Creative celebration of Scotland’s Coasts & Waters #YCW2020

In Scotland, 2020 will be all about putting the focus on our stunning coastlines, lochs and waterways as it’s officially the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters (#YCW2020). We’ll be joining into these celebrations big time with a fantastic programme of creative breaks in different locations across Scotland.

Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters- so what does that mean? – The initiative promotes responsible engagement and participation around and in our waters and coastal environments by the people of Scotland and its visitors. Responsible travel, respect for the natural environment and working with local communities is at the heart of everything we do at Wild at Art.

And what better way could there be to connect and engage with a location than through art? Being creative gets you to REALLY see and feel a place. Join a small group holiday with like-minded spirits, book a short break on dates that suit your travel plans, or let us create a tailor-made art experience just for you and your travel companions – the choice is yours. And there’s lots to choose from!

What makes it even more special – a small share (£10) of each booking under the #YCW2020 programme goes to Linlithgow Union Canal Society (LUCS), our chosen charity for 2020. LUCS is a small local charity and 100% run by volunteers. Their mission is to promote and encourage the restoration and use of the Union Canal, particularly in and around Linlithgow.

So here’s what we’ve planned for you to celebrate the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters 2020 – just click on the title to find out more about a trip.

Small group holidays & retreats (6-10 guests)

3-10 April 2020 Hidden Treasures Art Retreat – painting, creative writing, yoga
Tutors: Kate Cunningham (painting) & guest tutors Sarah-Alexandra Teodorescu (creative writing), Sarah Blackaller (yoga)
Location: Arbroath, Angus
This week-long art retreat is the perfect opportunity to immerse in all things creative and explore the grandeur of nature.

10-17 May 2020 Drawing from the Land – drawing and painting
Tutor: Ellis O’Connor
Locations: Lewis and Harris, North Uist, Berneray (Outer Hebrides)
Join us for an inspirational and dynamic week of drawing and painting in an extraordinary setting. Each day will involve going to iconic spots in the Outer Hebrides to work and gather inspiration from the vibrant landscapes, big skies and wild waters.

22-24 May 2020 Peregrinatio Wilderness Retreat – time out from too much activity; poetry; hiking; meditation; you may want to bring your sketchbook and paints
Tutor: Chris Goan and co-host
Location: a Hebridean island (exact location tbc)
This retreat to an uninhabited Scottish island, which includes poetry writing, offers real time out for recharging and refreshing artistic focus.

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23-30 August 2020 Sense of Place – drawing and painting
Tutor: Nicky Sanderson
Location: Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides
Be inspired by the most ancient landscapes in Europe, the magical stones of Calanais, the colours of the moorland and rocks, the dark hills and bright beaches of Harris.

9-14 September 2020 Gongoozler Canal Art Experience – drawing and painting, herbalism
Tutors: Lesley Banks(drawing, painting) & guest tutor Anna Canning (herbalism)
Location: Union Canal, Linlithgow, West Lothian
An artistic celebration of one of the most beautiful waterways right in the heart of Scotland. You tutor will be no other than Scottish artist Lesley Banks, who as artist-in-residence at Scottish Canals spent a year walking and painting along the entire 137 miles of the canal network. Includes a herbalist workshop.

12-18 September 2020 Landscape Photography Retreat
Tutors: Margaret Soraya, Paul Sanders
Location: Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Find your connection with the landscape and be inspired to develop your own style in this photographic retreat in one of the most historic and wild corners of Scotland.

Also coming soon: Art & Photography retreat in Orkney
Dates: 3-10 November 2020
Hosts: Margaret Soraya & Ute Amann-Seidel
Location: Stromness, Orkney Islands

You can view our other small group offers – i.e. those that are not directly part of the #YCW2020 programme – here.

Short breaks with flexible dates (from 2 guests)

Short breaks consist of a 2-day art workshop and 3 overnight stays in high quality accommodation (check out descriptions for details). They can be arranged for your preferred dates, subject to availability.

Watercolour painting in North-East Scotland – watercolour with mixed media
Tutor: Gemma Petrie
Location: Portmahomack, Easter Ross (close to North Coast 500), Scottish Highlands
Portmahomack and its surrounding area offer beaches, an iconic lighthouse surrounded by heathlands, and a castle. You may also want to capture some wildlife with your brushes and paints.

Tapestry weaving in Kilmartin Glen – hand loom weaving
Tutor: Louise Oppenheimer
Location: Kilmartin Glen and Lochgilphead, Argyll
An introduction to weaving on wooden frames with renowned Scottish weaver Louise Oppenheimer. Paint the shapes and colours using wool!


Pottery & Poetry in Argyll – pottery/ ceramics, poetry/ creative writing
Tutors: Michaela & Chris Goan
Location: Dunoon and Innellan, Argyll
Create your own beautiful clay pieces, inspired by the sea and landscapes of the Cowal peninsula in Argyll.

Tailor-made art experiences (any group size)

We love curating bespoke art experiences – there are so many amazing artists, places and activities to choose from! We can arrange a tailor-made art experience with any artist in our team, depending on availability, to explore our coasts and waters – meet our artists here.

Below are a few examples of who could lead your bespoke workshop, and what they could teach you (among other things). Click on a tutor’s profile to read about them and see examples of their work:

Steve Bretel – Watercolour, inks and acrylic painting
Katherine Cowtan – Oil painting, watercolour with mixed media
Leo du Feu – Watercolour and acrylics painting
William Brian Miller – Oil, acrylics, watercolour and mixed media painting
Jackie Philip – Oil and acrylics painting
Karen Strang – Drawing and oil painting
Dave Hunt – Photography
Avesha DeWolfe – Pottery inspired by the shapes and colours of the sea
Hephzibah Kilbride – Printmaking
Simon-Burns-Cox – Stonecarving
Sarah-Alexandra Teodorescu – Creative writing

In Spring, Summer and Autumn 2020 we will also run a small number of 1-day canal-based painting workshops in Linlithgow for local residents – dates will be announced in January.

So, we look forward to take you on a creative adventure!

In 2020, Scotland celebrates its Coasts and
Waters with a year-long programme of events and
activities which will shine a spotlight on these vital
elements of our landscape.
Join the conversation #YCW2020