Wild at Art creative experiences are about being and spending time in a location. About getting this special sense of place and really connecting with its nature and people. About seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling. That’s why we’ve been reluctant to follow the huge trend to moving our activities online.
But when Cassandra Barron, an excellent and inspiring bookbinder based in Edinburgh, approached me about offering an online workshop where creative travellers can make their own, personalised and refillable travel journals from scratch, I loved the idea! It’s the ideal preparation for travelling again, and a very enjoyable one as well!
Tuition is via a live zoom session followed by video tutorials which you can work through at your own pace. You’ll get a kit with all tools and materials – including a couple of Scottish goodies to fuel your crafting – posted to you in advance.
The finished book will be a great travel companion for holding your travel stories, notes, sketches, treasures as well as your travel documents. And you can use the tools and newly acquired bookbinding skills to make more travel journals for your creative friends :).
Places are limited, so make sure you secure yours!
We’re pleased to let you know that we’re holding the Good to Go industry standard, which has been created across all four nations in the UK to show that we as a business have followed the government and industry guidelines, have a risk assessment in place and a process to maintain
cleanliness and aid social distancing.
You can download our We’re Good to Go certificate here.
Artist Karen Beauchamp led a week-long residential art retreat at her studio on the Kintyre Peninsula in September. It was the first event since before the Covid crisis. So, with all the precautions that needed to be in place to keep everyone safe – was it as enjoyable as these art weeks usually are? I asked host Karen and two of her guests how it felt to them.
“Well – the group were delightful and quite varied in their needs, but as we specialise in individual teaching that was not the challenge as much as remembering to be socially distant! We managed very well as the studio is large and airy and each person had their own table and set of equipment.
We had cleaning materials and hand sanitiser at various points around the house for general use. Also, each of the guests had their own bathroom.
I changed the eating arrangements so we all sat at the really large dining table in the entrance hall, and consequently socially distant. Food was either served individually ready plated up or on a trolly for self service. Each person was responsible for placing their dishes on the trolly for taking to the dishwasher.
There were a few juggling acts but on the whole it worked well.
Working outside of course was not a problem especially as the weather was quite breezy. We managed a picnic and food was in individual portions and we had colour coded cups, all very jolly !
Enough about Covid – the art course went very well and I hope I gave guests another insight into their particular media. They all managed a number of pieces and exploratory sketches together with colour samples and gathered pebbles, driftwood and dried seaweed for reference.
I really enjoyed the week and was stimulated by the results!”
No safety concerns before attending
“I follow a fairly strict safety regime and was confident prior to attending the week that the correct safety measures would be in place. These included having a room and bathroom to myself, eating and socialising arrangements, and art demonstrations/ work in the studio and outside.
How it felt for me
I was comfortable with all the arrangements in place. The appropriate measures were adhered to throughout the week and I did not consider my safety was compromised.
Impact on enjoyment of the week
I enjoyed the week greatly and consider it worked well in the format dictated by Covid.That meant that there were only three guests and that social distancing was necessary at all times. I have little doubt the enjoyment of the holiday would have been even greater if the group had been larger and relaxation easier. So saying I was delighted to have attended this course in person.”
What I got out of it
It provided an opportunity to attend an art course in the home and studio of a talented design artist in a lovely rural setting, to meet fellow painters, to enjoy the delights of the location and excellent food with a local bias. I personally benefited from the guidance given on how to approach drawing and painting out of doors. The course certainly broadened my understanding of styles , technique and materials.
The last 9 months have taught us all these new and different ways of behaving in each others’ company – keeping the distance, being suspicious of every surface that has, or might have, been touched by someone else etc. Who would have thought a year ago that this would become the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future! So, running a week-long, fully catered residential retreat was a somewhat brave undertaking that required a lot more detailed planning in terms of practicalities than usual.
However, the feedback showed it was very much worth the effort and it’s difficult to beat the creative spirit in us that wants to connect, create and enjoy. Having to cut group sizes down to very small numbers wouldn’t be financially viable for hosts in the longer run, but both the host and guests greatly valued the time spent together in Argyll’s spectacular landscapes, in the studio and of course at the dining table.
The current tightened restrictions obviously have put leisure travel temporarily on hold again. But we WILL be able to travel and gather again, and chances are you’ll be in need of some creative inspiration in Scotland once things start to ease.
Karen also offers private art retreats at her studio on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll – find out more.
We understand that in these uncertain times flexibility is key when making any travel plans for the future and we want to make sure our guests can book with confidence.
Considering the ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine rules we temporarily offer an easy registration option until further notice. This is how it works:
We trust that you only register if you plan to join the trip providing travel from your country to the UK is possible and you wouldn’t have to quarantine once you get here.
All bookings made between 1 June 2020 and 31 March 2021 have additional flexibility in that you can move your booking up until 10 weeks before departure to any future date within 24 months of your original holiday date.
We also wish to reassure you that as a member of The Travel Vault all payments made to Wild at Art Ltd are protected through financial failure insurance and therefore as a customer you have 100% financial security.
So, enjoy browsing our upcoming trips and secure your place – click here to explore.
Last updated: 4 August 2021
The most recent announcement from the UK Government has been great news for everyone keen to travel again. Since 2 August fully vaccinated visitors from the US and EU no longer need to quarantine on arrival. The full government guidance is available here
Despite the lifting of restrictions you can be reassured that all precautions will be in place to keep you safe on our experiences for your peace of mind.
The latest guidance has brought back some confidence that future creative experiences can go ahead as planned. However, the past year and a half has taught us that unforeseen things can happen at anytime. Should new covid restrictions affect an experience you have booked, we will aim to be as flexible as we can to accommodate you with suitable options.
Considering the ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine rules we temporarily offered an easy registration option for bookings made between 16 September 2020 and 30 June 2021. This is how it works:
We trust that you only register if you plan to join the trip providing travel from your country to the UK is possible and you wouldn’t have to quarantine once you get here.
All bookings made between 1 June and 30 June 2021 also have additional flexibility in that you can move your booking up until 10 weeks before departure to any future date within 24 months of your original holiday date.
All other terms and conditions remain the same- click here for more information.
In these strange and difficult times where we are in lockdown and unable to travel or enjoy exhibitions and events, you may feel in need of a dose of Scotland and creative inspiration. I’ve started curating collections of resources you might be interested in. This page is a work in progress and I’ll add to them as I go along – if you know of an interesting resource Scotland-loving creatives might enjoy please drop me a line.
Projectroom 2020 – funded by Art North magazine, Projectroom2020.org is a collaborative online gallery project devised to support artists in Scotland in showing work during the public health crisis: https://projectroom2020.org/
Explore the collections of the Scottish National Galleries – you can explore and search the collections of the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Modern One, Modern Two, Duff House, Paxton House, and even works that are in storage: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/
The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) of Arts and Architecture‘s annual exhibition will soon be available online here: https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/
Edinburgh University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology offers an online exhibition: Artisans And Craft-Production In Nineteenth-Century Scotland. It is themed in five sections; Handmade and Design, Vernacular and Place, Portraits, Workshops, and Trades and Communities: https://www.ed.ac.uk/history-classics-archaeology/history/news-events/news-and-events-archive/news-events-2016/online-exhibition
An Talla Solais Gallery in Ullapool has opened an exhibition Landscape of Place. The central theme of the exhibition is the discourse between the landscape of the north of Scotland and the experience of being both part of it and at one within it, giving rise to a sense of place within the world: https://www.antallasolais.org/landscape-of-place-online-exhibition
National Museums Scotland -Experience the treasures of four National Museums Scotland from your own home via the Google Arts and Culture programme, which offers you the chance to see more than 20,000 historic objects at National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Flight, National War Museum and the National Museum of Rural Life: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-museum-of-scotland
Art in Healthcare does is provides top quality curated Scottish and Scotland-themed artworks for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings. The Art in Healthcare Collection is extensive and can be explored online: https://www.artinhealthcare.org.uk/collection.php
Nevis Ensemble – Some of you might already have happened to enjoy impromptu performances by members of this energetic street orchestra on your travels in Scotland. The Nevis Ensemble have made it their mission to make music accessible for everyone, everywhere. They have several projects on the go to bring music to people in lockdown all over the world: https://nevisensemble.org/
Scotland Online – Livestream events featuring Scotland’s thriving traditional arts: https://scotlandonline.org/
Finding gigs via Twitter – there are some incredible online gigs going on. You can follow along with hashtags like #COVIDceilidh and #scotlandsbigsession on Twitter for details of many of them. https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDCeilidh?src=hashtag_click / https://twitter.com/hashtag/scotlandsbigsession?src=hashtag_click
Scotpodcast – explore a wealth of traditional music gems on this podcast series. The tunes are all free to listen to but you’ll get the chance to support the Scottish traditional music scene: https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/scotpodcast/.
Chamber Music Scotland did a series of #StreamingHomeConcerts which you can watch on their YouTube channel. Follow Chamber Music Scotland on Twitter for details of how to tune into future shows! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXK4x-mr11oOR7kptn7o4Pw https://twitter.com/chambermusicsct/status/1243117561115561984
Live Music Now Scotland supports talented young professional musicians in performing/training opportunities while taking inspirational live music experiences to a wide audience: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCegFmstasVO3Sel-p5hk7aw/videos
And, of course, Runrig’s Loch Lomond
Dovecot studio – you can take a virtual tour of this world-renowned tapestry studio in Edinburgh: https://dovecotstudios.com/visit/tour
The making of Harris Tweed:
BBC Coast: Harris Tweed – excerpt from a programme on Harris Tweed:
Watercolour sketching demo with Leo du Feu – Wild at Art tutor Leo du Feu also works for Art in Healthcare in Edinburgh. ROOM FOR ART is a series of visual arts workshops delivered by artists throughout Edinburgh using a social prescribing approach and occupational therapy supported model of 1:1s. In this 30 min video he explains the basics of watercolour sketching and talks about his approach. Grab a coffee and enjoy the video! (Leo is the tutor for our Magical Orkney art experience in September 2021):
Painting eggs and birds in watercolour – not just for Easter! – Wild at Art tutor Leo du Feu encourages you to appreciate the beauty of bird eggs and explore their patterns through some simple exercises: https://landscapeartnaturebirds.blogspot.com/2020/04/art-idea-easter-eggs-birds.html
Art in the Time of Self-Quarantine – A Sketch A Day. A few of our wonderful Wild at Art customers – and now friends – in the US and Canada have set up a Facebook group for sharing the artwork they’re producing during lockdown. The group is private but they welcome new members. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/208000227277211/
Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – “You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.” https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/15/louise-bourgeois-solitude/
Isolation Art School – check out this Instagram initiative for free lessons, projects and tips on getting creative: https://www.instagram.com/isolationartschool/
Scenes for Survival – short digital artworks created by leading Scottish theatre and screen talent. Created by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08d89xn (not sure if the link will work outside the UK…?)
This is Scotland!: https://youtu.be/FlG6tbYaA88
See Scotland’s islands from above:
A guide to the weather in Scotland:
Orkney – beautiful all year round:
Orkney visitor guide – a selection of visitor guides and information leaflets about the islands: https://www.orkney.com/plan/visitor-guides
Discover Stromness, the base location for our Orkney art experiences:
Orkney archaeology – at the site of a colossal complex that predates Stonehenge, archaeologists have discovered Neolithic art, pottery, and several carved stones that are extremely rare:
The magical isle of Iona by drone:
Lewis Trilogy – if you are looking for reading material about Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides check out Peter May’s crime novels set in the islands: Blackhouse / Lewis Man / Chessmen: https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/culture-and-heritage/peter-may-lewis-trilogy
Another book we can recommend is Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country. You can find a review here.
Mackintosh at the Willow – for Mackintosh fans Willow Tea Rooms have published a series of blogposts telling some of the history around the life and art of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Charles Rennie Mackintosh: https://www.mackintoshatthewillow.com/blog/
Scottish Storytelling Centre – listen to some ancient tales. The page also includes a link to their YouTube channel: https://tracscotland.org/resources/scotlands-stories-online-teaching-resource/
CeltScot Videos – a YouTube channel where you can find music, storytelling , lectures and more related to Celtic and Scottish Studies: https://www.youtube.com/user/CeltScotVideos/featured
Scottish Gaelic language explained:
How to wear an 18th century plaid properly 🙂
Scotlands Places – this archive site lets you search three national databases to access historical resources relating to places throughout Scotland: https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/
Historic Scotland audio guides – Historic Scotland are making a series of audio guides available, which can be enjoyed via the web, with no need for downloading. Be transported back to court life at Stirling Castle, hear the familiar voices of Ian Rankin, George RR Martin and Saoirse Ronan at Edinburgh Castle, explore Iona Abbey or listen to the beautiful voices of Glasgow Cathedral’s choir: access audio guides here
Look inside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and see some of their staff’s favourite features:
Take a virtual tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland: https://www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-palace-holyroodhouse
Snippet about Falkland Palace‘s sunken treasure:
So…dream about Scotland now and travel later 🙂