Art Group

The Parkinson’s Edinburgh Art Group is back up and running!

Whether you are a fully flourished artist or haven’t tried to draw anything since school, do read on to find out what the art group is about and why you should get involved!

The art group meets every Thursday 1.30-3.30 at the Botanic Cottage which is inside the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. It is a wonderful, accesible space, with a short walk through the gardens to the cottage (mobility buggies and wheelchairs available – get in touch if you would like to know more about this).

The group is led by branch member Lindsay, a qualified artist and illustrator, who sets a topic for each session (although you can create whatever you’d like). When the weather is nice we may sit outside in the beautiful gardens, as shown by the image below.

Lindsay McDermid, Art Group leader

Beginners are more than welcome, and whilst you are asked you bring your own materials, there is a  collection of things that can be lent during the session, to get you started.  So do sign up, even if you are unsure of what materials to take along.

If you have any further queries or would like to sign up then send an email to our Art Group Coordinator Katrina:

Additional Venue Information

Classes will be held at the Botanic Cottage where there are access toilets available. The groups would currently consist of up to 6 participants with volunteer support.

Botanic Cottage is situated within the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Attendees should arrive at the RBGE main visitor entrance The John Hope Gateway on Arboretum Place where there are designated blue badge parking bays available or paid parking facilities (

A limited number of Mobility buggies and manual wheelchairs can be reserved at the visitor entrances by booking in advance with the Visitor Team from this number 0131 248 2909 or by emailing

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.

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.


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.


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