Sustainable Scotland: Budding artists encouraged to get creative amid the 'exotic' surroundings of Logan Botanic Garden

Do you love nature and marvel at its wondrous beauty, wishing you could capture its essence on canvas and immortalise that moment in time?

Well there’s good news for any budding Van Goghs, Constables, Turners or Monets out there.

Logan Botanic Garden, known as Scotland’s most exotic garden, is running a special art class to help amateur artists create their own masterpieces.

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Located near Stranraer in Wigtownshire, the garden boasts both stunning views and an outstanding collection of plants – presenting a wealth of artistic opportunities for artists of all abilities.

Whether it’s palm trees and ferns from antipodean forests, giant rhubarb-like gunnera, the fish pond adorned with water lilies or the elegant Victorian-style glasshouse, there is no shortage of eye-catching features to provide inspiration.

The art classes, which are being run on 11 and 12 June, will be led by acclaimed local artist Glenda Waterworth who takes her own cues from the landscape and sea.

“My paintings are rich with texture and vibrant colour, expressing a mood and abstract sense of place,” she said.

She describes her teaching style as “relaxed” and says her goal is for participants to “have fun while taking the class”.

Logan Botanic Garden, near Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway, is a regional outpost of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and home to a huge variety of exotic plants

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She wants to encourage people to use their own intuition and be as experimental as they dare while creating their artworks, and she will be on hand to guide them.

It’s all learning and enjoying the process, she says, not just the final piece.

“In taking part, participants can expect a fun and fresh approach to capturing the colours and impressions of the gardens through structured exercises, sketches and experimentation,” Ms Waterworth said.

Art classes are being offered at Logan Botanic Garden, allowing budding painters to let their imaginations loose amid its 'exotic' landscape

The first day will focus on exploration and developing ideas that will help build towards a finished artwork.

Participants will be encouraged to take photographs and do some preliminary sketches around the grounds, getting a feel for the surroundings and considering what subjects they would like to focus on.

The aim is for the students to tap into their own inspiration and personal interests.

Garden surroundings can be complicated and overwhelming, according to Ms Waterworth, so she will demonstrate how to simplify drawings and sketches – an important skill for artists.

Local artist Glenda Waterworth, who works mainly in acrylics and oils and likes to incorporate texture into her work, will be on hand to pass on tips and skills to participants -- "I consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist with a passion for bold colour as the unifying factor across all my work," she said.

Some “loosening up” paint exercises will follow, with some useful tricks on how to work with acrylic paint being passed on.

Texture is a big part of the artist’s own work, so she will help students explore techniques and how to incorporate material such as leaves and other items from the garden in their creations.

Day two will mainly consist of building up a final piece of work from start to finish with the artist’s assistance.

Located on the south-western tip of Scotland, Logan Botanic Garden enjoys an almost subtropical climate.

Its avenues and borders feature a spectacular and colourful array of half-hardy perennials. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, plants from Australia, New Zealand, South and Central Americia and South Africa thrive in the site’s mild climate.

Richard Baines, curator at Logan, said: “The garden can be truly inspirational and bring us all much closer to nature in a peaceful and tranquil setting.

“Learning in a relaxed atmosphere with a talented teacher allows us all to bring out the best in our creativity.”

Logan is one of four sites owned by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, a registered charity and leading international research organisation that delivers knowledge, education and plant conservation action around the world.

Together, the Scottish gardens – Edinburgh, in the capital; Benmore, near Dunoon in Argyll and Bute; Dawyck, near Peebles in the Scottish Borders; and Logan – attract nearly a million visitors each year.

The original garden at Logan dates back to 1869.

A century later it was gifted to the nation and officially became Logan Botanic Garden – and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

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