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 our tutor, Leo du Feu’s, own work and personal life and on Orkney the wildlife is both abundant and diverse.
We’ve secured a series of 4-star cottages along Stromness harbour for our 7 nights accommodation, 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.