En Plein Air Masterclass with Noel Thurgate


Please join me for a three day excursion to the Southern Highlands, which includes accommodation at Hillview Heritage Cottages and a full day en plein air masterclass with Noel Thurgate at Red Cow Farm, Sutton Forest.

The workshop will focus on interpreting the landscape and simplifying an otherwise complex subject. We’ll observe layers within the landscape and the illusions of space and depth. Gain confidence in organising pictorial structure and the principles of composition.

Suitable for anyone wishing to learn drawing techniques from a master artist.


NOEL THURGATE  is a drawing teacher with more than 25 years experience, including 9 years as Head of Drawing, the National Art School, Sydney.

Since 1975 he has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Young Contemporaries and the Kedumba Drawing Prize and has been a finalist in the Archibald prize in 2017 and 2018.

He is represented in state, regional, institutional and many private collections and currently teaches part time at the NAS.

Noel Thurgate


RED COW FARM, Sutton Forest

This unique cool climate garden is set on 2.5 hectares and approx 1.5 hours drive from Sydney. The simplicity of its presentation disguises a sophisticated structure, developed by its creative owners Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrissey around their historic 1820’s cottage. The farm includes an exuberant cottage garden, kitchen garden, bog garden, monastery garden and abbess’s garden.  There is a stunning collection of rare and unusual perennials, old fashioned roses and clematis as well as an orchard, a woodland, a beech walk and lake. Described as one of the best gardens in the world; a rare beauty awaits your visit.

Red Cow Farm 


Built in 1882 in Sutton Forest, heart of the Southern Highlands. The commanding summit gives Hillview its name and offers magnificent views of valleys, rivers and picturesque sunsets. Accommodation is in 8 cottages and beauty is reflected in its luscious surroundings as well as decades of history as a former Vice Regal Retreat. The main house acted as a country retreat for 16 governors and hosted regal guests, such as The Prince of Wales, Prince Edward, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Sculpture at Hillview had its debut in 2012 and continues to showcase contemporary work of talented artists. Set in 8 acres of garden with views of the southern highlands which provides an excellent backdrop to the artwork.

Hillview Heritage Hotel



  • 2 nights accommodation with breakfast at Hillview Heritage Hotel (9th & 10th April)
  • brunch amongst the Hillview sculptures (11th April)
  • full day en plein air masterclass with Noel Thurgate
  • lunch and refreshments day of workshop
  • entry Red Cow Farm day of workshop



  • travel between Sydney-Sutton Forest. ($2.50 by train for seniors to Moss Vale)
  • evening meals (many choices in the surrounding area or ‘take away’ if preferred)
  • there will be opportunities to travel to/from Sydney by ‘car share.’ (Please request at time of booking if this is your intention)


WHAT TO BRING (for the workshop)

  • A3 or A4 drawing surface (min. 200gsm)
  • water and water container
  • lightweight portable seat (available from camping stores)
  • hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, jacket
  • easel (optional)


INCLUDED (in the workshop)

  • selection of willow and compressed charcoal
  • soluble graphite
  • coloured aquarelle
  • range of brushes
  • water soluble inks
  • bamboo pen
  • white pastel/conté



DAY ONE / Tuesday 9 April

Arrive Hillview Heritage Hotel at your leisure. 5 minute drive from Moss Vale station if you travel by train. Explore the local area or the gardens at Hillview.

DAY TWO / Wednesday 10 April

Full day en plein air masterclass with Noel Thurgate in the superb grounds of Red Cow Farm. Lunch, morning, afternoon tea included in the workshop. Dinner at a local bistro.

Red Cow Farm

DAY THREE / Thursday 11 April

Leisurely brunch in the sculpture parklands of Hillview and more opportunities for drawing and painting the surrounding landscape.  Depart at your leisure or option to stay a further night at own expense.




$490.00 twin share*

$200.00 single supplement

* the cottages are large and comfortable. If you bring your husband/wife/lover (who will will share your bed but not attend the workshop) the total price is $690.00 for 2 people.

Cancellation is possible with full refund if a replacement booking is made.



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Please fill out the booking form and I will be in contact for payment.

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