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Field Sketching | Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Field Sketching at Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

In our quest for new places to explore, GNSI-NE has chosen Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary for a late August field sketching outing. Please consider carpooling with other members and let’s go have some artistic fun in the great outdoors!

Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Rowley, MA has 1.7 miles of trails through 226 acres encompassing spectacular coastal woodlands, salt marshes, tidal creeks, and salt pannes, and supports an astonishing diversity of wildlife. The sanctuary, managed in collaboration with the Essex County Greenbelt, is part of the Great Marsh ecosystem. The area has been designated an Important Bird Area and Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

– taken from Mass Audubon website

The comments section has been turned on in case people want to coordinate carpooling, or meeting times for lunch or to share the work you have created. Please feel free to drop a comment and get the plans in motion for this exciting day of nature observation.

Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary Highlights

  • Five well-marked trails through magnificent coastal woodlands to several viewpoints that offer panoramas of the Great Marsh.
  • Habitats that favor many breeding bird species, such as Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Saltmarsh Sparrows, as well as migratory birds like Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers.
  • Granite benches at the end of Professor Chandler’s Long Walk and on the Kestrel Trail, providing wonderful places to sit, contemplate nature, or have a snack.
  • Sawyer’s Island, a one-mile hike from the parking area, has spectacular vistas from every direction and a view of an active Osprey nesting platform.
  • Programs for all ages are held through Joppa Flats Education Center.

Two sanctuaries to visit in Rowley!

Alternatively, you can also visit Nelson Island, which is immediately next to Rough Meadows, but you must pay attention to the tides as this area is affected by the high tide, make sure to check the tide schedule and plan accordingly.

Be prepared to be outside!

  • The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, so if you want to arrive before 10 or stay after 4 to avoid the midday heat, that’s perfectly fine.
  • We recommend wearing sunscreen and a hat and bringing a windbreaker as the area is wide open and you will be exposed to the sun and wind.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Have appropriate insect repellent and apply it if you expect to get into any vegetation that may harbor ticks.
  • Bring portable seating for extended sessions of sketching or painting in one place.
  • Bring a bag lunch and plenty of water with you.
  • Download a PDF trail map to have with you while you hike.

Plein Air Painting and Sketching at Sachuset Point National Wildlife Refuge

Plein air painting – celebrating gathering outdoors!

Plein air painting “in the open air” seems to be the greatest way to celebrate the reestablishment of getting back to normal life. Leave the four walls of your studio behind, grab your easel, paper, brushes, and paints and head out into the great outdoors for our first in-person gathering since COVID-19 shut everything down.  If painting isn’t your thing… bring your sketchbooks, pencils, pens, or any other media you choose to play with. Our destination is Sachuset Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, RI, one of five wildlife refuge areas in Rhode Island. Sachuset Point NWR offers a variety of habitats to explore and paint from shrubland to salt marsh and cobble beach.

The comments section has been turned on in case people want to coordinate carpooling, or meeting times for lunch or to share the work you have created. Please feel free to drop a comment and get the plans in motion for this celebration of getting back to some form of normalcy.

See below for directions and contact information.

Be prepared to be outside!

  • The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, so if you want to arrive before 10 or stay after 4 to avoid the midday heat, that’s perfectly fine.
  • Parking may be limited according to their website, so we highly recommend people carpool if at all possible, and arrive as early as possible.
  • We recommend wearing sunscreen and a hat and bringing a windbreaker as the area is wide open and you will be exposed to the sun and wind.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Have appropriate insect repellent and apply it if you expect to get into any vegetation that may harbor ticks.
  • Bring portable seating for extended sessions of painting in one place.
  • Bring a bag lunch and plenty of water with you. Currently, the visitor center is NOT open to the public.
  • Download a PDF trail map to have with you while you hike.

Chapter Open Sketch and Share via Zoom

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
– Theodore Roosevelt

As we start off 2021 we are still working through the challenges of COVID-19, and so our first scheduled sketch and share session of the year will be held via Zoom. This quote from Theodore Roosevelt seemed fitting – do what you can… draw! sketch! create! With what you have… pencil, ink, watercolor, digital tablet, colored pencil. Where you are… in your studio, looking out your window, from your car if you feel like taking a drive somewhere. Then share it with the group!

Alternatively, if you have something in process and would like a critique session, feel free to share your work and get feedback from other Chapter members. This will be an informal gathering in which we can simply enjoy each others company and creativity the best way we can at the moment. Future sessions may be themed, or focus on a particular subject or some other way to challenge your creativity, but for the first one, we’ll keep it wide open.

Plein air painting at Blithewold Gardens

Plein Air Painting Field Trip

Come join us as we enjoy the cool fall air of October and the beautiful garden views and vistas of Narragansett Bay that can only be found at the treasure of Blithewold Gardens. For those of you who have not visited, Blithewold is a stately 33-acre estate masterfully designed by several well-known landscape architects. There is a wonderful blend of both historic and contemporary gardening, nurseries, walkways, plantings and sculptures. The peak blooming season may have passed, but the fall foliage should be well underway, and there are bound to be wonderful quiet places to sit and simply enjoy being outside and allowing one’s creativity to fill blank pages or canvases.

You do need to register ahead of time, so please visit the link in the Details area and purchase a ticket ahead of time.

Botanical Sketching | Tower Hill Botanical Garden Field Trip

Socially Distant Botanical Sketching

Our Chapter is organizing a small group of attendees to visit Tower Hill Botanical Garden and do socially distant botanical sketching in the outdoor garden areas. This group is limited to 12 participants, and you will need to preregister with Carol Schwartz or Mei Leung by June 10th to secure your place. To help spread out visitors, Tower Hill is staggering entry times, and we need to enter the garden during our assigned 1.5 hour entry time then we can stay until the garden closes at 5 PM.

*** Rain date is Thursday, June 18th ***

Visitor Safety Guidelines (From Tower Hill’s Visitor Page)

  • If you are sick, please stay home!
  • Masks or face coverings are required for all visitors over the age of 2 who are able throughout Tower Hill property.
  • Stay six feet from visitors not in your household. Make room for others to pass when possible.
  • The Visitor Center is closed at this time, including Farmer & the Fork Café, Garden Shop, and Library. All plants from the two conservatories have been moved outside to their summer homes.
  • Indoor restrooms are available near the Limonaia. These restrooms are being cleaned in accordance with CDC and state guidelines. Please be prepared to physically distance while you wait in line.
  • Due to public health guidelines, they are unable to offer drinking water on site. Please bring your own.
  • Picnics are permitted in grassy areas, but they do ask that you take any trash with you. Due to public health restrictions, they have removed most chairs throughout the property.
  • The Garden cannot loan wheelchairs to visitors at this time.

You may visit Tower Hill’s website to plan your visit and stay safe while enjoying the beautiful outdoor garden spaces.

Botanical Sunday Sketch and Paint | Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions,
this event will now take place virtually!

By now we have all gotten used to the “due to coronavirus concerns this event is being cancelled”… well, coronavirus may keep us from travelling to Tower Hill Botanical Garden to mingle with other illustrators, but it cannot keep us from enjoying creating some nice botanical-themed artwork that we can all share here on this website. For those of you who are getting a bit of cabin fever, we invite you to spend Sunday, March 22nd creating a botanical piece, then submitting it to Wendy Chadbourne by 5 PM so she can get it posted for everyone to enjoy.

Image specs: 72 DPI, preferably no larger than 500 pixels in either dimension. Please sign your work. Include your name, subject and media used. Feel free to include “Shut-in and Illustrate” added to your work somewhere… maybe put those calligraphy skills Wendy Berube shared with us last month to good use? What do you say? Will you join us in creating some positive vibes in the world?

Mushroom Hunting Identification Hike and Sketch

Mushroom Hunting Identification Hike and Sketch

Come join the New England Chapter as we have a fun time hunting for fungi in Charlestown, Rhode Island with Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt, the founders of The Mushroom Hunting Foundation. Afterwards, our host Susan Sward has offered her studio space for anyone who wants to settle in and sketch any of the fungi collected during the hike. Dress appropriately for spending time outdoors and wear suitable shoes for hiking in the woods. This mushroom hunting identification hike will take place rain or shine, so please come prepared if there is rain in the forecast.

About The Mushroom Hunting Foundation

Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt created this nonprofit foundation to educate people about safely hunting for wild mushrooms. Wild mushrooms aren’t just interesting to look at, they can also be used for cooking, medicinal purposes and even decontaminating polluted soil! This hike should provide everyone with a fresh view of our local fungi – and it certainly sounds like there will be a wealth of information to take in.

Want to join us?

If you want to attend this event, please contact the Chapter President, Wendy Chadbourne, before November 10th for preregistration information. Please note, we need to have a minimum number of 6 attendees for this event to take place, and since it is being held at a members house preregistration is required!

Image credit: The featured image on this event post is a watercolour titled Local Fungi by Frances Topping.

Ecotarium Field Trip | Worcester MA

Our first field trip of 2019!

Since the weather outside is not favourable for outdoor field sketching, we are heading indoors. Come join us as we hold our first field trip of 2019 at the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA. This museum, founded in 1825, showcases three floors of exhibits geared towards science and nature education. Exhibits include live animal habitats, a digital planetarium and interactive exhibits for visitors both young and young at heart. Pack your sketchbooks, pencils, pens, brushes and your love of all things science and spend an afternoon indoors as we explore this new venue.

We will meet at the museum entrance around 10 AM when they open. You are free to explore on your own and stay as long as you wish. We usually gather again at some point during the day to share our discoveries with each other. Bring your own bag lunch, or grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.

The snow date for this event is February 16th.