Hebrides-inspired poetry

Scotland’s places inspire – not just guests’ visual art but sometimes also poetry. We’ve just received this poem written by one of our guests on the Sense of Place Lewis & Harris Art Experience 2019, Lilian from Stockholm:

Are these not the rain blessed Hebrides?
Where stones rein and trees struggle in vein?
Where the weather forecast is always the same?


The simple everyday pleasure is wandering on the machair,
hugging stones, absorbing colors, searching purple linings in the horizon
whilst sipping raindrops from our lips.


Art has neither end nor beginning.
Brush strokes neither start nor finish.
And the universe remains there waiting….
for our brains to meet it’s infinity in color.


I shall never forget the shared desire
to paint and explore together.
In this place where we created a world in a world,
where we helped each other to see.


We came with the plane
and went with the rain,
trusting that the stones, peat, gneiss and rain
will always remain.


Lilian, Stockholm

Personally, I don’t quite agree with the weather forecast always being the same ;)…but the poem is wonderful. The weather may have been wet and grey some of the time while we were on tour, but the spirit in the group was always sunny. Thank you, Lilian!

Review session back at our studio at Lews Castle in Stornoway

Peregrinatio ~ recharge and refocus Celtic-style in the Scottish wilderness

From Spring 2020 we are offering a new type of retreat. Imagine spending a weekend on an uninhabited Scottish island in the Inner Hebrides…with your tent as the only shelter and no sockets in sight. Scary thought? Maybe, but to me also intriguing. What happens when we’re far away from the comforts and distractions of wifi, a full fridge and hot shower? You can find out on the wilderness retreat weekend with writer Chris Goan 22-24 May 2020.

The ancient Celtic tradition of Peregrinatio is described as “a journey that involves the elements of seeking, quest, adventure, wandering, exile…”. The word comes from the time of the Celtic missionary monks, who would set themselves adrift in a small boat, trusting to wind and tide to take them to the place of their becoming. A chartered boat will take us to our island, exactly which island will depend slightly on the weather. We will seek to divide our time into purposeful silence (when we spend time on our own) and community (when we enjoy each other’s company and share stories).

Although we follow in an ancient Christian tradition, this retreat is for anyone, of any faith, or none. We will neither presume, nor impose. What we can promise is to make space for your own encounters with the natural world and the beautiful beyond.

So what has this got to do with an art holiday? Wild at Art caters for creative travellers, for those visitors to Scotland who are curious and seeking to connect with our stunning locations in an authentic way. There’s always an element of learning involved. The wilderness retreats include poetry writing sessions and you may also want to bring your sketchbook and paints. This weekend offers an opportunity to recharge and refresh your artistic focus. A truly enriching experience.

Find out more…

Artistic time travel – Outlander Art Experience 2020 now open for bookings

A few weeks ago we said goodbye to the seven wonderful guests who came on our first ever Outlander-inspired Art Experience. What can I say- we had such a great time! Travelling with our sketchbooks signed by no other than Jamie (AKA Sam Heughan) himself, we visited many of the Outlander filming locations and got artistic guidance and lots of fascinating stories from our fantastic artist guide Nicky Sanderson.

Our handmade sketchbooks signed by Jamie AKA Sam Heughan

At Culross Palace Garden we enjoyed a private herbalist workshop with herbalist Anna Canning, who also taught us how to make our own herbal balms and potions, and at Highland Print Studio in Inverness we learned the ancient drypoint printmaking technique with guidance from artist Jan Baxandall. All this and the shared love of learning and spirit of camaraderie made made it a truly amazing trip!

We held back on opening next year’s tour for bookings until we had the feedback from our “guinea pigs” (as they called themselves ;)). The 2020 Outlander Art Experience will run from 28 June to 9 July 2020 (12-days). You can find the details here . The itinerary is very similar to this year’s, but listening to guest feedback we’ve built in a free full day in the middle and one studio day at the end of the tour. Click here to see the itinerary and visit our Feedback & Pics page to see photos and feedback from the 2019 tour.

New! Cruise the Caledonian Canal with your paints

We are delighted to offer you a new way of discovering Scotland’s stunning sea- and landscapes and do art – on board a small cruise ship! The first of these all-inclusive tours will cruise the Caledonian Canal from Oban to Inverness 8 to 14 September 2019. In a small group of up to 11 guests, and an art tutor, a professional skipper, an on board chef and another crew member looking after you, this will be a very special creative journey. And since this is the first art cruise we’re offering places at introductory prices.

Find out more

New! Castle-based painting shortbreak in Stirlingshire


Imagine staying in a medieval Scottish castle and developing your painting skills with guidance from their own artist in residence? We’ve created a fantastic opportunity for you to stay at Culcreuch Castle in Stirlingshire and enjoy a private workshop with Katherine Cowtan, at dates that suit you.

Find out more here and enquire about your preferred dates so you can build this amazing creative break into your Scottish vacation!

Culcreuch Castle near Loch Lomond, Scotland

Wild at Art in Celtic Life International

We are delighted to be featured in Nova Scotia-based magazine Celtic Life International. The magazine has been connecting the Celtic community around the globe for more than 30 years. This is what they wrote:

Wild at Art in Celtic Life International

Wild at Art in Celtic Life International (link to pdf version)