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Nature Illustration: Leaves, Seeds, and Twigs with Susan Sawyer

November 2, 2019 @ 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


November 2 | 9 am – 3 pm
Cost: Members $40, Non-members $45
Ages 18+

Though the growing season is over, there are plenty of things that make late fall one of the best times to bring botany indoors and take a good look. Looking closely, plant structures are infinitely varied, functional, and often surprising.  Plants or their parts are dying and decaying, becoming dormant, preparing for the next growing season and holding records of the last one. This class will emphasize close observation and accurate drawing. We will work primarily in graphite, but will also include demonstrations and trying-out of ink and watercolor, alone or in combination. Fine for beginners and intermediate level artists, and anybody interested in plant life.


(tickets on sale June 30th)

About the Instructor:

Susan Sawyer is an artist-naturalist from South Woodbury. She works as an educator, naturalist, and illustrator for the Four Winds Nature Institute, and as a teacher of art to adults in non-formal settings. She worked for 13 years for VINS, 9 of those at the North Branch Nature Center, and for 15 years was on the faculty of Union Institute & University’s Adult Degree Program, advising studies in science, art, or both – it’s that intersection of the two fields that she finds the most fertile and creative. She thinks observation and imagination are the beginnings of both science and art, and believes in having serious fun while learning.

“As an art teacher, I want students to practice some new skills, learn from observing their subjects, from their experiments, from their fellow students as well as me, and go away encouraged to continue. Working out in the field is focused on responding to a place and a day by spending time in it watching and drawing, getting some sense of it on the page from multiple scales and viewpoints. Style is less important than spirit! My current practice is mainly on paper, using watercolor, pencil, ink, and silverpoint. I’m interested in making pictures, often very close up, of native plants and invertebrates (and some with backbones, too). My aim these days is to make art that appeals to scientists, and science that appeals to artists.”

BA in graphics and natural history from New College, Sarasota, Florida, 1971
MFA in visual art from Vermont College, 1993
Diploma in Botanical Art, Society of Botanical Artists, London, 2011


November 2, 2019
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602