Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fancy a painting holiday in the Scottish highlands?

I am often asked by Art groups to give slide shows from my expeditions and to talk about my painting career. I enjoy doing this and have started giving personal tuition to Artists aswell. I've had very positive feedback and recently began to wonder if I should hold an Art class for a weekend of painting tuition in a beautiful location somewhere.

My imagination got the better of me as I imagined taking a group of painters to my favourite places in Africa or Nepal ....or maybe Yosemite national park? I thought about it all for a while and decided I'd better pick somewhere nearer to home to begin with and of course it had to be my beloved Scotland.

I've been sailing and trekking my way around the highlands my whole life so I'm pretty much an expert on where to go, and so there I was last week making out a wishlist of hotels and venues to approach when the most amazing coincidence occured! I received an email from the Dundonnell Hotel at Little Loch Broom asking if I would consider holding a class for a painting
holiday in the highlands!

It's a beautiful Hotel in a magnificent location - perfect! What we have in mind is an intimate group of people (12 maximum ) for a weekend at the hotel which would include dinner bed and breakfast where I would hold painting classes, give talks and personal one to one tuition for the weekend including (Weather permitting) day trips for painting, sketching and photography in the beautiful highlands around Torridon and the lovely Scottish coastline with its bird and sealife.

It is envisaged that the whole weekend ( Frday & saturday night, departing sunday afternoon ) would cost just £299 per person.

The Dundonnell Hotel is run by Patricia Stevens and Robert Leggat. Wester Ross and the Northern Highlands are connected by the A82 and the main A9 trunk road to Perth, Stirling, Glasgow , Edinburgh and the motorway networks of the south. Inter city rail services and regular scheduled jet flights to Inverness have also brought the area closer to the rest of the country. Car hire is available at the airport and in Inverness.

Transfers from Inverness by car, luxury coach or self drive can be arranged to suit your needs.

Helicopter Landing facilities available at hotel - charters arranged to suit client requirements.

Distance by Air to Inverness
Ex London 1½ hours
Glasgow 40 minutes

By Road to Dundonnell
Inverness 1¼ hours
Glasgow/Edinburgh 4¼ hours
Aberdeen 3½ hours

From Inverness, head west towards Ullapool and follow the A835. At Braemore junction take the A832 for Gairloch until you reach Dundonnell.

For more information on the hotel please take a look at their website @ www.dundonnellhotel.com

If you think you might be interested in a painting weekend please get in touch with me @ ericwilson1@btinternet.com or contact the hotel directly. At the moment we are hoping to make it the first weekend in november but it all depends upon the level of interest.

I hope to see you with your paintbrushes or pastel sticks soon!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin - An inspirational man.

I haven't posted for a while, as I've been busy working on a large landscape painting, but todays awful news has made it difficult for me to concentrate and so I thought I'd express my feelings on here instead.

Steve Irwin was a hugely inspirational man, I loved his wildlife documentries and was always impressed and inspired by the genuine love he exuded for the animals he worked with. I would watch his programmes with my children and marvel at the way he captured their imaginations and opened their eyes to the beauty and wonder of the natural world. He was infectious in the most positive way and in a world of negative influences he is one person we could not afford to lose. His passion for nature was equalled only by his passion for life itself that positively radiated from our screens. To watch him was invigorating.

Steve Irwin brought so much good to this world, inspired so many people, and did so much desperately needed work for conservation. He was a treasure not only for Australia but for the whole world and his death is an absolute tragedy. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife and family. The only comfort is that Steve died doing what he loved and was blissfully happy right up until the moment of his death. How many of us will be able to say the same when our moment comes? How many of us have lived so well? This man really lived, he had passion, energy and the courage to take life by the horns and live it exactly as he wanted to.

Inspirational even in death, Steve Irwin, what a beautiful life. It is we who are left behind that are the losers. You will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

Crocs rule!