Art classes in Badenoch and Strathspey

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The Cairngorms by Angus Grant

Our counterparts down the valley – the Society of Badenoch and Strathspey Artists – have a few arty workshops on offer in the next few months.

The first is ‘Object and Memory’ led by Eleanor White, of Bridge House Art, Ullapool. It will explore everyday objects and consider the stories that they tell. This course, costing £75, runs over two days:

  • Friday April 22 – 7pm-9pm, and
  • Saturday April 23 – 10am-4pm

Get more information by clicking here.

The second is ‘Painting on Location’ with local artist Dan Cottam. He will teach a number of techniques for oil and acrylics landscape painting. This class will take place on May 7 at Loch Insh Watersports from 10am-4pm.Price – £55. Get more by clicking here.

And the third, which is also taught by Dan, is a life drawing class at the Iona Gallery. You’ll learn how to draw the human form, including lessons on composition and proportion. Get more information on the course by clicking here.

They’re being organised through the Cairngorms Learning Partnership. Even if you don’t fancy these ones, the CLP has a range of crafty workshops, all taught by local experts. Even our very own tutor, Angus Grant, is taking part. He’s teaching a felt-making workshop on March 19.

Fancy a cuppa?

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If you’re stuck for something to do on Saturday morning, you could pop along to Grantown Museum.

The team is hosting a coffee morning to raise funds. The event runs from 10.30am-12.30am.

Stay tuned for information on more events around the region!

It’s competition time!

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coloured pencils

Dear members,

As promised, here are details of our new logo design competition! Top arty prizes are available to be won!

We are renewing the logo to make it easier to reproduce on branded items and for advertisements. For that reason, it is important that your design is clean and simple. It would be best to work in blocks of colour – using simple shapes will make the image easier to print or embroider. Strong, simple shapes also allow the logo to be nicely reproduced in black and white or colour.

Pens, coloured pencils, coloured paper in collage, acrylic or gouache (in blocks of colour) will work well.

Blended paint, textural brushstrokes, pastel and sketchy drawing will be tricky to translate into a workable logo.

I’ll chat a bit about the competition this week – it’s a tutoring night so you could start work on your ideas.

Entries should be handed in to Angus by March 16.

I don’t want to be too prescriptive in the brief but if you’re stuck it might be good to include images from the national park, the Spey itself, or paintbrushes and general arty things.

The best three designs – judged anonymously by digital business expert Louise Jones, of Cairngorm Futures – will win prizes including art materials and Spey Art Group products with your own logo proudly emblazoned upon them!

The winning design will then be made into a digital image by me.

Best of luck!


Can you help your art group get noticed?

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Our annual exhibition is fast approaching and with this in mind, the group’s publicity team is appealing for your help.

We want to create some new eye-catching posters usings members’ work. It would be nice to use our work to advertise our own exhibition.

We know it might be a bit early to have finished masterpieces but we also know have some prolific members!

Therefore during our March classes, we would ask that anyone with any finished works (framed or unframed) could bring one or two in on Wednesday nights from now until the Easter break to photographed by Jane for publicity purposes.


Waiting for art group to restart?

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We’re all looking forward to the start of classes again on February 3 but if you are looking for some inspiration in the new few weeks, there’s a wee distraction just up the road.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is showing The Great Tapestry of Scotland the longest tapestry in the world.

This project was developed by Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith, artist Andrew Crummy and historical writer Alistair Moffat, and aims to depict Scotland’s history, science, culture, industry and politics over the centuries.

At 143m (or nearly 470ft) long, it is a record-breaking piece of work and was completed by volunteers across the country. It was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Scottish Parliament in September 2013.

Now a series of panels from the tapestry is on display at Inverness Museum, including historical events such as the Jacobite Uprisings, the Highland Clearances, and cultural aspects like sheep shearing, Highland Games and shinty.

The museum’s winter opening hours are:

  • Tuesday – Friday: 12pm-4pm
  • Saturday 11am-4pm

The exhibition is on until February 20.

And if you feel inspired by that visit to the museum, you might want to take part in this consultation on the future development of Castle Hill.

There’s moves afoot for the courts to vacate the castle in the next few years. High Life Highland, which runs the museum on behalf of Highland Council, is asking for views on what the castle should be used for. There are also plans for developing and upgrading the museum and gallery.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Of course, you could just pick up a pencil or paintbrush and get cracking on work for the exhibition in April… Not long to go! 😉

Talks in the Grant Arms

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12th April 2015 “Chris Rose Wildlife Art” –  Chris Rose

As part of our Bird Art Week, we are delighted to welcome internationally acclaimed artist, Chris Rose back to the hotel.  In his first of two talks this week, Chris will give a talk about what inspires him to paint.  Join us for this fascinating insight into how Chris paints his wonderful pictures.  Check out some of his work at

14th April 2015 “South Georgia Project – Artists for Albatrosses” – Chris Rose

At the beginning of 2010 Chris Rose spent 5 weeks with fellow artist John Gale drawing and painting the wildlife and scenery of South Georgia.  Sailing from the Falkland Islands on the 20m yacht the Golden Fleece – their home and studio for the entire trip – they circumnavigated the archipelago of South Georgia. As they were accompanying a scientific expedition, headed by leading albatross research scientist Sally Poncet, they were privileged to be allowed access to many areas rarely visited by people.  The aim of the project, called ‘Artists for Albatrosses’ was to raise funds for and awareness of Birdlife International’s Save the Albatross Campaign, which is managed in the U.K. by the RSPB. Join us for this fascinating insight into their trip as Chris takes us on the journey and shows us some of the amazing drawings to come out of it.

Thunder in the Glens

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water and wine bottle stall

A good fun fundraising day. Thanks to everyone who helped out.