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.


2015 Painting Holidays at The Selkirk Arms Hotel

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

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 




Friday 13th and Saturday 14th November 2015

£229.00 per person, includes Dinner Bed and Breakfast, welcome drink & canapés, coffee breaks, soup and sandwich lunches.

No single room supplement

This art appreciation weekend is designed to increase your enjoyment of art in a relaxed and informal setting. There is time during the illustrated talks for questions and discussion. Your tutor Jeremy Carlisle BA (Hons) MA is a practising artist and art historian.

This weekend Jeremy will be concentrating on the following artists:


Titian invented painting – discuss. Titian invented modern painting – discuss further! Some think Titian was the greatest painter of the High Renaissance, if not of the entire history of painting. He had a huge influence on all subsequent schools of painting, particularly as a colourist.



 Titian  ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’  1522-1523

CHARDIN (1699-1779)

Chardin is the undemonstrative genius of 18C French painting. His often overlooked contemplative paintings are beautiful, profound and timeless. He is probably best known for his still-lives but he also painted people, particularly women and children, with a rare intimacy, warmth and tenderness.


Chardin  ‘Glass of Water and Coffee Pot’ 1760

DELACROIX (1798-1863)

In contrast to Chardin, Delacroix’s work is expressive and at times almost expressionist in its calligraphy. His journals are one of the most absorbing accounts of a painter’s life and offer rich insights into the mind of this highly intelligent painter. His little known and rarely seen direct studies from nature were an inspiration to the Impressionists. They are a revelation.


Delacroix ‘Algerian Women’  1834


We didn’t have time in our survey of the Glasgow Boys and Glasgow girls at the Selkirk in 2013 to do justice to the watercolours of these two superb masters of this craft.

Both artists travelled to Spain and North Africa and returned with paintings that startle us with their immediacy and freshness. They were among the first artists to see watercolour as a medium in its own right and not simply as a means of gathering and recording information for oil painting or printmaking.



Melville ‘Captured Spy’  1895

JOAN EARDLEY  (1921-1963)

Eardley is simply one of the great painters of the 20C. In a life cut short she brought an integrity and sense of urgency to her subjects rare in art. Her paintings, both the landscapes on the Aberdeenshire coast at Catterline and of the Glasgow tenements, challenge and exhilarate us in turn.


Eardley ‘Children at a Window’

Format for the Weekend

Arrive in your own time on Friday afternoon

Meet your hosts and lecturer Jeremy Carlisle for pre-dinner drinks and canapés at 6.30pm in the Burns Room.

7.00pm -7.45pm     Illustrated introductory talk to the weekend

8.00pm                   3 course dinner


7.15am – 9.15am    Breakfast in your own time

9.45am                    Titian talk

11.15am approx     Coffee & shortbread in Bistro area

11.45am approx     Chardin talk

1.00pm                    Soup and sandwich lunch

2.00pm -3.15pm    Delacroix talk

Free time to explore Kirkcudbright’s galleries, shops etc

4.00pm                   Tea, coffee available in the Bistro.

7.30pm                   Meet for pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the Burns Room

8.00pm                   3 course dinner


7.15am – 9.15am   Breakfast in your own time

9.45am                  Crawhall and Melville talk

11.15am                  Coffee etc in the Bistro

11.45am                 Joan Eardley talk

1.00pm                  Soup and sandwich lunch

Goodbyes and departures

Friday 13th and Saturday 14th November 2014

£229.00 per person, includes Dinner Bed and Breakfast, welcome drink & canapés, coffee breaks, soup and sandwich lunches.

No single room supplement

Booking: Telephone. Selkirk Arms Hotel 01557 330402