| Workshops Programme 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 virus situation all AVA workshops are cancelled for the foreseeable future.

  Click here to Download Workshop Programme 2020 (1.1 mB, pdf)

Saturday, 22nd February - Sunday, 23rd February, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Painting the Sea

Tutor | Senja Brendon      www.senja-art.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Senja is an established Scottish seascape artist who has recently moved to Arran, painting in traditional oils with occasional charcoal pieces. With over 30 years experience, in teaching and practice, Senja will, over 2 days, discuss with you composition, creating depth, mark-making for movement, use of colour and the importance of drama. The workshop will embrace individual creativity and Senja hopes to support everyone to produce a final painting to be proud of.

Necessary Experience | No experience is necessary - Senja will be happy to adapt to individual needs.

Materials to Bring | Apron/old shirt and/or wear old clothes
Set of oil paints or acrylics
Windsor and Newton liquin impasto medium (you can purchase a small amount of this from me if needed)
Brushes/palette knives/mark making items/old ruler
Palette (old tiles, disposable palette pad, etc.) and cling film
Rags for painting and brush cleaning (old sheets, pillowcases, etc. cut up into manageable bits is fine)
Brush cleaner/white spirit and lidded container (eg.jam jars)for safe disposal
Pure turpentine - small amount needed (you can purchase a small amount of this from me if needed)
Notebook/sketchbook/paper and pencil
Old newspaper

Any seascape or skyscape references of your choice to work from.
Any canvases, primed boards, paper for oil painting, canvas boards or other surface that you wish to paint on.

Available from Senja |
Primed fine grain canvas boards 13 x 18cm @ £2.50, 18 x 24cm @ £3
Stretched canvases 20 x 20, 20 x 40, 30 x 30, 40 x 40, 40 x 60cm from £5 to £15
Paper for oil painting(Senja will buy a few pads of this if people express an interest - it’s more cost effective for playing/experimenting)
Liquin impasto - tubes cost around £19 but we can share mine and work out donations. (We’ll probably use less than a quarter tube each)
Pure turpentine £2 for weekend supply
Disposable palette 15p/sheet

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 21st March, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Drawing from Nature

Tutor | David Wedge
Venue | Arran High School Art & Design Department   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

David has taught for 30 years, the last 20 at Arran High School. He has a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fine Art working across the mediums of sculpture, drawing and photography. He works across a range of media and particularly enjoys drawing, printmaking, card construction and photography.
David has been a teacher of Art and Design and Photography for 30 years, the last 20 at Arran High School. He obtained a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fine Art working across the mediums of sculpture, drawing and photography. As a teacher he has worked in England, Wales, Scotland and Germany. In his own work and with his students he works across a range of media and particularly enjoys drawing, printmaking, card construction and photography.
In this workshop participants will use a range of drawing media and techniques to make a series of studies inspired by natural forms. There will be several demonstrations of techniques followed by time for participants to try them out. There will be something to inspire everyone!

Necessary Experience | The workshop is suitable for all abilities from the absolute beginner to the more accomplished.

Materials to Bring | All materials will be provided

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch and any drinks.

Saturday, 4th April, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Making a Mosaic with Slate

Tutor | Rachel Davies      www.racheldaviesmosaics.co.uk
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Rachel Davies is a mosaic artist and a professional member of the British Association of Modern Mosaic. She uses slate, stone and glass to create highly textural pieces of mosaic art. She teaches regularly from her studio in Dunblane and has also taught in England, as well as in the USA. Rachel has exhibited her work in various galleries across the UK, including London and Edinburgh.
In this one day workshop students will create a mosaic using slate as the main material. The class will cover the following:
Methods of preparing slate to use in a mosaic;
Different ways of laying the slate to create texture and visual interest;
How to create a visually pleasing abstract design;
How to incorporate glass and other materials into the mosaic to create highlights and contrasts.

We will be using the direct method of creating a mosaic, laying pieces directly into the adhesive. No grouting is required. At the end of the day each participant will have a completed mosaic to take home.

Necessary Experience | This class is suitable for beginners as well as those who have some experience with mosaic.

Materials to Bring | All materials will be provided. Participants are asked to bring £5 to cover the cost of materials used. Working with slate and adhesive can be messy so it is recommended that participants bring an apron or wear older clothes.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 25th April - Sunday, 26th April, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Mighty Stitch

Tutor | Laura Lees      www.laura-lees.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Laura Lees has designed an exclusive short course where participants will be able to customise a unique piece of clothing/fabric using freehand machine embroidery, hand embroidery and surface textiles to create a totally bespoke, individual design in a relaxed, friendly and creative environment. Don't let your skills inhibit your imagination, complete beginners are welcome, just bring an open mind! There will be an abundance of fabric and templates for you to choose from to create your embroidered applique as well as threads, trims and tricks of the trade.

As well as running her own label and interiors house, Laura has designed and crafted limited edition one-off pieces for fashion collections with Sibling, Luella and Giles as well as making guitar straps for The Strokes and working with clients as varied as Courtney Love to the Rolling Stones.

Necessary Experience | No experience is necessary.

Materials to Bring | Scissors. Laura will supply machines and darning feet.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 16th May - Sunday, 17th May, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Exploring Pastels

Tutor | Gillian Park      www.gillianpark.co.uk
Venue | Whiting Bay Lesser Hall   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Gillian has been a professional artist for the past 6 years. Having graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1993, she job-hopped through the design industry before starting her own design business, however the lure of the paint was too much and she now teaches & paints full time in her Ayrshire studio. Her love of colour, texture, buttery oils & new love of pastels is evident in her work which she exhibits in galleries throughout Scotland.

DAY 1: Soft pastels in oil painting style.
Working on Clairefontaine Pastelmat we’ll paint a small sky-scape to get familiar with the materials and in the afternoon a larger landscape or seascape of your choosing.
DAY 2: Taking pastels to the next stage - texture.
Working on MDF and using texture paste, gouache or watercolour, then pastels on top.

Necessary Experience | No previous experience required.

Materials to Bring | Set of soft pastels. Here's the set she recommends: £8.29 on Amazon: Inscribe Artist Soft Pastels Box Set (48 Colours)
Large Clairefontaine Pastel mat sheet x 2
Sketchbook & pencil
Watercolour and/or gouache & brushes
Reference material

Available from Gillian |
Materials that may be available to purchase from me on the day (ordered in advance)
Day 1: Clairefontaine board £3 per sheet
Day 2: I will supply the boards & texture medium for everyone - this will work out at £6 per person

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch and any drinks.

Saturday, 6th June - Sunday, 7th June, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Painting Summer Flowers

Tutor | Victoria Braithwaite      www.victoriabraithwaite.co.uk
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

An introduction to botanical watercolour

Victoria is an award-winning full-time contemporary botanical painter who loves sharing her passion for painting the natural world. Based in Ayrshire, she has exhibited internationally, and has work published in several botanical art books. She mainly paints on a larger scale, but also enjoys the precision of small nature studies. She is a founding member of the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Taking as subjects the summer flowers which will hopefully now be brightening up our gardens, you will be introduced and gently guided through the process of creating an original botanical watercolour. Plant material will be provided, but if you have something from your garden you would like to tackle, please bring it along.

Demonstrations, introductions to materials, paint handling, scale, composition and common watercolour pitfalls will be covered.
Day 1 will start with demonstrations, then move on to drawing and colour-matching.
Day 2 will be devoted to getting colour on the page.

Examples of her paintings will be available in the room, along with books, catalogues and journals on botanical art to browse.

Paints, brushes etc. will be available to use, but if you have your own preferred watercolour paints and brushes please bring them along. Good quality hot-pressed watercolour paper will be available to purchase, and sketching paper will be available. A wide range of plant material will also be provided.

This will be Victoria's third workshop with Arran Visual Arts, and she’s looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, and hopefully some new ones!

Necessary Experience | Some drawing experience is preferred, but not necessary.

Materials to Bring | Please bring a pencil (HB or H - I use a 0.3mm propelling pencil), sharpener or craft knife, soft rubber, watercolour paints (I will have some to hand to borrow if necessary) and brushes (I use a number 1 round and a number 4 or 6 round - any fine brush with a good point is fine - I use Prolene Plus Series 007 brushes). If you want to bring your own paper, please make sure it is good quality (at least 50% cotton, over 300gsm) HOT PRESSED (smooth) watercolour paper.

Available from Victoria |
She will bring along watercolour paper (Saunders Waterford) to buy, at £2 per quarter sheet. Sketching paper will be available.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 4th July, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Making a Bag from Scraps

Tutor | Betty McCormack
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Create a new fabric and use it to make a Lined Zipper Pouch with Detachable Wristlet. Betty has been quilting for 25 years and also have school teaching experience of over 30 years. She has exhibited quilts at Loch Lomond Quilt Show and Roselle Museum Ayr. She has been tutored by Philippa Naylor and also Pat Archibald who are both award winning quilters.
1) Create new fabric from scraps
Students will create new fabric from scraps They will personalise their work with appliquéd motifs , quilting etc
2) Making a Lined Zipper Pouch with detachable Wristlets.
Students will apply a zip, make a detachable wristlet and make up a lined zipper pouch which can be used as a cosmetic bag, pencil case etc. The techniques learned are transferable and examples of other uses will be on display.
This is a fun, eco friendly course where there is plenty scope for individuality.

Necessary Experience | Basic ability to use a sewing machine.

Materials to Bring | 1) Fat quarter of quilting cotton or batik fabric;
2) Thread to tone ;
3) 10 ins nylon coil zip to tone or contrast;
4) Sewing Machine;
5) Straight stitch foot;
6) Zip foot;
7) Sewing equipment e.g.small scissors, pins or wonder clips;
8) Pencil;
9) Simple motif in thin card (to fit 3Ins square);
Cutting mat, quilters ruler and rotary cutter if you have them.

Available from Betty |
There will be kits available to purchase for a small charge. These will contain base fabric, heat and bond material, tulle/ netting/ lace fabric, d ring, and lobster swivel clasp. Zips will also be available to purchase. She will also have available fabric already prepared for the foundation layer. This will be free of charge.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 25th July - Sunday, 26th July, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Animal Fun in Mixed Media

Tutor | Joan Lawson      www.joanlawsonart.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Joan studied at Glasgow School of Art and taught for many years before establishing her own art school, Robinwood, in Ayr. She is a successful practising Scottish artist. Using photographs of animals for reference, Joan will take you through some mixed media techniques and help you to produce some colourful and quirky animal paintings. Watercolours, oil pastels, inks, pastels and acrylics will make this a fun workshop!

Necessary Experience | No experience is necessary.

Materials to Bring | Photos of ‘quirky’ animals...giraffes, cats etc.
Watercolour paper no lighter than 140lb, minimum size A4.
Masking tape.
Masking fluid.
Watercolours and or inks.
Watercolour brushes.
Oil pastels.
Black permanent pens.
White gouache (or acrylic).
Pastels.
Sketch pad.
Pencils, eraser.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 22nd August, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cezanne and Van Gogh

Tutor | Felicity Walker
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

A crossroads in Art

Felicity Walker has been an art tutor for 35 years. She has worked throughout Ayrshire since the 1980's and has tutored AIM on the island for 15 years. Her aim in any class she does is to encourage students to gain knowledge and confidence of how to make use of all their brushes and knives and understand how to use the paint effectively. She will demonstrate as we go along and encourages questions. The class will be structured but relaxed.

Much of modern artistic thinking evolved through these 2 painters, still influencing artists today. By painting a still life either using Cezanne or Van Gogh (or both) as inspiration for techniques, the contrast in their personality and their thinking becomes clearer - and the start of cubism and modern expressionism seen.

This class is suitable for students who have a desire to investigate their own creativity by understanding the creativity of paint.

The tutor will be guiding students throughout on brush handling techniques - taking note of expressive or considered ways of painting - producing two very different works.

Necessary Experience | No experience is necessary.

Materials to Bring | Acrylic Paints
2 palettes - or small plastic trays
2 water pots
Bristle brushes - some 'flats' (i.e. squared off )
Palette knives
Old cotton rag if possible
Paper towels
2 gessoed boards or canvases (not too big)
A4 sketch books and soft pencil
Subject matter - students welcome to bring subject matter with them - photos or studies of landscapes, buildings.
Also 3 pieces of fruit.
Some resources will be available in the class however.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 19th September - Sunday, 20th September, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Introduction to Marbling & Bookbinding

Tutor | Saskia Pomeroy      www.saskiapomeroy.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Saskia Pomeroy graduated from Glasgow School of art in 2007. She lives and works in Glasgow as a visual artist and freelance designer previously having worked for two years as a commercial screen printer at London print house K2 screen. Saskia is a multidisciplinary artist working within print, drawing, painting, sculpture and textiles. Her work explores the relationships within compositions of colour, texture and shapes, sometimes abstract, sometimes observational. Her work is bright, colourful and joyous. Saskia's time as a screen printer has directly informed her style. She frequently uses contrasting finishes, colour overlays and technical detail as an additional dimension to her print work. This is also true of her painting work although more illustrative, is often an abstraction of real forms and themes such as nature, ancient art, glyphs and symbols.

This two day workshop will be an introduction to the ancient craft of marbling on paper and book binding. On day one we will learn the materials and set up for marbling and see the different techniques and tools. It will be free reign for a few hours to get to grips with the technique and create many beautiful papers. Overnight the papers will be dried and pressed to prepare them for the following day; case binding a notebook using the marbled paper. At the end of the workshop everyone will have a notebook and beautiful marbled paper to take home, including the knowledge required to start marbling - and bookbinding - at home.

Necessary Experience | No previous experience required.

Materials to Bring | All materials provided. Please wear work clothes that can get dirty (aprons are also provided.)

Available from Saskia |
Tools can be ordered after the workshop if students wish.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 17th October, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Silk Painting

Tutor | Heather McLeod      www.heathermacleod.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Heather is an established artist, and has worked from her Studio in Whiting Bay for almost 18 years.
 Living on Arran, the local landscape is the main inspiration for her work.

Having worked in many different mediums over the years, painting on silk gives her the desired vibrant colours to express her interpretation of the land and seascapes.

Whether it's a scarf, cushion cover or a landscape painting, this workshop will begin with the basics of stretching the silk, use of gutta and design. There are many techniques to explore, with different effects to enhance and make work more interesting and exciting.
 The dyes used will be iron fix and washable.

Necessary Experience | No previous experience is necessary.

Materials to Bring | If you have your own favourite watercolour brushes please bring them. Images, sketches or ideas for composition. These can be flowers, landscape, abstracts. Bring an apron if you have one. Everything else you need will be available at the workshop.



Heather would like £6 to cover the cost of the silk and dyes.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.

Saturday, 7th November, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Drypoint (etching on copper plate)

Tutor | Tim Pomeroy      www.timpomeroy.com
Venue | Ranger Centre, Brodick Castle   where is this?

Status | Spaces Available

Click here for more details.

Tim Pomeroy is a professional sculptor, painter, printmaker and ex-lecturer at Grey's School of Art, Aberdeen. He exhibits regularly in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Born in Hamilton Scotland in 1957, Tim Pomeroy attended Gray’s School of Art from 1976-81. He spent a short time secondary school teaching, and returned to Gray’s to lecture there for six months before establishing himself as a full-time artist in 1983. Initially he exhibited artworks at the Edinburgh Festival 1981-1991. Since 1996 he has gained representation in several London, Edinburgh and Glasgow Galleries. His career has included many one-off projects principally as a sculptor but has also embraced book illustration, theatre-design and mural painting. There have been several solo London exhibitions of his sculptural and graphic work from 1999 to the present day and his sculptures feature in several public collections. He showed with Agnews Gallery from 2007 to 2011 including two very successful solo shows in 2009 and 2011. He participated in The Fine Art Society’s 2012 exhibition Carving in Britain. Since then Tim has regularly featured as one of their contemporary sculptors including three solo exhibitions: at the Edinburgh branch in Dundas Street (2015) in New Bond Street (2014) and (2017).

His most recent works are based on organic subject matter (Butterfly Eggs Pine Cones, Acorns) but they also reveal a real interest in fossil forms and the usefulness and beauty of man-made objects both from Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology (Whorl, Pictish Ball) and from contemporary life (String, Screwhead).

Drypoint is a form of etching whereby the image is incised freehand directly onto the copper plate with a hardened steel or diamond-tipped scribe. It is a very immediate technique, there is no acid involved. Drypoint etchings are characterised by their softness of line caused by the ink printing from the burr thrown up by the incision as well as the incised line itself. This makes it an ideal printmaking technique for subjects that enjoy that softness of line; animals, flowers, woodland landscapes. These are only broad guidelines; any subject can produce very successful drypoint etchings. Most notably Rembrandt, Whistler, Goya, in Scotland James Mcbey all very successfully practised drypoint etching.

Necessary Experience | No previous experience is necessary.

Materials to Bring | Copper plate will need to be purchased (20 x 20cm plates including vat and P&P are £13.70).
Oblong plate 15 x 20 cm is £10.10.
Smaller plates are available.
Etching needle will need to be purchased (any participants who came to the workshop several years ago may want to bring the needle they purchased then). Basic student etching needle including vat and P&P is £6.62.
A contribution towards ink and paper will be asked. (£2.00 per person for ink, £3.00 for paper)
Orders should be placed well beforehand for plates or needles. Participants should consider whether they want to make an image in a square or oblong format and should come prepared with a drawing, photograph or idea. This saves on making time.


Available from Tim |
See above to pre order.

Food & Drink | Please bring a packed lunch. Tea & coffee provided.