Our love of Scotland and passion for art and everything creative are the starting points for the Wild at Art experiences we plan for you. For years we’ve been exploring Scotland’s vibrant art, crafts and culture so we can package things we like, to bring you up close and personal with them.
Magical Orkney ~ drawing & watercolour painting holiday in Orkney
Picturesque Stromness will be our base, with its winding cobbled streets, harbour views down narrow closes, independent shops and museum and the small but excellent collection of Modernist British art at the Pier Arts Centre.
Through the week we will travel to various locations around Orkney Mainland, including Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Sites Ring of Brodgar standing stone circle and Skara Brae prehistoric village. 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 immerse in Orkney tales by the peatfire in a session of island storytelling that combines legend, lore and social customs with music, song and dance. 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.
A more detailed itinerary will be available on this page nearer the time.
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 page.
We’ve secured a series of 4-star cottages along Stromness harbour, all with access to a pier with beautiful sea views. Every guest will have their own room and there is no single supplement. All except two rooms have their own bathrooms – en-suite bedrooms will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Set in Stromness, the cottages will be our base, “play area” as well as accommodation. In addition, we will hire a space nearby for some of the time. The cottages are within minutes walk from all local amenities, including the Pier Arts Centre, the Stromness Museum, cafes, deli, bakery, shops and chemist. It’s the perfect base to explore and sketch and paint the wild and historic landscape of the Orkney Isles.
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.
Flights and travel to/from Orkney are not included. Personal travel insurance is required.
We will collect you from Kirkwall airport. Flights depart from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness and connections can be made from Manchester and London.
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.