Saturday, March 17, 2018

Potting up an art class

When a boiling hot day is forecast, do all your gardening as early as you can in the morning. Then, as a well-earned reward, enjoy a pot of tea. And so here I am, sipping tea and blogging late on a very warm Sydney Saturday morning in March.

It's been a fun morning too. I've been selecting and potting up a bunch of succulents from our succulent garden, in preparation for the watercolour workshop on cacti and succulents which Pam will be running on Wednesday, March 28. I'll add in details of the class at the end of this posting. If you're in Sydney and interested in joining Pam for a relaxed, enjoyable few hours of watercolour painting, get in contact with her. And beginners are welcome!

Here's the first tray all potted up ...

And here's the other one.

As you can see from the photos, there's an amazing variety of shapes, colours, leaf forms and plant forms. To cover the whole variety found within the amazing world of cacti and succulents, you'd need a thousand trays. So we just kept it down to a couple of dozen little pots, as a beginner's representative sample. Here's a few of them ...

As soon a people clap eyes on this Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' they want one. I've done some other postings on Copper Spoons before, such as here. They are very easy to propagate, and autumn is a nice time for them, as they are starting to colour up right now with that coppery glow.

I'm a sucker for variegated leaves (here and there, not everywhere!) and this little Crassula looks like the perfect subject for the soft tones of watercolours. 

We have far more succulents than cacti here, so recently I popped down to our garden centre to see if I could add a few cacti to the mix, and I fell in love with this cute little spiky person — I've named it 'Arizona' — and its spherical pal.

So here's the info you need if you want to book yourself into Pam's March workshop on cactus and succulents. As well as the monthly workshops, every Wednesday morning she also holds a casual drop-in art class at The Bakehouse Studio in Marrickville.

Also, at the same venue, The Bakehouse Studio, she and ceramicist Lisa Hoelzl host a regular Open Studio for painters, potters and ceramic artists every Friday. 

Pictured below is one of Pam's watercolours, of cacti growing against an old church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

54 Renwick Street, Marrickville NSW
Wednesday from 10am – 1pm, March 28

For more details, visit Pam's website at

Or, for info and updates,

And her Instagram feed at @pamelahorsnellartist


MDN said...

Jamie, it's boiling hot here in Argentina too, in summer my garden activities are restricted to the minimum strictly necessary, heat depletes me. I have kalanchoe copper spoons too, nice plant but mine doesn't grow much! have a nice weekend!

Jamie said...

It's funny how some succulents thrive and others don't. I have several here which just struggle along, but all of them get an almost identical amount of neglect!

Phil in Newcastle said...

Hi Jamie. Your collection of succulents make a picturesque display. They really are the prettiest and most interesting class of plants. Others might be photogenic, but succulents are works of art in themselves (o the art students only have to copy them accurately to succeed!).

My garden isn't big on them but sports a few that simply won't leave despite being ignored. The usual jade plants, aloe vera, a type of agave that frightens me a little when I see how big they might grow.

Most interesting of all is one I inherited from my dear departed Mum and has hung around the garden in various reincarnations for the past 20 years. It's an ugly old thing called kalanchoe beharensis that both refuses to expire or to flourish. I've no idea how to encourage it to become its true self, a big tree-like thingy - as seen in numerous Google images, that is.

All the best to the missus. Watercolours are my favourite type of painting. More expressive and creatively free-form.


Jamie said...

Thanks for your comments. I had to look up Kalanchoe beharensis, and once I saw the photos I recognised it. We saw some really nice examples of it in the succulent garden at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Garden in Brisbane.

You're right about succulents being works of art, too!

KD said...

Nice blog Jamie! I'm looking forward to painting the succulents you have potted up at Pam's upcoming workshop. I have just started growing some succulents in small pots and hey are going well and have been easy to propagate.

Jamie said...

Thanks KD. I'm loving looking at my little trays of potted-up succulents every morning. I'll be sad to see them go!

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