Category Archives: Art

Art in Europe, from street art to art museums.

Broughton House and Garden Kirkcubright

Broughton House and Garden is located in the town of Kirkcubright in Dumfries and Galloway, in the south west of Scotland. It is managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

It’s usually fairly easy to find free parking the Kirkcubright, either on the street or in the car park by the river.

I was keen to visit as Broughton House as it was the home of E A Hornel, one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’ group of artists, in the early 20th century. There are lots of his paintings on display in the rooms of the house.


Hornel’s studio was an extension to the original Broughton House.

There’s a lovely view of the garden from the dining room.

The garden at Broughton House is so beautiful.

The seating area was surrounded by tulips.

There are views over the tidal River Dee from the bottom of the garden.

I wish that I could have spent more time at Broughton House and Garden, but I’d arrived around 3.40pm and closing time was 5pm.

Hospitalfield Open Weekend

Hospitalfield is a centre for contemporary art located in the Angus coastal town of Arbroath. It’s somewhere that I’d been wanting to visit for ages. My opportunity presented itself during the Summer Festival Open Weekend in 2018.

I was attracted to the Free Drawing School and the free garden and house tours. I also wanted to see the two pieces of work commissioned for the event.

I decided to go to Arbroath on the Friday, as there was a free drawing workshop from 2-4pm, and then the Opening Reception from 5.30-8pm.

Hospitalfield is a grand building, perhaps even a little more imposing on a rather grey day.

There were a couple of carved seats by white climbing roses.

As soon as I walked into Hospitalfield, I was impressed by the grandeur of the entrance hall and the lovely flower arrangement.

The drawing workshop was led by Fergus Tibbs. It was really good, we made collages with dried flowers and leaves from the garden which had been pressed by Fergus. The class took place in a converted shed in the garden.

At the Reception, I had a good look around the garden and the recent art works.

The garden was really beautiful.  Although, I believe it is going to be redesigned in the near future.

The installation ;The Venny, the Jumps’ in the garden by Mary Redmond, which had been commissioned for an Open Weekend earlier in the year, didn’t appeal to me.

The polished silver corrugated steel, orange and yellow blocks and purple painted bamboo sticks, looked alien in the garden.

I wasn’t that keen on the ‘Extensa suite’ mural by France-Lise McGurn either.

But I did love Zoe Paul’s ‘wild work, man and fish’ installation in the Studio. The first room was laid out in restaurant style, with lots of floral arrangements. The walls were adorned with drawings of figures and ceramics plates.

The second room had a head fountain, two black ceramic whippets and various ceramics pots, which, to me, appeared more like sculptures than pots.

The following day, I went on a house tour, which was really interesting. My favourite room was the one with various botanic wood carvings on the ceiling.

In the afternoon, I attended another of Fergus’ art workshops. As it was a better day weather wise, it took place in the garden. The workshop was again on a botanic theme. Fergus had brought home made charcoal, which was like lumps of coal. It was very different to draw with, compared to commercial sticks of charcoal. There’s a photo of Fergus below.

I really enjoyed my visit to Hospitalfield. I found the garden enchanting and the free art workshops were great.

There are several open weekends at Hospitalfield throughout the year, so if you’d like to visit check out the next one on their website.

Raqib Shaw | Reinventing the Old Masters at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Raqib Shaw’s Reinventing the Old Masters exhibition is on at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until 28 October 2018.

Much of Shaw’s art is inspired by the Old Masters. In the photo below, you can see Lucas Cranach’s An Allegory of Melancholy on the left, and Raqib Shaw’s take in his Allegory of Melancholy.

I have to say that I was  really impressed with intricacy of the work, and colours of the enamel paints used to create the works. To illustrate this, there are two close-ups of the work below under the photo of the whole work.

The golden light streaming into the top of Kashmir Danae is dazzling.

I attending the June Drawing Room art workshop which was held in the Raqib Shaw exhibition rooms. I was so transfixed by the art, that I didn’t really concentrate of trying to create my own piece inspired by the exhibition.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is open daily from 10am to 5pam. It’s free to see Raqib Shaw| Reinventing the Old Masters exhibition.


Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition at Dovecoat Studios

The Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition at the Dovecoat Studios runs until 12 January 2019.

I love fabrics, which is one of the reasons that I enjoying creating collages. I was really looking forward to seeing the Liberty Art Fabric & Fashion exhibition, and I was not disappointed.

I loved the Liberty fabric shoes.

The embroidery on the Art Nouveau style dresses was beautiful.

Admission prices are £9 for adults, £7 for students and unwaged, under 16s are free (but must be accompanied by an adult). Dovecoat Studios is open daily from 10.30 to 5.30pm during August. For the rest of the exhibition, the studios are closed on Sundays.

Joana Vasconcelos’ Gateway at Jupiter Artland

I was keen to see the Gateway exhibition by Joana Vasoncelos, a Portugese artist, at Jupiter Artland. The exhibition runs until 30 September 2108 and is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

I was really glad that I arrived at Jupiter Artland soon after the opening time of 10am, as I had the ballroom, in which the rotating Red Independent Heart was suspended from the beautiful ceiling, to myself.

In the garden outside the ballroom was a giant sculpture of a high heeled shoe called Carmen Miranda.

It was constructed with stainless steel cooking pans.

There was a collection of ceramic animals, covered in crochet and lace, on the first floor of the Steadings Gallery.

My favourite was the frog.

The wolf’s mouth was so large that it reminded me a crocodile.

I wasn’t so keen on any of three pieces on the ground floor of the Steadings Gallery.

The one below looked like a kitsch take of a Roman fountain.

The blue one was suspended from two large stainless steel shower heads.

The piece below had too many different patterns for my taste.

Green Man by Lucy Skaer at Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh

Lucy Skaer’s Green Man exhibition is on at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh until 6 October 2018. It is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

The first thing which I observed upon entering the Talbot Rice gallery was that there was so much more light coming in. That’s because the gallery windows had been opened up.

I really liked the flora and fauna inspired paintings in the Green Man exhibition.

It’s free to see the the Green Man exhibition by Lucy Skaer. During July and August the Talbot Rice gallery is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 5p. But during September the gallery is shut on Sundays.



Art of Glass at the National Museum of Scotland

The Art of Glass exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland runs until 16 September 2018.

I’d been intending to visit the Art of Glass exhibition for a while. I did pop into the National Museum of Scotland one day before meeting our son for lunch, but I couldn’t find the exhibition. It’s on the third floor in the new extension.

My favourite exhibit was the Glass Cyphers installation by Griet Beyaert and Paul Miller.

Below are more photos of the Art of Glass exhibition.

It’s free to get into the Art of Glass exhibition. The National Museum of Scotland is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools 2018

The Tesco Bank Art for Schools Competition 2018 exhibition runs at the Scottish National Gallery for Modern Art in Edinburgh until 16 September 2018.


There are six categories, each with a different theme, in the competition.

Nursery: A Place to Live

Primary 1 -3: Cats

Primary 4 – 7: Makers of Magic

Special Education Schools – Hair, Fur and Feathers

Secondary 1 – 3: Energy

Group: Any of the Above Themes

The Tesco Bank Art for Schools Competition exhibition will then move to  Forth Valley Hospital from 22 September 2018 to 2 January 2019. The final port of call will be the McRobert at Stirlin University from 15 January to 14 April 2019.

Art in the Garden at New Hopetoun Gardens

The Art in the Garden exhibition, at New Hopetoun Gardens near Edinburgh, runs until the end of August 2018.

The exhibition showcases the work of local artists, such as Maple Tree by Raymond Douglas.

I really liked the Trout and Medieval Heron circular mosaics by Joy Parker.

One of my favourite pieces was Rosie Nixon’s Salmon Shirley Poppy. I liked the semi-transparency and being able to look through the piece from both sides.

Oscar the Octpopus by Shona Jonstone was cute.

As was Strix the Barn Owl by Joy Parker.

There are lots of large flower sculptures.

The slate stacking style DNA of a Dancer by James Parker reminded me of water features I’ve seen at Logan Botanic Gardens and Threave Gardens in Dumfries and Galloway. I assume that the water features were also by James Parker.

I really enjoyed Art in Garden at New Hopetoun Gardens. The Garden is open every day from 10am to 4.30pm. The cafe looked nice, with views over the garden and some outside seating.

Eve Fowler: What a Slight, What a Sound. What a Universal Shudder.

Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is hosting the first major exhibition in Europe of work of the American artist Eve Fowler.

The work is influenced by the American writer Gertrude Stein. Many of the pieces are text.

There is also a film by Eve Fowler, with it which it as if it is to be. The film features female artists based in New York and LA, filmed creating their work. There is a soundtrack of various female voices reading from Stein’s Many Many Women.

The exhibition is not the most accessible to those not into contemporary art. But I like to give different types of art, which might not initially appeal to me, a try.

The exhibition is free to enter and runs until 26 August 2018. It’s open daily from 10am to 6pm, with late opening until 8pm on a Thursday.