How it Works
The Naturalist's Studio class meets from 9:30 - 12:30 on Friday mornings throughout the year at my studio in Warren, CT and the cost is $25.00. The first class is free for every newcomer so this artist has an opportunity to observe and decide if the class fits his or her needs. There is no commitment in terms of attending and paying for a certain number of classes. The season, jobs, family and other commitments shape attendance from one week to the next. Some people can only come in the summer - some only in winter so each class has a slightly different personality. From a base of about 20, an average class is six people.
Students are rewarded for their trip to the Warren woods with fresh coffee and pastries from Nine Main in New Preston, CT. There are warm greetings all around and a sharing of newspaper clippings, photos, (grandchildren as often as art) nature stories and general catching up before gravitating to favorite seats, setting up art supplies and getting to work.
In a given class mediums used may be colored pencil, acrylic, silverpoint, watercolor, gouache and India ink. While my mediums are egg tempera and silverpoint there are basics of composition, color, value etc. that cross mediums. I am available for observation and suggestion and to facilitate each artist’s goals any way I can.
Casual conversation related to art and nature is an undercurrent punctuating the working silence. We often recommend books, museum and gallery shows, videos and websites to one another Access to the internet often provides reference material, images and other useful information. Recently we were discussing hot springs and natural formations in Iceland when one student said she has always wanted to go there. I know someone who arranges trips to Iceland regularly and put them in touch. Now this student is signed up for a trip to Iceland in a month! We will all benefit from tales of her trip and photos when she returns.
Multiple feeders – seeds, suet, mealworms and berries on the studio balcony bring a large variety of birds very close for easy observation and picture taking. A group of bluebirds are regulars at the mealworm feeder throughout the year. (I plan a post titled Winter Blues in February describing how I trained the bluebirds to come when I call.)
Over the last few years during class we have seen fox, bobcats and a bear lumbering down the driveway. Summer treats include observations of metamorphosis from caterpillars to chrysalises and cocoons, moths, and butterflies.
Above all, everyone is welcomed, respected and supported in this special group of artists who choose to be part of The Naturalist's Studio. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining us please contact me at www.banjiesart.com. Or firstname.lastname@example.org.