Dumfries and Galloway is a region rich in artistic heritage. It has a storied art culture, the most famous example being the Kirkcudbright Artist’s Colony that existed for approximately 100 years between 1880 and 1980.
From this artistic hub came the famous ‘Kirkcudbright School’ – a style that emerged out of the colony around the end of the 1880s.
The subjects of this school were often drawn amongst the woodland and flowers of this particularly picturesque part of Scotland. Use of the impasto technique – whereby paint is laid on thick with a palette knife – was common practice.
Famous artists of the Kirkcudbright School
Many famous artists came to prominence out of Kirkcudbright, including one of the founding members of the artists’ colony – William Mouncey.
Other notable artists associated with the school include the painter Christian Jane Fergusson (known for her landscape and still life work), Lena Alexander, Tim Jeffs and the Jewish-Polish painter and printworker Jankel Adler (who spent time in Kirkcudbright after being discharged from the Polish army in 1941).
And so it remains that artists are drawn to the town of Kirkcudbright. However there is a vibrant artistic community that permeates the entirety of Dumfries and Galloway.
The annual Spring Fling exhibits art from all around the area. It is among the UK’s most successful contemporary visual art and craft events.
Every year between 90 to 100 professional artists open up their studios for three days over the late May bank holiday – offering a unique, personal insight into their work.
Today’s artists of Dumfries and Galloway
This year’s Spring Fling featured 94 studios, spanning 6 routes across Dumfries and Galloway. From painting to ceramics, and furniture to photography – there was a veritable smorgasbord for the art lover to devour. Here are four artists to take a look at:
Hope London – Blue Route
@The Shoots & Leaves Café & Moss Cree Cottage, 2 Ball Green, Wigtown, DG8 9HU
Sixteen paintings (based on minimum space to grow greens for one person) and an illustrated cookbook. Plus, more paintings and work in progress at the studio – Moss Cree Cottage.
Bella Green – Red Route
@The Little Theatre, Well Road, Lockerbie, DG11 2EZ
Acrylic and oil paintings, and mixed media – acrylics, collage, oils and polymer are all use to create vibrant colourful compositions.
Davy Brown – Blue Route
@The Bookshop, 17 North Main Street, Wigtown, DG8 9HL
Work principally concerned with the Galloway landscape: its structure, its colour and its ever-changing moods. Paintings are reconstructions derived from sketches done on the spot.
Peter Wareing – Blue Route
@18 George Street, Whithorn, DG8 8NZ
Earthenware pots illustrated using imagery based on the natural world which are mixed with discarded man-made objects. The compositions reflect how the wind and the tide randomly mix them to produce complex relationships creating a narrative open to many interpretations.
Spring Fling 2020 will take place on 23-25 May. Visit www.spring-fling.co.uk for further information.