All set for Kirkcudbright
Kirkcudbright is a lively fishing port in South West Scotland, nestled in a sheltered bay on the River Dee. Beautiful coastline and rolling countryside surrounds this pretty place of wide streets and colourful houses.
Whitehaven, on the other side of the Solway, once a thriving Georgian port built by the Lowther family through the exportation of coal, is a gem town with a large proportion of Georgian buildings intact.
Kirkcudbright has been linked to Whitehaven through the shared history of John Paul Jones. Born in Kirkcudbrightshire in 1747 he began his maritime career in Whitehaven. In 1770 he was imprisoned in the Tolbooth, Kirkcudbright after the death of a sailor. When released he went to the USA. Often called the founder of the American Navy, he returned in 1778 on his ship, The Ranger, to launch his infamous attack on the harbour of Whitehaven.It was largely unsuccessful with only one ship torched before the alarm was raised.
Now as an artist from Whitehaven, exhibiting work in the Tolbooth Gallery I am linking Whitehaven with Kirkcudbright again.
During my childhood, I was a visitor to the area for orienteering competitions and remembered the wide streets and pretty coloured houses. I was determined to spend time painting the buildings and streets of Kirkcudbright when my art career took off with my picturebook paintings of Whitehaven.
The residents gave me the nickname, "The woman who paints Whitehaven" and I was invited by the Heritage Society to put six of my paintings onto three huge history display boards in the town.
On a number of visits to Kirkcudbright, parked up in my van at Silver Craigs Campsite, I began looking for interesting buildings to catch my eye.
I immersed myself in the artistic culture of the town, visiting all the galleries and talking to the artists.
The culmination of my visits are sixteen framed paintings ready to be exhibited in The Tolbooth in November.
I'll also have greetings cards for sale.
At the same time in Whitehaven, I am sad to learn that the once popular pub, The John Paul Jones is about to be pulled down on the Harbourside. It is a reminder that the architectural landscape is always changing and spurs me on to capture more of our architectural gems whilst I can.