summer en plein air workshops

Paint & Picnic – Enjoy a Treat Day Out

Experience a One Day or 1/2 Day’s Outdoor Painting Workshop. Unwind & Relax with Lots of Hands-On Help & One-to-One Tuition. Stroll through the Beautiful Surroundings, Enjoying Peace & Tranquillity.

Come & Join Me For A Relaxing Day Of Outdoor Painting In Beautiful Surroundings

Passionate about teaching Nina has over 20 years of experience. Unwind & enjoy an easy, fun, relaxed atmosphere, with lots of hands-on help & one-to-one tuition. 

Demonstrations in sketching & painting are given. No need to worry about the rain!! We’re covered – with an area to work in no matter what the weather!!

Previous venues include workshops at: Burtown House & Gardens, Tullynally Castle & Gardens, Kilgar Gardens & Hamwood House.

This year I’m pleased to offer Painting Workshops throughout June, July & August. All levels, all materials supplied, all disciplines covered.

En Plein Air days out will be hosted by Moyglare Manor & Leixlip Castle. Indoor workshops will take place at Gelaldine Hall, Maynooth. Looking forward to sunny days ahead!!!


Half Day @ Moyglare Manor House - 13th July 2024

A magnificent country house built in 1764, Moyglare Manor sits in an old world setting with beautiful views and walks. Formerly a hotel which closed in 2009, the house stood empty for several years. Recently it has been returned to family use as the home of Malcolm Alexander and his wife, Angela, who have carried out extensive renovations to return the house to its former splendour.

It is a little piece of chilled out heaven. Where the sun streams into the rear conservatory in the mornings – an ideal spot for painting!!

Half Day @ Hotwell House 2023

Home to one of Ireland’s only warm springs, St. Gorman’s Well. Ramble about on the farm sketching chickens, sheep, ponies or one very naughty donkey.

Enjoy a stroll through the gardens, woodland and meadow with two-hundred-year-old specimen trees, one of the largest sycamores in Ireland and a giant redwood, brought from America as a seed by the original owners of the house.

In 2017 the stone barn was renovated by current owners Nick & Becky and is now a bright, warm studio space.

Full Day @ Larchill House & Gardens - 29th July 2023

Say hello to Percy the peacock, look out across the lake, see the walled garden, free ranging chucks & partridges & hear a little bit about the history of the house & garden from Mikie De Las Casas the current owner of Larchill.

The gardens at Larchill had fallen derelict, the lake drained, and the walled garden lost to grazing, until the De Casas family purchased Larchill in 1994 and set about restoring the estate.

Larchill Arcadian Garden is a ‘Ferme Ornee’ or Ornamental Farm and is the only surviving, near complete, garden of its type in Europe with ten 18th century follies, from the intriguing Fox’s Earth to the beautiful lake fortress of Gibraltar.

Enjoy the luminous effect of painting in natural light, become fully immersed in atmosphere & creativity. Be inspired to create in this calm, beautiful space.

Half Day @ Kilgar Gardens - 12th August 2023

A splash of colour awaits you here at any time of the year. Covering an area of three acres, Kilgar Gardens has been lovingly designed and maintained as a series of gardens within a garden by Paula Byrne. In 2005, Paula and her husband Thomas Byrne purchased a 23 acre site here, and after building a beautiful family home Paula’s love affair with gardening began.

Kilgar gardens comprises a series of garden ‘rooms’, each themed and unique, yet quietly interconnected, that take you a journey that will stay with you. Full of different shades of green, interesting patterns & textures – a challenge for any painter.

Like The Idea But Have No Clue What To Do Or Where To Start?

Don’t panic!! Nina will be on hand to help you choose a subject / medium, get started, build and then complete your chosen piece. All levels of student ability are catered for from total beginners to intermediate and advanced level students. 

No Need To Bring Any Art Materials Or Equipment. The Whole Kit & Kaboole Is Supplied!!

Students can work in their preferred medium or diversify as they choose. Fees include drawing materials for working in pencil, charcoal, or pastel (papers) and painting materials & equipment for oils/acrylics (one canvas per student), or watercolour (papers).

What’s The Plan - Half Day Workshops

Spend a moment or two saying hello over a coffee or juice before getting started. Students are then invited to stroll through the grounds finding their bearings & relaxing into their environs, using viewfinders to seek out subjects that catch the eye. Direction is given on outdoor painting & choosing a scene to paint, practising looking and seeing, thinking about focal points & composition.

Students congregate to see Nina give a demonstration sketch. Then choose their own spot to get set up to work a piece in their preferred medium – oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel, charcoal or pencil. Nina will advise on medium selection if students are unsure.

After a relaxed break (tea, coffee, juice, water, scones, pastries, fruit & yogurts), students work on their piece. Nina will advise students on their use of colour, texture and overall painting techniques.

Congregate to finish off the day, reviewing work, chatting and taking photos.

If the weather is unfavourable, looking, sketching & photographing will quickly take place outdoors. Longer pieces can then be worked on from our indoor / sheltered area.

What’s The Plan - Full Day Workshop

Enjoy a coffee & pastry or scone before spending awhile strolling through the grounds, finding your bearings & relaxing into the environs. Nina gives direction on outdoor painting & choosing a scene to paint. Using viewfinders to seek out subjects that catch the eye, practice looking and seeing, to build good compositions.

Nina will give a warmup demonstration sketch and then students are encouraged to complete a similar sketch if they wish, working in pencil, charcoal or pastel or any/all of these. Students then choose a second scene, laying down the initial prep / sketching work to create a painting in their preferred medium, oil (on canvas), acrylic (on canvas) or watercolour (on paper).

After a relaxing break for lunch (wraps, sandwiches, salad, soup, fruit, yogurt etc), Nina will give a painting demonstration. Students continue working on their own paintings until congregating to finish off the day with some refreshments. Reviewing work, chatting and taking photos.

Mikie De Las Casas the current owner of Larchill, will join us for a few moments so that we can learn a little bit about the history of the house & gardens.


If the weather is unfavourable, looking, sketching & photographing will quickly take place outdoors. Longer pieces can then be worked on from our indoor / sheltered area.

What's Included?

Materials for drawing in pencil, charcoal or soft pastel on paper. Painting materials & equipment for working in oils, acrylics, or watercolour. One canvas per student is supplied and watercolour paper as required. Disposable aprons, easels, paint, palettes, brushes palette knives, water tubs, cloths etc are supplied for students use. Students take their work home at the end of the day – usually, a sketch on paper and a painting on canvas or paper.

Entrance to the gardens.

Refreshments – teas/coffees, water/juice, pastries/scones, fresh fruit/yogurt. Lunch (for full day workshops) – soup, wraps/ciabatta/sandwich, salad, cakes etc), are included in the fee.

So, What Will I Need?

Wear old clothes and your most comfortable pair of shoes!!! Bring sun cream, sunglasses, bug spray, a big hat, a light warm jacket or raincoat & a camera or phone. If you prefer to work seated bring a camping stool or chair.