Looking forward, and back!

This morning I walked through a swirl of golden ochre birch leaves, signalling the end of summer. Although the days are still mild, the nights are beginning to draw in and it won’t be long before I’ll be returning from work in the dark. Whilst this always makes me feel a little sad, it’s a time to reflect on glorious days past and a new year up ahead, as well as dreaming about warmer destinations (if you’re anything like me and don’t enjoy being cold!)

Outdoor sketching in Scotland is feasible between October and March for only the hardiest, and those who have learned to hold pencil or brush while wearing thick gloves. The shorter hours of daylight, frequent precipitation – often in frozen form – and gales send me scurrying for my studio, and sketching day trips have now finished for the season.

For the last year or so I have advertised through Air B&B ‘experiences’, offering something different and immersive for visitors who all too often sweep through the area without really seeing it. I have met some wonderful people, several of whom were new to sketching, or new to watercolour, but always wanted to try it. I was privileged to introduce them to a new interest as well as showing them some special places in my neighbourhood, and I received some lovely, touching feedback:

“A fantastic way to spend a day looking closely at the beautiful scenery around the area, and to learn something new (for me)…water colour painting. The three locations were very different but beautiful, challenging and interesting in their own right. Mary is an excellent and patient teacher who knows her subject well and encourages the student to explore and push boundaries when outside of their comfort zone. A great experience, thank you.” (Scott))

“What a delightful day. Mary imparted her expertise gently and wisely which made this particular beginner learn so much and relax into the experience. My tricky dietary requirements were catered for without fuss and I was treated to a fabulous lunch. Assynt ‘shape-shifted’ before us to provide multiple views, light and texture. The day was over far too soon but I left in that happy state of satisfaction like the tiredness one feels as a child after a day at the seaside!” (Liz)

If you find yourself in northwest Scotland during the spring or summer months but don’t have time to join a full Vistas itinerary, day trips can be booked via Air B&B experiences, ‘Sketching in Assynt’, or by contacting me directly, where alternative dates may be available.