IMG_7507Each year I host a series of 1-5 day workshops. From introductory to advanced levels, the goal of the workshops is to present a full art experience, with instruction and demonstration coupled with time for the participants to work on their own. Travelling to a variety of studios and historic sites throughout my home province of Newfoundland & Labrador, into other parts of Canada and the USA and Europe, workshops are focused on the landscape or floras of some of these amazing spaces.

My own studio, Island View Studio in Tors Cove, NL, less than 40 km south of St. John’s, NL, is the home base for a number of my summer workshops. The landscapes of the East Coast Trail surrounding it provide endless inspiration. Whatever the location, near or far, you will find an encouraging atmosphere, individual attention and the inspiration to help you realize your potential.

To broaden the experience, I occasionally invite a guest instructor/artist to join in my workshop series. The instructors come from a cross-section of the best artists in their respective media, both from the province and from around the world. As they deliver expert instruction and immerse you in the art process, they inspire creativity and dynamism.

Regardless of the site all workshops are designed to allow the participants to explore the painting process, while giving them the opportunity to discover the surrounding landscape. The world lying just outside the studio allows the participants to experience colours in the landscape, the delicacy of a blossom, the movement of the ocean and the textures of the cliffs. The goal is to make each session an art experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at for more detailed workshop descriptions.

Winter & Early Spring Workshops details below:

Scotland Art Holiday Tour- May 23 – June 2, 201

Introduction to Botanical Art – January 28, 2019

A Colour Journey – January 29, 2019

Colour- The Importance of Wars & Cools – March 25, 2019

Refining Colour – March 26, 2019


Bonnie Scotland Art Holiday Tour

Limited availability

There is limited availability on this 2019 destination art workshop holiday tour.

Message from Margaret Walsh Best, Scotland Art Holiday 2019 Tour Instructor



Summer Colours: Larix laricina (c) Margaret Walsh Best

Plants and flowers which are special to a landscape have been at the heart of my art practice as well as all of my destination holiday art  tours. The upcoming 2019 Art Holiday Tour is no exception. Past tours to Ireland, Italy and the Island of Madeira (Portugal) have introduced participants to amazing gardens, picturesque villages and towns and cities steeped in history, along with new art techniques and skills.

Scroll down to check out the itinerary which has been expertly organized, and will be escorted, by our travel consultant, Michele Hutton (Ellison Travel & Tours).

Space is limited so please email Michele at to reserve your space on the Bonnie Scotland Art Holiday Tour.

In all of the Destination Art Vacations I have invited a renowned artist from the tour area to join us. It is always exciting to introduce a new artist to the group, particularly one who is very familiar with the flora of the area. For this coming workshop we are very happy that artist Victoria Braithwaite ( ) will work with the group for part of the workshop time.

Peony – Greenbank Garden Victoria Braithwaite

The workshops on the May flowers in Scotland, at a time when blossoms are at their peak, will inspire plenty of demonstrations and individual guidance from me and enthusiasm from the participants. The sessions are suitable for artists of varying skill levels with the main prerequisite being a love of plants. With the flora of this country as the perfect subject while we soak up the beauty and culture of a this destination, the journey in art will be a beautiful one.

Registrants will receive a list of supplies in the coming weeks but if you are interested and have questions related to the art workshop please feel free to contact me, Margaret, at



Message from Michele Hutton, Scotland Art Holiday Tour 2019 Travel Consultant

Scotland is a country rich in scenery, from dramatic Highland to picturesque Lowlands. A country steeped in history and tradition and a culture that embraces tartan, bagpipes and haggis, Scotland is home to a wide variety of flowers and plants waiting for you to discover.

The flowers in May are abundant and quite spectacular. With ample wildflowers and plants, Scotland is a visual feast. Look for Scottish Heather, Bluebells, Thistle and Broom. You may even see the delicate lilac-coloured Cuckooflower/ Lady’s Smock when travelling through the countryside. The verdant foliage of Scotland is so varied and vibrant in May. Edinburgh’s Princes Street Garden will be bursting with colour during our trip. At this time of year blooms will have been set for the season in this lush, green space. The Park is available for all to enjoy and is a wonderful place for a lunch on the lawn.

All this in the enjoyable company of a wonderful group.


May 23-June 02, 2019

May 23:

•Depart for Edinburgh, Scotland

May 24:

•Arrive Edinburgh in early afternoon

• Private Bus transfer from EDI airport

• Light sightseeing en route to Peebles.

• Get settled at MacDonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Spa, Peebles. The hotel is located outside the town but is easily accessed by bus or taxi.

•Welcome Dinner at the MacDonald Cardrona Hotel.

May 25:


•Full day Botanical Art Workshop with Margaret ( )

May 26:


•Full day Botanical Art Workshop with Victoria


Peony – Greenbank Garden (c) Victoria Braithwaite

May 27:


•Full day Botanical Art Workshop with Victoria.

May 28:


• Morning Workshop with Margaret

• Afternoon Cooking School…chocolates!

May 29:

• Breakfast

•Morning Workshop with Margaret

• Depart 12noon for the Village of Roslin.

•Enjoy a locally sourced lunch at The Original Rosslyn Inn:

Home-made Steak and Stewart Brewing Ale Pie.

•Rosslyn Chapel

• Depart for Edinburgh where we will stay on the Royal Mile.

May 30:


• Royal Botanic Garden and greenhouses

May 31:


•Full day Stirling Castle, Highland and Glengoyne Distillery Tour with lunch. *optional

June 01:


•Free day! Explore historic Edinburgh and shop for tartan and other treasures.

• Spirit of Scotland Farewell Dinner Show

June 02:


•Sláinte!  Homeward bound.

Price: $2799 Total Land Package

Deposit of $1000 due at time of booking – payable using credit card or by cheque (Ellison Travel & Tours).

*without full day Highland tour-$2679

Single occupancy on request


9 nights accommodation

Breakfast daily

Bus transfer as noted

Welcome Dinner

Farewell Dinner

Cooking School: chocolates

Entrance to all tours, as included above.

Full day Highland/Castle/Distillery Tour

Half Day Rosslyn Chapel

Art Workshops as noted.

Tour guide, bus driver, restaurant, porterage service and gratuities

Not included:

Transportation other than bus transfer listed.

Meals not listed

Air: approx.  $1250-$1300 total

To reserve your space or for more travel and tour details, please contact Michele at


Workshops – Winter 2019

Register now!

  • All workshops below will be in watercolour and/or graphite pencil
  • Nature will be our inspiration. Participants are encouraged to bring their own plants or stems or avail of the samples on site
  • Gift Certificates are available in any $ amount towards a class or workshop
  • Visa & MasterCard are accepted for registration
  •  Please contact Margaret at with questions or to register


#1 – 2019 ” Introduction to Botanical Art”

          Date: Monday, January 28, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 PM
Location: MUN Botanical Garden, St. John’s, NL
Cost: $85 +HST (Some materials included in the registration fee)

          Level: Various skill levels

If you have a love of nature and art and would like to learn about the process of capturing the characteristics of a plant in a realistic way, then this botanical art workshop is for you!
Botanical Art is a blend of science and art so getting to know the plant or part of it (that’s the science part) works on your observational skills. That will be our starting point and we will continue from there. In the process, with plenty of demonstration and individual guidance,  you’ll work with some simple and readily-available tools and specimens to simplify the procedure.
Interesting offerings from nature will be our inspiration. 

More details and a materials list will be sent to registered participants.


#2- 2019 A Colour Journey 

          Date: Tuesday, January 29, 20
          Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 PM

          Location: MUN Botanical Garden, St. John’s, NL
Cost: $85  + HST    

          Level: Beyond Basics to Advanced

Once you get familiar with the colours in your palette, learning to really see colour in the natural world is the beginning of an exciting  journey. There are some tips on that which I’d like to share to begin this day of colour exploration in watercolour.
This workshop will offer a systematic approach to guide you through recognizing the composition and qualities of some of the more basic colours in your palette, why some work well together and some don’t. Combine the theory with the fun of trying these combinations to represent  some samples from nature. The reference samples you do on this day will continue to be useful as you expand your knowledge of colour.
This workshop is suitable for those with some previous exploration of  colour in the area of botanical art and nature art. 

More details and a materials list will be sent to registered participants

#3- 2019  Colour –  The Importance of Warms & Cools 

Date: Monday, March 25, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 PM
Location: MUN Botanical Garden, St. John’s, NL
Cost: $85  + HST
Level: Beyond Basics to Advanced
* One of the above Colour Workshops will be an asset but is not a necessity


Warm and cool colours are mentioned often in many areas of our lives. Nature has a way of combining warms and cools in its plants but their use is not ‘haphazard’. Learn why it is important to use these ‘versions’ of colours to your advantage in your work to get more realistic representations of your plants.
More details and a materials list will be sent to registered participants

#4-2019  Refining Colour

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 PM
Location: MUN Botanical Garden, St. John’s, NL
Cost: $85  + HST
Level: Beyond Basics to Advanced
* One of the above Colour Workshops will be an asset but is not a necessity

Take a closer look and notice the many greys and neutralized colours in the plants and plant compositions nature has provided for us. They play a special role. The focus of this workshop is to allow participants guidance and time to replicate these vital colour changes, subtle or more intense, in botanical and nature paintings.  

More details and materials list will be sent to registered participants