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More Art, History, Romance and Chocolate

On our return to Kirkcudbright, I was filled with trepidation. I was excited to have received an order from The Tolbooth Art Centre for eighty cards but no idea whether any paintings had sold.

When we arrived, Michael told us I had sold three paintings and thirty-six cards. Naturally I would have liked to have sold more paintings but happy that it was a start.

  

 Fiona, from Kirkcudbright Art Tours had suggested that I go and see Maureen in the high st gallery and so we wandered down to the gallery. 

After a lovely chat with Maureen, she agreed to take me on in the gallery. She choose five street scenes because these were very different to other work she had in the gallery and bought the remainder of my cards. I was delighted and agreed to deliver them at the end of the day.

 We ate sandwiches in the car and then James went off for a bike ride and I went into the gallery to paint.

I had a number of lovely conversations with visitors who really liked my work. 

It was drizzly outside but I was warm inside painting whilst James was out splashing through puddles and negotiating potholes.

At 4pm when the Tolbooth closed it was the end of my exhibition. I wrapped up my paintings to take down to the high st gallery and excitedly delivered them.

 By 5pm James had returned and we checked into our hotel. Returning to The Selkirk Arms for another two nights was great and we were warmly welcomed and put into one of their suites. With a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room we freshened up for dinner.

This time we both had the venison burgers, which were tasty and filling. The kitchen just happened to have my favourite Galloway Creamery Rum and Raisin ice cream, so I had that for pudding.

We always enjoy a walk around Kirkcudbright in the evening after dinner. It is so quiet and peaceful strolling hand in hand, peeping into shop and gallery windows.

 After a hearty breakfast I sat down in the little sitting room to make the eighty cards, using the mini giclee prints we'd picked up from Castle Framing in Brampton on the way through to Kirkcudbright, the previous day. 

Once done it was time to explore. 

At the Cocoa Bean Chocolate Company we were able to book a chocolate workshop. It took just 5 minutes for the staff to prepare the space whilst we washed up and put on an apron and a hair net.

We were already giggling before the Chocolate appeared. 

 In the workshop three great wheels of melted chocolate were turning, milk, white and green. 

The green was being prepared for a children's group coming in. We used milk and white chocolate to make a chunky chocolate bar, a chocolate lollypop and six filled truffles. 

It was great fun, piping chocolate then squeezing the remaining melted chocolate from the piping bags into our mouths. All manner of sweet treats were there to decorate our bars. We put funny faces on our lollipops then carefully filled our truffles. I opted for a mix of cherry and champagne in my truffles. James was more experimental with his truffle flavourings but didn't fancy trying the haggis cream.

It was great fun and I would recommend the workshop. The treats were beautifully packaged to take home.

 Last time we were in the area we had explored the sites in Kirkcudbright that were used in the filming of The Wicker Man. This time we were off to the ancient kirk at Anwoth, also used in the film. We arrived at the churchyard opposite a sweet little cottage. The air was still and mild, the grass wet as we strolled around the peaceful place. Built in 1627 and abandoned in 1826 it has an interesting collection of old headstones.

 Gatehouse of Fleet on the River Fleet was a thriving industrial centre developed through the 18th and 19th Century with cotton mills, shipbuilding, a brewery and its own port, known locally as the 'Glasgow of the South'.

 Traces of the industrial past could be seen in the buildings and street names that we explored and in the Mill on the Fleet, a former textile mill which is now a visitors' centre tracing the economic and social history. The Mill was closed for the winter but we were able to wander around the grounds and work off some of that chocolate.

 In the evening at the Selkirk, we had the Sunday roast beef dinner, then had our favourite night time perambulation around the town, getting in a few more steps. 

 We had a relaxed Monday morning breakfast. The sun was shining as we walked around taking more photos for more potential street paintings. The Tolbooth opened at 11am and we took down the remaining paintings from the exhibition walls and wrapped them up for the journey home. Katie was on duty again, friendly and helpful. I photographed the comments sheets and thanked her for her help.

It has been a positive experience and I am happy to have met some lovely people and made some new connections. Obviously I would have liked to have sold more during the short exhibition window but I'm enthusiastic about my future presence in the town.


 Just as we were leaving I got a message from Nick in the Station House Cookery School and so we stopped by to show him the original and chat about possibilities of using the image of my painting, that he really liked. That's another great connection and possible source of advertising for me. 

 All in all a great weekend and I tucked into my chocolate lollypop on the drive home.

If you love Kirkcudbright, I've got the remaining building paintings available from me. Message me if you are interested in any of them.

Shipping Brow Ahoy!
Art, History, Romance and 50,000 steps
 

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Thursday, 22 February 2024

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