Students from Patty Mooney’s advanced art class at Saugerties High School sit around a couple of tables in the upstairs studio of botanical artist Wendy Hollender, bent over paper, staring at single blossoms, choosing colored pencils. They just came in from a lunch break, during which Hollender pointed to the diverse flora around the property at Hollengold Farm, helping the teens distinguish the parts and names of various plants. This bystander got the impression that she could probably capture the attention of hyperactive puppies and get them to notice, for a long pause, the details inherent in nature, so rapt is her own appreciation for them.
Heading into its fourth year of operation as a permaculture garden, Community-Supported Agriculture and art school, Hollengold Farm is set in the bucolic hills above Accord. It’s quiet, picturesque – the perfect place to slow down the mind and draw what you see. It’s also an idyllic place to hold a botanical art exhibition this Saturday, May 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Hollender will be joined by artists Carol Woodin and Paul Harwood, all three of whom will be teaching classes from May through October. The Botanical Workshop Series includes eight Friday sessions, twice a month from 2 to 5 p.m., and six Saturday workshops with lunch included. Topics being offered are drawing fresh produce, drawing trees and painting heirloom fruits.
Hollender is the current artist-in-residence at SUNY-Ulster. Her work has appeared in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Real Simple Magazine, The Guardian and Oprah Magazine. In addition to leading workshops, she paints botanical signs for local businesses: Pizza Barn, Elmrock Inn, Appleseed Permaculture, Accord Acupuncture and Hollengold Farm. She is the author of Botanical Drawing in Color. Harwood, who does charcoal and chalk sketches, is herbarium supervisor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He illustrates scientific and horticultural publications for Brooklyn Botanic Garden and illustrates children’s books. He is an adjunct instructor and graduate of the Pratt Institute.
Woodin, acknowledged as one of the world’s experts in painting with watercolor on vellum, is especially known for her orchid paintings. Her art has been exhibited around the world. Some notable collections are the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Smithsonian. She is the director of exhibitions for the American Society of Botanical Artists and teaches workshops throughout the Americas.
The reception on Saturday is a rare opportunity to meet with the three renowned artists and learn first-hand about the workshops being offered. Live klezmer music with Tim Allen will enhance the evening. Hollengold Farm is located at 222 Lower Whitfield Road in Accord. Call (845) 626-1146 or visit www.drawingincolor.com for the full schedule of workshops and registration information.