Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Doing things

I've been getting on with things: yesterday I dug up some irises that had spread beyond their allotted space, and planted a lupin (I love lupins; unfortunately so do the snails); and then transplanted a large self-sown foxglove (which surprisingly didn't seem to mind) and planted a verbena bonariensis in its place. I also love this plant but sadly it's not entirely hardy here, and last winter there was a brief cold snap that I think did for mine. However, a friend kindly gave me one that had seeded itself in her garden, only five or so miles away (but clearly in a warmer place). So - fingers crossed. And doing things is cheering. 

Today we did a couple of exhibitions. The first was in the Dovecot Gallery, which is also a weaving workshop. Their cafe has lovely panels of woven fabric (above) as decoration round the walls. 

The exhibition was of Scottish women artists. This is a woven picture (done at the Dovecot) of a painting by Elizabeth Blackadder, who often painted flowers and cats. I really like this one. 

This is by Dorothy Johnstone, of Cecile Walton, who was also a painter (and from a very artistic family). I think it's lovely, though I would have advised a different colour of stockings. Apart from being orange (always a mistake, in my view), they clash with her - is it a skirt or trousers? A bold choice of fabric, whatever. 

Now this is a self-portrait by Cecile. I think she may have flattered herself here. She was a good-looking woman but not quite as glamorous as this, I think. It's a bit chocolate boxy. Still, it appealed - many of us have tried to go on sleeping for a few more seconds while a wide-awake child tries to prod us into wakefulness, in this case apparently using my granny's hairbrush. 

This is "A Cellist" by Beatrice Huntington. It's a very strong face; a determined young lady. 

And this, "Lemons Dripping" by Helen Flockhart, is a bit eerie but interesting. 

And in this one, according to the label, Caroline Walker, in 2020, "turns her typically voyeuristic gaze upon her mother, Janet. Blurring the line between the public and private, she shows Janet carrying out everyday household chores in their family home. It is part of Walker's wider aim to diarise the domestic work traditionally carried out by women that often goes unrecognised. Built up from quick photographic snaps, these intimate moments become luminous paintings, often on a grand scale."

Yes, I approve of that and like the painting a lot. Quite an upmarket family home, mind you! You can't really see in my rubbish photo, but at the bottom of the painting is the top of a shiny black grand piano. 

You can walk round the gallery above the weaving workshop and look down at the weavers. They do amazing work, and on a grand scale. I didn't like to take more than a rapid photo, though. It seemed intrusive. The building used to be public swimming baths. Mr L has swum there, though not within the last fifty years.

Then, since we were up in that direction, we visited the Little Black Dress exhibition at the museum. We found that a lot less interesting - it was very well researched and laid out, but fashion, especially all-black fashion, doesn't interest either of us very much and I found so much blackness a bit depressing. 

Still, it was all quite fun. Then we walked a bit of the way home in the sunshine. Edinburgh was looking beautiful. Ideally I wouldn't live in a city, but since I have to, I'm glad it's this one.  



  1. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city! I love the same paintings you do; I would gladly hang them in my house. I agree about the orange stockings too. I like orange flowers but not orange clothing.

  2. My verbena bonariensis disappeared completely this year. I like your photographs from the Dovecot Gallery. The LBD exhibition looks less exciting.