Arts & Nature Workshops

Being outside and having access greenspaces is recognised as an effective way to support your mental health and wellbeing, resulting in a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. Many people have struggled with mental health due to the challenging circumstances of the pandemic and lockdowns, so Escape Arts has developed a programme of 4 or 6-week outdoor courses in partnership with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Arc (Achieving Results in Communities) to help adults to support their own mental health.  The courses are free to Warwickshire residents thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council and are a great way to meet new people, share creative activities and learn new skills whilst enjoying the inspirational local landscape. All courses will involve working outside in small groups. Covid safety is a priority in all activities. To view our current courses, visit the What’s On page.

Please email [email protected] to check availability or to book your place on an Arts & Nature course.

If you have previously attended a course at a particular venue, please do not rebook onto the same course, even if you enjoyed the course and would like to participate in the same activities again. Numbers are strictly limited and we would like as many people as possible to have the opportunity to benefit from a course.  You are very welcome to book onto a different course on the Arts & Nature programme, or please visit The Recovery and Wellbeing Academy for a wide range of different courses. Thank you for your understanding.

Nature: Magnified & Magnificent - Stockingford Community Centre, Nuneaton Fridays 29th April - 27th May 1-3pm 5 weeks 

This free 5-week course uses observations of the nature around us coupled with learning different art techniques to help support your mental health. To really understand the beauty of the world around us and what our garden or local outdoor space has to offer us, we need to really LOOK at and into our environment. To go beyond the instant colour, shape and texture and to examine closely our microscopic world through magnified eyes. Using fine line pen and wash, graphite sticks and rubbers, charcoal, felt tips, biros, mono printing and found materials as drawing tools and drawing mediums we will create a series of enlarged images of overlooked and unseen nature. 

The course is suitable for adults of any ability, including those who have little or no experience of making art. The sessions will be in a small group and will be outside as much as possible, with time outside exploring the nearby natural environment and creating art outside (but with a warm and dry indoor space for making art as required). All materials will be provided by Escape Arts. Participants will create their own magnificent artworks to keep. 

Aimed at: ​ The course is aimed at anyone looking to develop creative and nature inspired outdoor coping strategies that can improve wellbeing. 

Course tutors: Escape Arts staff and artist Alisha Miller 

Duration: ​Five, 2 hour sessions. 

Venue address: Stockingford Community Centre, Haunchwood Road, Nuneaton, CV10 8DY 

Nature: Tangible & Textural - Owen Street Community Arts Centre, Owen Street, Atherstone, CV9 1DG Mondays 9th – 30th May 10:30am-12:30pm  

To fully experience the outdoors, we need to touch and feel life around us. Examining the tactical qualities in what we can see. Exploring the notions of visually describing what we touch – how do we draw the notion of ‘spiky’ when thinking about thistles, teasels, brambles, nettles – ‘delicate’ rose petals, dandelion seeds, lacewing moths and blue butterflies? What materials should we explore when we consider slimy, shiny worms and slugs, gnarled, crumbling wet wood or hard smooth pebbles. 

The course is suitable for adults of any ability, including those who have little or no experience of making art. The sessions will be in a small group and will be outside as much as possible, with time outside exploring the nearby natural environment and creating art outside (but with a warm and dry indoor space for making art as required). All materials will be provided by Escape Arts. Participants will create their own artworks to keep. 

Aimed at: ​  

The course is aimed at anyone looking to develop creative and nature inspired outdoor coping strategies that can improve wellbeing. 

Course tutors: Escape Arts staff and artist Alisha Miller 

Duration: ​Four, 2 hour sessions. 

Venue address: Owen Street Community Arts Centre, Owen Street, Atherstone, CV9 1DG 

Creative Wellbeing in Nature with John Noble by ARC (Achieving Results in Communities)

Packmores Community Garden, Warwick Thursdays 12 May – 23 June (excl. Bank Holiday 2nd June) 6-8pm  

This course will focus on building confidence using mindful practices and developing new practical and creative skills.  Sessions will include nature-based crafts, seasonal gardening and exploring elements in nature in a relaxed outdoor environment.  

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Gain a better understanding on how working creatively outdoors with nature can benefit you. 
  • Feel more confident in using creative skills to help you unwind and relax. 
  • Meet new people and find out about local creative and volunteer opportunities. 

Aimed at: ​ The course is aimed at anyone looking to develop creative and nature inspired outdoor coping strategies that can improve wellbeing. 

Course tutors: ARC staff (Achieving Results in Communities) 

Duration: ​Six, 2 hour sessions. 

Venue: Packmores Garden, Packmores Community Centre, Lyttleton Rd, Warwick CV34 5EP 

Create in Nature with John Noble

Caldicott Park, Rugby Wednesdays 6-8pm 8 June – 13 July (excl 1st June) 

Participants will be in a small group and go on a creative wellbeing journey, involving connection, visual meditations, forest bathing and seasonal crafts using natural materials. Most activities will be outside, in the Caldicott Park in the centre of Rugby. all sessions will be outside using nature for inspiration and gathering materials for creative activities. 

Weekly Activities: 

  • Week 1 – Mini mandala installation- creating wild artwork from the woodland. Session allows group to explore and engage with the woodland whilst making a piece of work. 
  • Week 2 – Hapa Zome- introduce group to the varied woodland flora via the ancient artistic practice of Hapa Zome (leaf bashing)! Participants take away finished work! 
  • Week 3 – Mini den building- group to work individually or in groups to build a natural den in miniature, using materials from the woodland. 
  • Week 4 & 5 – Nature weaving looms- group explore different ways to create a woven nature art piece and make pieces to take away. 
  • Week 6 – Individual art piece- individuals create an art piece from the skills they have learned.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Gain a better understanding on how working creatively outdoors with nature can benefit you. 
  • Learn about your local environment and local wildlife. 
  • Feel more confident in using creative skills to help you unwind and relax. 
  • Learn some creative techniques and skills that can enhance your wellbeing. 
  • Meet new people and find out about local creative and volunteer opportunities. 

Aimed at: ​ The course is aimed at anyone looking to develop creative and nature inspired outdoor coping strategies that can improve wellbeing. 

Course tutors: Escape Arts staff and John Noble 

Duration: ​Six, 2 hour sessions. 

Venue address: Caldicott Park, Evreux Way, Rugby CV21 2DT 

Tai Chi & Meditation for Wellbeing

Lifeways, Stratford Upon Avon, Wednesdays 8th June – 13th July 2:00-3:20pm  

This FREE 6-week course introduces the ancient practices of Tai Chi and meditation whilst in a small friendly group working. The course will take place at Lifeways in the private rear garden, using the lawn and covered gazebo and all sessions will be outdoors. The group will learn about different mindfulness techniques, including standing meditation (Nei Gong), walking mediation and seated mediation, and using emotional intelligence with a focus on Yin postures (for kindness, compassion, patience and tolerance) and Yang postures (for courage, resolve and determination). We will learn Chi Gung – soft gentle breathing and stretching exercises; and a simple Tai Chi form.  The sessions will include 20 minutes at the end for the group to discuss their learning experiences over a cup of tea. 

The course is suitable for all ages, abilities (including complete beginners) and people of all fitness levels. Participants should wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing to allow free movement and trainers or flat shoes. No equipment or past experience is necessary. The sessions will take place outside, so please dress accordingly and apply sun lotion. We can use a large covered outdoor area for shade from sun or rain. 

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Find out how Tai Chi can help you become calmer, stronger and enhance your wellbeing. 
  • Learn different techniques for meditation, mindfulness and calming. 
  • Learn breathing exercises and stretches to enhance your wellbeing and postures to help you focus. 
  • Meet new people and find out about local volunteering opportunities. 

Aimed at: ​  

The course is aimed at adults interested in learning about mediation and Tai Chi to support wellbeing and mental health. 

Course tutors: Escape Arts staff and Tai Chi Instructor Carl Jephcote. 

Duration: ​Six, 1.5 hour sessions. 

Venue: Lifeways, Albany Road, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 6PG 

Blooms to Batik - Owen Street Community Arts Centre, Atherstone Mondays 20th June - 25th July 11-1pm 

This free 6-week course takes inspiration from our natural environment, through observation and engagement with the flowers, plants and wildlife on our doorstep to develop your creative skills and enhance your well-being. The course will take you on a journey using nature as the starting point to develop designs, whilst using a sketchbook as a creative diary, and will give you the opportunity to explore colour transfer and resist techniques and, in particular, learn about batik – an Indonesian art form – to create your own original artworks on both paper and fabric. 

The course is suitable for adults of any ability, including those who have little or no experience of making art. The sessions will be in a small group and will be outside as much as possible, with time outside exploring the nearby natural environment and creating art outside (but with a warm and dry indoor space for making art as required). All materials will be provided by Escape Arts. Participants will create their own artworks to keep. 

Aimed at: ​  

The course is aimed at anyone looking to develop creative and nature inspired outdoor coping strategies that can improve wellbeing. 

Course tutors: Escape Arts staff and artist Sara Bishop 

Duration: ​Six, 2 hour sessions. 

Venue address: Owen Street Community Arts Centre, Owen Street, Atherstone, CV9 1DG 

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