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Sketchbook Holidays has been running for many years now. The holidays were Oliver’s answer to providing Printmaking and drawing opportunities to others yet still satisfying Oliver’s and like-minded individuals need to explore .

Sketchbook Holidays began in the early years when Oliver was running his Printmaking Studio in Cornwall. When Oliver closed the studio he pursued the ideas of these holidays as a way to engage others, teach Printmaking and still be able to have the freedom to produce his own artwork.

Sketchbooking HolidaysOliver’s friendly personality, broad skills and one-to-one attention ensure a unique experience. Oliver’s holidays are ideal for making new friendships, exploring and exchanging creative ideas and enjoying some of the most beautiful places in the world. These tailor made holidays are an ideal opportunity to be both relaxed, explore the landscape whilst filling a sketchbook diary, or as the basis for a themed arts project.

It can be hard to develop the use of a sketchbook past sporadic or isolated images and thoughts captured in a spontaneous moment, so the Sketchbook holiday with its loose structure aids and stimulates a motivated response to a regularly changing new and exciting environment. It’s up to you how you use the time whether your interest is in the sun, your sketchbook, or both. Such is the nature of the holiday you can opt for peace and quiet or integration within a friendly group.

A suggested course structure and individual tuition will be available throughout the holiday. For up-to-date details of these holidays, please email Oliver at info@oliverwestfinearts.com

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This is an opportunity for a flexible holiday on location in Venice, usually over a long weekend, and often on a Bank Holiday weekend. This holiday is different from most of my other holdays, mainly because of its flexibility; you are free to book your own flights, accomodation and food, and to join me for one or two days tuition over the weekend.

We move around various locations looking at composition and various techniques for drawing in situ. We will be looking to capture structural and atmospheric qualities we experience in our surroundings. Individual tuition will be available and personalised themed work will be encouraged throughout the two teaching days. You do not need to have drawn before or have any artistic skills, but those who feel more confident in their techniques will be given support in new areas of experimentation.

I take my etching materials with me and will be more than interested to offer ideas for plate preparation techniques whilst we are there. There would usually be an opportunity to etch and proof any print-based work you produce during a week in the summer in Cornwall.
You are welcome to find your own accommodation if you prefer, or you can book into the hotel where I stay. Of course feel free to extend your break on either side of the tuition days. Easyjet flies into Venice from a number of locations.

This holiday is an ideal opportunity to have a relaxing city break, meet new friends and experience the beauty of Venice.

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With the use of two fully equipped adventure tour vehicles we shall be following Turner’s footsteps through the Alps. We will be visiting those stunning, timeless views that captured Turner’s imagination years ago.
We will be able to draw and paint, etch, engrave and print in situ. The printmaking studio van will provide a great mobile arts base during the tour. Tutition will be available, as always on an individual basis. Art materials can be purchased on route.

Andrew Forrest of ‘MadMarmot’ is our guide and host. He will be leading us through some of the most stunning and unspoilt regions of Europe in a leisurely, social and relaxed trip onboard his mobile base camp – a Swiss postal service coach (ideal for mountain roads) that has been beautifully transformed with bunks to sleep up to 14, with a shower and a kitchen.

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Monday Morning flight from Bristol. There will be time on arrival to stroll along the beach into the market town of Turgutreis or cool off in the swimming pool.

Tuesday Sketchbook diary around Turgutreis and its harbours.

Wednesday Sketchbook diary trip to the magnificent ruins at Ephesus & Didim Apolon.

Thursday Boat trip down south via a remote uninhabited island. This is a great opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear turquoise bays, as well as working profusely in one’s sketchbook (of course). Lunch will be served on the top deck.

Friday Sketchbook diary trip to Gumusluk, a small village on the edge of a beautiful natural harbour overlooking the site of the lost city of Myndos which is now mainly submerged underwater.

Saturday is market day providing a brilliant opportunity for a sketchbook diary experience or bargain hunting – there are certainly good bargains to be found. Or for about £10 return you can catch the ferry to the Greek Island of Kos for the day.

Sunday Another opportunity to get out on the old-style galleon for a cruise in search of yet more of the Turkish experience. Finishing with a moonlit dinner on an uninhabited island beach.
Monday Flight to U.K.

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Day 1
Met on arrival in Cape Town, and transferred to the Aquila Private Game Reserve for overnight, and including 2 Game Drives, Dinner, and Breakfast. There is also the opportunity for either a Quad Bike, or Horseback Safari.
Overnight: Aquila Private Game Reserve, Touws River.

Day 2
After the morning Game Drive, and lunch, continue north to Sutherland, sight of SA’s International Observatory, and home to only one of two “Large Telescopes” in the world (SALT – South African Large Telescope). In the evening do a bit of “star gazing” with a local amateur astronomer.
Overnight: Kambro Kind Guest House, Sutherland

Day 3
After breakfast visit the nearby, state of the art, International Observatory, before travelling on to the typically Victorian Karoo town of Prince Albert, home to artists, olive and Fruit farmers, geologists, and people who do “lots of nothing”! Enjoy dinner in the mildly eccentric Karoo Kombuis restaurant.
Overnight: Karoo Lodge, or similar, Prince Albert.

Day 4
In and around Prince Albert, including a session with your friendly artist/s. Visit a nearby fossil site in the company of a professional local geologist. Dinner will be included at another of the town’s local restaurants.
Overnight: Karoo Lodge, or similar, Prince Albert.

Day 5
Head inland to the beautiful, and fascinating “Frontier Town” of Graaf Reinet, on the edge of the Karoo. The town itself is historically interesting, with the nearby “Valley of Desolation” being excellent for rock formations / views, and is best visited just before sunset.
Overnight: Drostdy Hotel, Graaf Reinet

Day 6
Get off the beaten track to the village of Nieu Bethesda, and the “Owlhouse” – original house of the eccentric artist / sculptor Helen Martins, who eventually committed suicide by drinking caustic soda. Very poignant displays in the garden and house, depict an interesting, but troubled life. Visit Ganora Merino sheep farm, where the farmer’s wife, who is knowledgeable on Bushman Art, expertly demystifies the symbolism of the paintings. The farm also possesses one of the better private collections of fossils in South Africa.
Overnight: Drostdy Hotel, Graaf Reinet.

Day 7
Continue south, through 1820 settler frontier country en route to the well appointed Lalibela Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for a late afternoon Game drive. Enjoy a typically South African “Bush Dinner”, and overnight at Lalibela.
Overnight: Lalibela Private Game Reserve

Day 8
After the morning game drive and breakfast, travel via Port Elizabeth to the Tsitsikamma Forest, and an opportunity to really relax for a bit, and/or take part in the many optional outdoor activities that are available in the area, such as sketching, walking, tree top canopy, waterfall “sliding” or mountain biking. A more extreme activity in the area is the “World’s Highest Bungi Jump”, sited at the Bloukrans River Bridge!
Overnight: Tsitsikamma Village Inn, Storms River Village.

Day 9
Optional activities in the same area as Day 8, with a group activity being the “Woodcutters Trail”, which includes a picnic lunch.
Overnight: Tsitsikamma Village Inn, Storms River Village.

Day 10
A further day of optional activities in the same area as above, with a group activity being a visit to the spectacular coastline at Storms River Mouth, situated in the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Overnight: Tsitsikamma Village Inn, Storms River Village

Day 11
Leave for Cape Town, and spend the day initially travelling through the coastal areas of the Garden Route, before experiencing the vastness of the Overberg Crop farming region during the afternoon. Approach the “Mother City” via the Hottentots Holland Mountains, and check into the Dolphin Beach Hotel, perfectly situated on the coastline of Table Bay, with picture postcard views across the bay to the city, and Table Mountain.
Overnight: Dolphin Beach Hotel, Table View, Cape Town.

Day 12 & 13
Do the “normal”, or not so normal things around Cape Town, with various options, i.e. touring, sketching, shopping, leisure, as the mood dictates.
Overnight (2 nights): Dolphin Beach Hotel, Table View, Cape Town

Day 14
A casual departure to Cape Town International Airport and the return flight home.
In association with: Evergreen Excursions