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  • Writer's pictureAnna Pettigrew

Late Summer News & Reflections

A little look back- and news about the coming year at The Creative Olive!

Portugal - May 2018

Last May we opened the doors of the atmospheric pink Portuguese townhouse in Portimao and welcomed in a creative group of guests from far and wide.

The theme for the week was ‘Watercolour and Urban Sketching’

We wondered through cobbled streets, gazed at crumbling house facades, practiced perspective on church spires and trained our eyes on the expanse of the marina.

We sketched and drew, and there were challenges for both the beginners and the more experienced of the group.

Maybe the biggest challenge for our guests was being observed by passers-by on the streets?!

As always we were spoiled by the culinary delights of Anna who is a master at vegetarian food. We all felt better for having tucked into her delicious cuisine for a week.

Workshop - Secret Herb Garden Edinburgh - June 2018

We hosted a weekend watercolour workshop on the outskirts of Edinburgh in the glasshouses of The Secret Herb Garden.

It’s a sensory delight with scents of fresh herbs, flowers and plants.

It was a fabulous workshop, with a mix of guests who all were eager to learn new skills to add to their art practice.

A lot of work was created and inspiration had.

We look forward to again hosting a workshop there again soon.

Scotland - October 2018

As we write this, we have but one space left on tour week-long retreat in Dunblane - so you can still join us!

We are really looking forward to this trip here at The Creative Olive!

We will be playing with watercolour, learning new techniques, and turning what we know up-side-down! Our October retreats in Scottish castles, this time Cauldhame House, is always a wonderful time to reflect on the year past and reexamining what you have learned in your art practice. But there is always lots of time for having fun too! We are expecting guests from Canada, Italy, USA, England, Portugal/Finland, Sweden and Denmark! What a hoot it will be!


We can now reveal that we have 3 new courses up for 2019!

Winter Inspiration Booster

Spain 2-9 February.

Watercolour/Mixed media.

We have found the most exclusive venue in Andalusia, Cortijo Hacienda Las Mesas. A renovated farmhouse from 1590.

80km from Saville and in the heart of the Spanish Sherry country we are in for a treat!

As always the rooms are eclectically decorated and furnished with luxurious little touches that will make you feel like Spanish royalty! If the idea of a hack on horseback appeals, that can be arranged with the owners - and of course there will be an optional trip to a vineyard too! Optional? We mean obligatory!

The week's teaching will be an exciting mix of watercolour and mixed media, taking your normal watercolour practice to new levels.

Full details here: Spain Retreat

See more here about the venue: Hacienda Las Mesas


Portugal, Portimao 18-25 May

Watercolour/Urban Sketching.

The Pink Townhouse in Portimao will once again host our early summer week-long retreat. With its secluded courtyard and relaxing atmosphere, everybody always finds a slower pace and finds time to unwind.

Set in the middle of the old town, this retreat allows our guests to explore the city on their own, should they wish to. With a plethora of shops, cafes and museums there is plenty to see and do, out-with your art.

We will together explore the narrow streets and sketch the houses and bustling town squares, freeing up our hand and training our eyes. And later we will create bigger watercolours back at the house.

Full details here: Portugal Retreat


Scotland 19-26 October (TBC)

Watercolour Techniques

Scotland is majestic in autumn! Wilderness, tranquility and a lit fireplace, that's what you can look forward to on our October retreat, in a Scottish country house. Oh, and don't forget the whiskey!

Watercolour at its finest will be taught on this week-long retreat, good food and great company.

For more info on our retreats please go to:

With Love

The Creative Olive


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