Art in the Park Group

Our monthly Art in the Park group is led by local artist Katy Fattuhi.

The sessions are free, but you do need to book a place:

When you have booked we will let you know where we are meeting and can inform you of any last minute changes due to the weather.

Bring your own materials - you may want to draw or paint, or you may like to do some photography or sewing - whatever you fancy! Please bring what you think you will need. (Some basic materials can be provided - please enquire about this when booking if required).

Bring something to sit on - a fold up chair or a mat. If you would like to book a place or find out more please email allyparkn10@gmail.com

Each month we will meet in a different part of the park and notice what is happening in nature at that time of year.

Katy runs an art group for children in the garden at Campsbourne School and also ran a small neighbours art group for adults in the park through the Palace View Mutual Aid group in the Autumn. She is passionate about providing opportunities for people to be creative in a no pressure way and to engage with nature, for all the benefits these bring.

Previous sessions.....

Art in the Park - 21st March

We had a good turnout (nine sketchers and one photographer) as the lure of the cherry blossoms and the spring sun drew people out (excuse the pun!). The petals gently fell around us as we took up spots amongst the blossoming trees and decided what to draw/photograph. Some focused on trying to capture the ethereal candy-floss effect of the cherry trees and others focused on the views both up and down the hill. A thoroughly enjoyable morning, though once again it passed too quickly! We look forward to having slightly extended sessions as the weather warms. The group is very friendly and open to anyone who would like to give outdoor sketching a try – please do join us!

Art in the Park - 25th January

It’s now been three years in a row that we have met outdoors in January without the weather scuppering our plans! It was very mild this time, so once again we felt the end of the session came too soon. Katy re-introduced the idea of drawing inside a circle, which some of the group took up with enthusiasm and found to be a particularly effective way of capturing winter tree forms (picture by Marylin). We had a new joiner, who mentioned how good it was to come outside to draw and what great opportunities the park has for doing so.

Art in the Park: 23rd November

A glorious morning in the woods beneath the pitch & putt, with autumn at its peak. Nine of us tucked away in a seasonally beautiful hidden spot that we have been to together in previous autumns. The yellow leaves came down around us and the sun popped through the canopy. The group had a wonderful time soaking it all up and putting pencil/brush to paper to try to capture something of it. The hour went far too quickly. One participant summed it up very nicely: “Thank you, as always, for a glorious morning! I always feel so inspired in such a lovely place”. 

Art in the Park: 19th October

A small group of us braved it out into the woods above the Lower Road during a break in the rain, but unfortunately by the time we had settled down, got out our drawing things and begun, the rain came down again! Nevertheless, no one regretted having made the effort – it’s always a tonic to get out into nature whatever else is going on in the world.

Art in the Park: 21st September

Six of us gathered for a peaceful morning drawing (and photographing) in the warm glow of the September sun sweeping across the South Slope. The array of picturesquely positioned clusters of trees and smaller details such as bark, drying grasses and a clump of ragwort glowing gold in the seasonal light caught the attention of our group.

Family Session - Art in the Park: 10th September

On a hot, sunny September morning, 18 children and their families gathered in a peaceful, hidden part of the park between the Cricket Pitch and the Lower Road. Katy gave each family a copy of her spotter’s sheet to some of the plants of the park, and children and parents then explored the vicinity to gather a few to use as alternative paintbrushes. Plantain, in abundance, was a popular choice. Adults as well as children joined the fun. There was great feedback on how much everyone enjoyed the relaxed creative time in nature together.


Art in the Park: 20th July 

A lovely summery session in a quiet and lesser known but beautiful part of the park – just to the east of Pitch & Putt. We spread out along an avenue of horse chestnuts. The sunlight caught the long grass as the crickets hummed and we all very felt very peaceful in our little 'spot in the country' in the metropolis. Members of the group tried a range of drawing approaches this time, including lots of tiny sketches, with notes on sounds heard while drawing, and bold rubbings of a tree bark.  

Art in the Park: 29th June 

After so many days of sunshine, our session was planned for the only morning this month forecast to be rainy! Not to be deterred, we met in the East Court café, where we were able to do some sketches of natural bits and pieces that Katy had collected on the way to the meet-up. The damp subsided, so we went to our intended meeting spot, the Rose Garden, perched at the top of the east side of the park. The waterlilies were looking splendid and became the focus of our attention for a very enjoyable and peaceful second hour. A tonic all round for the small group that braved the initial damp!  

Art in the Park: 18th May 

A group of 10 of us finally enjoyed a mild session after the cold of the winter sessions. We sat around the path at the bottom of the Grove. There is great variety here – in one direction you look up towards a more formal part, with its avenue of lime trees (Dr Johnson’s Walk) and the cluster of black pines. In the other direction is the much more natural-looking Spinney, under the canopy of which is frothing cow parsley dotted with purple bluebells. Giving ourselves a bit longer (2 hours) now that the weather is milder meant more time to build up our drawings, resulting in some lovely spring scenes.  

Art in the Park: 27th April 

We chose a verdant spot in the south-west corner of the park (just above Redston Field) with a lovely mix of trees, including a number of apples and cherries in blossom. The undergrowth seemed to be growing before our eyes and it was the sunshine formations of the dandelions that seemed to particularly catch our artists’ attention this time.

  It was nice to be joined by a couple of new faces, and a few old faces who had not been able to make it for many months enjoyed making it back into the fold. We’re always open for more people to join! This month we even had our youngest-ever participant, courtesy of the teacher strike. 

Family Art in the Park: 2nd April 

Our first Family Art in the Park session with Katy was a great success with lots children (and accompanying adults!) being very creative and enthusiastic. The weather wasn't warm, but the interaction with nature looking at the wild flowers, trees and even some tadpoles was follow by an explosion of creativity. Katy give the children plenty of ideas and help on what to do and the children didn't disappoint.

The session ended with the tadpoles being returned to the pond under the close supervision of the children.

More pictures from the session here.

Art in the Park: 23rd March

It was a blustery spring day for our March meet-up, but that didn’t put off our now hardy group of outdoor sketchers. We perched on the pathway along Alexandra Palace Way with our sketchbooks on our laps to figure out how to translate the joyful annual show of billowy pink blooms of the cherry trees at the top of the South Slope. The sky provided a moody backdrop that really set off the soft pinks. Not an easy challenge, but there were some beautiful drawings made. However, we had a hurried end as the skies opened and we had to quickly pack everything away! 

Art in the Park Group: 23rd February 

The Boating Lake is a good place for drawing at this time of year, as the benches provide plenty of ready-made seating for us and the weekday mornings are peaceful. It meant we got to enjoy what all the birds were doing – some brave participants even attempted to draw them. Others focused on the pollarded willows that edge the lake (picture by Jenni Slinn). We also had a new participant who hadn’t drawn since she was at school many years ago. So don’t be nervous if you fancy trying a bit of art again – do please join us at a future session. All are welcome! 

Art in the Park: 26th January

Finally, the group regulars managed a regular group session! Some unexpected drizzle almost spoilt the fun initially, but after that we all enjoyed a bit of wintry, grey, peaceful time observing the bare tree forms on the South Slope. We’ll admit fingers were getting cold as the hour drew to a close but we agreed that, so long as you have your layers on, drawing outside in January is actually very enjoyable. 

Art in the Park: 17th and 24th November

 Again last month the group was challenged by the rain. Katy ended up hosting two mini sessions, as the forecast for rain washed away much of the planned attendance! Nevertheless it was a tonic, as always for those who braved it, to be out in nature drawing in the company of others. They sat in the woods just below the pitch and putt course where there is a dense patch of young field maples. This created a lovely effect of light rippling through to the yellow woodland floor, where, when they looked carefully, there were also some fabulous fungi popping up! 

Art in the Park: 20th October 

October’s session was cancelled because of rain, but two of us were desperate to get out and draw in nature. So we sat in the woods and mastered holding a brolly in our left hands while drawing with our right! The rain got into the mix of the art materials to do its own thing, which was an interesting dimension... So, although not ideal conditions, we discovered it’s still possible to do some art in the rain, and that whatever the weather, time looking at nature is always a tonic 

Art in the Park: 22nd September

Our group of nine enjoyed a surprisingly warm late-September morning in a somewhat under-noticed part of the park – the area with the intriguing balloon tether. Most people simply walk through, so it was good to take some time to enjoy its nature and different vistas along pathways, across sunny fields and up to the palace. And we even delighted in the discovery of the first jewel-like conkers of the season! 

Art in the Park: 26th August 

Astonishingly, considering this summer’s weather, our session had to be postponed to the next day due to torrential rain. Sadly this meant our expected turnout was reduced to four. Nevertheless, we had a thoroughly enjoyable and peaceful session, taking in some sweeping vistas of the park from a somewhat wild, tucked-away vantage point between the Lower Path and the Cricket Pitch – all slightly fresher and brighter after the rain! 

Art in the Park - July 


Nine of us, a mix of regulars and new members, enjoyed a peaceful, sunny morning drawing in the south-eastern corner of the South Slope. We seemed to have the whole vista to ourselves. Some participants homed in on the dry, grassy areas and details of leaves and flowers from the wilder patch we were sitting next to. Others looked up the hill at the elegant cluster of trees framed within a striking view of the palace itself. We discussed the exhibition we may put on now that we have reached session 12 – a whole year of Art in the Park. 

Art in the Park - May 

We had one of those days when we didn’t know if it was about to rain or the sun was about burst out from behind the clouds. In the end, it stayed overcast for the 10 of us in the Anthill Meadow, which meant that, disappointingly, the butterflies stayed away. However, there was so much to see in the detail of the tangle of long grasses that this kept our artists’ eyes busy. We found that when we sat down, the wildflowers and grasses came to eye level, so a whole world of interest opened up. We thoroughly enjoyed all the beauty on offer and also realised that we needed to brush up a bit on our wildflower names! 

Art in the Park - March  

What a wonderful spring morning!


It's been beautifully captured in Tricia's photo

Lovely to have 5 new members join us too. 

Art in the Park - February 

This month’s meet up had to be put back a day due to torrential rain and hail forecast for our meet-up time! However, all was serene and sparkling up at the Boating Lake the following day. We were a smaller group of five due to the change of day, but we made the most of the sunny spot to enjoy each other’s relaxed company and attempt to capture the effects of rippling water and the forms of rather uncooperative water birds, who just didn’t seem to want to stay near us for longer than 10 seconds. We must remember food another time! New members are very welcome – please email allyparkn10@gmail.com if you would like to join the group. 

Art in the Park - January

A great turnout of 8 people for this cool time of the year.....

Art in the Park Group - December

Another enjoyable session - picture left is one of Patricia Pearl photos of a veteran oak tree. More of her photos here.


November

We had a lovely session this month. The light in the woods was fabulous – we really couldn’t have asked for better weather! I think all seven of us were slightly overwhelmed by the beauty at every level – from the leaf fall on the ground to the yellowing tree canopies – so it took us a while to choose what to focus on in our art work. But we all thoroughly enjoyed that part of the process: the opportunity to engage with the woodland on such a beautiful autumn day, to slow down, enjoy the sights and sounds around us, and the company of others. 

October

The weather was perfect despite a very unpromising build up with wind and torrential rain only hours before. The cold was fine actually but does encourage you to move around and find other stuff to look at which is what its all about really too!

Picture on the left one of Patricia Pearl's taken during the session.

September

There were eight of us this time, including a talented budding artist of 11 years of age! The weather was very kind to us – a glorious end of summer/cusp of autumn morning with strong golden light. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone in the group slowly eased into finding something that caught their interest, whether a fascinating cluster of tree trunks or an early sign of autumn in the form of a fallen leaf, and then delved into some drawing (or in one case photography - picture example left by Tricia). We tried out each other’s materials too, which loosened things up and was a good way to try something a bit different. We ended by gathering our work on the grass to admire the variety of what people had noticed, carefully looked at and enjoyed. After the session there was some lovely feedback: ‘Such a good combination of art, nature and fresh air’; ‘I am still smiling!’ 

August

Sprinkles of rain early on tried to put a dampener on the first session of the new Art in the Park Group. A decision was made to transfer to the Park Visitor Centre in The Grove. Good news followed with the rain stopping so the artists moved out by the pair of yew trees in the small copse above Olympic Sculptures. The ridges of the trees proved inspirational for most of the group while a collage of leaves was also a subject to spark imagination.


A great start to this monthly group session kindly led by Katy Fatui.