Beechwood Lecture: Capturing the Native Garden in Art

Journal Sketch, Frances Topping

The Beechwood Lecture Series returns!  The first speaker in this 2021 series, offered jointly by the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society and University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program is Frances Topping, naturalist, artist and educator. She will focus on why nature journaling and sketching are perfect for naturalists and gardeners to record finds and explore items and fix them in your memory. Observation is key to learning about a plant, animal or place, and sketching encourages us to really look and awaken an interest in the diverse areas of the natural world. We need to know our native plants and where they live in order to preserve their habitats and sketching can aid that exploration.

In this presentation Frances will examine some plant specimens together with the group, share some of her sketchbooks, discuss some easy equipment suggestions and sketching techniques, and lead a workshop in sketching for the group. Please bring along some paper and a pencil and a magnifying glass if you have one and join in the fun!

Frances Topping grew up in England and developed a love of nature and art early. She has studied, geography, botany and zoology, graphic design and illustration at the Natural Science Illustration continuing education class at Rhode Island School of Design. She is a member of the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, American and New England Society of Botanical Artists chapter and the National and New England chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and several art organizations locally. Her website includes her botanical art, landscapes and sketches.

All talks in the Beechwood Lecture series are offered at no charge and are open to the public but registration is required.  Master Gardeners who attend can receive educational volunteer hours.

To register, contact Abigail Clark, Volunteer/Program Coordinator, at the Beechwood Center for Life Enrichment 401-268-1594 or

Beechwood Center is located at 44 Beach Street; North Kingstown, RI 02852  Google Driving Directions


Upcoming 2021 Lecture


10/20/21            Composting with Worms            Monique Bosch