|Kathryn with Antony the whippet.|
A few weekends ago my friend Kathryn came for a visit. She moved to London last year and I miss her a lot so it was good to spend time together and catch up with all we've been up to since we last met.
Having a couple of days off work gave me a chance to tour around the region and it felt like a holiday, even though we only ventured a few miles from home. We took Antony my new puppy with us for a lot of the trips and he loved going out and about. The only photo I have from the weekend is this one of Kathryn and Antony in the gallery garden. I wish I had taken my camera to Kirkcudbright as Hornel's garden at Broughton House is in full bloom and absolutely beautiful.
When I picked Kathryn up from the station in Dumfries we went round the corner to Gracefield Arts Centre to see the Vija Celmins exhibiton - it is part of the Artist Rooms series of touring exhibitions. Dawn Henderby, the Arts Officer, very kindly let us watch a 20 minute film of Celmins talking about her work and the techniques she uses. The woodcuts, charcoal and pencil drawings are meticulous and you can really only appreciate their qualities with close observation. This was my second visit and I definitely needed to come back and really study the work. Unfortunately the exhibition closed today but hopefully there'll be more Artist Rooms touring exhibitions coming to Dumfries.
On Saturday, after a trip to Loch Ken, we went to Kirkcudbight to see The Glasgow Boys. I had seen the exhibition briefly on the Opening night but it was good to go back for a much closer look. I think I'll go back for a third visit before it closes at the end of August. Most of the paintings are different from the major Glasgow Boys at Kelvingrove last year. There are so many I absolutely love: David Gauld's portrait of a girl and Patterson's portrait of his wife to name but two.
The Tolbooth on Kirkcudbright's High Street has a really interesting exhibition called The Glasgow Style with lots of applied arts: copper work, painted pottery and glass and jewellery by artists such as Jessie M King and Mary Elizabeth Watt. It was much quieter than The Glasgow Boys exhibition but it really is worth a visit if you're in Kirkcudbright this summer.
Further round the corner on the High Street, past Jessie M King's house - Greengate, is Broughton House. I've been visiting Broughton House, which was Hornel's home and studio since I was tiny. We picked a good day to visit as the sun was blazing and the garden was looking quite magical. I loved the greenhouse full of geraniums and the beds of scented roses. It inspired me to plant some Sea Holly in my new garden as the purple thistles looked so magnificent. They were planted next to a bed of bright red flowers and the red and purple looked fantastic. I am surprising myself with how much I love my new garden... I just have to get my house renovated so I can actually spend some time there!