Mandy Nicholson

Coming Soon


I am excited to announce that I managed to secure the name for my retreats (with a bit of a fight over one word with the FCA).
The new name will be…..(drumroll)
‘The Art Bank’
Retreats and B & B
The company name is – The Art Bank Dalbeattie Ltd
The new website WILL BE:
I have researched the history of the property and it has been fascinating so I wanted to share it with you on here first. 
The property was built in 1863 and owned by a local Draper named Samual Brown. It remained in his family until it was purchased by The Clydesdale Bank Ltd. in 1940. It was a bank until 1991, and a central part of the local community. Since then it has had 2 private owners, but over the last 2 years, it has been left to crumble, unloved.
It now has an owner who loves it and is going to make it beautiful again as well as reclaiming its place as a central part of the local community by creating hospitality accommodation and local jobs. I hired my first local member of the team last week, may there be many more!
If you want to keep up to date with the progress, sign up for the mailing list.
Love & colour

Manifesting YOUR perfect space…

For those of you that have been following me on social media, this will be no surprise!

I am regularly referred to as ‘the castle lady’ by people I don’t even know!

I have been sharing my dream to buy a Scottish castle and run creative retreats for over a year now.

Although that remains my big goal, I have managed to ‘manifest’ a steppingstone property in Dalbeattie, Scotland. (see the image with a comparison of Brechin Castle on the left and my new house on the right).

I will be the Queen of my mini castle and take you on a journey not unlike Cinderella!

From rags and servitude to the ugly sisters (society and naysayers) to being the belle of the ball and nailing the prize! (this doesn’t HAVE to be a Prince BTW)

I will be lovingly converting three of the seven bedrooms into luxury creative spaces for these retreats.

If you are not already following me on social media, then do so now, because I will be sharing the journey on all of my platforms.

I wanted to capture some ‘before’ pictures of the new house with my amazing photographer Natasha Holland.

Spending a day at the house talking about my plans for each and every room enabled Tash to take some authentic snaps and pick up some of the beautiful details.

I expect the project to take at least six months and I am hoping to move into the house in October, ready for Christmas.

Next year will be my first year offering retreats and air B&B in the sensational artist themed rooms.

I cannot wait!

If you want to be kept up to date with the progress, join my mailing list on this page.

Love & colour


I am creating these retreat spaces for YOU!

Imagine yourself in one of the three themed luxury bedrooms.

Away from the hustle and bustle of life and whatever shackles currently hold you back.

Exploring your creative power for seven whole days.

All of your meals catered using local Scottish produce.

Luxury facilities within a warm, friendly family home.

A dedicated studio/workshop for us to create together during the retreat.

A social space for mealtimes and to gather with all of the retreat attendees in the evenings.

Space to become the Queen that I know you are!

All of your artistic materials provided.

You MUST be OK with dogs, I have two and they are part of my family, which means they are lovely (even though my blind rescue dog barks at every noise!)

The Picasso room…

This room will be designed for the Queen who is filled with original, big, bold ideas but doesn’t yet know how to present them to the world.

Like Cinders you have felt shackled by your responsibilities in life.

You know inside that you are brimming with brilliance, but you have been held back either by people, society or both!

You want to explore in an unabandoned way, with no judgement and no boundaries.

This room will trigger your creativity with its dedicated spaces, murals and colourful design.

Your sensory trigger will be visual and auditory so we will provide music for you to listen to during your stay as well as bold colour and design to delight your eyes.

There will be books about artists; a journal for you to capture your learning daily and all of the art equipment you need to create your masterpiece.

You will make a promise on arrival and when you leave that we will hold you accountable to.

This week is all about your journey into your zone of genius and you will experience exponential growth, as will the rest of us as we see you blossom.

When you open the door to this room, it will be like slipping your foot into that glass slipper.

The Van Gough room…

This room will be designed for the Queen who is at war with herself.

Every hero’s journey has a light and dark side, just like Van Gough.

In this room your will learn to embrace your dark side and switch up the volume on your light.

Cinderella was a kind and beautiful soul who loved despite the bad treatment she endured.

She stayed true to herself and used her dark side to do better.

Van Gough shared his dark and his light, and we use Stary Night and Sunflowers to demonstrate this in the room.

Your Queen will be experiencing a power struggle as she is pulled towards her darkness, but ultimately her light saves her.

Your sensory triggers will be visual, olfactory and auditory, so we have re-created Van Gough’s bedroom using the magnificent blue he painted in the study of his room.

 We have also provided you with meditations to help calm your mind, a journal to capture your thoughts and incense and candles with calming aromas.

You will make a promise on arrival and when you leave that we will hold you accountable to.

When you open the door to your room you will also open your mind to new possibilities and what was once a pumpkin will become a chariot fit for a Queen.

The Monet room…

This room is designed for the Queen who has worked hard on herself for so many years.

Your Queen has mastered forgiveness and gratitude and rules herself well.

Still, she wants to go further, she wants to be the best Queen that she can be.

She wants to win the richness of living in her absolute potential.

Surrounded by the beautiful Waterlilies, soft muted pastel colours and a full-on sensory experience you will feel loved and cocooned.

We will provide sensory instruments; incense and candles; a special journal to capture your thoughts; bespoke teas and snacks to stimulate taste; layered fabrics and cushions for touch and the perfect space for you to meditate.

The lighting is muted, and the décor fit for a Queen.

You will make a promise on arrival and when you leave that we will hold you accountable to.

When you open the door, you will encounter your Kingdom just as Cinderella did, but you are ready to rule in a way that changes all who cross your path.

Follow the creation of this beautiful space on all of my social media platforms here: