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Cowal Open Studios

Cowal Open Studios
At the end of September, creatives across Cowal throw open their studios doors for Cowal Open Studios. This fantastic art trail takes you deep into the countryside, where you’ll discover some incredibly talented artists and makers. Many artists based in Argyll’s Secret Coast are taking part. Just follow the ‘West Route’ and you’ll find their studios, often in stunning settings. Here are a few to look out for.

Robbie Baird took over Tighnabruaich Gallery this year and has been creating a sensation with his beautifully curated solo and mixed shows. But he’s not just a gallerist. First and foremost he’s an artist and he’ll be painting in the backroom of the gallery throughout the Cowal Open Studios. Pop in, say help and see what he’s created - it’s bound to be brilliant.

Jan Nelson and Heather Nevay live in Tighnabruaich. Don’t miss this opportunity to see meet them and see their work. Jan paints dynamic seascapes and racing yachts in vivid, jewel-like colours, while Heather uses a highly detailed technique of glazes to produce Surrealist, figurative images of childhood ritual and games. Their show is always a highlight of Cowal Open Studios.

Fiona McPhail at Carry Farm produces knitted textiles using yarn from her Hebridean sheep. She creates a variety of beautiful objects from cushions and tea cosies to foot stools, bags and even a knitted bucket. Her sister Karen makes fabulous, functional pottery. Carry Farm is a stunning location, just a short drive or cycle from Kames. You can take a walk on the beach, meet Fiona’s Hebridean flock of sheep (and Barney the donkey), as well as enjoy some refreshments in the Dairy.

The Millhouse Art Club’s show at Portavadie is definitely worth a visit. This local art club is full of talent and the members produce a real variety of work. Portavadie is a great venue for their show. After browsing the art you can take a stroll down the boardwalk and enjoy the view of the marina or pop into the Marina Bar & Restaurant for some refreshments.

Jim Owens and Grace Donnelly both work in the Bothy Studio in Millhouse, where there’s always a warm welcome! Both Jim and Grace’s paintings are inspired by nature, and Jim also paints the shipyards of the past.

For something completely different, take a trip to West Glendaruel to see Ann E Ferguson. Her studio is a converted chapel deep in the glen with access by foot only. She works with light, colour, texture and pattern to create stunning glasswork.
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