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Art Group

Please note the Art Group is not currently able to take place.

We need a new volunteer, to at as coordinator/go-between, with members who want to go to class, and the Botanics, so they know the numbers coming each week. It is not an onerous role, but key to the Art Group resuming.  If you might be interested, please contact Branch Chair, David Adams ( for more information.

Art Group sessions are led by Lindsay McDermid, a Branch Member and qualified artist and illustrator.

Lindsay usually sets a topic for the day but participants can do their own thing if they prefer. These sessions provide an opportunity for people to share their artistic experience and support each other’s creativity. All standards are welcome including beginners – you may find you have creative skills not previously recognised.

Where:  Sessions will be held close to the Botanic Cottage and its accessible toilets.  For the time being, art sessions must be held outside, with up to 6 participants and a volunteer for support.

Botanic Cottage is situated on the north side of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Inverleith Place.  Arrive and leave from the main West Gate.  (The current West Gate entrance is further along the road.  The Cottage gate is not available.)

A limited number of Mobility Buggies can be reserved at the West Gate.  Book in advance by phoning 0131 248 2909 or email

WhenWeekly on Thursdays from  2 – 3 pm.

Coordination & attendance

Our Art Group Volunteer will coordinate participation and timings for art sessions. You will need to email them when you want to attend, and if you need a table and/or chair (see below) from the Botanic Cottage. (We are looking to recruit a volunteer for this role.  If you could do this for us, please contact David Adams, as per link at top of page).

Facilities and equipment

Strong folding chairs and outside tables have been purchased for group use.

Refreshments can be purchased at the East Gate kiosk, the West Gate café, and the kiosk at Inverleith House.

Art materials

Participants should bring their own art materials.   Lindsay McDermid gives some useful advice:

  • Painting outside is definitely more fun with materials that are light-weight and easy to carry. For the classes at the botanic Gardens, I would suggest that you keep materials to the minimum and use; pastel chalks or pencils, / charcoal, / pens (ink, brush, felt). Or any of the vast range of pencils that are now available in art shops.
  • You may have a favourite paper or canvas; by all means stay with it, but be careful of size. I would keep size to A4 (21×29.7cm.) or A3 (29.7x42cm). Any larger than A3 becomes unmanageable.
  • If you’re having to buy some paper, make sure you buy appropriate paper to the media you are using. Go to a specialist art shop. Having the right materials makes a big difference and skimping on the paper is just not worth it.
  • Ensure your paper is attached to a piece of card or similar to prevent it slipping about in the wind.
  • Finally dress for the occasion! Don’t wear your Sunday Best, and bear in mind that you can get cold after sitting down for long periods.  I would suggest every 15 to 20 minutes get up and stretch and walk about, if you can, to prevent getting cramps. And regularly look into the distance for a few minutes to stop eyestrain.


Any questions please call Lindsay who will be running the classes on:  0795552816 or email:


The Cottage was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in December 2016 when she found time to pop in and chat with the Group.

Members drawing around table at art group

The Group aims to organise an annual exhibition of their work with net proceeds being donated to the Branch. The Group’s last exhibition was held in October 2019 at the popular Bon Papillon Café/Gallery, Howe Street, Edinburgh where they sold 26 items and generously donated the net proceeds of £1,029 to the Branch, a sum significantly more than in previous years and a great effort much appreciated by the Branch.

Lindsay McDermid, Art Group leader

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