the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden classes are all  beginning again!  Below is the schedule for botanical art through June, 2014 of botanical art and illustration classes with Cristina Baltayian, Instructor:

All of the classes listed below meet on  Tuesdays,  from 10 am – 2 pm.

January 7, 14, 21, 28:  Basics of color theory and color mixing
February 4, 11, 18, 25:  Spring Bulbs (on February 11, this class will meet in the Bamboo Room)
March 4, 11, 18, 25:  Wisteria (on March 11, this class will meet in the Bamboo Room)
April 1, 8, 15, 22:  Arboretum Florilegium, subject to be decided (on April 11, this class will meet in the Bamboo Room)
May 6, 13, 20, 27:  Basics of Composition
June 3, 10, 17, 24:  Fruits, subject to be decided

Fee: $255 per month for Arboretum members; $275 per month for non-members
Fees includes Arboretum admission. Class participation is limited to a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 12.
Pre-registration is required; please call the Class Registration line at 626.821.4623.
A supply list will be provided upon registration. You may bring your lunch or purchase it at the Peacock Café.

These classes will be exploring color 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.

In addition, this year, in conjunction with the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, students will be studying and portraying many of the Arboretum plant introductions from the last 50 years. The goal is to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California.

Cristina  Baltayian  has  a  background  in  drawing  (graphite, charcoal, pen and ink),  two-dimensional  design,  watercolor, and colored pencils. Her work has been shown at Filoli, the Los Angeles County Arboretum, and Chapman  University. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and The Botanical Guild of Southern California.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at  301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007-2697, Phone: 626.821.4624, Fax: 626.821.4642

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