Week 1 – September 10 – 17, 2022 – ‘Wild and garden Mediterranean flowers’
Week 2 – September 17 – 24, 2022 – ‘ Fruit from a Mediterranean garden’
Would you like to take a break, to slow down, to escape the stresses of the past months, to feast your senses, enhance your painting skills and master new ones, to rest and nourish your body, your mind and your soul?
Join me on the beautiful Greek island of Skiathos in September 2022 for a botanical art escape.
During your time every effort will be made to ensure that you sleep well, eat well, rest, paint and explore.
Tutor – Mary Dillon
Many years ago, I was lucky to find ‘Painting Skiathos’, an art studio offered as a place of retreat by artist Yvonne Ayoub. It has been a place of refuge and inspiration to me and over the years I have grown to know and love this beautiful island and its people. I am excited and happy to share Skiathos with you on this Botanical Art Escape. I am sure you too will fall in love with it’s charm. I’m happy to guide you as you learn and as you paint the wonderful flora of the island. We will be joined by fellow artists Yvonne and Despina during our time. They along with myself, will be happy to do everything possible to make your stay very special.
Time for You!
More than anything , this will be time for you! Time to stop, to really look at plants, to smell, to breathe, to reflect and to immerse yourself in the process of painting.
Time to Paint!
Numbers will be limited to ensure that each person gets personal attention during our studio time. Instruction will benefit those with limited experience and also those with more experience who are aiming to enhance their skills and extend their competence.
Time to Learn!
We will cover simple techniques to accurately draw plants, by observing their structures and shapes. Learning about light and shadow will bring life to our drawing. Tips to create a dynamic composition will be followed by exploring colour mixing and matching and the simple layered wet and dry watercolor techniques needed to make a botanical painting. Learning, practicing and applying techniques will be our focus.
There will be an emphasis on examining plants, their structures, colours and textures. We will aim to capture the essence of our plant subjects with a combined focus on aesthetic beauty and scientific truth.
Skiathos with its verdant hillsides and turquoise waters, is a perfect fit for artists and nature lovers. It lies in the northern Aegean and enjoys average temperatures of between 20 and 25 degrees throughout September.
While Skiathos is familiar to us all as the eye watering setting for the film, Mamma Mia, it is an island steeped in rich literary, historical and cultural traditions.
Three of the island’s many beautiful beaches are within easy walking distance from our villa. Kolios lies half way along the island’s main bus route. A short fifteen minute taxi or bus journey away, the main town of Skiathos has an international airport with regular flight connections to many UK and European destinations, along with daily flight connections with Athens. The port of Skiathos has regular ferry services from Thessaloniki, Volos and Agios Constantinos.
Perched just above the bay of Kolios, home for our time in Skiathos will be this beautifully spacious villa. With it’s backdrop of olive trees, fig trees, citrus trees and pines and it’s panoramic views over the bay, Villa Kolios is the ideal location for a relaxing botanical art holiday. The infinity swimming pool is the perfect spot for an early morning or late afternoon swim. The terrace, which extends the entire length of the house is perfect for outside dining, offering spectacular views over the bay.
Our studio is situated on the ground floor and opens out to the covered pergola. Throughout our week there will be twenty five hours of botanical art tuition in the studio or in ‘the field’. During your free time the studio will be available for some personal painting whenever you wish. A simple art materials list will be provided, but we will keep this to a minimum to accommodate those who are travelling a distance.
19.00 Welcome drinks reception
20.30. Supper will be available throughout the evening to facilitate those arriving on the evening Aegean airlines flight from Athens.
8.00 Breakfast on the terrace
9.00 Studio introduction followed by a field trip to discover the local flora.
14.00 Free time to explore, go to the beach, work in the studio.
Monday/ Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday
15.00 Free time for rest, beach, town, walking, continuing in studio.
8.00 Breakfast on the terrace
10.00 Depart for those staying for one week
For those staying for two weeks there will be a choice of optional workshops on Saturday and Sunday.
PLEIN AIR PAINTING, with YVONNE AYOUB of Painting Skiathos, who will offer an acrylic painting day in the old town of Skiathos. Details to follow. www.paintingskiathos.wordpress.com
Numerous unspoiled beaches nearby within a ten to fifteen minute walk from the villa, with turquoise waters and golden sands for a relaxing swim, following our painting sessions.
Optional afternoon tour of the island’s monasteries and more remote areas, to experience the wild beauty of the island.
Take a boat trip to explore Lalaria and Kastro beaches. Lalaria beach with it’s white pebbles and crystal clear turquoise water and distinctive stone arch, has been named one of the most beautiful in the world. The secluded Kastro beach lies at the bottom of the hillside leading to the ancient city of Kastro. The family run taverna on Kastro beach is a must for a cool drink and delicious Greek snacks.
Choose to watch the original Mamma Mia movie in the outdoor cinema where it had its world premiere.
Enjoy a coffee or digestif at the Bourtzi Bar on the beautiful Venetian Bourtzi, with it’s stunning views over the town and the old port.
Sip a cocktail on the cushions of the steps leading from one of our two dinner locations in town.
All rooms have direct access to either a private balcony or patio with views.
All rooms are either double or twin. Non painting partners or friends are welcome if sharing a room.. Please inquire about the additional costs.
Breakfast will consist of locally made fresh pastries, fruit, honey, yoghurt, eggs, avocado and bacon.
Buffet lunch with delicious locally sourced fresh ingredients will be available in the villa from Monday to Friday.
Aperitifs will be offered in the villa.
Wine is included with dinner each evening.
We will enjoy a traditional Greek evening at O’Batis Taverna overlooking the port and the Bourtzi in Skiathos. O’Batis is run by Eleni who is also an artist and her husband Christos.
Another evening we will eat under the mulberry tree in the square at Taverna Alexandros, which is run by Magda and her family. We will be serenaded by Greek rembetiko music. Rembetiko is beyond a genre of music, it encapsulates the soul of Greece.
We have some excellent dining options in Kolios close to the villa and we will also eat at home some evenings.
We are very happy to accommodate any of your particular dietary requirements.
Guests are requested to book flights at your own cost. It may be possible to book a charter flight directly into Skiathos from some UK airports. Other flight options might be to fly directly to Athens in time to connect with the evening Aegean airlines flight leaving Athens on Saturday evening. For those wishing to fly into Volos or Thessaloniki, there are direct ferries from both cities into Skiathos most days.
On your arrival into Skiathos, we will arrange for you to be met and brought directly to the villa. Your transfer back to the airport or port will also be facilitated for you.
Cost for each week.
€1,950 – one person using double or twin room.
accommodation 7 nights,
7 x breakfast,
6 x lunch,
7 x dinner
25 hrs. botanical art tuition
Use of studio
Transfers to and from the airport or port.
Transfers to and from Skiathos town on the two evenings when we will have dinner in town.
Following registration Laura will send you a simple list of required materials. Before the workshop, Laura will send you detailed workshop notes available in English and in Spanish along with other supporting documents to help you prepare for your visit to Barcelona.
September is feeling like a new start, a tentative start… but one with more of a tangible sense of confidence and bravery than we have experienced for a while. My dear friend and fellow artist, Despina Mitselou from the island of Skiathos, Greece, yesterday shared the Skiathos tradition of celebrating the New Year at the start of September by throwing a pomegranate on the floor of their homes to bring health and happiness.
‘Bountiful – Punica granatum ‘Nana’ captures the pomegranates as I saw them growing on a tree in El Poblenou, Barcelona, where I was last teaching botanical art during autumn 2019. I just couldn’t take my eyes from the jewel like seeds glistening in these luscious fruits. Having completed numerous sketches in situ and taken lots of colour notes to record details, I began to work on the painting back in my studio at home in Ireland.
It was a work in progress over the long months throughout 2020 when all of life had changed for us all.
It brought me to the warmth and colour of the streets of Barcelona and the rolling hills and turquoise waters of Skiathos, Greece where I first fell in love with these abundant trees . It brought me to the warmth of the people I’ve met in these places.
It was a place of joy and solace as I worked in my studio listening to stories on the radio of sickness and death – of resilience, togetherness and hope. It was a place of bounty and focus, a beckoning force taking me to a place apart when there was nowhere else.
Online Workshops – Autumn, 2021
Workshop 1, October 8 and 9, 2021
Warm, Rich and Deep 1.
Workshop 2, November 5 and 6, 2021
Warm, Rich and Deep 2.
Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 – Cost €280
Both workshops will be happening from 14.00 hrs to 19.00 hrs GMT each day to facilitate artists from the west coast through to east coast US and throughout Europe.
Following requests from artists living in Asia and Australasia, I will give an alternative option time wise for my next set of online workshops.
Would you like to take a break, to slow down, feast your senses, enhance your painting skills and master new ones, to rest and nourish your body, your mind and your soul? Join me on a beautiful Greek island in September 2021 for a botanical art holiday.
Perched in the heart of a Greek mountain village above the bay of Karystos on the island of Evia, Villa Kasteli, a traditional mountain villa with its panoramic sea and mountain views, is the ideal location for a relaxing botanical art holiday. Just two hours by car and boat from Athens airport, ‘getting away from it all’ couldn’t be easier.
A family run boutique retreat centre for artists, yoga enthusiasts and garden lovers, Villa Kasteli has everything you might need for a relaxing and inspiring botanical art holiday. Run by the Lorenz family, at Villa Kasteli every effort will be made to ensure that you eat well, sleep well, rest, paint and explore.
Our light filled spacious studio is situated in the midst of beautiful mediterranean garden plants. We will have 25 hours of Botanical art tuition in the studio or in ‘the field’. During your free time the studio will be available for some personal painting.
Olive groves and fig trees provide a backdrop to a rich array of native Mediterranean plants in the nearby countryside. The award winning Montofoli Estate and vineyard will be a perfect location for some field studies.
• Optional guided meditation with gentle stretching to end each day.
• A guided botanical walk along the hillside under the medieval Castello Rosso to the village of Mili.
• Dinner at Stella’s restaurant under the shade of the Platanos orientalis, Greek sycamore trees, in the village of Mili.
• Morning field trip to the nearby Montofoli Estate with time for field studies followed by picnic lunch.
Nearby places to visit :
• Castello Rosso (Red Castle), a medieval Venetian Castle overlooking Villa Kasteli.
• Mount Ochi with its hillside pathways.
• Unspoiled beaches with turquoise waters and golden sands for a relaxing swim.
• Karystos, the perfect spot for afternoon refreshments and people watching.
Villa Kasteli has four double bedrooms with private bathrooms, an open plan living, dining and kitchen area with a fireplace. An additional four double rooms are available nearby. Accommodation can be booked for either single or double occupancy.
Each bedroom has a large, comfortable double bed. We offer the option of double or single bedding, so if you choose to share your room you don’t have to share bedding.
Breakfast will consist of locally made fresh pastries, fruit, honey, yoghurt and porridge with a variety of super food toppings. Our chef will prepare lunch and dinner using delicious locally sourced fresh ingredients. We are very happy to accommodate any of your particular dietary requirements. Wine is included with dinner each evening.
We have a beautiful terraced garden for you to explore, a swimming pool and covered pergola. Many outdoor seating areas throughout the garden.
Guests are requested to book flights at your own cost, ideally arriving around lunchtime to ensure easy transfer to meet boat schedule in Rafina, and afternoon departures to ensure the same for your return.
Transfers can be arranged to include meet and greet at Athens airport, taxi to port of Rafina, Boat ticket Rafina to Marmari and pickup from Marmari to Villa Kasteli – two hours door to door € 40 per person each way.
€1,600 – one person using double room
€1,300 – per person sharing for two people sharing double room.
• 6 nights accommodation
• 6 x breakfast, lunch, dinner
• 25 hrs. botanical art tuition
• Use of studio
• Visit to Montofoli Estate.
Please contact me for further details and to check for available places:
I am pleased to share with you some updates on workshops I will be giving later in 2019 and in 2020.
October 31 – November 3, 2019
I am delighted to be returning to Barcelona in late October to offer a workshop in botanical art. While I will be covering the basic techniques needed for beginners in botanical art, this time I will also be preparing a specific ‘first day’ of the course for those with a little more experience and those who have attended previous workshops.
Please contact Laura Alonso for further information:
Having just finished a wonderful three day workshop for beginners in botanical art techniques in Waterford, facilitated by Classical Art Atelier, we are now planning another workshop to be based in Cork from September 6 – 8, 2019. This will be a great opportunity for those who would like to learn the essential techniques required to make a botanical painting.
Please contact Adrian Cooke of Classical Art Atelier for further information.
Easy and slow…..! Learning the art of botanical painting with MaryDillon
I am happy to give you details of some upcoming workshops I will be giving. I look forward to sharing with you my love for plants, painting and botanical art.
Spain – February 21 – 24, 2019
October 31 – November 3, 2019
Austria – May 17, 2019
Ireland – November 19 – 23, 2018
Course 1: February 21 -24, 2019
Course 2: October 31 – November 3, 2019
ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS:
February 21- 24, 2019
October 31 – November 3, 2019
Studio: Art Valles, Carrer Pallars, Barcelona. Time: 9 am to 3.30 pm each day
Taking our inspiration from the changing seasons we will practise observational drawing to focus on light, form and composition before moving on to learning the basics of wet and dry watercolour techniques. By exploring a vibrant but simple colour palette we will use transparent layers of colour to bring vitality to our painting.
A small group will allow for demonstrations and individual tuition. This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience.
Enquiries to Laura Alonso: lauraalonso27 @gmail.com
To facilitate broader group collaboration, the Vienna School of Botanical Illustration are organising GET TOGETHER 2019 where artists can meet, exchange ideas and work together in practical workshops. Specialist visits to museums and archive collections along with a field trip to the Donau – Auden National Park will also be included. Portfolio showcases will be given by botanical illustrators and the workshop instructors. These will last one to two hours in the mornings and will be followed by a discussion.
All components of the programme are independent so that attendees can decide on their own level of involvement.
Botanical Art – Painting the flowers and bulbs of Spring
with experienced artist and tutor, Mary Dillon
Tulipa ‘Black Parrot’ WIP,Mary Dillon
Friday April 22nd and Saturday April 23rd 2016
Located in Kilkenny city
close to the ring road around the city – with easy road and rail access
(1hr 12mins by car from the Red Cow, Dublin)
Paint in an easy relaxed atmosphere.
Whatever your level of experience, learn techniques to enhance your painting.
Numbers limited to allow for one to one tuition
Subjects will be included
Morning and afternoon refreshments included
Please bring your own materials for watercolour painting
For more information: phone – 087 2224260 / email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulipa rococco Mary Dillon
I have been involved in Art Education for many years, both with students in post primary school and in the area of providing continuing professional development for teachers.In 2011 I decided to focus specifically on my interest in Botanical Art and pursued the diploma in botanical art and illustration with the Society of Botanical Artists, graduating in May, 2014 with a diploma with distinction.
In March 2014, I became the founding Chairperson of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists. I coordinated the team responsible for the inaugural ISBA exhibition project, Aibítir, involving over seventy five participating artists.
In 2015, I was invited to become an associate member of the SBA.
I find teaching botanical art particularly rewarding as it gives me an opportunity to share my skills and to encourage others to see the world of plants in a new and exciting way.
What is it about flowers and plants that stirs us, that makes us stop in our tracks to take a second look? Is it colour, form, or the complexity or simplicity of their structure? For many of us, seeing a flower will evoke a memory, bringing us to another time or place.
Each of us will have our own personal response to this question. That’s the wonder of what makes us just as, if not more diverse and intriguing as these beautiful objects of interest that capture our imagination. If you are like me and you also love to paint then you too will be compelled to learn the art of painting plants!
Life throws us lemons every once in a while and happily for me some time ago, just when I most needed a focus, I embarked on a course in botanical art and illustration. For me the SBA distance learning diploma course was a huge challenge, stretching me in ways beyond my expectations. In time, painting botanical art proved to have powers of healing both in body and spirit!
Learning the skills required to paint botanical art was invaluable. Albeit from a distance, I reaped the benefit of constructive criticism and unwavering encouragement from experienced tutors, like Margaret Stevens, Founding Director of the SBA course, among others. Simon Williams became the new course Director in the latter months of my studies, ably forging the way forward for the course.
Having spent many years as an Arts Educator both with students in post primary school and in providing continuing professional development for teachers, I firmly believe in the value of face to face tuition. While the SBA diploma course fulfilled so many of my needs, I felt I needed to learn directly from others too.
I’m grateful to inspiring artists and teachers, Susan Sex, Fiona Strickland and Robert McNeil for their generosity of spirit marking them out as true teachers. Just as we learn to love from those who love us, I feel we learn to teach from those who teach us. Margaret, Simon, Susan, Fiona and Robert all belong to a wide group of artists and teachers, whose wish is not just to keep their artistic talents to themselves, but who want to share their experience with others, simply because they love painting and plants!
Botanical Painting Days
In recent times, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of guiding people as they explore this beautiful art form.
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced and keen to learn some new exciting approaches to painting plants in a systematic and enjoyably relaxing way, these days are for you.
Come along and join me!
Where: Kilkenny City
When: Saturdays, March 28th, April 18th and June 6th. 10am – 3pm
If you’d like to join me for a day painting flowers and plants,
I was recently introduced to this beauty and commissioned to paint it in all its glory. Tricyrtis formosana or Toad lily is full of interesting features. From its deep magenta unopened buds through to its curiously spotted flowers, its seed head and its magenta marked leaves.
Here are some photos of the work in progress…….
Finally….. Ready for its new home!
Mary Dillon +353 87 2224260 email@example.com.