For the most of the last visit to the Arts and Crafts Trail this year, this blog will mostly be spent in the Wasps Studios, a short walk a long the High Street from me.
I like woodcut prints all on their own, but when you get to see them next to the block they were printed from, there is an increased fascination as you try to match up the block to the print. Printmaker, Claire Cameron-Smith, occupies a studio at the top of the stairs and every time I've been in she has always had a couple of blocks and the matching prints out.
Much of her newer work is based around geometric shapes (and framed behind glass so please excuse the reflections).
Since I was last there, Maggie Ayres has started to produce pieces using beeswax and other mixed media. Though still retaining the feel of her previous work, they have a very different texture about them.
From photographs and sketches on the wall, you get a little bit of an insight into the thought processes behind the finished pieces.
This piece by Maggie hangs in the corridor outside her studio.
Liz Farey occupies the next door studio to Maggie. You may remember last year I saw an exhibition called Nests where her work was spread all around the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. This particular piece, if not from the exhibition, is certainly built with nests in mind.
One of her wall hangings.
Morag Macpherson is a textile designer, creating surface patterns that are digitally printed onto natural fabrics such as silk and cotton. As well as dealing in metres of fabric, she has some of her designs made into a small range of products, like these cushions.
A rack of scarves.
Some of her designs have also been turned into wall paper.
There's a small article on The Scotsman site about her.
New to the studios since the last time I was their is Amy Winstanley. She does large dynamic paintings.
There's even a lot of movement in this unfinished one.
She also does excellent drawings. You can see finished ones on her website, but all I saw there was this which was still taped to the drawing board.
I was quite taken with this little sketch on a page from a notebook.
Back outside, I found a zebra crossing. Not quite Abbey Road, it's been placed across a footpath. Kirkcudbright doesn't have any such road crossing aids and it was perhaps thought safer to place it well away from cars until we get used to it.
Every year at Trail time, local artists are given a canvas to decorate, know as Kirkcudbright Squares, and these are sold at a very modest fee (£10), on a first come first served basis. They are sold without the artist's name being obvious and you never really know for sure who did your one until you collect it at the end of the Trail weekend. Some peoples' styles are distinctive enough that lack of a name isn't going to disguise their work. This is the one I bought this year. I didn't know who did it at the time but during the Trail I found the stall of Janina Harrower and it was fairly obvious then that it was her square I had. It looks very good in my garret.