Painting Workshops

by Doreyl  

Painting Workshops

A Scarlet Tanager flew across my pathway as I walked the old logging road at Nature’s Home. Stopping to watch this brillant red and black bird, I marveled at the nunbers of new birds finding shelter here. Each year different types of animals and birds decide to make Nature’s Home Preserve their home. This year our lower greywater pond has become a refuge for hundreds of strange new frogs. Each frog has a unique croak and range from the size of a pea that is mostly all mouth to a giant soft baseball sized lumpy toad. The pond, though small, holds an uncountable array of life forms and has become quite beautiful. A dark green lilypad mostly fills the pond, so the insects and frogs have a great landing pad. The pond is totally alive with color, shades and movement. This same kind of creative energy goes into creating a work of visual art, so these woods, Nature’s Home Preserve, has stimulated the artist in me and has become my studio.

Creating artwork brings you into a world beyond day to day chores, a saving grace when faced with troubles and worry. The sheer joy of creating something new strengthens and renews my spirits. With this in mind I’ve begun planning my annual Spring Pastel Painting Workshop here at Nature’s Home. Figuring to share my fourty years of experience with pastel painting along with the stimulating aliveness of the woods, I put aside the first Saturday of every month during the warm season for the workshop.

Discovery of something previously unknown or unseen gives a keen feeling of accomplishment and delight. When hiking our nature trails searching for an inspiring scene to paint, discovery is constant. During spring weather washes of clear color lightens the landscape with wildflowers like Fireweed, Bleeding Hearts, Pink Lady’s Slipper and the Kelly green of tender new leaves. Wild birds, so intent on feeding and building their nests, stay in position so you can sketch them. Even squirrels stop their nosey chatter and sit still on tree limbs to study the growing forest. Students of pastel painting become students of nature in these workshops.

To view nature undisturbed gives the most profound esthetic experience. No wonder people still attempt to capture this natural beauty on paper & canvas and have since recorded human history. So far in this series of workshops, art students surprise themselves at the creativity that bubbles up with each encounter with a wildflower or distant mountain scene.

At four years of age I took my first artistic stroke. I broke off a stick and drew birds in the sandy dirt road that wound it’s way up to our mountain cabin. For hours at a time I studied the wings of butterflies, crawdads in the creek, the fireflies’s flickering lights and every wildflower within my short grasp. These Smoky Mountains filled my young heart. Now, as a much more experienced biological artist and avid hiker, I still wander the mountains and study the splendor of the millions of living species around me.
This series of Wildflower Pastel Painting Workshops is a way to welcome others to this unexplainable special experience in the woods. You don’t have to be an artist to come,  just realize that everyone is creative and you are too!

To see some pictures of my art click here:

The workshops are the first Saturday of every month from 2:00 till 5:00 PM. To make a reservation call 828-293-2239 or go to and email me from my website.


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