The past two weeks have seen the nation’s weather go from one extreme to the other, but that hasn’t stopped artist in residence Claire Waltier MacGillivray, nor the people she’s been working with, from taking note of the many wonderful things thriving in Horatio’s Garden Midlands. 

The intense heatwave sweeping the country meant that many people were out enjoying the best of the weather and whilst Claire was the only person painting on account of the sunshine, many people joined her in the shade to see what she was crafting this week. 

As ever, Claire was happy to share her latest work with those visiting the garden and has been generally appreciating having the opportunity to chat to patients and their loved ones in the sanctuary. Everyone, including people’s families, their friends and NHS staff have all taken an interest in Claire’s art, which is often all it takes for people to join Claire and get creative. 

Indeed, in between painting her own work, Claire introduced one lady to using masking fluid pens, which really intrigued her and led her to feeling encouraged to paint with the group next week. As for Claire’s work, she was calmly creating new colour charts to reflect the growth and tones bursting into the garden for the latest seasonal show. 

Her time in the haven was also spent saying a fond farewell to some of the group’s regulars, who are now leaving for home. Despite being sad to see them go, Claire was delighted to that all of them were beginning their next chapter and was thrilled to hear that they were keen to continue painting at home too. 

Juxtaposing the previous week, Claire’s most recent visit to Horatio’s Garden was much cooler, meaning people were rested and pleased to be able to sit with Claire both outside and in the garden room. 

Plenty of people popped by to speak to her, whilst one lady had requested to spend time painting with her for as much of the afternoon as possible. 

As an artist herself, the lady couldn’t wait to visit Claire in the garden, particularly as she has currently been on bed rest for many weeks. Together, she and Claire painted a robin and whilst the lady was familiar with painting in oils, she naturally soon mastered the technique of using watercolours. She shared that simply holding a paintbrush had brought her a great deal of joy and she’s already planning to continue painting next week. 

Watching the two work together also inspired others to find out more about the sessions, with one man mentioning that he is an artist too. Those who have been tempted intend to embark upon painting when Claire next arrives in the garden, which will undoubtedly lend the oasis a warm, welcoming, vibrant atmosphere. 

As well as supporting patients, Claire personally painted a sweetpea colour chart too, which once again reflected the new floral arrivals currently springing to life across the garden. 

So many lovely stories have come to light as a result of Claire’s residency and it sounds as though there are many more just waiting to be discovered in the not-too-distant future.