Wildlife and botanical artist Laura Ashton is giving a workshop on painting a bird's nest in watercolour at Ratio Coffee and Pastry

Wildlife and botanical artist Laura Ashton is giving a workshop on painting a bird's nest in watercolour at Ratio Coffee and Pastry

Learn to paint a bird’s nest with local botanical and wildlife artist Laura Ashton

Ashton is about to share her expertise in a workshop to be held at Vernon’s Ratio Coffee & Pastry Tuesday, March 29.

Ever since she was a young girl, Laura Ashton has been fascinated by the flora and fauna of the natural world.

It’s apparent in her paintings, which show the fascinating and often fragile world of plants and animals.

An award winning botanical and wildlife artist, Ashton is about to share her expertise in a workshop to be held at Vernon’s Ratio Coffee & Pastry Tuesday, March 29.

Participants will learn how to paint a spring inspired bird’s nest.

“I am hoping to do more workshops independently to promote awareness and appreciation for nature/plants/wildlife in the community, as well a teach my specific way of watercolour illustration,” she said. “In the upcoming workshop on the 29th, besides learning to paint a watercolour bird’s nest, I am also going to do a quick introduction about a few different kinds of bird’s nests you might find here in the North Okanagan.”

A graduate of the London (U.K.) Art College in botanical painting, Ashton is originally from Victoria, B.C., and now lives in the North Okanagan.

She also completed the U.K. Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) distance learning course in botanical painting, and after 2.5 years of study,  was awarded a diploma with credit.

In 2015, Ashton was accepted into the Botanical Artists of Canada.

She now teaches watercolour painting locally, sells her original artwork, art prints, stationary items, illustrated textiles and works on commissions.

“Nature has always been my inspiration, and from a young age I have had a keen interest in botany and animals. I have had the opportunity to go on rare plants surveys with some of the top botanists in the country. I really enjoy learning and identifying native plants as well as more popular garden varieties,” said Ashton.

“One of the highlights of my youth was being able to assist with wildlife rescues in Victoria B.C. and raising many successful rescue animals myself. Having such close contact with a variety of animals inspired me to use my botanical painting training to also create wildlife watercolour portraits.”

Tuesday’s workshop at Ratio runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room upstairs at 3101 29th St. in the old train station. All materials are included and cost is $45 per person.

Pre-registration is required. Book a space by e-mailing Ashton at lashtonart@gmail.com, or register online via lauraashtonartist.com. All levels of watercolour painters are welcome.