Art & Music Breaks


Join us here in the pretty harbour town of Kirkcudbright, known nationally as “The Artists Town”.

The story of its artists’ colony is full of examples of artists arriving on a summer painting visit and staying on for the rest of their lives.

The reasons why Kirkcudbright attracted so many painters and became an artists’ colony are not difficult to discern. It was, and remains, perhaps the most attractive small town in Scotland with impressive architecture. There is the High Street with its ancient Tollbooth and the 18th century town houses enlivened by their variously and sometimes eccentrically painted frontages, the myriad colours giving the street an exotic, almost continental, atmosphere. Between the houses are cobbled, crooked wynds, many of which contain artist’s and craftsmen’s studios. McLellan’s Castle an imposing sixteenth century ruin in the middle of the town, dominates the skyline. When E.A.Taylor asked Hornel why he thought Kirkcudbright was so popular with artists he said, “Well, it’s a fine old town and not too big, but big enough to keep you from vegetating.

We have created a series of art & music breaks in conjunction with local artists and historians.



Masterpieces of Scotland – 31st OCTOBER ( NOW FULLY BOOKED ) and 7th NOVEMBER 2014

2 nights £219pp with Jeremy Carlisle

‘Masterpieces from Scottish Collections’ Six paintings/works of art will be chosen from Scottish collections. Each of the six sessions over the weekend will focus on one of these in turn. They will be explored in the context of the artist’s work and times. With between 20 and 30 slides per talk we can take an in-depth look at the artist’s development. The Leonardo da Vinci from Drumlanrig for example. Titian, Vermeer, Poussin,Velazquez, Watteau, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Turner, Constable, Delacroix, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin… from the National Gallery in Edinburgh. Rembrandt, Daumier, Degas, Manet, Cezanne, Egyptian sculpture, from the Burrell collection. Botticelli, Rembrandt, Seurat, Dali from the Kelvingrove. Picasso, Matisse from the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, they would all be possible candidates for the weekend. So, scope for plenty of variety and contrast.

My background in art is that of an artist and not as an academic. I think that looking at art is an experience not an academic exercise. My aim for this weekend course is to increase your enjoyment of these masterpieces and discuss their meanings in ways that explore some of the secret geometries that underlie great works of art.

Course Tutor: Jeremy Carlisle B.A.Hons. Chelsea School of Art. M.A. Winchester College of Art.

Daumier ‘The Print Collector’ 1863

Arrive in your own time on the Friday – Rooms will be ready fro check in from 2pm

6pm Gather in the Burns Room for a welcome drink and canapés – an opportunity to meet the Hotel team and your Tutor Jeremy Carlisle.

6.30- 7.50 First talk.

Dinner will be served on sharing tables at 8pm

Saturday Morning – Breakfast is served between 7.15 and 9.30am

The second talk commences at 9.45 m with a break for coffee at 11 and the third talk 11.30 – 1pm followed by a light soup and sandwich lunch.

A break after lunch and an opportunity to have a walk around the pretty harbour town of Kirkcudbright, maybe visit Broughton House ( the former home of E.A.Hornell ) or the Toolboth, High Street or Whitehouse Galleries.

Meet back at the Hotel for 4pm for tea and shortbread

4.15 – 5.45pm The fourth talk

Pre dinner drinks at 7.30 before dinner at 8pm

The same format as above applies on the Sunday morning with two more talks at 9.45 and 11.30

Soup and sandwich lunch at 1pm before departure.

Our package which includes welcome drinks and canapés on Friday night, Dinner, bed and breakfast Friday and Saturday along with soup and sandwich lunch Saturday and Sunday and tea and coffee both days is priced at £219pp with no single room supplement.

Please contact our team at reception if you would like to reserve a place on either of the two weekend courses that Jeremy is running in October and November. You can contact the hotel direct on 01557 330402

or e mail

For more information about your course Tutor please visit Jeremy’s website

Music of Bohemia  9th – 11th November 2014

Fresh and spontaneous melodies, unorthodox harmonies and forms, traces of folk song and dance: these, together with the composers’ choice of national subjects, are the signature features of much Bohemian music.

Screenshot 2014-03-08 15.45.39

These talks, though complete in themselves, will serve as an introduction to a concert to be given by the Solway Sinfonia at the Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries, on 23rd November at 7.30 pm, with music by Smetana, Janacek and Dvorák, whose Cello Concerto will be performed with Kirsten Jenson as soloist. The concert programme’s works will be amongst those we examine in some detail.

These informal talks are aimed at ‘cultivated amateurs’, perhaps choral singers, instrumental players, or simply concert-lovers. Some musical examples will be projected and discussed, but score-reading ability is not an essential pre-requisite, and care will be taken to choose the level of delivery appropriate to our group of guests.


These holidays are aimed primarily at resident guests, and the inclusive cost
for dinner, bed and breakfast is £219 per person. Extra nights stay may be booked at £39 per person on a bed and breakfast basis

• Single rooms available at £219pp
• Double room for single occupancy £259pp

We are hoping to attract a maximum of 20 resident guests. Should vacant places be available, however, day guests will be welcome to fill them. Applicants will be informed from 1st November whether a place is available.

The cost for day guests is £75, or with dinners included £125

5.30 PM  - Drinks Reception
6 – 7.20 PM 7.30 PM –  First Talk
7.30 – Dinner



9.30 AM 10:45 AM 11:15-12:30


6 – 7:20 PM 7:30 PM – FOURTH TALK


9.30 – 10.30 AM – FIFTH TALK



He is an organist at the Church of Scotland, the pianist and saxophonist in the Galloway group ‘Gentle Jazz’, and the conductor of the Solway Sinfonia, (http:// an orchestra which draws professional and talented amateur players from great distances around the Solway Firth. Over many years he has lectured on Music for the adult education departments of Manchester, Bath, and Glasgow Universities, and for Rothay Manor Hotel in the Lake District.

Geoff has wide experience as a conductor and singer, and over the years has played clarinet, bassoon and horn in amateur groups. His compositions are mostly quirky: the ‘Dance Hall Suite’ for 4 bassoons, published twenty years ago, is still played
in surprising corners of Europe, unlike his affectionate tribute to the players of the Solway Sinfonia, ‘More Geese than Swans’ (2007), written in celebration of their ten years playing together. He has composed jazz-style pieces for the professional tuba group ‘Tubalate’ and has written countless arrangements for choirs, orchestras and for small ensembles, including the King’s Singers.



2015 Painting Holidays at The Selkirk Arms Hotel

with Davy Brown, one of Scotland’s best known Artists


2-Night Art Escapes Winter Still Life breaks

Midweek Winter Still Life Break

Arrive Wednesday 18th Feb, 2 nights fully inclusive, £299 (Non-resident but inclusive of lunch and dinner and all tuition, £215)

Weekend Winter Still Life Break

Arrive Friday 20th Feb, 2 nights fully inclusive, £299 (Non-resident but inclusive of lunch and dinner and all tuition, £215)

APRIL 2015

5-Night Art Escapes Spring Landscape Holiday

Arrive Sunday 12th April for 5 nights fully inclusive, £799

JUNE 2015

4-Night Art Escapes Summer Landscape Holiday

Arrive Sunday 7th June for 4 nights fully inclusive £650


Your Break

Based in Kirkcudbright, Scotland’s Artists’ town, learn the skills which will enable you to capture the essence of the magnificent Galloway landscape or to become an accomplished still life painter under the expert tutelage of Davy Brown and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Selkirk Arms Hotel.

With a balance of professional tutoring and free time to explore the area for yourself, Davy Brown’s Art Escapes provide the perfect combination of learning and creativity with a luxury holiday. A warm welcome is extended to guests of all levels of ability, from the absolute beginner to the more accomplished painter, so no matter what stage you are at you will be given the chance to develop at your own pace in a relaxed and supportive environment.

During your stay you will enjoy learning much about the artistic process all the way from the blank canvas to the finished piece. You will learn how to gather information through thumbnail sketches, pencil drawings, charcoal studies and photographs. Explore composition and how to select and develop an idea using loose media such as charcoal, chalk and pastels, before moving on to explore and apply tonal values and the rules of perspective. As you move towards your finished painting, using either acrylic or oil colour, you will learn how to ‘block in’ before taking your time to enjoy the completion of your final work.

And remember, the emphasis is on developing YOUR personal vision and powers of perception, not on the style or techniques of the teacher.

Easels, desk easels and palettes will be provided. You are asked to bring your own personal choice of brushes and oils or acrylics. These will also be available should you wish at discount prices. Time off to visit the artistic attractions of Kirkcudbright. Every level of competence catered for.

Included in your break

Welcome cocktails and canapés at 6.30pm on the day of arrival, a chance to meet your host Davy Brown and get a full insight of the week ahead.

Dinner at 7.30

Each day thereafter will be:

Breakfast between 7.15am and 9.15am – come down at your leisure and at your own pace

Painting begins in the conference room at 9.45am

Break for a soup and sandwich lunch at 12.45

Free time will be made available during the afternoons if required

Meet again for dinner at 7pm / coffee and daily de brief after dinner 8.30pm 


See & Do