We're on retreat! Shop reopens: 22 June 2024 at 7pm BST (online courses are still bookable)

Flora Obscura - online course

£70.00 - £100.00

Lesson release dates: 1 - 12 July 2024 and 18 - 29 November (click SELECT OPTION to choose)
Continued access period: LIFETIME.

SYLLABUS: in this happily eccentric course, we will explore the quirky and compulsive art of botanical appropriation. Combining inspiration from a wide range of sources, from the predictable to the seemingly outlandish, I have designed lessons that will stimulate your imagination whilst developing your knowledge of and appreciation for flowers. Making reference to botany, symbolism in Italian Renaissance art, graveyard kitsch, and recent research from the field of plant neurobiology, we will use novel drawing techniques (utilising flower parts themselves), collage and watercolour. The result will be the cultivation and evolution of our own botanical imaginings, stylised designs, and repeat patterns. Species and taxonomies unique to us. The work of Hilma af Klint, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hieronymus Bosch, Hannah Höch and others, will provide stimulating references, and added interest and enjoyment.

FORMAT: a new lesson (ten in total) will be uploaded to a course page on my website tansyhargan.com every weekday at around 9am UK time (BST or GMT depending which run you take) during the course of a specified fortnight. Each daily session will consist of a written overview - providing context, theory, and anecdotal details to support that day’s topic - and an instructional half-hour video. Some lessons may also include downloadable content, such as templates, printable documents, or stills from the video. The videos are hosted by Vimeo, which allows viewers to turn on closed captions (like subtitles) and slow down or speed up the playback speed. On each of the two Friday afternoons, I will provide a “Weekend Brief” in the form of a short bonus video, to inspire you to adapt or combine lessons from the week to make a new exercise to enjoy over the weekend.

The idea behind this format is that students may enjoy the pace, rhythm, and impetus of a course with defined dates and lessons that are released in real time; whilst benefiting from the practical advantages of recorded lessons, which can be watched, paused, and repeated anytime, regardless of time zone or schedule.

ACCESS: on the Friday evening before your run of the course commences, I will email you an access link and password. Please be sure to type your email address correctly when you book your place, and check your junk folder if you haven't received your email 48 hours before the course commences. Any problems, just email me: [email protected]

You will continue to have access for the LIFETIME of the course, regardless of how many subsequent runs of it I release.

PRICING: I offer a concessionary rate on an “honesty-box” basis. Please select the lower price if you are on a low income and genuinely struggle to afford enriching activities.

• Sketchbook (A5 or larger, with cartridge paper pages)
• Watercolour paint (black, white, red, yellow, and blue, plus any other colours you fancy)
• White plate or palette for mixing colours
• Watercolour brushes (flat and round in a range of sizes)
• A couple of A3 (or equivalent) sheets of the following: cartridge paper, tracing paper, and watercolour paper (I use at least 300gsm/140lb in weight)
• A sheet of squared or graph paper, any size, to lay beneath tracing paper and use as a guide. A link to a printable version of this will be provided in Lesson One
• Ruler, pencil, scissors, pencil sharpener, eraser, 2 fold back clips, low-tack masking tape, sharp knife, and paper glue
• Black fineliner pens (with a range of nib widths)
• Handheld mirror around the same size as the one shown in photo 3
• Magnifying glass (a basic one from an office of classroom supplies shop will be fine)
• Old books or magazines with a selection of text and illustrations in black and white and colour. These are to cut images from for collage. Those with images relating to the following areas would be suitable: architecture, medical/health, archaeology, railways, astronomy, geography etc (not all of these of course). Or, if you have a printer, you’ll be able to print off a downloadable selection from my website at the beginning of the course)
• Fresh flowers. Don’t get these ahead of time, you want them as fresh as possible. Anything will do. Unless you are doing the course in a remote snowy place, you should be able to get hold of some flowering weeds or a bunch from a petrol station. These will not be for the first lesson, so just wait for the guidance I give in the course.

COPYRIGHT: all content is my own. Bookings are for personal, individual use only. Sharing and reproducing course content is prohibited. If you are a teacher looking for lessons, please contact me to discuss the various options available for bringing me (electronically or in person) into your classroom.