Orkney Art Experience with Leo du Feu 2023

Magical Orkney ~ drawing & watercolour painting holiday in Orkney

Dates: 17-24 September 2023 *
Location: Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Tutor: Leo du Feu
Activity: drawing & watercolour painting, landscape & wildlife (plein air and studio based)

*Please note: Sadly, we’ve had to cancel this art trip because of the unexpected closure of our venue, the beautiful Kristin Linklater Centre in Orkney. We’re hoping to run Orkney art experiences again in the future, once a suitable and equally inspiring venue becomes available. 

What to expect

Our base for the week will be a retreat venue in Sandwick near the Skara Brae prehistoric village, not far from picturesque Stromness.

Through the week we will visit various locations around Orkney Mainland, including Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Ring of Brodgar standing stone circle and  Stenness Standing Stones. Weather permitting, we’ll take a ferry across to the nearby island of Hoy to sketch its dramatic cliffs and bays. Rackwick Bay on the west side of Hoy is particularly stunning and strongly associated with both the composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and poet writer George Mackay Brown.

One of the evenings we will invite a local storyteller who introduces us to Orkney’s artists and writers. Also on the menu are visits to the studios of local Orkney artisans to hear about their work and how Orkney inspires it. 

Whenever the weather allows, we will work outdoors in watercolour, ink and other media, looking at the sea, cliffs, crofts, ancient standing stones and more. Perhaps you  wish to experiment with incorporating Orkney Norse myths and legends into your paintings? Wildlife will be discussed too – nature, conservation and especially birds are the foremost inspiration in Leo’s own work and personal life and on Orkney the wildlife is both abundant and diverse. On the last day we will hold a mini exhibition of our group’s work and reflect on the week.

We are keeping an eye on local events and exhibitions and a more detailed itinerary will be available nearer the time.

Your tutor: Leo du Feu

Leo is delighted to lead this art experience as Orkney is one of his favourite places. He is a well known Scottish watercolour painter and an inspiring tutor. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Drawing & Painting in 2006, Leo has been a full-time professional artist and art tutor, exhibiting around Scotland and the UK.

His inspiration is the natural world and he takes every opportunity to explore on foot, by bike, by train, sketching and painting in the landscape and using material gathered to complete other works back in the studio. Leo is a keen environmental campaigner and undertakes bird counts for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and other voluntary conservation activities. He’s rather obsessed with birds, they appear in his work often.

You can see examples of his work on his profile pageLeo du Feu, Orkney sketchbook, Sept 2009 (8)

Our accommodation & studio

We’ve secured an amazing new venue for this art experience – the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre. Built adjacent to its founder’s house, the centre lies on a hillside with panoramic views over lochs, fields, coastal cliffs and bays.

Our studio space at the centre, which is accessible 24/7, is large and airy, with a cathedral ceiling, wonderful natural light and cushioned acoustic flooring with underfloor heating. The studio adjoins a living-room, kitchen and communal dining area where groups eat together, relax and socialize. An adjacent building, The Bothy, completes the retreat-style nature of the centre with custom-built accommodation. Each of the bedrooms has a wash basin and each of the shower/toilet rooms is shared by 3 bedrooms.

Price & inclusions

The art experience includes:
– 7 nights accommodation
– Programme of art tuition, walks, studio visits & exploring Orkney (6 days of art tuition)
– Welcome drinks and nibbles on arrival
– 7 breakfasts
– 6 lunches
– 7 evening meals
– Storytelling session
– Minibus transport when travelling as a group
– A4 Sketchbook
– Studio hire
–  Entry fee for Italian Chapel
– Wild at Art canvas bag
– Detailed pre-travel information by email.

The cost of this trip is £2590 per person. There is no single supplement and every guest will have a room to themselves. It is likely that you’ll be sharing a shower room with one or two other guests though. Participants will bring their own materials or can arrange to purchase a suitable set put together by Leo and Wild at Art.

A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required at the time of booking, the rest is due 8 weeks before the start date. With the detailed pre-travel info we will also send you list of recommended materials and other things to bring, such as suitable outdoor clothing.

Book now

Not included are: flights and travel to/from Orkney; gratuities; alcoholic drinks other than wine with the welcome meal. Also not Personal travel insurance is required.

We offer complimentary transfers from and to Kirkwall airport. Flights depart from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness and connections can be made from Manchester and London – Loganair.com

Alternatively, we will collect you from Northlink Stromness ferry terminal sailing from Scrabster to Stromness. It is possible to leave your car at the ferry terminal in Scrabster if you wish – Northlink Ferries

the old man of Hoy, sketchbook, 19x49cm

Italian Chapel in Orkney

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