Headline photo

Headline photo
Rockcliffe and Kippford from South Glen Brae: Ed Iglehart [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Introductory text

Kippford and Rockcliffe are on the East Stewartry Coast, an unspoilt National Scenic Area with two other NSAs in close proximity. It is in Dumfries & Galloway, South West Scotland, a region known for it's wonderful scenery, biodiversity, turbulent history, smugglers and black and white 'belted' cattle known as Galloway Belties. This stretch of coastline has many names. Known locally as the Colvend Coast or the 'Secret Coast' (due to the peace and tranquility) it is often referred to as the 'Scottish Riviera' due to it being the holiday resort of choice for Victorian millionaires and having a Gulf Stream influenced microclimate: evidenced by palm trees in some gardens. Castle Douglas, the food town is a short drive away and Kirkcudbright, the Artists Town is over the next headland.

This a scenic and unique part of the world and we started the blog to share the experience of living in this wonderful place. We hope that it will be of interest to others who live here and give those planning to visit the area a taste of all it has to offer.

The blog has a correspondent in both Kippford and Rockcliffe village, you can also follow their Twitter feeds on the right of the page. If you would like to get involved we look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

New events page... Spring Fling inspired!

This week I have added a new page to the blog. The link to it appears in the line of text/links above Ed Inglehart's stunning landscape shot of Kippford and Rockcliffe - above. (Thanks' Ed for making that shot Creative Commons, it's a gorgeous photo)

It is a summary of the the exciting festivals and events held across D&G throughout the year and shows just what a diverse and fascinating region this is. Before putting it together I didn't realise just how many events and festivals there were. All added incentives (if any were needed) to visit the area. 

I just love the idea that these events and festivals add to the mix so that everyone in a family or group will have something that suits them on their visit to D&G as, after all, it's unusual for a whole group to have all the same interests. You may get an avid birder on holiday with a book worm or an active young family who want to cycle and canoe with a foodie Mum or a Dad interested in the Arts. These specialist events mean that everyone will be happy. I will update it as new ones come to my attention so keep checking back.

I was prompted to add the new events page by all the excitement being generated locally by this years Spring Fling. For those who are not familiar with it the Spring Fling is an Open Studio event across the region held annually in June. (For more info go to the D&G Events page or visit: http://www.spring-fling.co.uk/. It always creates a buzz but this year is the 10th Anniversary and promises to be even more exciting.
Spring Fling encourages everyone to get behind the scenes of the studios of some incredibly talented artists and makers in the region and even, in some cases, try your hand at new skills. The idea is you pick up a map and hop from studio to studio at your own pace. There is some superb work on sale from a wide range of artists and makers from painting, wicker structures, ceramics, hats and jewelry to photography, glass, gilding, sculpture and mosaics to name but a few (but no pressure to buy) and usually some tasty refreshments. It's a great way to spend a day.... or two.

Painting by Val Macadam: www.valmacart.com

During last year's Spring Fling I visited two of my particular favorites Ailsa Black (Example of Ailsa's work and short bio) and Val Macadam (Examples of Val's work and short bio) who live just along the coast from Rockcliffe and Kippford and really capture the spirit of the area in their colourful, quirky and original work. We were made very welcome and had a chance to chat with the artists, view their works and (in Val's case) see where she worked. Val's humorous take on the famous Galloway Beltie is illustrated above and includes an example of a local Galloway cottage. She has lovely views from her studio window, no wonder she is so inspired by the region.

Ailsa was working on a new piece at Kirkbean Village Hall, you can see the touching finished work below. It was so interesting to see how she developed the painting and the media she used. I also got to chat with her 'model'. A special thanks go to the volunteers who served a selection of delicious homemade cakes.

I fell in love with a painting called 'Follow my Master' and bought a print as a gift for a friend. It reminds me of the spit at Mersehead with the shorebirds at the high water roost. Ailsa is so talented! I am looking forward to discovering some new talent this year... have an explore and find your own favorites this June.

Painting by Ailsa Black: www.ailsablack.com

1 comment:

  1. This year Sring Fling to mark its 10th Anniversary will be running for four days. Great news as I never seem to get around to all the Studios I plan to visit.