Five Leading Dumfries and Galloway Artists Offer Eye Opening Experiences – Spring Fling 2018

Discover your creative spark with special workshops exploring pastels, oils, photography, textiles and jewellery making

Five accomplished Spring Fling artists and makers from Dumfries and Galloway are offering the chance to learn everything from painting with oils to making a beautiful silver ring.

Among them is John Threlfall (Main Image), winner of multiple national wildlife art awards, who is inviting people to discover the magic of drawing with pastels at his studio overlooking the beautiful coastline at Rockcliffe, Dumfries and Galloway.

Spring Fling, in Dumfries and Galloway, is Scotland’s premier open studios event and each year visitors say they would love the chance to learn some of the skills of the artists they meet.

John has a deep love of the natural world and enjoys sharing his expertise. He said: “If there’s a role for me on this earth it’s to open people’s eyes to the glories all around us. It’s not about looking, it’s not about painting – it’s opening your eyes and seeing. The world out there is such a beautiful place.”

John loves pastels for their combination of vibrant colours and capacity to produce a lively immediacy and spontaneity.

He said: “For me art is about mark making and there is no better mark making medium than pastels. It’s a very fun and immediate way of working. You are using pure pigments, and it goes straight down on the paper, so you can establish an image very quickly.”
Lisa Rothwell-Young

There is also the chance to join Lisa Rothwell-Young who is running a session for two at her studio in Langholm where each will design and make a silver ring (ideal for a couple wanting to create something special, possibly wedding bands).

She said: “There’s a creative spark in everyone and they just have to find it, for some it’s painting or poetry or singing, for others it might be jewellery making.
“People are fascinated by how things work, by the process, and want to try it for themselves, but sometimes they fear they will be no good at it and I say ‘let’s wait and see’.”
Jo Gallant.
Image credit Colin Tennant

Textile artist Jo Gallant, known for her vibrant use of colour, is giving an opportunity to try fabric bonding and stencilling, using simple shapes to create a bird design, then use collage and stencilling to create it in fabric.

Phil McMenemy

There is also a chance to work with landscape photographer Phil McMenemy who describes himself as “an artist who strives to capture the natural beauty, both literal and abstract, of this wonderful region”.

Liz Gilbey

Or people can discover oil painting with the classically trained Elizabeth Gilbey who will offer guidance on drawing and composition, seeing the values of light and shade and introducing naturalistic colour.

The workshops are taking place the week of, and the week after, the open studios event, which is 26 to 28 May.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland which runs Spring Fling, said: Visitors are often inspired by the artists and makers and want to learn from them. This is a rare opportunity to do exactly that, and still be able to spend the bank holiday weekend touring a lovely region of Scotland and enjoying lots of different studios.”

This year’s event features 86 specially selected participants including painters, printmakers, potters, jewellery and glassmakers, textile designers, photographers and many others.

Workshop places are strictly limited so Spring Fling recommends that people book early. For full details see www.spring-fling.co.uk