Art in the Garden Classes

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Art in the Garden classes offer a variety of opportunities in multiple media to enhance your understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, learn new skills and enjoy the company of like-minded artists!

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule April – August 2024

Watercolor Experimentation & Card-Making | May 8, 9 | IN-PERSON

Using watercolor paintings, experiments, and doodles, make unique and expressive notecards that you can give to loved ones or cherish as artistic keepsakes with artist Shelley Row. On the first workshop day we will play with watercolor techniques to hone your skills through experimentation, creating colorful practice pieces. On day two, we will use what we learned on day one plus a few more tricks to create unique and personal cards.


Explore various drawing techniques through virtual workshops with award-winner scientific illustrator and artist Rogério Lupo, who will teach from Brazil. Each course includes drawing demonstrations of the various skills discussed. A basic understanding of drawing principles is recommended, but all who wish to learn and explore are welcome. Students enrolled in the Garden’s Botanical Illustration certificate program will earn elective credit. 

Fundamentals of Graphite Shading with International Artist Rogério Lupo | May 8, 15, 22, 29 | VIRTUAL

This virtual course led by renowned international artist Rogério Lupo aims to provide all the theoretical and practical tools necessary for beginners to initiate their practice and for intermediate students to improve their skills in graphite shading. You will learn about the different types and qualities of graphite, and how and when to use them; explore the different results that can be achieved according to the techniques and materials used; and much more. This course is limited to 15 students to provide the opportunity for individualized feedback. 

NEW! Linocut Printing | May 11, 18 | IN-PERSON

Making a Linocut involves carving an image into a linoleum block. With guidance from instructor Michelle Israel, artist and Director of Exhibitions at the Garden, we will start by sketching, drawing, and creating a nature-inspired design that will be transferred onto the linoleum. Then, we will practice carving the design to find the raised (uncarved) areas. This part of the design will be inked and then printed. You’ll have two linoleum blocks to practice with and one to create your final Linocut with. All your creations will be yours to take home.

NEW! Garden Photo Collage | May 29, 30 | IN-PERSON

This workshop is fun and accessible for all, blending photography with mixed-media collage. On day one, instructor Shelley Row will introduce basic points for taking well-composed photos with your phone. You will have time to explore the Garden and take pictures. Each participant will select two images to print before day two of the course. Through cutting, gluing, enhancing, painting, and designing on the second day, you will finish your collage masterpiece. 


Learn how to observe a variety of insects in nature and cultivate your own nature journal practice with Stephey Baker, local artist and avid urban gardener. Nature journaling helps you slow down, let go of the never-ending tasks on your to-do list, focus on the natural beauty of the world, and find peace. Journaling in nature requires no artistic skills. Anyone can reap the benefits of nature journaling, which improves observation skills and memory, engages your five senses, decreases your blood pressure, and allows you to discover something new every day.

NEW! Nature Journaling: Observing Fireflies | June 3, 5 | VIRTUAL

Discover simple techniques to observe fireflies in nature and develop a nature journaling practice. Learn a simple creative process for observing fireflies; access resources to help you identify fireflies; understand the life cycle and habitat needs of fireflies; explore firefly anatomy by creating a diagram in your journal; discover how to participate in free citizen science projects and make a difference in firefly conservation; and have fun creating in your nature journal.

NEW! Nature Journaling: Observing Native Bees of Virginia | July 13, 20 | IN-PERSON

Virginia is home to over 400 species of bees, spread across six family groups. Although we can’t cover all 400+ native bee species in this course, you will be introduced to some spectacularly colorful buzzing beasties. Learn how to observe our native bees and use that knowledge creatively in a nature journal. To help you record your discoveries, step-by-step instructions will be provided. Foster an appreciation for our native bee species, learn more about their habitat and conservation needs, and inspire creative journaling.

Bold Botanicals with Oil Pastel & Colored Pencil | June 4 | IN-PERSON

Create bright, dramatic compositions with a focus on blooms and other plant life with artist Dana DuMont. By layering and blending both oil pastel and colored pencil on black paper, we’ll be developing unique images that pop with color, light and detail. Be sure to bring along some favorite flower photos and draw inspiration from seasonal hues as you stroll through the Garden before class meets.

NEW! Harmony Among Hues: Drawing Inspiration from the Garden with Artist in Residence Kyle Epps | June 15 | IN-PERSON

Join the Garden’s Artist in Residence, Kyle Epps, in finding serenity and creative inspiration amidst nature’s palette. Through guided meditation, you’ll harmonize with the Garden’s tranquil energy, immersing yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. With pastels in hand, explore the vibrant hues of the Garden, translating your inner reflections onto canvas. This workshop will be held outdoors in the Flagler Garden.

NEW! Butterfly Pinning 101 | July 12 | IN-PERSON

Discover the amazing world of entomological pinning with instructors Justin Torone and Clara Aus! Participants will be led through guided pinning of the Giant Blue Morpho butterfly, Morpho didius, as well as learn about its unique adaptations, life cycle, and natural history (specimens provided). Students will leave with their own pinned Morpho didius, a frame, handouts, pinning supplies for future projects, and the confidence to continue pinning on their own.  


Join local flower farmer and pollinator enthusiast Conner Parrish for a series of workshops that explore the ancient art of pressed flowers and utilize pressed flowers from Conner’s farm in Ashland to create a variety of fun and visually stunning crafts.  

NEW! Pressed Flower Art: History, Pressing & Card-Making | July 13 | IN-PERSON

In this creative workshop, we’ll dive into the history of the ancient pressed-flower art form. Each participant will receive their very own flower press kit and instructor Conner Parrish will demonstrate how to properly harvest, prepare, and press flowers. Then we’ll get crafty by designing four pressed-flower notecards. Each participant will be able to take home their flower press kit, pressed-flower notecards and will have the knowledge needed to create pressed flower artwork at home!

NEW! The Art & Science of Painting Birds | July 17, 19, 24, 26 | VIRTUAL

In this virtual course, award-winning artist Patricia Savage guides students in the drybrush watercolor method utilized by scientific illustrators. On Days 1 and 2, students will study the anatomy of the bird’s skull, feet, wings and feather groups using photographic specimens on loan from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and handouts provided by the instructor. On Days 3 and 4, students will receive instruction on how to create value gradations, color temperature, chroma and matching color while painting their own bird.


We believe that all adults in our community should have access to plant-based, nature-focused learning opportunities. The learning opportunities in this series offer several pricing tiers so you can register at the amount you’re able to pay. 

Meditative Botanical Doodles & Drawings | August 3 OR August 10 | IN-PERSON 

Channel your creativity and find your bliss in this workshop with local artist Dana DuMont. Use nature as your inspiration to design complex, imaginative images with repeated organic lines and shapes. Working with graphite, watercolor and colored pencils, you will create small works suitable for framing. This relaxing workshop will be held in a classroom with beautiful Garden views.

For additional learning opportunities in this series, visit our Learning Opportunities for All page. 

Maker Night: Nature-Inspired Polymer Clay Earrings | August 16 | IN-PERSON

In this fun maker night, learn the basics and create a lovely pair of nature-inspired earrings out of polymer clay with Sarah Schultz of Fragment Jewelry Co! You will be able to choose from a wide variety of clay cutters in all kinds of botanical and animal shapes. While your earrings bake, enjoy a glass of Virginia-made White or Rosé wine paired perfectly with a delicious cheese plate.

From the Earth Paint Making with Artist in Residence Kyle Epps | August 17 | IN-PERSON

Our talented artist in residence, Kyle Epps, will lead you in uncovering the secrets of earth pigments and the artistry that emerges from our connection to the land. Participants will craft their own paints by mixing earth pigments and binders. We will explore the subtle alchemy of blending natural elements to create a rich palette. This process requires some precision including basic elements of chemistry, making it a captivating endeavor for those curious about the scientific aspect of art. All levels welcome!

For creative workshops where you can use live plants to make plant creations to take home, check out our Plant Play: Make and Take Workshops learning category!

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Updated Adult Learning Cancellation Policy

As of April 12, 2024, the Garden has an updated cancellation policy for Adult Learning programs.

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