Painting & Drawing
Classes & Workshops

Develop and improve your skills with 1,200 acres of natural inspiration!

Create & Take Art Experience

Saturday, December 14, 2019
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

No experience required 
All supplies included to complete 2 projects
Join our most popular Arboretum instructors for a day of create-and-take art, perfect for treating yourself or giving as gifts! Custom-select your perfect day with your choice of 2 projects listed below. 
Each project lasts 2 hours; 30 minutes for lunch.

Bengala Dyed Scarf 
Chiaki O'Brien, awarded the Jerome fiber artist grant in 2013 to study the Bengala process in Japan. She is the only person in Minnesota teaching this technique.
Bengala is a natural Japanese dye made from soil, ‘environmentally safe' and fun to use! All materials are included as well as a dozen of dye colors and tools to play with.
  • Learn about the history and cultural significance bengala
  • Pre-fix the material by kneading
  • Create the scarf's patterns by knotting, folding and tie-dyeing
  • Open the dyed bundle to see your finished scarf
The final reveal of your completed scarf is the most fun--you'll feel like you are opening an unexpected present!
NOTE: this dye has natural rubber latex in it, so this is not a good class for people who have latex allergy. 

Felted Ball Bracelet 
Jean Manrique, instructor with a passion for transforming natural materials into clothing & jewelry
Make a fun, colorful and unique bracelet out of wool fibers for yourself or as a gift! Receive detailed instructions and guidance while allowing lots of room for creativity!
  • Learn & practice wet-felting
  • Use your skills to create a beautiful set of felted balls
  • String the balls together with elastic string to make a bracelet
Once you learn this technique, you'll be able to use your skills to make necklaces, earrings, cat toys, stress balls, dryer balls and more. This will be your "go to" accent piece all winter long. 

Nature Notecards
Ann Solyst, professional artist and illustrator 
Have you ever just wanted to relax and let your artistic impulses emerge? This is the session for you. Learn the basics of watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil in this fun, relaxed card making workshop. 
  • Receive instruction on mixing colors, composition and design
  • Explore properties of each medium: watercolor, acrylic paint and colored pencil
  • Create several designs with inspiration and guidance from instructor
  • Complete your own assortment of notecards & matching envelopes and/or gift tags
There will be a 30 minute lunch break. Bring a lunch from home, plan to purchase in the Arboretum Cafe, or pre-order an Optional Box Lunch (add $14)
Optional Box Lunch (add $14)
Served with potato chips, Craveworthy Cookies® and beverage, you will have your choice of sandwiches (select your preference at registration) Thai Beef Wrap; Mozzarella, Red Pepper, Balsamic & kale ciabatta; Turkey, feta, spinach & sundried tomato ciabatta

Limit 60, Check-in at Snyder Building- Fireplace Room (2nd floor)

$69 member/$89 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 


Watercolor Landscape: Two-Day Workshop with David Smith

Saturday, January 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. AND Sunday, January 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
David Smith, signature member of the American Watercolor Society and National Watercolor Society, with over 20 years' teaching experience.

Level: Some watercolor experience preferred
Supplies: Bring-Your-Own
see supply list

Demystify the complexities of landscape painting in watercolor as David guides you on a Watercolor Journey. Every seat in the class has an excellent view thanks to the multiple monitors and the overhead camera! You'll receive a drawing guide/sketch to transfer onto your paper, a reference photo, a typed outline (so you can focus on instruction vs taking notes), and step-by-step instruction through all stages of the paintings. In this class you will learn to:
  • Choose a subject
  • Simplify the values
  • Link shapes
  • Enhance the area of interest
  • Incorporate different consistencies of paint onto paper of different moisture levels (wet into wet, dry on wet, etc.)
  • Transfer your new knowledge into several paintings during class
You'll leave inspired to take what you've learned and apply it to new creations.
Bring from home
Bag lunches each session (refrigeration is available).

Limit 24, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab
$165 member/$185 non-member
includes Arboretum admission


Sumi-e Waterfalls with Rocks & Trees

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Georgia Kandiko, longtime educator, award winning professional watercolor artist

No experience necessary
All supplies included to be used during class: Masa paper, chinese watercolor and ink, brush

Sumi-e is the Japanese word for Black Ink Painting. Sumi-e paintings are fun and easy: crinkle a piece of Japanese masa paper and allow the lines to be a guide for your scene. Water, mountains, sky and trees all come forth as you paint.
  • Watch a demonstration of the process
  • Observe how landscape elements emerge from the crinkled paper
  • Practice and experiment with your own pieces
  • Add optional color or stay with traditional Asian black ink
  • Complete several small and one large piece
Bring from Home
Bag lunch, beverages and/or snacks (Visitor Center Cafe will also be open for purchases)

Limit 16, Oswald Visitor Center - Azalea Classroom
$49 member/$69 non-member
includes Arboretum admission and all supplies


Pastel: Owl

Saturday, January 18, 2020
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Ann Solyst, Award winning painter and illustrator

No experience required
All supplies included: pastels, paper, pencils, blending stump, kneading eraser, and take-home sketchbook

Learn how to draw an owl of your choice as you explore the versatility of chalk pastels (a portable, dynamic medium with a painterly quality akin to oil painting). Whether you are familiar with chalk pastel or have never picked up a pastel in your life this is the class for you!
  • Watch a helpful demonstration from the instructor
  • Learn, practice, and experiment with pastel techniques
  • Create a refined drawing that balances line, color and composition
  • Receive individualized attention with Ann to draw at your own pace
  • Leave with a finished piece of art
Bring from Home
Bag lunch, beverages and/or snacks (Visitor Center Cafe will also be open for purchases)

Limit 16, Oswald Visitor Center - Azalea Classroom
2 spots left
$79 member/$99 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and all supplies

Nature Sketchbooks: Finding Sanctuary in Winter

Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., February 20 & 27, 2020
Pam Luer, professional artist specializing in nature based motifs. A licensed product designer for the gift and home decor industry

All levels welcome
Bring-Your-Own OR Supply Kit Included; see pricing options

This workshop will introduce you to a sketchbook practice - Learn how to draw from life with careful observation. Collect impressions that help capture your subjects for later exploration or contemplation.
Begin to work in a sketchbook as an artistic practice
Become inspired from new tips and techniques using very few tools
Learn about orchids from Ricky Garza, our Arboretum orchid specialist
Enjoy rare books and illustrations shared by Horticulture Librarian Kathy Allen
Enjoy the lush tranquility of the Meyers -Deats conservatory and the spectacular blooms from this year's flower show as you learn to observe and draw in new ways while expanding your understanding of the natural world.
Bring from Home
Bag lunch, beverages and/or snacks (Visitor Center Cafe will also be open for purchases)

Limit 12, Oswald Visitor Center - MacMillan Auditorium A/C 

view video of a similar Pam Luer workshop in 2017

Pam Luer's Minnesota Landscape Aboretum Class Feb 15 & 22, 2017 from Gary B on Vimeo.

Select a price option:
Bring-Your-Own Supplies
See supply list
$79 member/$99 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

All Supplies Included in a Take-Home Kit (value $60)
supply kit will be waiting for you in class
Registration Deadline for this option is Saturday, February 1
$139 member/$159 non-member

Paint the Arb: Winter Watercolor Workshop

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Georgia Kandiko, longtime educator, award winning professional watercolor artist

No experience necessary
Bring-Your-Own OR All Supplies Included; see pricing options

Learn how to transform an image into a watercolor painting using a reference photograph of the Arboretum's iconic Red Barn.
  • Examine shape, composition, color and value
  • Learn to eliminate what does not serve your painting
  • Add aspects to enrich the landscape scene
  • Practice with the instructor before working on your finished product
  • Put your new knowledge and skills together to create your finished painting
All students will receive and use Arches 140# cold pressed watercolor paper during class.
Bring from Home
Bag lunch, beverages and/or snacks (Visitor Center Cafe will also be open for purchases)

Limit 20, Oswald Visitor Center - MacMillan Auditorium A/C 

Select a price option:
Bring-Your-Own Supplies
See supply list
$69 member/$99 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

All Supplies Included in a Take-Home Kit
$89 member/ $119 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
also includes metal tin filled with required paints and watercolor brush and all necessary supplies such as towels, water containers, tape and Arches 140# cold pressed watercolor paper ( $20 value)


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Join the experience-giving trend this holiday season...your thoughtfulness will not only benefit the recipient, but will benefit the Arboretum, too! Learn more

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Member Perk!

Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

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