Workshop Testimonials


Drawing Plants: Fall Session 2018:

“I appreciated the incredible diversity of plants Mulysa brought to class to draw, her depth of botanical knowledge, the lovely meditations at the beginning – and the wholistic approach she applied to everything!!”

“I loved the multi-disciplinary approach to drawing the natural world: spiritual, eye-hand, the science and the story.”

“The half drawing/half science structure gave students more than one pathway to understanding the plants we were “studying.” The inks made from plants, the teas made from roots, etc, together created a sense of living closer to the world around us. The class was truly inspiring.”

Drawing Plants: Fall Session 2018, Root Medicine

Drawing Plants: Fall Session 2018, Root Medicine

“I enjoyed the casual atmosphere, the openness to all levels of experience, the variety of topics, the different drawing exercises, learning things about plants I didn’t know, hearing knowledge and perspective from other students who knew some interesting things about plants, and the variety of clippings and samples Mulysa brought in for us to draw. I went into this not knowing anything about the course, instructor or PUGS so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it was going to be more of a studio drawing class which I have taken before, but I was pleased to find out it wasn’t just that and enjoyed those other parts, ie: the grounding meditation, the variety of topics and the botany stuff.”

“I loved the combo of botany and art in this class. It wove together such a variety of ways of thinking – ecological, botanical, artistic, ethical, and on and on. I loved the variety of things we talked and thought and made art about.”

“I enjoyed the blend of mindful grounding, soul enrichment and solid art instruction. It all was wonderful.”

Drawing Plants: Fall Session 2018

Drawing Plants: Fall Session 2018

Decoding Plants: Trees in Spring students, Spring Session 2018:

“I appreciated Mulysa’s deep knowledge, understanding and passion for her subject and I loved being outside in her garden. I enjoyed  learning from the other participants and their perspectives. I thought the mix of learning activities was great: quizzes, sharing from students, Mulysa’s talks and explanations, walks in the neighborhood to practice identifying trees and more.” 

“Gosh, I enjoyed everything about this course. All the excellent context helped me to absorb the scientific information without closing off to other ways of knowing the plants as beings. Thank you, Mulysa, for being such an incredible well of knowledge! And for bringing the reverence and respect you have for plants personally into the way you teach and help us to look at the natural world. I feel like everything you covered was important. I would like to learn more about how to identify trees by their bark.”

Winter Drawing Meditation students, 2018:

 “I really enjoyed the balance of botany and art along with mindfulness.”

“The meditation before beginning the class was really grounding and felt great to get me in the headspace. Other things I enjoyed about this course were the plant identification/knowledge, explaining different parts of blooms, seasons cycles, the loosely guided, satisfyingly long drawing time and the instructor drawing examples.” 

“Very knowledgeable instructor and intriguing approach to plants and connection to our winter world. Her enthusiasm for her subject draws you into the class. Strong presenter.”

“I loved the meditation, and the positive encouragement. The illustrations on the white board to show us different parts of plants and their uses was really great.”

“I enjoyed drawing the evolution of the growing plant from seed to flower. The guided meditation piece to start the class was great. The way she walked around the room and checked in with people individually when we were drawing was very helpful. Mulysa’s energy is also wonderful!

Decoding Plants students, Fall Session 2017:

“I enjoyed Mulysa’s knowledge and style – opening with Braiding Sweetgrass and the plant mandala really set the tone for how we’d be approaching this learning. A good blend of structure learning and then just sharing. I mean, I could learn plant families from a book, but the reason I take an in-person course is because I want to learn from a subject matter expert. I want the conversation and the instructor’s unique perspective. This class was so awesome because I got both the technical botanical knowledge and the benefit of Mulysa’s own expertise and local experience.”

“Things that worked well for me in this class were the diversity of readings, podcasts, handouts, and resources for further learning; Exposing the history of landscapes and the complexity without judgement; the concept of ‘nostalgic landscapes’ and discussions around invasive species. Talking about fire was unexpected and fascinating!”

“Mulysa was patient, extremely knowledgeable and is a natural teacher. I would have liked even more time spent in the field identifying trees.”

“I just want more now. Who else is teaching this stuff – where are there gatherings in the community – how can I get more?”

Decoding Plants students, Summer session 2017:

“What I enjoyed about this course was the intimate feeling, having my curiosity engaged, the recommended readings – and the teaching style: engaging, approachable, not lecture based.”

“I learned SO MUCH. Also, it was always hands-on, always interesting, and a good mix of practical and theoretical. It was so rad to have class in Mulysa’s garden. I loved all the time to look at real plants, and she’s so good at giving exactly the right amount of information to keep us interested but not overwhelm us.”

“I like Portland Underground Grad School for its affordable, relevant course content. I love continuing learning in my community beyond university.”

Winter drawing students, 2017:

What I enjoyed about this course was its ability to re-inspire the simple love of observation and connecting pencil to paper in a safe non-judgmental environment. Mulysa’s passion for subject was apparent. Very grounded in the science of plants and adept in the art of illustration. Not an easy combo. I was engaged and inspired.

“I enjoyed everything about this class! It was just what I was looking for: instruction on drawing for beginners – with a focus on drawing as a tool for closer attention to the plants around us. It felt very low -pressure, not intimidating and with lots of support from instructor and classmates. Mulysa set a lovely tone for the class, conveying a deep respect for the natural world and sharing superb resources for us to learn beyond the class. She also devised a great structure for the instruction, introducing a little bit at a time for us to take in and practice, then layering on a little more the next time. She really knows how to work with beginning/aspirational artists, and how to motivate us to bring art and observation into our daily lives.”


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