A day of Plein Air Sketching at Tulip Top Gardens …

Spring is here and as Floriade opens in Canberra this month, there are many other beautiful locations surrounding Canberra which are well worth taking time to visit too.

Tulip Tops Gardens

Tulip Top Gardens is a wonderful landscaped garden, full of beautiful tulips, and other spring flowers. It is a short drive from Canberra on the federal highway, and so worth a visit.

Tulip Top Gardens Week One 2018










Knowing that I am now enjoying painting and sketching in the outdoors, I found myself a box easel, and brought it along for the first time today.

Artist Kylie Fogarty Sketching in the Tulip Top Gardens
Sketching in the Tulip Top Gardens











With my ink works on paper, I’ve pondered my subject sometimes for weeks before starting, and have played many considerations in my mind even before I begin.

Plein air painting is quite another thing. The luxury of taking days or weeks to consider which elements to focus on isn’t a possibility unless you can come back for a period of time.

So, it was a learning curve!

I got to sketching, and found a wonderful view to quickly sketch in the surround and seated visitors to the garden.

Keen to try and start something colourful, I grabbed out the blank canvas and started… unfortunately it went down there from there.

I think I put a little too much pressure on myself to capture a colourful scene of the beautiful gardens and ambience, rather then relaxing and responding to the environment. It showed in my work and I ended up calling it a day on my canvas.

Besides that though, I found it wonderful to speak with many of the visitors to the garden who came up to see what was being created on the easel.

Artist Valentyna Crane plein air painting

Not so for Valentyna Crane, who is well known for embracing colour to the full, and today’s paintings were another example of wonderful vibrant paintings!

Val is often seen painting plein air in various locations around Canberra and delights in capturing those elements of Canberra that this great city is known for.

Portrait of Kylie Fogarty Artist by Valentyna Crane
Valentyna’s beautiful portrait









We had time for one more painting, and suddenly Val had captured our day beautifully in a quick painting of yours truly painting at Tulip Tops.

It was an amazing day creating. Music flows through the beautiful Willow trees to listen to as you stroll through the gardens, and it made it such an inspiring environment to paint in.

Tulip Top Garden Sketch ® Kylie Fogarty
Tulip Top Garden Sketch © Kylie Fogarty Art
















In hindsight, I wish I had continued with the sketch and added in some ink there on site and will enjoy completing that in the studio.

More importantly, I now have a great underpainting on my canvas which I will rework from the studio, and when I return for another day amongst the willow trees, I have a greater understanding of my process in the outdoors now.

I already have the next setting in my mind ready to capture on paper!

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