Out with the Old…

Firstly, I would like to wish all Vistas sketching holiday clients – past, present and future – a very happy and healthy 2023, wherever it may find you.

Instead of clogging your inboxes with a newsletter I have decided to post a trips update here, since I have had a huge influx of enquiries and bookings for some of the trips and would not want to see anyone disappointed.


At the time of writing, both Morocco trips for March 2023 are FULL. I can not take a limitless number of guests on any trip for several reasons:

Any more than eight is no longer a ‘small group’ ; it is unwieldy for one person when trying to give everyone equal attention, especially if the majority welcome help with their painting.

Many, if not most of the hotels we like to use have a limited number of rooms. I can take a few extra guests if they are sharing a room, but eight single rooms is quite a lot for a small guesthouse; five is the maximum on the desert itinerary

Smaller groups have a lesser impact on the environment and the cultures we travel in. They bond better. They get served quicker in cafes. It’s win-win.

‘Why not put on extra departures?’ I hear you wail. Well, I could, if I didn’t have other work commitments screaming for my attention. I do, however, have a very lovely and relaxing artists’ retreat available in October. So if you had your heart set on Morocco for 2023, do check out ‘Far Horizons’ on the Morocco page. This itinerary can also be an intensive course for beginners, for a slightly higher price: Experienced artists can undertake their own projects while I spend the day with learners. We all meet each evening. We stay in wonderfully simple, rustic accommodation and break the long journey from Marrakech each way with a spot of sight-seeing. Ask for the itinerary!


The Lochinver-based ‘Windswept Wilderness’ is on the point of being declared full; I can offer one more place. However, the previous week’s itinerary, ‘The Bonnie Broom’ – new for this year – is confirmed as running, with spaces available.

I have not yet completed the Inverness- based holiday and I thank you for your patience while I wait to explore one remaining sketching location, which I’ll do once the weather starts to improve! A rough itinerary is now available for anyone who simply can’t wait, although dates are still to be confirmed with the first departure likely to be 2024.

A Colonsay itinerary is in the planning stages for the future, but not for 2023.

La Gomera

While La Gomera in the Canary Islands is not the cheapest trip I offer, this is with good reason. The accommodation we stay in is absolutely perfect for a warm, comfortable and relaxing break where we can base ourselves and unpack whilst still seeing and exploring a new place each day. With near-perfect sketching temperatures year-round, La Gomera should not be overlooked. I was lucky to spend the festive season with old friends who live in northern Tenerife, where the weather and temperatures are similar to southern Gomera and I can confirm we had just one day of rain and even then it wasn’t continuous, unlike here in northern Scotland at the moment. Don’t forget about beautiful Gomera…it’s really different, trust me!

Hoping to get a group together for October this year. Ask for a ‘Mists of Time’ itinerary and book soon!

Sri Lanka

Possibly my favourite place in the world…my spiritual home…how I have missed it during its recent economic, political and, of course, Covid problems. We are on target for a return at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024 so if you are looking for real warmth, look no further. I am holding the prices for now, and am willing to take the hit if things have gone up monstrously, just to get the trips off the ground again.

Please give Sri Lanka the chance to get back on its feet again!


It’s a few years now since I was in this incredibly picturesque area and I have postponed departures until next year to give me the chance to get back there and check the itineraries for changes and improvements. It is difficult to believe you haven’t all been queuing up to experience one of the world’s best painting locations but I understand you’ve all been fixated on Morocco! The Dolomites, however, will have their day. I can feel it.


If you have any comments about the destinations I’m offering – or you dream of a painting holiday somewhere else – I’m always open to suggestions, and feedback on why some of the trips are more popular than others. So please, don’t be shy – drop me an email any time!