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Event Details

March 23–April 27, 2023
10:30 am –12:30 pm


Members: $275
Not-Yet-Members: $325
Registration Required 


High Museum of Art
Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Event Description

Immerse yourself in the highly symbolic botanical world seen in Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature and in the rich and varied flora living at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. During this six-week art-making class, we will explore nature—real and imagined—and consider how engaging with the natural world can influence our state of being and state of mind. Through observational sketching, photography, and painting, we will examine the beauty of the natural world, drawing connections to our personal relationship to nature, medicinal and health practices, and the many ways nature provides sanctuary.

Led by High Museum teaching artist Jaffia Royes, we will develop observational renderings of organic forms both in the classroom and en plein air. We will experiment with drawing and other media such as pastel, charcoal, watercolor, gouache, and smartphone cameras. All materials will be provided, and no prior experience is required.

This class will take place on Thursdays at the High Museum of Art and at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. See more information on the class structure and locations below.

  • Week One: The first class will take place at the High and will include a visit to the exhibition Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature. Afterward, we will head to the studio to create observation drawing studies from still life subjects while exploring composition, contour, and value.
  • Week Two: This class will take place at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. During this session, we will create photographs in the Garden to use as visual references and gather inspiration for subsequent art making. We will capture both spatial and scenic elements and close-up compositions.
  • Week Three: The third class will also take place at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. During this class, we will create painting studies on-site in the Garden using gouache paint.
  • Week Four: We will return to the High for the fourth class. Spending time in the workshop, we will begin our final work of art by combining references—both drawn and photographed—to develop concepts for creating an imagined landscape.
  • Week Five: The fifth class will take place at the High, where we will continue to expand on our final work of art by adding layers and elements of meaning to the composition.
  • Week Six: Our classes will conclude at the High, where we will add final touches to our completed work of art and engage in a critique with other classmates.


About Your Instructor

A recent transplant to Georgia, Jaffia Royes is a visual artist and art educator who lived and worked in New York City for seventeen years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art with a focus in painting from Florida State University. As an educator, she has worked with various art organizations, museums, and schools and has taught artists of all ages, including portfolio development for artists entering art and design colleges and universities. Although her primary medium for over two decades has been oil, she has spent the last few years developing works in clay.

While living in New York, Jaffia set about her journey of collecting plants; to combat the stressors of city life and personal loss, she felt the need to eventually curate her own sanctuary within her apartment. Naturally, a convergence of art and plant life occurred, beginning with gouache painting studies and photography. In 2020, she began sculpting vessels as a creative way to house some of her plants. Soon after, she began receiving commission requests for her handmade vessels. Her passion for art and plant life allows space for her to practice mindfulness, serenity, and self-care.