What our guests are saying……

Each of my 3 Art Safari trips have been absolutely wonderful! I love learning about the different cultures, seeing and sketching/ painting new subjects, and sharing the experience with other artists. I feel welcomed and ‘taken care of’ while having fun! Bernadette ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ New Zealand 2020

The highlights of my Art Safari were learning from Maxine and watching her work. Inspiring Dungapur and the Juna Mahal – good to feel one is off the tourist track. The comfortableness of our lodgings – all felt beautiful, individual and characterful, I would have happily had an extra night in each place. Rosie ‘Desert Romance of Rajasthan’ North India 2019

I loved the whole holiday – the opportunity to paint in the streets of Chania and down by the harbour. The tuition was excellent – and I improved my painting during the week. I am now addicted to plein air painting in oils. Averyl ‘Canvas of Gold’ Crete 2019

The whole holiday was terrific from beginning to end. Excellent organisation, art tutoring, accommodation and wonderful diversity and variation of landscape and experience. Elizabeth, ‘Rainbows in the Dunes’ Namibia 2019

This is my third trip with Art Safari, and I will do it again in a heartbeat!  We are fed (exceptionally well), watered and pampered at every turn.  Very professional, very organised. Absolutely loved every second!  Alison, ‘Rainbows in the Dunes’ Namibia 2019

Louise and I enjoyed every minute of our trip to India with Maxine Relton.  The venues were out if this world and Maxine put her heart and soul into the trip. Louise has definitely got the painting ‘bug’ now and had tremendous help from Maxine. Her workshops were thoughtful, helpful and inspiring and was able to help everyone at their level.  Thank you for arranging the trip so well and providing plenty of advice as to how to cope in the environment. We have returned fully inspired to paint colourful scenes and enjoy sorting out a myriad of photos. For my part it was a treat returning to my home territory once again. Thank you all so much. Laney ‘Desert Romance of Rajasthan’ India 2018

This is the first painting holiday I have taken – it was a truly wonderful experience – better than I had imagined.  Vikki worked hard to teach us and I discovered more through this trip than I had over years at school.  Mary ‘Colours of the Medina’ Morocco 2018

Vikki is an excellent tutor – she introduced concepts I have never come across before and these really helped, particularly in composing images.  She also really helped my confidence in painting watercolours, which is something I struggle with!  She was attentive to everyone and a great, enthusiastic tour leader.  Our local guide Rajaa was also wonderful. She was very patient with us and found superb locations for painting – it felt like we got to see parts of Fes that typical tours wouldn’t show you. Sam Colours of the Medina’ Morocco 2018

Being my first safari, I could not of asked for a better experience.  All information had been explained well before leaving for the airport.  And on arrival all staff and Julia ensured that everything was organised well making the trip much more comfortable and stress free.  All at Thornicroft were extremely friendly and welcoming.  Both Julia and Steven our safari guide were great, their bubbly personalities and wealth of knowledge really made this trip comfortable and memorable.  Annabel, ‘Lazy Big Cats’, Zambia 2018

I love Tuscany!  I enjoyed James’ history ‘lecturettes’ and having a go at pen and wash.  I have only experience of Art Safari, but I have no plans to change. I have always felt cared about and looked after with you. Pat, ‘A Hilltop in Tuscany’ Italy 2018

I absolutely loved my trip and had the structure yet freedom to do what I wanted.  I never felt alone. The location was perfect.  I would also like to say how perfect my travel arrangements were. Loved the group size and Claudia’s ease and knowledge.  I was inspired by everyone! Angelia, ‘Paddling and painting’ Scilly Isles 2018

The atmosphere, sight and sound of hundreds of cranes in the dusk was special Norman ‘A celebration of cranes’ Hungary 2017

I enjoyed my Art Safari immensely, and will have lasting memories of the joy I felt seeing the wild animals in their own habitats, as well as being able to study them at leisure through the eyes of an artist.  Jane and Emma,‘My African Home’, Zambia 2017

My first art painting holiday, I didn’t know what to expect, but it exceeded expectations Brian ‘A hilltop in Tuscany Italy 2017

The whole experience with Art Safari has been a tremendous pleasure and excitement from start to finish.  It has proved to be one of the best holidays I have ever had.  Elizabeth‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2017 

The first painting holiday I have been on.  Although a non-painter the opportunities for photography were as good as any wildlife photography tour I have been on.  The slow pace, stopping for any experiences, was perfect. Geoff, ‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2017  

I have run out of superlatives – another amazing trip Trevor ‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2016

Mary-Anne, you have made it possible to capture Africa, not only on paper but in my heart too – thanks are not enough, but hope this can be repeated!  Fran ‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2016

Mary-Anne, you have given me Africa!  My first ever taste and I am COMPLETELY enchanted.  The first of many visits I really hope.  Going with you and this wonderful group of people has been a joy, every moment special.  All I can say is THANK YOU!  Val ‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2016

Mary-Anne, you have changed so many lives all over the world and now you have changed mine too, thank you for everything Bud ‘A dazzle of zebras’ Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe 2016

With our trip to New York I have had a great start to 2016, no ‘January blues’ for me!  The boys at work have hung a sign by my desk that says ‘New York Tourist Office’, a sign that I have talked a lot about our trip!  It was so nice getting to know you both and Asti too.  LizNew York, New York’ with tutor Mary-Anne Bartlett  New York January 2016

Hope that your trip home was smooth and uneventful.  (As I arrived at Laguardia early, I caught an earlier flight back to Toronto and was home by 10:00 pm.)  Thank you for the opportunity to join the group on the Art Safari to New York.  I very much enjoyed meeting everyone and painting and sketching in New York.  The visit to the Salmungundi Club was an unexpected pleasure. David ‘New York, New York’ with tutor Mary-Anne Bartlett  New York January 2016

Facebook Jan 2016 – What an extraordinary trip, and what an exceptional guide tutor you were. I can’t thank you enough, so glad I came. I have learnt so much. Real life hasn’t kicked in yet – I was finishing off my silver birches in bed Las night at 1.30pm! See you on another expedition soon … Thank you, thank you LynneNorthern Lights’ with tutor Karen Pearson  Norway January 2016

Facebook Jan 2016 – Absolutely fabulous painting holiday we had and we had the most wonderful Aurora Borealis outside our cabin or just watch sitting on our bed!! Agree with Lynne, we can’t thank Karen enough, looking after all of us, all the walks, sketches, demos, tutorials, arranging reindeer sledding, whale watching, and hot porridge on the breakfast table when we get up every morning!! This is my second Art Safari trip with Karen, I am looking forward to many more  Katherine & StephenNorthern Lights’ with tutor Karen Pearson Norway January 2016

Dear Mary-Anne Thanks for taking us on a great trip. We enjoyed so many things, the people, the places, the wildlife and finding out about Malawi.  Painting and photographing improved as well!  Hope to travel with you again – it just goes to show that snap decisions can often be the best ones!  All the best Sue and Alan Rivers lakes and mountains Malawi 2015

Dear Mary Anne and Heidi – It’s difficult to find enough words to describe how much I enjoyed my recent painting holiday  in Islay with John, amazing, interesting, fun, informative……..my mind is still there. We saw golden eagles, short eared owls, hen harriers, hares, seals, so much wildlife it was wonderful.  It was my first painting holiday and I’ve never painted outdoors before, so it was quite challenging at times, but John was so supportive and helpful.  I’m looking forward to attending other Art Safari workshops/tours in the future but in the meantime thank you for all your hard work in organising the Islay tour. PatQueen of the Hebrides’ Islay 2015

Hello Heidi, I am writing to say a massive thank you for your help with organizing this wonderful trip for me, and the rest of the group.  I had a truly wonderful time and I cannot express enough of how lovely it all has been – a dream come true!  Picking up the motivation from the azure skies I hope to set off with more drawings and painting and I have realized it was a massive part of me and my journey!  Once again a big thank you !  Kind regards and best wishes, AlexAzure Skies’ Crete 2015

THANK YOU, it was an amazing trip, with many unusual wildlife sightings, awesome sunshine, amazing paintings and drawings, delicious food, comfortable beds and the usual friendly people of course! I had a fabulous time, learnt so much from Julia, and spent time with some fascinating people from all over the globe – excellent.  SherryLazy big cats’ Zambia 2015

Mary-Anne – This mail is to say a big THANK YOU LA! for all you did for us in Bhutan and Delhi.  What an amazing trip.  I had lunch with my daughter yesterday and afterwards went through my phone/IPad photographs; it brought home to me what an astonishing amount of ground we covered and what fun we had on the way!  Bhutan and its people will stay in our hearts for a very long time and we were very relieved to hear that they have not been badly affected by the awful Nepalese quake. Kevin ‘Himalayan Palaces and Monasteries’ Bhutan 2015 

Mary Anne – Thank you for making our lovely trip to Malawi so very memorable. We had a lovely group with us. This was our first visit to Malawi and we were most impressed with the friendly people we met, wherever we went, but particular thanks to Danger and Joseph at Mvuu, Bentry our driver/guide and all the staff at Lujeri and Mumbo Island. If we were to pick a favourite area, it would be Mvuu, one of the best game parks we have been to, closely followed by Lujeri, where the mountains and colour were outstanding and the house perfect. Last but not least, a big thank you to Heidi for all the help and enthusiasm, not to mention efficiency provided to us in the months before our departure.  Margaret is madly painting from her sketches and photographs we took.  We shall go back to Africa in, we hope, the not too distant future, for our third trip there with Art Safari (4 including our trip to Norfolk).  David & Margaret ‘Rivers, lakes and mountains’ Malawi September 2014

Dear Mary-Ann and Heidi, Although I am back from Venice bodily I’m still there mentally, loathed to really come back down to Earth and routine!  It was the most fantastic trip from start to finish, with James an excellent leader. His knowledge of Venice and it’s art was a huge advantage. I soon learnt to keep near-by so I could hear the fascinating snips of information that he gave as we travelled round, and also more full descriptions when visiting not so obvious churches full of incredible paintings.  I was thrilled to find a renewed interest and energy in drawing, no doubt as a result of James’ tuition. He was brilliant at building one’s confidence when faced with what could have been a rather daunting subject! ( The Salute’ in half-an-hour… for instance! ) His help with colour mixing for watercolour was also a huge help, Venice having a completely different palette to The Cotswolds!  I found myself  working in a much more relaxed style, and am full of energy and excitement at the paintings I need to now do.  Sally Venice Regatta September 2014

Just big thank you for arranging my holiday in Venice – I thoroughly enjoyed it and have come back with loads of sketches which I am beginning to ‘paint’ up. Could you pass on to James my thanks for providing an experience which will keep me going through the winter months. His tuition was brilliant and I don’t have the fears of sketching buildings as I use to. I am trying to make notes with all the hints and tips he gave me to refer to in the future.  I enjoyed being able to choose my own subject matter – how James found me sometimes I really don’t know – and the freedom we had to do our own thing – whether it was painting, thumbnail sketches, rough sketches – everyone was able to do what they wanted which was demonstrated at the final show and tell.  DorothyVenice Regatta’ September 2014

Mary Anne & Heidi  Many thanks for the weekend of sketching – you are quite right in saying that we don’t set aside dedicated time for painting – I really must put it down on the calendar and blank the time out! I have had time to go through my work and now realise how much we did. I really appreciated the first exercise using only the colours which were around us –  I am going to work on that and try to finish my beach huts and other things as it is so effective. Going down to sketch boats was great – I have always wanted to spend time studying how to draw them and at the same time paint the water around them especially if they are white! That morning gave me the opportunity to do that and I feel more confident in tackling a harbour scene or seascape with boats in the future!  Dorothy Footprints in the sand North Norfolk July 2014

Thank you so much Mary Anne for a lovely weekend. You were truly inspirational and aspirational. I had a lovely time in every way. Also loved your warmth and your wonderful county of Norfolk Val Footprints in the sand North Norfolk July 2014

 ‘Footprints (& a zoo of animals) in the Sand’ with Art Safari & the inimitable Mary-Anne Bartlett . A long weekend to paint & draw a little for once, dine out for a change & meet such interesting people. I need to do this sort of thing more often! Thank you gang!  Jim  Footprints in the sand North Norfolk July 2014

What a fantastic day I had last Friday with James in Canary Wharf.  I was wondering are there any places left for the 27th June.   Karen  Sketching Workshop ‘Modern Architecture at Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs’ with James Willis London June 2014

We had such a wonderful trip.   I am always amazed at your seemingly effortless organization of everything and everyone.   And I am even more amazed at the way you gather a disparate collection of students and get them working amiably together! Margot Mountain kingdom of the rhino Swaziland  2014

Many thanks again for a marvellous holiday! I really did enjoy every bit of it, and look forward with great anticipation to the next “adventure”  whenever it comes !! Marion Mountain kingdom of the rhino Swaziland  2014

Once again, thanks to all your good advice, hard work and general genius, we have had the most magnificent holiday in India.  Before we left, we were somewhat nervous that, after the brilliance of 2013, 2014 might be something of an anticlimax.  Far from it!  Whilst quite different, it was at least as wonderful.  Bill & Caro private tour India 2014

I had a great time in Namibia and I’m now hooked!  Please can you send me details of your Morocco holiday with Karen. J Rainbows in the dunes Namibia 2014

‘Thank you Mary-Anne for making our holiday in Namibia so enjoyable and memorable’. Richard & Hazel Rainbows in the dunes Namibia 2014

We had a splendid time in Morocco. It is a very exciting and fascinating country.  Karen was great and we both learnt a lot from her. The group were delightful and we really enjoyed the trip.  Stuart and Naomi Colours of the Bazaar Morocco 2013

‘Should have emailed you sooner to thank you and Mary-Anne for a wonderful Safari to South Luangwa in Zambia. I am just reviewing the images I took. It was a truly amazing experience with wonderful memories to keep me going!  I am so grateful to Mary-Anne for pushing me to persevere with sketching as well as taking photographs. I think the combination definitely adds to the experience and this will hopefully be translated into future paintings. It is an Art Safari I would recommend to anyone for its fabulous wildlife, scenery and sheer magic of being in the Bush’. Judith Large grey and unmistakable  Zambia 2013

‘Thank you so much for the magical experience of our Art Safari to Kenya.  We enjoyed every single minute.  The accommodation, the food, the whole package couldn’t be faulted.  Karen and James looked after us so well and we just didn’t want it to end.  We’ll treasure those memories forever.’ Karen & John Fist mix flamingo pink Kenya 2013

‘Thank you Mary-Anne for such a wonderful day we had yesterday at Twycross Zoo. You are a brilliant teacher, so generous in your vast knowledge of all the animals and how to capture the essence of each one on paper. We all enjoyed the day so much.’    Jill, Twycross Zoo, UK  2013

Thank you so much for a great day (on Friday).  I was so pleased with the results of my sketches.  It has fired me up to sketch more. Before Friday, I didn’t like to sketch in pencil at all.  I preferred working with paint. Friday changed that.  I am going to take out a zoo membership (so that I can continue the work you started).  And I hope to join you again next year.  Eileen London Zoo Sep 2013

‘We got back yesterday afternoon having had what we both agree was the best holiday that we have ever had.  Without your brilliant organisation and help, that certainly would not have happened and we cannot thank you enough.’  Bill & Caro, private tour, India 2013

‘I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the week in Venice with you and James!  I really do hope to come again one day (soon????).’   Jane, Venice in the Spring, Italy 2013

‘Thank you for organizing a super painting trip to Venice.  Despite the cold weather I had a great time and can’t wait to go back.’  Chris, Venice in the Spring, Italy 2013

‘My sincere and heartfelt thanks for arranging what has been the most amazing experience – so much more than a mere holiday. We managed to get to Shackleton’s grave and set foot on the continent – the two things that I wanted to achieve. But the wildlife, the scenery, the people – just everything – have made for a truly mind-blowing few weeks’.  James Life on the Ice South Antarctica 2013

‘Lets speak soon but firstly may I thank you very very much for the wonderful trip to Namibia -it was an amazing experience for me and every place we stayed was an adventure ! Between yourself , Elvis and all the troup at Ultimate Safaris – you gave us an opportunity to use our creative skills in all conditions!’  Karen Rainbows in the dunes Namibia 2012

‘Suddenly realised I had not written yet to thank you for a most amazing experience…I was waiting until I had some art work to show you, based on  the photos I took during the safari…they are in Acrylic and quite large.  The safari was wonderful Mary-Anne…you are a most gifted leader and everything went so smoothly, I’m sorry I did not produce better art work at the time…very out of my element with small watercolours, but it has made an everlasting impression which I hope to show in my work over the next year or so’.  Hilary Rainbows in the Dunes Namibia 2012

‘Mary-Anne thanks for bringing the world of animals, art and Africa into my life’.  Lindsey Art Under Canvas Botswana 2012