With an ever-increasing group of patients safely gathering in Horatio’s Garden Midlands to join artist in residence Claire Waltier MacGillivray, we’re thrilled to share that she’ll be extending her residency! 

Whilst she was initially due to join us for six weeks, Claire’s been enjoying her time in the garden immensely and patients have been equally enthusiastic about her presence amongst the planting too. 

Her most recent session was especially brilliant, with the sun once again bathing the garden in a gorgeous glow befitting the welcoming warmth radiating from Claire’s creative workshop. 

This week she worked with two patients who were particularly keen to try painting with watercolours, but there were plenty of people sitting alongside the group watching them work and chatting about their own intentions to join in when Claire arrives next week. 

Both of the patients Claire has painted with so far have decided to capture the beauty of the eternally vibrant goldfinch, which they were inspired to do having seen a piece Claire created in one of her earlier sessions.


As one of these patients happened to have a busy schedule this week, he made plans to begin creating his artwork next week and shared how much he would be looking forward to it. 

Meanwhile, the other patient wasted no time in starting her sketch, making wonderful progress in just a few short hours. 

Claire had drawn a rough outline of the bird in advance of the session, leaving the foliage to be pencilled in by the patient. 

Sitting alongside each other with identical paintings, the two approached the work step by step, bringing their respective compositions to life together. 

They began by going over the pencil lines with a masking fluid pen. 


Then they added watercolour paint to the goldfinch. 

They then applied more masking fluid to the bird on top of the watercolour, adding texture to the appearance of the feathers and beautifully blended colour to the leaves. 

Without either of them realising, the afternoon had slipped into evening. Given the success of the day, Claire and her friendly fellow painter decided that they would pick up where they left off as soon as Claire returns to the garden on Tuesday, focussing this time on achieving an even more vibrant wet on wet blue background. 

The patient was thrilled with her piece and Claire happily came away from a lovely, relaxed afternoon in the garden feeling that it was a great privilege to be given the opportunity to get to know so many patients. 

She’s already preparing for next week, but alas we will have to wait until then to see a new array of accomplished art!