Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
A few short weeks ago, Lucy Brydon and I embarked on another adventure with 10 amazing women for an art retreat at Scotland's Lickleyhead Castle.
This SCAR (Scotland Castle Art Retreat), was retreat #4 since 2019, and the SECOND retreat Lucy and I have hosted together since June 2023!
We had THE BEST time in our new venue, just south of Auchleven in Aberdeenshire. We art-ed our hearts out, ate the most amazing catered dishes from Cafe 83 (Kenmay), rekindled magical friendships, and created new ones that will surely last a lifetime!
Lickleyhead Castle is located in Aberdeenshire and was built in 1629. Just being inside buildings from centuries ago is so interesting!! They're full of SO much history. Read more about it here on the castle website. It may interest you even more if you last name happens to be Leslie, Forbes, Leith, or Duff.
The landscape is breathtaking here. Just look at these castle grounds!!
The above photo was taken just before a huge storm hit the UK.
The sky was so moody and beautiful before literally BUCKETS of rain fell and flooded SO many of the neighboring village roads. The funniest part about being in a castle for a giant storm is you barely hear the rain because the walls are so thick!
And the great thing about rain is - it's the PERFECT excuse to art!!
Lucy and I split teaching time for each project. I typically taught the drawing portion, while Lucy taught watercolor and gouache. Lessons included inspiration from the castle itself - recreating a portrait hanging over the fireplace, capturing a cozy book nook, and rendering a stone garden gnome from the castle gardens.
Some of us worked our fingers to the bone and art-ed as much as possible, like Robin (WAY TO GO GIRL!) ...
And Melanie... (you're killing it, girl!)
While others of us couldn't resist goofing off...
LOL! Ok, Melanie appears to be well-rounded here,
art-ing hard while also playing hard!!
We had some of the most delicious food we've ever tasted while being spoiled by Andrew and Connor from Cafe 83 (Kenmay).
They introduced us to entrees and desserts we'd never tried before, like raspberry sorbet with lemon posset (THIS was outstanding, and just SO fun to say).
They also provided the most delicious cocktails like Andrew's Blackberry Gin Brambles - which I think we could have devoured every single night!!
We enjoyed an excursion day to see the sights in the countryside including a stone circle and hairy coos (cows)!
Since no one slipped through the stones to find Jamie, we spent the rest of our day shopping for souvenirs, antiquing, and enjoying a cozy lunch together in the quaint village of Balletar (just 15 minutes from Balmoral for you Royal fans).
Our last day was spent at the Aberdeen Art Gallery taking in the paintings, pottery, sculptures and fashion.
Later that evening, we enjoyed our last night in the castle together by the fire in the main sitting room. We laughed together, reflected on highlights from the week, and took even more selfies after yet another luxurious dinner provided by Andrew and Connor.
We hope our guests had just as much fun as we did!!
It was such a magical week!!
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Thanks for hanging out with us today!!
Welcome, fellow art friend!! I can barely believe my most recent Scottish Castle Art Retreat at Wardhill Castle is already behind me!! I've only been home a couple of days and I can't get the memories out of my mind! I'm thrilled to share some footage from the trip with you!!
Join me for a behind-the-scenes peek into how it felt to be on this super special art retreat last week!
Upon arrival at Wardhill, we received a glorious welcome from a local bagpiper on the front porch. He was so majestic! Make sure you click over to watch the video to hear him play. He added so much to the ambiance for the guests!
Our first full day was dedicated to art-ing and exploring the castle's hidden treasures. This hauntingly beautiful Scottish Castle offers breathtaking views and a sense of stepping back in time in every room.
We just loved sketching and painting the rooms, grounds, portraits, patterns in the wallpaper, and still-life arrangements we made with flowers from the castle grounds!
After a luxuriously long day of art-ing at the castle, we were spoiled rotten with fancy meals by Cafe 83!
I'm getting hungry again just looking at these pix!!
This dessert tasted even MORE amazing than it looks!!
In addition to art-filled days at Wardhill, we enjoyed lovely walks on the grounds through the forest. Just look at the trunk of this tree! I wish I had time to draw them all!!
We took three excurions off-site to visit the adorable seaside town of Cullen...
...the majestic Fraser Castle (no relation to my beloved Jamie from Outlander!). Check out the view from the top!!
And of course enjoyed the fairytale favorite, Crathes Castle! (Yes, it's truly PINK in real life!!)
I just loved getting to know each of these incredible women last week and am so grateful for our time together!!
Interested in the Art Projects Featured in Today's Video?
If you love fantasy art lessons and can't get enough of fairies, elves, florals and castles, you HAVE to check out the Celtic Collective art club I co-host with Lucy Brydon over at Awesome Art School!
We have SO much fun drawing, painting, and enjoy getting to know our students during our monthly zoom calls!! Learn more here.
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"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.