The Tree Journal Workshop

Whew!  Long time no blog!   A bout of the flu and preparations for last week’s tree journal workshop gobbled September and, well……here we are in mid-October already!

The weeklong workshop  — “Trees: Identifying and Sketching Them in an Illustrated Journal” — which I co-taught with my friend, fellow artist and expert dendrologist Carol Parks, took place at the John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.  The days presented the sort of ideal autumn weather — cool-with-non-stop-sunshine — that was just perfect for wandering the Folk School grounds, identifying trees and then painting them.  What’s special about the Folk School’s trees is that there are more than 50 different species.  This is typical of the Southern Appalachians, which boasts the most tree diversity in North America.  What was special about the trees this week was the breathtaking autumn color starting to show in all the leaves.  Here are some of the trees we saw:

Illustrated journal page: autumn dogwood branch, ink & watercolor on paper, 7 x 10

Illustrated journal page: water oak leaves and acorns, ink & watercolor on paper, 7 x 10

Illustrated journal page: autumn redbud leaves, ink & watercolor on paper, 7 x 10

Illustrated journal page: red maple, ink & watercolor on paper, 7 x 10


Illustrated journal, double-page spread: chestnut tree, ink & watercolor on paper, 7 x 20

And here are some of the nine students who participated, busily sketching apple trees in the Folk School orchard.  Doesn’t that look like fun?  Carol and I will teach this again in April, so consider joining us then.



  1. Jaynne Seeburger says:

    Marilynn, as usual your journaling is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing these and they keep me inspired to get out there and sketch (it’s only a sketch), paint, go get a new journal and repeat.

    • Hi, Jayne. Great to hear from you! Email me one of your sketches from time to time. My greatest reward is knowing that so many students take the class and keep sketching. – Marilynn

  2. It was a great week and a wonderful workshop!

    • Thanks, Amy! When you get a chance, tell me again the name of that folding chair. I looked at REI and CampMor; didn’t find it. thanks. – Marilynn

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