Updating my teaching skills has got me thinking a lot about wellbeing lately – check out my posts on the programme I’ve joined to support artists and creatives in Kent to work with our elderly community. I’ve also talked before about how I’ve taken my flower arranging workshops into the workplace as a wellbeing activity. This week I spent some time practicing what I’ve been preaching and stepped out of my comfort zone and took an art class at a local garden here in Kent. Pheasant Farm is just outside Faversham and regularly opens as part of the National Garden Scheme’s open gardens for charity programme.
It was lovely to take some time out from my busy life as a wife, Mum and business owner. I’ve often admired the garden at Pheasant Farm – from over the garden wall! So it was a double pleasure to be able to walk the grounds and take an art class with my friend Jo Martel.
Doing anything new is a bit scary and it was with some trepidation that I committed pen to paper and started to try and draw. Jo was very kind and prompted us to express what we felt, rather than trying to draw a photographic reproduction of our subject. I chose a four-petalled Dogwood flower – others were draw to the amazing views, within and beyond the garden.
In my mind’s eye I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t let myself go enough to produce a flowing drawing. I went for the draw what you see option. It being a step too far to draw what I felt. Realising my lack of talent, I moved on to concentrate on the simple form of my flower – including stripping it of all colour. After a quick cuppa and some delicious cake I was struck by the napkins we were using and used them as my inspiration for my completed work of art. I created a background of a four-patterned splodge of water colour with a fan-shaped brush. Then I overlay that with water colour pencil doodles of simple four-leaved flowers.
I am rather pleased with the finished piece. And at the end of the afternoon each of us came away with our framed work of art. I went home with a spring in my step for a spot of “show and tell”. While I have something to show for my day’s activity, what I shouldn’t underestimate was the restorative benefits of sitting in a beautiful garden, away from my computer and recharging my batteries. As one busy Mum to another I’d highly recommend taking some time out …
If you’re planning to find your happy with flowers this week don’t forget you can amaze your friends with your knowledge about getting your flowers to last longer. Sign up here for access to my free five-day mini course and make a start on getting your flowers to last longer.
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Until next time, happy flowers!