"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Sometimes you need to leave home to learn

I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with an amazing botanical artist - Susannah Blaxill.  Susannah is an artist I have admired for years and rarely does workshops - please enjoy her website below
I flew across to Sydney and drove to Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales to attend her workshop - staying at a lovely B & B.

View from my room


The week spent with Susannah was very educational, quite technical at times with lots of information on materials, pigments, paper qualities, graphite techniques, recommended reading etc.  We spent a lot of time working with graphite tonal drawings before moving on to watercolour.

Susannah works mainly with the wet on dry technique, which takes a lot of skill to render well!
A lot of focus was spent on leaves, how many colours you truly see in a leaf most would see as only 'green'.  

We spent a great deal of time working with dry brushwork, the fine details at the end of a painting - Susannah spends so much time on those fine tiny details, her work is testament to the hours spent.  I guess it's up to each individual how much time we choose and are able to spend on that amount of detail, but the more we put in  is reflected in the finished piece.

It was quite an intense week and very testing on my eyes, with all the fine detail and close work.  There was a lot to absorb - making notes and taking photographs along the way helps me to remember the week as it happened so that when I return home it still comes back to me.  It was very worthwhile and so good to work with a teacher one on one.  A welcome start to the next assignment where we move on to colour and painting ... leaves!


  1. sounds absolutely wonderful,you are so very lucky xxxx

  2. That looks like a great exercise - all those leaves!! Great!

  3. The workshop sounds wonderful - in depth and informative. Best of luck with your next assignment. :)

  4. I am sooo jealous! Really I am. That leaf practice will seriously stand you in good steed for the next assignment. :)

  5. I am a big fan of Susannah's work. What a wonderful opportunity you had to study under her, and for a whole week! Perfect timing too.

  6. Claire, Brigitte, Hedera, Jess and Janene - I was so fortunate to spend the time with Susannah ... hope to do it again one day!