hello lovely :)

I love working with children and am always delighted to get invited to do workshops around the country. Children really inspire me as they are all brilliant at drawing and just go ahead and do it – no faffing about! They just sit and draw and let the inspiration flow. In my workshops I aim to encourage that natural talent and help them develop their work in their own style. There is no right and wrong way – so I don’t want them all to draw just like the way I do – instead, my wish is for everyone to be themselves and express themselves as fully as they can through their art.

Upcoming:
Nature Journal workshop on August 22nd as part of Heritage Week at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.
This will be for 8-12 year olds and is free …booking details here.

July 2017 – Wildflower sketch walk for Carlow Garden Festival for adults and children

Carlow Garden Festival has been running for about 15 years now and each year it’s getting bigger and better! The headliner this year was Monty Don, who gave a sold out talk on the same evening I had my workshops. I had two groups on Friday 21st June, and a lot of the participants were total beginners. Our sketch walk was along the river Barrow in Leighlinbridge (the prettiest village ever) and we did loads of drawing exercises to get us going and help improve the observation skills! It was lovely to meet everyone, I got a very warm and homely welcome and made new friends. Here’s a few pics but there’s more on the Carlow Tourism Facebook page here.

June 2017 – Art Workshop for Children and Adults at Body & Soul Festival

I had a drop-in nature art workshop for adults and children on the Air Stage after my talk, in the forest at Body & Soul music festival – it was different to my other workshops because everyone was just having a wander so I would entice them in and see if they wanted to draw with me, which luckily enough they did! We focused on trees and leaves and did some cutting, drawing and colouring. Most people stayed and made art for between ten and twenty minutes before wandering off to the other fab workshops/installations in the same area.

Art Workshop at Body & Soul 2017

March 2017 – Dubray Books Blackrock – My Naturama Nature Journal Workshop

So now our new book is out, Michael Fewer and I had a nature drawing workshop in Dubray Books Blackrock with 30 children from St Andrews Primary School. We based the workshop on the “Draw your favourite tree” exercise from My Naturama Nature Journal. Everyone drew trees and we spoke about the environment and local wildlife. Michael brought along his amazing collection of seashells, a dead badger skull, and pressed leaves from exotic trees and we all had a big chat about trees. I think I got a photos of all of the drawings (fingers crossed!). Gorgeous trees! There’s a few more photos here on Gill books Faceboook… and on my own Facebook page here.

Feb 2017 – Enniscorthy Library, Wexford – Reading Together Festival

I did a very special valentines workshop in Enniscorthy Library for little kids on February 14th as part of the “Reading Together” festival. Thanks a million to Caroline Busher, the Wexford Library Reader in Residence, for inviting me down. Thanks as well to John Busher for the photos.
I brought a box of glitter hearts and premade cards as a base for colouring in – my little gang of three and four year olds coloured in the inside, glued on the hearts at the front, and covered the rest with love heart stamps and glitter glue. The result – love bombs with 100% joy ready to give to mammy and daddy.

 

Nov 2016  – Sligo – Nature Drawing for Science Week

I spent a wonderful afternoon doing two nature drawing workshops for children on November 18th in Sligo town as part of Science Week. Here are some pictures – we drew lots of trees and talked about how great they are as habitats and what the world would be like if there was no trees.

Sligo Science Week 2017Sligo Science Week 2017Sligo Science Week 2017

Sept/Oct 2016  – Leitrim – Explore & Create

Explore & Create Explore & Create

I led a six week (one evening a week) workshop called Explore & Create, in The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim, for 8-12 year olds. The workshop were all about creating a funny little world as a group. We made new parts each week – forests, houses, animals, mountains, people and finally, monsters – all made up worlds need a few monsters. Take a look at the photos to see the wonderful creations!

explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate  explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate  explore and create with go radiateexplore and create with go radiateexplore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiateexplore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiateexplore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate  explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate explore and create with go radiate  explore and create with go radiateexplore and create in the dock with go radiate

This was the tiny video I before the workshop to encourage children to sign up! (it worked :))

Oct 2016  – Wexford – Nature Drawing at Gorey Library

I made a visit to Gorey Co Wexford, on Saturday October 1st for a nature drawing workshop for children in the library. We made drawings of forests and wild creatures and everyone had lots of stories to tell me all about the wildlife in Wexford! Here are some photos of the day:

Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016  Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016 Workshop with melissa Doran at Gorey Library 2016

August 2016 – Wild Words Children’s Book Festival in Leitrim

The above videos are of my nature journals from when I was 11, please press play.

These are the personalised notebooks for the children to fill up with nature drawings and stick in leaves and feathers at our Nature Journal workshop for Wild Words.

 

I was invited to host some workshops along with Michael Fewer (writer of Naturama) in my hometown of Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim for the wonderful Wild Words Children’s Book Festival last August 13th and 14th.

We had a Naturama inspired nature journal workshop for children on the Saturday.
We customised blank notebooks for every child before they arrived and they went on to fill them up with drawings and stuck in leaves and feathers. I also brought along my own nature journals from when I was small (see videos above). Once they got going there was no stopping them!

I was also extremely honoured to be the host of a Naturedoodle on the Sunday morning – see video for the result…50 children all at once was a bit daunting but they were all so well behaved and sat and drew away to their hearts content. My nieces and nephews came along to help over the weekend which made it even nicer!

Photos from Wild Words Children’s Book Festival 2016
Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Michael Fewer and Melissa Doran, Naturama at Wild Words Festival in Leitrim 2016

Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Naturama at Wild Words

Hedgehog drawing :) Naturama at Wild Words

Nature Doodle at Wild Words with Melissa Doran

Nature Doodle at Wild Words Festival

Me with some of my nieces and nephews and their cousins at the nature doodle

Me with some of my nieces and nephews and their cousins at the nature doodle

50 creative children!

50 creative children!

My nephew Emmet and his cousin Daire collaborating :)

My nephew Emmet and his cousin Daire collaborating :)