Whats on at Nature in Art

Wildlife Treasures
Jul 25 – Sep 3 all-day

A rare opportunity to see a selection of original paintings and sculptures by members of The Society of Animal Artists (SAA) produced exclusively for this exhibition. Based in the USA, the SAA has members around the world who represent the best of today’s wildlife artists. CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS

To complement this display, another gallery will be primarily dedicated to larger works by SAA members taken from the Nature in Art permanent and loan collections.


Launch Night of the SAA Exhibition ‘Wildlife Treasures’ @ Nature in Art
Jul 28 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Andrew Denman

(Image by Andrew Denman)

Come and join us to celebrate this exhibition in the company of some of the artists. Open from 6.30 – 9.30pm with short special talks taking place throughout the evening. A unique occasion with artist from as far afield as Kenya, USA, Holland and South Africa.


Walk with Hawks
Jul 30 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Come and meet some wonderful birds of prey in the grounds of Nature in Art.  Find out about their amazing lives, watch artists draw and paint them and have a go yourself

A great opportunity for the whole family! No extra admission charge but a donation to Walk with Hawks would be appreciated. No need to book – just come! Walk with Hawks


Pushing the Boundaries, Improving Composition. @ Nature in Art
Aug 12 @ 10:00 am – Aug 13 @ 5:00 pm

Art Courseann-swan
with Ann Swan 10am – 5pm
Maximum Participants: 12

Strong composition is essential to creating memorable works of art; this is particularly so in botanical art, good composition can lift a work from the mundane to the sublime. In this masterclass Ann will explain the elements that go towards making a balanced and harmonious composition looking at different styles both classical and contemporary. With exercises and techniques to get you thinking ‘outside the box’, Ann will help you towards developing your own particular style.

This workshop is suitable for students working in any medium but Ann’s expertise is working with coloured pencils.

Course Cost
Members: £84
Non-members: £110
Course Suitability: Beginners – Advanced

Materials List                                                                                                                  Items can be ordered in advance from Ann on her website or she will be bringing equipment with her that can be purchased from the studio at very reasonable prices.

  • A3 sketch book
  • Layout paper
  • Graphite Pencils HB, 2B
  • Hot Pressed (smooth) watercolour paper 300gms/140lb
  • A selection of coloured pencils for applying colour to your designs

If working in coloured pencil there is a list of recommended pencils on Ann’s website

  • Rembrandt Lyra Splender Blender Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Blender Pen
  • Ruler
  • Pencil Sharpener with a spiral core (Ann sells the Rapesco 64 version)

Please bring any other equipment you like to use plus something to rest your work as there are no drawing boards supplied.

Artist’s Profile                                                                                                                   Ann is one of this country’s leading botanical artists working primarily in coloured pencil and graphite with four RHS Gold Medals to her name.  Her drawings take many hours of intense observation and are imbued with a strong sense of design. Taking her inspiration from our rich and diverse plant life her work is constantly evolving as she tests out new materials and ideas and experiments with different techniques. With her latest work, a series of ‘Larger than Life’ plant portraits, she makes us look with fresh eyes at the familiar.

She is an enthusiastic and nurturing teacher and has run workshops at Nature in Art for many years. Her book ‘Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils’ is still a best seller in its field and she has recently published a ‘Creative Colour Mixing Workbook’ an easy to follow guide for students of coloured pencil.

In 2016 she was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the UKCPS Annual Exhibition



Aug 15 @ 10:00 am – Aug 28 @ 5:00 pm

A display of work by clients of the Independence Trust. The Trust strengthens people’s emotional and physical wellbeing to support them to fulfill their potential. This display, which includes interactive elements, features new artwork by some of their clients who have found art a real help and inspiration in life. On show in the Atrium of our Education Centre.

Creating Atmospheric Backgrounds in Watercolour @ Nature in Art
Aug 19 @ 10:00 am – Aug 20 @ 5:00 pm

Art Courseval-briggs
with Val Briggs 10am – 5pm
Maximum Participants: 12

1st day creating 3 different backgrounds with wet into wet and directional washes for hedgerow/woodland, loch and mountains and reed beds/water/sky

Day 2 How and where to superimpose silhouettes of birds, animals and a little detail to create a finished painting/s.

Course Cost
Members: £84
Non-members: £110
Course Suitability: Absolute Beginners – Advanced

Materials List                                                                                                                 Participants need to bring along their watercolour brushes and paints, a palette (white china plates are perfect) a drawing board (3ply or MDF) to accommodate a ½ imperial sheet (bigger than 22” x 15” 56 x 38cms )of paper suitable for improvers or ¼ imperial (15” x 11” 38 x 28 cms )sheet of paper beginners and improvers

A B pencil, eraser and sharpener

Kitchen roll or towel/cloth

Water pots

Bulldog or drawing board clips to suit the depth of their drawing board. NO TAPE


NOT paper 200lbs 425gms in weight. Valerie uses Saunders Waterford paper (not the high white paper) but your own preferred make will be fine.


Please bring a pad of watercolour or spare watercolour paper for testing colours.

Artist’s Profile                                                                                                              Valerie has spent over 30 years enjoying the challenging medium of watercolour and enjoys teaching people how to overcome their natural fear of medium where mistakes are not easy to rectify, she specialises in British flora and fauna. Valerie has been teaching for about 25 years now and is completely self- taught.


Goldwork Guild
Aug 22 – Sep 10 all-day

Gold has always been the symbol of wealth, affluence and status. As the noblest of metals, it has been utilised in many applications. This display presents a selection of nature inspired works using one of the oldest embroidery techniques – employing metal threads to create articles of beauty and sumptuousness.


Viewing of ‘Mindscape’ plus Africa Talk & Slideshow @ Nature in Art
Aug 23 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Hear from Ben, an Independence Trust client, who has recently returned from volunteering in the Mapesu wildlife reserve in South Africa. Ben had never been to Africa and was very anxius about it all but with support and encouragement from the trust he took the plunge, had a really memorable experience learning about the wildlife, and gained many useful practical skills.

Doors open at 6.30pm for cheese & wine, 7pm talk.

100% of the ticket price is being donated to wildlife conservation.

Gilding for Letter Artists and Painters @ Nature in Art
Aug 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Art Coursejosie-brown
with Josie Brown 10am – 5pm
Maximum Participants: 12

This workshop will introduce beginners to the various different processes for laying a range of different metals, not just gold, for use with lettering, miniatures, paintings or on its own on.  For those with some experience we will explore how to achieve different textures using contrasting mordants and debossing.  Participants will produce a small project of their choice, whether a gilded initial, partly gilded painting or gold on a folded gift box.

Course Cost
Members: £42
Non-members: £55
Course Suitability: Absolute Beginners – Advanced

Materials List                                                                                                                      All materials will be supplied by Josie Brown, at a cost of £7 per participant,
payable directly to her on the day.

Participants are welcome to bring any suitable materials they already have that they may wish to use.       

Artist’s Profile                                                                                                                  Josie Brown is a professional calligrapher, heraldic artist and illuminator and also an accredited tutor for the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society.  She is an enthusiastic and sensitive teacher who specializes in using ancient techniques in contemporary ways, offering modern uses for gold and other metals.


Creating Coral Reef in Ceramic @ Nature in Art
Aug 26 @ 10:00 am – Aug 27 @ 5:00 pm

Art Coursejill-moger
with Jill Moger 10am – 5pm
Maximum Participants: 12

The aim of this course is for each student to create in clay, a section of coral reef with marine wildlife, with a view to each piece of work being a sculpture in its own right but when all are placed side by side, a more extensive reef is formed which will be exhibited at Nature in Art in December.

I will show a variety of illustrations and pieces of coral and shells and will bring my own ceramic coral reef as an example of what may be achieved.  I will demonstrate how to make a variety of corals and sea creatures e.g. hermit crabs, sea cucumber, starfish, turtle etc. with an emphasis on textured surfaces and the techniques  of construction.  Students will be encouraged to draw ideas for their own piece of reef before beginning to create it in clay.

At the end of the course, I will take the work home to my studio in York to dry out, prior to colouring, glazing and firing.  Students may specify the colours they would like me to apply.  The fired and finished work will be returned to Nature in Art in time for the exhibition in December after which they may be collected.

Course Cost
Members: £84
Non-members: £110
Course Suitability: Beginners – Improvers

Materials List                                                                                                                  Please bring a full apron and any small tools that you might like to experiment with on clay.

All other materials will be supplied by Jill Moger, at a cost of £10 per participant, payable directly to her on the day.

Please note: for those who wish Jill to use her kiln to fire their finished piece, an additional charge of £6 will apply, payable directly to Jill on the day.        

Artist’s Profile                                                                                                                    Jill is an established ceramicist of many years’ experience. She is particularly inspired by  reptiles and coral reefs. She has work in the Nature in Art collection and is one of a select group who has had a one-person show at the museum. She uses stoneware and porcelain clays to create finely detailed work which is fired in an electric kiln up to five times to enhance colours and lustered glazes.