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Nature Illustration with Susan Sawyer: Tree Characters

October 30, 2022 @ 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Tree Characters
October 30 | 9 am – 2 pm | Ages 18+
$45 | Financial Assistance Available (email us)

As winter comes nearer and leaves fall, we get to see the bones of things — in the case of trees, trunks, branches, and twigs According to their species and their circumstances, trees grow variously with each other, with the hills and along the river; we meet them at different life stages and observe their habits and adaptations. This will be a day of drawing to learn, in and near the woods, observing individual trees and their parts, up close and at a distance. We’ll be using artist’s graphite pencils and drawing pens. Some drawing experience is helpful but not required. All materials except your sketchbook will be provided.

Recommended sketchbook: Canson Mixed Media XL either 7×10 or 9×12. Available at The Drawing Board in Montpelier (mention you’re taking a class to receive a 10% discount)
Please Contact Susan if you are signed up and would like to use a different sketchbook.

About Susan Sawyer:

Susan Sawyer is an artist-naturalist from South Woodbury. She recently retired as an educator, naturalist, and illustrator for the Four Winds Nature Institute, and has been an educator, naturalist, illustrator, and teacher of art to adults in non-formal settings for decades. Susan worked for 9 years at 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.”

Academic credentials: 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


Be sure to also check out Susan Sawyer’s Nature Illustration: Seeds, Stems & Leaves class on October 16!


October 30, 2022
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Event Category:


North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602