Workshops are run monthly covering members interests and also providing the opportunity to try new mediums and crafts. New members and visitors are always welcome. Most workshops are suitable hfor beginners as well as those with more experience. The venue is usually the Rangers Centre classroom at Brodick Castle, but occasionally at a tutor’s studio.

Past workshops have covered landscapes, still life, wildlife, portraiture, stone-carving, lino-cutting, silk painting, machine embroidery, beading, mosaics, felting, batik, tapestry weaving, pottery, rush weaving, stained glass and photography.


The workshop programme for 2018 

The workshop leaflet has  been posted out to members.


DAVID WEDGE     Saturday 24th February 2018


ARRAN HIGH SCHOOL 10am to 4pm.

During this one day workshop participants will be introduced to the basic practice of figure drawing. Construction techniques and proportion will be explored through a series of exercises working from a female clothed model; these exercises will lead to more extended studies where participants can practice these techniques.

The workshop is suitable for absolute beginners to the more experienced.

This workshop will be delivered by David Wedge, Principal Teacher of Art and Design at Arran High School, who has spent over 28 years in Art Education
1. a range of drawing pencils
2. A4 /A3 paper
If you don’t have any of the above , all materials will be made available at a small cost.
3. Packed lunch.


SHARON THOMAS    SAT 17TH & SUN 18TH March 2018


Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle. 10am to 4pm

Portraiture is an area that both exhilarates and terrifies many.
This weekend course will introduce the student to a history of making portraits, where different techniques involving drawing and painting will be explored. The face: belonging to a friend, family member, stranger or animal ally will be studied, with demonstration given, and a final piece completed to prove all skills learned.
This course invites beginners, as well as those with more experience that would like advice and a weekend’s journey exploring the portrait.
Sharon Thomas is a Glasgow based artist, lecturing at Glasgow School of Art, Strathclyde University and House for an Art Lover. Trained at Glasgow School of Art (BFA 2001) and New York Academy of Art (MFA 2004), recent exhibitions include: ‘Volske- Vaerk’, Museet for Religios Kunst, Denmark (2015); ‘21 Revolutions’, CCA, Glasgow and Royal Scottish Academy (2011-2013); ‘Herstory Portrait’, Paisley Museum (2012)

1.Any colour portraiture images you would like to paint…..people or animals.
( Sharon will bring some images also)
2.Paints….watercolour/oil/acrylic ..medium of your choice.
3. Brushes etc.
4. Canvas / paper / canvas board etc..whichever you prefer.
5. Pencils/ charcoal.
6. A packed lunch.



ZARA GRAY      Saturday 14th April 2018

Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle 10am to 4pm

Millinery, the craft of making hats and headpieces has had a resurgence. At Zara’s workshops, she enjoys inspiring new milliners and introducing them to the craft.
During this workshop, you will create a woman’s hat or headpiece using traditional methods. To begin the class she will present a number of decorative techniques and millinery materials.
Each student will choose a hat shape and combine that shape with the demonstrated decoration to design a unique piece. In bringing your design to life you will learn traditional millinery techniques and use couture methods of hand stitching.

Zara has practised for the past seven years and is a member of the Bonnetmakers and Dyers of Glasgow, her adopted city. She studied at Glasgow’s Kelvin College and with former milliner to The Queen Mother, Rose Cory before formally establishing her business in June last year. As well as creating bespoke custom items this year she launched her debut ladies collection and a baby range.

All sewing materials, hat blocks, millinery supplies and hatboxes will be available.

Basic sewing skills are advantageous.
£15 will be charged to each participant for millinery materials and a hatbox to take away final pieces.
Please bring a packed lunch.



SARA BEEVERS         19TH & 20th MAY 2018


Ranger Centre , Brodick Castle. 10am to 4pm

Sara Beevers is a professional painter and printmaker. She has over 28 years of teaching experience running courses and workshops.

This weekend workshop is designed to bring out your creative juices !
All levels of ability are very welcome.
We will start by finding the best composition for your piece and drawing onto the ready prepared textured paper. Using acrylics or watercolours we will establish our darks and tonal contrasts of the flowers and fabrics, then focusing on the exotic materials, bring out the details in the patterns. Finally seeing the surprising 3D effect the textures give to your finished art works.

1. 2B pencil
2. Acrylic paint works the best but watercolours if you don’t have acrylics.
3. Brushes
4.A packed lunch.



GILLIAN PARK     Saturday 23rd June 2018


Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle. 10am to 4pm
Having graduated from GSA in 1993 and worked for over 20 years as a graphic design, Gillian is now ‘officially’ a full time artist, teaching workshops, classes & painting from her home & stable studio surrounded by gorgeous Ayrshire countryside. She paints mainly expressive landscapes in strong colours & bold strokes … and has a major love of oils!

We’ll be working in reverse on black gesso in this workshop, using masking techniques, bold expressive marks & colours to create a striking magical woodland painting in glorious buttery oils.

1. Canvas/canvas board – 12-14” square is perfect (no larger than 14” either way if you don’t have this)
2. Oil paints – preferred palette – although not absolutely necessary: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, permanent rose, ultramarine blue, prussian or pthalo blue, burnt umber & yellow ochre
3. Masking tape
Larger brushes – 1” flat perfect
4.If you havewoodland photos you’d like to work from, then please bring along as reference.
5. A packed lunch.

Gillian will supply the black gesso , and can also supply good quality 12” square stretched canvases for £6 each.



SHEENA RUSSELL     21st July 2018


Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle. 10am to 4pm
In this one-day workshop, we’ll be using watercolours to explore the subtleties and nuances of colour and tone; how we choose to interpret and portray these, ranging from soft washes to more bold and intense pigment. We will show a wide variety of results even when observing the same subject matter.
Participants can expect to start the day with a structured but rather soothing exercise of colour-mixing, before tackling the still life of their choice.
This course is suitable for those with some experience with watercolours, but beginners shouldn’t be put off, as we’ll go through each step together.
Sheena Russell graduated from Glasgow School of Art, and has been teaching in Norway, London and Glasgow, and exhibiting internationally. She has a studio in Trongate with Glasgow Independent Studios.

2 x blue (ideally Cerrulean blue and Prussian or a dark ultramarine)
2 x red (a Vermillion/Cadmium red and Carmine/Alizarin red)
2 x yellow (lemon yellow or Cadmium yellow and Yellow Ochre)
2. Brushes: anything suitable for watercolours
3. Palettes: plastic white ones, round or rectangular
4. Watercolour paper: 2 for each participant of approximately A3 size, and one for each participant of A5 size
5. Gumstrip, papertape
6. Pencils (just ordinary HB ones) and thin cartridge paper (one for each participant)
7. Boards
8.A packed lunch.





Ranger Centre, Brodick. 10am to 4pm.
Heather is a Scottish feltmaker based in Edinburgh. She works with wools and silks to create art pieces and wearable accessories from hand-felted material, experimenting with colour and pattern. She discovers ideas for textures, shapes and colour combinations in the natural environment, also in architecture and art. She always has her camera with her as she travels in Scotland and beyond. Her photographs often focus on details such as patterns in ice, rocks and pebbles, rust and peeling paint, seaweed and sand, railings and doors, flowers and insects. She is perhaps best known for her nuno-felt scarves. These combine merino wool with silk (mostly recycled) and are decorated with a variety of natural, brightly dyed fibres. Part of the appeal of these pieces is the painterly blend of colours, attention to detail and fine finishing.
In this full-day workshop, Heather will take you step by step through her techniques for creating your own wearable art piece: a delicately beautiful nuno-felt scarf.
Open to all levels. There will be a small charge for the materials.

1. A packed lunch.



NICKY SANDERSON      Sat 22nd & Sun 23rd September 2018


Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle. 10am to 4 pm

This painting workshop is suitable for all as it will address the why and how of colour from the beginning. So even if you already know quite a bit, it will serve as a refresher to reinvigorate your paintings. Hopefully the acquisition of knowledge will dispell any doubts you may have concerning the use of colour!
We will be doing lots of experimental exercises and demos looking at what colour is (with a small amount of history and science), the colour wheel, opposite colours, tonal colours, neutrals, analogous colours, and then a painting on the second day which uses some of the skills learnt. We will work from real objects such as fruits and vegetables and create a more finished painting on the second day. There will be plenty of material to refer to.

Nicky Sanderson is a graduate of Grays School of Art in Aberdeen with post graduate studies in Printmaking from The Slade School in London. After living and working in Mexico Nicky’s love of colour was firmly established. On returning to her hometown of Edinburgh she became an art teacher in Community Education and through her connections at Leith Academy she met her business partner and founded artEscapes, a successful art holiday venture, taking groups to beautiful locations abroad and in Scotland.
Nicky continues to work on mixed media landscape themes from her studio at Coburg House in Leith, exhibiting regularly in the Open Studios and took part in a sell out exhibition during the Edinburgh Festival 2017. She currently offers painting holidays to Lewis and Harris.

1. your own water based paints and brushes
2. several sheets or a pad of fairly heavy cartridge paper (minimum A4 size, preferably A3).
(There will be paper you can purchase on the day should you need to.)
3. If you can bring some colourful fruits and veg or flowers to share and work from, that would be ideal.
4. A packed lunch.




BATIK! Ranger Centre , Brodick Castle. 10am to 4pm

A textile artist who trained at GSA and Scottish College of Textiles in the Borders ,Moira is an Art and Design lecturer with over 25 years’ teaching experience in the Further Education sector.
She is a current member with the Guild of Silk Painters in Scotland and the Batik Guild UK and has exhibited her work with both of them, in 2016 in Ardnamurchan and in 2015 and at a major exhibition of the ‘Silk Guild’ at The Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie, where she has also been a children’s Art tutor for their Saturday Workshops for over 20yrs.
She is a member of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists and regularly exhibits with them in the U.K.
The West of Scotland Branch of Silk Painters have asked her and the local silk group this year to design a Silk painted 6ft square Panel to contribute to celebrating 150 yrs of the anniversary in 2018 of Charles Rennie Mackintosh .This will hopefully be exhibitid in the ‘Lighthouse’ Glasgow as well as Queens cross church after the summer .
She also helps with the Riding for Disabled, helping people with mixed abilities in lessons and with their Arts and Crafts Open days.
She is looking forward to meeting everyone who can attend the workshop and hopefully having a fun and creative textile day !
This workshop will be suitable for both beginners and those with some experience in this Textile craft .
The course will cover a variety of techniques from hand painting to dip dyeing techniques , some basic printing and using iron fix , steam fix methods for both silk and cotton fabrics.
You will be able to work on small pieces to try out the techniques , then progress to larger items i.e. a cushion panel , picture or larger pieces to cut up and take away .

This class will interest anyone who enjoys producing Textile techniques, dabbling with fabrics, colour and pattern , as well as experimenting and having fun with the fascinating craft of Batik!
A great opportunity to express yourself through creative textiles.

A packed lunch.
Pencil, Eraser and Ruler
2 Containers for water
Brushes (nylon type preferable)-No’s 1+4 or similar
Household painters brush-approx. 3/4cm width
Wooden frame approx. 30x40cm (old picture frame suitable if drawing pins can be pressed into it)
and /or
Wooden Embroidery Hoop (approx.15/ 20cm diameter)
Paper towel roll
Box drawing pins
Roll masking tape
2 Newspapers
Plastic or China mixing palette (or cartons to hold dyes in )
Small quantity household fine salt
4-6 cotton buds.
Old Apron or shirt to protect clothing
Plastic household gloves

I will supply SILK ( at a cost of £1.50 a half metre for Ponge 5 quality and £3 per half metre Habotai 8 quality ).
If you have any lightweight plain cream or white cotton fabric (min size A4) please bring along to workshop.
For all WAX, OUTLINERS, use of all DYES required on the day ,
I ask for a £4 minimum contribution , payable on the day depending on quantity used.



TIM POMEROY      Saturday 24th November 


RANGERS’ CENTRE. 10am to 4pm

Tim Pomeroy is a sculptor, painter, printmaker and Ex –lecturer at Gray’s School of Art Aberdeen. He exhibits in London Glasgow and Edinburgh and has works in the permanent collections of Kelvingrove and the National Museum in Edinburgh. His next solo exhibition is in November 2018 in The Fine Art Society in Dundas Street, Edinburgh.

This day course will take participants through the process of Reduction Linocut Printing.
This is a multi-coloured print-making technique wherein the plate is continually cut and printed for each colour. Each layer of colour is laid on the last, building up many layers until a densely coloured and layered image is formed.
This means that the edition number must be decided at the beginning of the process. You cannot go back and print more.

Participants should bring importantly, an idea.
The idea can be anything. But the technique lends itself to bold design.
Animals, houses, interiors, boats, In short an image of something or a detail of something specific rather than an atmospheric skyscape or seascape that might better lend itself to watercolour or etching.
Having said that no subject is out of bounds.
But participants should come with a bold image drawn out on paper the size they wish the print to be.
There will be a flexible finishing time as the ink drying process between colours can be protracted.

No prior experience is necessary as the day course will explain and allow practise of the entire technique.
Be prepared for an intense day’s printmaking!

Papers and inks will be provided for a nominal materials fee. (TBC)

WHAT TO BRING idea… a bold image drawn out on paper the size you wish the print to be.
See above for guidance.

2.any cutting tools you might have.
It is essential that participants should communicate, via AVA, what cutting tools they already have to enable enough cutting tools to be acquired for the day.

3. a packed lunch


Please see below for booking information

Workshops are normally held in the Rangers’ Centre at Brodick castle and run from 10am – 4pm. Other venues will be notified. Tea,coffee and biscuits are provided but please bring your own lunch. There is a bakers in Brodick that sells filled rolls but is not open on Sundays.




Copy this form or just write the information on paper to book


Members £25 per day, Non members £35 per day 

Workshop name:  _____________________________________

Date/s:  ____________________________________________


Workshop name: _____________________________________

Date/s: ____________________________________________


Workshop name: _____________________________________

Date/s: ____________________________________________













Please send with your cheque/s* payable to:

Arran Visual Arts to:


Kathleen Sowden

41 Murray Cres


KA27 8NS



*Please read notes below


   Cheques are not cashed until after the workshop, postdate if you like.  Confirmation of a place will be sent a week or so before the course with a materials list.  If you wish confirmation of receipt of your cheque please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.


·      If a workshop is over-subscribed you will be advised immediately that your name has been placed on a waiting list.


·      If a workshop is under-subscribed and therefore not viable you will be advised as soon as possible

 Cancellation: If you are unable to attend any workshop please notify Kathleen Sowden (01770 600 827) or Lesley Lockhart (01770 600 454) as soon as possible. If a replacement cannot be found then AVA will keep 50% of the cost.
Membership now due – £15 payable tgo:  Sheridan Waldon, 17 Benlister Terrace, Lamlash, Isle of Arran, KA27 8LN