We are not alone as artists in our passion for gardens. We follow in the footsteps of several rather impressive artists throughout history. Our personal gardens are designed for plein air painting and inspire us in every season. But this year, we have an opportunity to paint and teach in gardens that dwarf our own — on the remarkable grounds of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. These will be the first plein air painting workshops ever offered in Longwood Gardens. We will have the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for this amazing site and our plein air painting know-how with a small number of students this October.
|A view of Longwood Gardens. Photos courtesy of Longwood Gardens. Photo credit: L. Albee.|
Longwood Gardens began as an arboretum in 1798 and by 1850 was known for having one of the finest collections of trees in the nation. Its aesthetic qualities were as important as its botanical significance.The farm was bought in 1906 by Pierre DuPont to preserve those magnificent trees. During his lifetime he built many of the wonderful amenities we enjoy today: the massive glass-enclosed Conservatory, the 600 foot-long Spring Garden, the Rose Garden, the Theater Garden with its 750 illuminated jets of water, the Italian Water Garden and Water Stair, the Fountain Garden, and much more.
A view of Longwood Gardens. Photos courtesy of Longwood Gardens. Photo credit: L. Albee.
Why these workshops should be important for the plein air painting student has to do with the significant advantages conferred by the garden itself. Because the sight-lines have already been established and the landscape has been artfully arranged to offer interesting subjects and eye-arresting focal points, composition becomes academic. This leaves ample time each day to concentrate on learning to use paint to express our personal vision of the landscape, a subject which often takes a back seat when struggling to make sense of the chaos of the natural landscape.
|A view of Longwood Gardens.
Photos courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
Photo credit: L. Albee.
We are honored to have been chosen to lead the first two plein air workshops in Longwood Gardens. They will be held on two consecutive weekends. The 3-day watercolor painting workshop runs from October 3 – 5, 2013, and the 3-day oil painting workshop is October 10 – 12, 2013. The cost is just $385.00 per person, per workshop, lunch included.
For more information, contact the Continuing Education department of Longwood Gardens. Phone: 610-388-1000. Or you can register for a workshop here.
Photos courtesy of Longwood Gardens
Photo credit: L. Albee