Press Release: Amazing Artists, Superb Craft and a Great Way to Enjoy the Bank Holiday23rd May 2016
Meet the illustrators who brought Jackie and Harry Potter to life.
There are just a few days to go before Spring Fling and the chance to meet extraordinary people, tour a beautiful region and purchase superb art and craft at great prices.
Among the 94 specially selected artists and makers in this year’s open studios weekend are one illustrator who worked on some of the most famous girls’ magazines and another who created the covers for the Harry Potter books.Anyone who was a fan of Jackie or Blue Jeans magazines may well have encountered the work of Val Macadam when they were young – she illustrated short stories and drew the Just Janey cartoon strip. She also drew some of the pictures in Shout that were used to illustrate young readers’ letters about their embarrassing moments.Now based in Kirkbean, in a cottage overlooking the Solway Firth, Val has become known for her quirky style and her cheerful and uplifting drawings that are often inspired by animals and natural scenes.Val said: “It’s lovely to welcome in the public and show them my pictures and the work I do. Sometimes we talk about past jobs, and it’s incredible the number who have such find memories of Jackie or Shout – the stories they read, the letters they wrote. It’s real fun to reminisce.“Before I started taking part in Spring Fling I was often a visitor, and it was such fun to see so many different artists, and get up all those wee farm tracks to visit studios that you would otherwise never get to see.”
Another of the nine illustrators in the event, which takes place across Dumfries and Galloway from 28 to 30 May, is Clare Melinsky who is based near Thornhill. Her lino cut images appear in many places including as covers for the Harry Potter books and New Penguin Shakespeare and on Royal Mail stamps.A big attraction of the weekend is that many of the artists and makers have discounts or special offers (especially for those who sign up as Friends of Spring Fling). Prices range from under £2 to £10,000, with opportunities to collect pieces by acclaimed painters, photographers, sculptors, furniture makers, textile designers, printmakers, glassmakers, jewelers and others.Six special routes have been devised to help guide visitors round the region, or people can plan their own routes using the maps and information in the printed brochures and on the website.Four special bus tours have also been organised with help from the Thornhill Community and Glenken Transport initiative (see website and brochure for details). These daily trips offer the chance to meet new people, or just admire the scenery, as you are taken round a selection of studios.
Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland, which runs Spring Fling, said: “With less than a week to go we are making the final preparations for what promises to be a fantastic event. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to meet remarkable people like Val and Clare, who have both brought extra magic to childhood and teenage years for millions.“Spring Fling is a great way to get out for the day, or enjoy a Bank Holiday break, to see some amazing places – and find wonderful art and craft.”