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Capturing the Color of the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival

Photo by Bobbi Pratte.

Just in time to catch the yearly lavender bloom on this side of the Atlantic, a group of artists joined instructor Bobbi Pratte for a travel workshop to Willow Pond Farm in Pennsylvania for plein air painting in the sweeping lavender fields. This past Saturday and Sunday, Bobbi and her students painted the landscape, ate gourmet meals, and toured the colorful lavender fields in perfect weather.

After Friday night’s welcome dinner and breakfast at Hickory Bridge Farm, the workshop started Saturday morning with a painting session at Willow Pond Farm. Bobbi did a demo for the class and then the group took their sketchbooks around the grounds, capturing the more than 100 varieties of lavender over the 32 acre farm.

Painting stopped at lunchtime for a six-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Madeline Wajda, with each course incorporating lavender.

“It was a big hit,” Bobbi said.

Cucumber soup at Saturday’s lunch. Photo by Bobbi Pratte.
Photo by Jean Schwartz.

“I had no idea you could do so much with lavender,” attendee Jean Schwartz exclaimed. “The lavender lemonade was the best lemonade I have ever had!” Jean wrote more about the workshop over on her blog.

Painting continued that afternoon and on Sunday, with a critique Sunday afternoon.

“We had a great group — the chemistry was excellent,” Bobbi said. “Nobody wanted to go home.”

Jean wrote, “This is such an unspoiled, beautiful place so close to home.  I think we are all thankful for the opportunity and we could not have asked for a better leader than Bobbi!”

Photo by Jean Schwartz.
Bobbi Pratte gives a demo during the workshop. Photo by Jean Schwartz.
Photo by Bobbi Pratte.

The Art League offers travel workshops for artists to a variety of locales. Upcoming destinations include the Bahamas and Ethiopia — for details on past and upcoming workshops, visit our travel workshop page. We are planning a repeat of the Pennsylvania Lavender trip during next June’s Lavender Festival, as well as a trip to the area this October to paint the fall foliage. Stay tuned for more!

More photos are after the jump and on Bobbi’s Facebook page (log-in required). Click through for more:

Photo by Jean Schwartz.
Willow Pond Farm provided a tour of their lavender fields, which produce over 140 varieties of lavender. Photo by Jean Schwartz.
The workshop group with Chef Madeline. Photo by Bobbi Pratte.
Photo by Bobbi Pratte.
Photo by Bobbi Pratte.

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