A Moment in Time – Scotland, Autumn 2016

October 1st till October 8th 2016

£725 (£250 deposit required upon registration). Price does not include transportation to and from the retreat or evening meals.

To reserve your place please pay your depsoit here. Deposits are non-refundable.

Class is Monday 3rd till Friday 7th October.

Imagine… a week-long creative retreat in a peaceful hideaway on the East Coast of Scotland. Stunning views, walks on the beach, time to learn, time to relax, time to create to your heart’s content. Days spent exploring the area and working in a bright and airy studio with spectacular views and then evenings by the fireside in the company of other students.

Before booking please read the terms and conditions. The above price does not include transport to and from the retreat or evening meals.

There are two options for this workshops – own room or shared room. The price above is for single occupancy. If you would like to share a room then please contact me for details.

Whilst both houses are very close to the studio there is a moderately steep set of stairs so if you have any mobility problems then please contact me before booking.

During this week-long workshop you will …

…discover and be inspired by the beautiful local scenery, sea and sky and the quaint fishing village of Gardenstown

… spend time taking photographs and sketching outside

… work on extending your mark making techniques to create exciting atmosphere and variation in your work

… use pastels, collage, image transfers and paint to create expressive pieces with character and emotion

… in the first 3 days work on creating many drawings and sketches from which to create one or more finished pieces of work in the last 2 days of the class

The mornings will be spent learning new techniques and will feature several demonstrations and ways of working. The afternoons will be spent working in your own time to develop your drawing and sketching with the support of Gillian.

The accommodation is in two 18th century houses, Bankhead and Stroma.

Bankhead is an old ironmongers and now a bright and characterful three bedroom house overlooking the old part of the village with sea views.

Stroma is a four bedroom house with open plan living, dining and kitchen area and is a stones throw from the harbour.

Both houses are just a short walk from the studio, main village, harbour, beach and of course the local pub! They feature fully equipped kitchens and wood burning stoves, shower rooms and wi-fi – everything you need for relaxation and comfort.


The course fee includes breakfast, refreshments and a light lunch. It will be a case of… the fridges and cupboards are full – help yourself! Cereals, fruit, the makings of continental style breakfasts and all the makings of your choice of packed lunches. All will be there on your arrival and an on-going shopping list for replacements/fresh food.

You will have the opportunity to state any dietary requirements before the retreat and I will do my utmost to cater for your needs.

Evening meals are not included in the fee – we are able to eat at the pub 3 or 4 of the evenings (the meals are simple but truly delicious) and there is a harbour restaurant which you are able to pre-book. Other options are the fish van which comes to the harbour once a week for you own cooking or a soup night with all of us together in one of the houses. Or a light tea up at the studio for those who don’t wish to waste a moment of potential studio time.

The workshop in Gardenstown was so much more than I expected. You are truly a profound, amazing, knowledgeable, warm, funny and helpful teacher! You went that extra step to help us all and to make sure that we had everything we needed in the workshop and our cottages.

Gardenstown was a delight. So atmospheric!  We all truly felt like we had gone back in time. For us, for one week, time stopped.

Our cottage was perfect!  It was so cosy and well equipped. And so well stocked with food that you had bought for us. We loved our views out every window and of course the location was fantastic, near the studio, pub and steps down to Seatown. There was so much warmth and laughter in our cottage, so many memories with such good friends.

I learned so much from you Gillian.  Honestly,  this was a life changing workshop.  Now I just need to do my part and practice, practice, practice.  You have given me the tools!

Phyllis Peterson (North Carolina)

The workshop with Gillian Lee Smith in Gardenstown, Scotland had a profound effect on me. Her style of teaching is warm and engaging. She takes care to help each and every student no matter the skill level and experience. I watched students struggling with some of their projects, including myself; Gillian was able to give such intelligent suggestions, and within hours, the work was transformed.
Gillian is teaching art skills and techniques for us to use to further improve our style and not to duplicate her style which is objective of a good teacher. We all have a story to tell and her class has made me look deeper into my story. I am profoundly changed and she still has more to offer me and I will continue being her student. I am so grateful to her that she has helped me jump to another level with my work.
Kate Thompson (USA)