Botanical Arts & Photography
Botanical Arts & Photography

Botanical Arts & Photography

Our current selection of botanical arts and photography classes and workshops for adults at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.


Certificate in the Botanical Arts Enrollment and Orientation Session

Wednesday, April 26
10 a.m. - noon
Education Center

Our Certificate in the Botanical Arts program at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers a broad palette of botanically inspired classes. Enrolled students select courses that suit their artistic interests, and work toward certification through completion of course hours and final project. Learn more about this program and decide if this creative curriculum inspires you!


Photography Club

Every other Thursday
May 18 – September 21
7-9 a.m.
Photo Club is for Gardens members only

If you love photography and enjoy talking with other enthusiasts, this club is for you! This year photo club will include mentoring sessions, discussion groups and critiques as well as the peace of having the gardens to yourself while the eastern light rises over the Great Lawn for two hours each morning. Gates open at 7:00 for members on ten scheduled Thursdays throughout the summer. Benefits include early bird class registration for Photography classes and eligibility to enter the annual juried exhibition.

There are no rain days for Photo Club, please come prepared for the weather.


A Life Well Lived: The Art and Gardens of Monet’s Giverny

with Vanessa Nesvig
Friday, May 19
11 a.m.

Monet’s life at Giverny was full of love for painting, gardening, family, friends and food. Some would say the pillars of a life well lived. But for Monet, this life wasn’t necessarily according to plan. It grew out of unfortunate circumstances, hard work and relentless creative impulses. Part art and garden history lecture, Nesvig will talk about how art and garden informed each other, how he created his world at Giverny and why it continues to be an inspiration for so many.

This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Garden Arts Club

First Wednesday of the Month
2 - 4 p.m.

This group will meet every first Wednesday during the summer to paint together in the gardens. Enjoy meeting other painters who are interested in bettering their plein air skills and share your triumphs and trials of working outdoors. Facilitated by staff painter Vanessa Nesvig, each session will include some time for critique. These days are designed to get you out painting with others who share your interests and to get feedback in a nurturing environment.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Botanical Pop-Up Books

with Rebecca Goodale
Tuesday, June 20
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Relax and have fun making a pop-up book about your favorite plants. You will learn five pop-up techniques that will each lend themselves to the expression of botanical forms. We will provide an opportunity for you to wander in the garden for inspiration. You will leave with a 10 page paperback book filled with paper flowers and a lifetime of ideas.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


The Art of Flower Photography

with Kathleen Clemons
Saturday, June 24
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If your flower photographs are less than spectacular, this is the workshop for you! Kathleen will show you the equipment and techniques she uses to create her beautiful flower portraits. You’ll learn about the best light for photographing flowers, how to choose and isolate a subject, the best backgrounds, and how to simplify your compositions and see beyond the obvious. Part of the class will be hands on in the gardens.


Drawing and Painting Owls

with Katie Lee
Monday-Friday, June 26-June30
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

There are many species of Owls found here in Maine such as the Barred Owl, the Great Horned Owl, each with its own unique character and drawing and painting challenges. Photographs will be used to understand and observe accurately the owl’s structure, pigment patterns, feather textures, and eye detail, the most engaging part of any owl. A variety of techniques will be practiced to render the details of these fascinating birds.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Introduction to Writing Nature Poetry: The Haiku

with Kristen Lindquist
Tuesday, July 11
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The centuries-old Japanese haiku has become one of the most universally popular poetic forms, in part because of its simplicity: in English, usually three, unrhymed lines totaling 17 syllables. In this introductory workshop we will look at the long tradition of haiku as nature poem and spend time in the gardens reading classic haiku and writing our own short poems. This non-critical class is meant to encourage your own writing using the natural surroundings as inspiration.


SCULPTURE at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

with June LaCombe
Wednesday, July 12
3 p.m.

This lively slide lecture by June LaCombe will look at past exhibitions, additional sculptures by the artists in the CMBG collection, and review siting considerations of placing sculpture on the landscape. This is an opportunity to learn more about the artists, sculpture materials, logistics in moving, and considerations for selecting sculpture for your garden. Reception to follow.


Gone Wild: Maine Wildflowers in Watercolors

with Hillary Parker
Monday and Tuesday, July 17 and 18
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Be inspired by Maine's bounty of wildflowers and come join award-winning naturalist and botanical watercolor artist Hillary Parker for her 2- day workshop focusing on nature's "roadside beauties"! This fun and challenging workshop is open to all skill levels for students with previous drawing and watercolor experience. Students will create informative and delicate botanical studies using graphite and watercolors, while also being challenged to develop, build upon, and master skills in observation, drawing, composition and watercolor techniques such as washes and dry brush detail work. Please note that Hillary will be proving all art materials for use in the workshop, and there is a $10 watercolor paper fee.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Sumi-e Asian Brush Painting

with Frederica Marshall
Saturday, July 29
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Explore sumi-e with Master Brush Painter Frederica Marshall. Basic brushstrokes, composition, and the philosophy of this ancient art will be taught. Subjects include bamboo (the traditional subject to learn brush loading and value control) and Maine landscape painting. Ink, watercolor and handmade brushes will flow on washi paper. Art materials supplied- the ink does not wash out of clothing! Feel the stream of wind off the tip of the brush!

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


The Playful Colored Pencil

with Carol Ann Morley
Monday and Tuesday, July 31- August 1
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Learn to color the natural world with this playful medium. Find out how the versatile colored pencil can produce so many different effects. Blend rich colors for velvety petals. Scratch into layers of pigment to create deep textures. Burnish the pencil pigment for glossy leaves. Impress into the paper surface to produce fine engraved delicate lines. Sample papers that are dark, textured and colorful and see how the different toned backgrounds can help illuminate or emphasize the subject you have chosen to portray.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Nature to Soul: Plein Air Watercolor Painting

with Jill Hoy
Sunday, September 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Every person has a signature set of gestures, instincts and ways of seeing the world. In this is plein air class we will interpret what we see into painting, decisively simplifying first, then adding gestural detail. We will be strengthening our ability to see rhythm, form, composition, light. After demonstrating, Jill will have you choose a vantage point you wish to work from. Be open to working on two paintings. Student may use watercolor or gouache. Supply list will be sent.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Paper Flowers: Dahlias and Double Tulips

with Amity Beane
Saturday, September 30
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Engage your botanical muse with this meditative hand craft. Learn several techniques in paper flower making during this full day studio workshop. Join artist Amity Beane as she teaches how to dip-dye floristic crepe and make paper dahlias and double tulips. Choose from papers from Amity’s collection to learn batch cutting, shaping, and gluing the flowers, and use studio time to work with your own dyed-in-class papers to create a gorgeous bouquet that is everlasting. A complete supply list will be sent when you register.

This course counts towards the Certificate in Botanical Arts.