Explore Dundee Guide

Dundee’s location is the best! I love that I can be in the city, on the beach or in the countryside so quickly.  I love to get out in the fresh air and be inspired by what I see! Here are some of my top places to walk and explore.

Broughty Ferry Beach is a regular spot for me and Rhubarb the dog.  I’m always on the lookout for interesting colours, textures and patterns and Rhubarb is on the lookout for crabs!   You can sometimes spot dolphins too if you’re lucky! 

Barnhill Rock Garden always looks great with an abundance of textures of plants and flowers. Visocchis is a must for an ice cream and Jessies Kitchen for lunch or coffee and I highly recommend their strawberry tarts! Pretty Fly is great for gifts or treating yourself.  You can pick up some of my Dundee Delights products there – prints, tea towels, cards, pins, bags and notepads!

7 Arches walk is part of the Monifieth Path and is great for exploring along the banks of the Dighty. On my walks I’ve spotted deer and love the wildflowers plus listening the the songbirds early in the morning.

Somewhere I’m going to check out is the Spaces for Places in Union Street as it’s now pedestrianised with planters and outdoor seating just next to the penguin sculptures. You can explore some of the streets you don’t normally go down part of the Open Close Trail in the city centre, and you can do it in Stobswell too. I love that this project brings colour and art to the city! My favourite doors are Jen Collins next to Forte cafe on Dura Street and Lindsay Brown owl on a wee lane behind Albert Square.

There are some new murals down near the V&A Dundee of the whales and check out the amazing artwork of Fraser Gray and Martin McGuinnes on the legs of the Tay road bridge. You can read more about it here.

On a clear day The Law is great for 360 degree views of the city, and going uphill really gets those leg muscles going but I do admit I’ve driven up to the top too! Balgay Hill walk up to the observatory (not currently open) is nice and you can go over the blue bridge to the graveyard. I love seeing the highland cows and great views over the river Tay on the Riverside Nature Trail.

As a student I used to spend lots of time drawing the cacti in the glass houses at the Botanical Garden and its a lovely place to wander amongst the range of trees and plants in their outdoor space.

Further afield Crombie County Park is a perfect length of walk amongst the trees around the loch. For me it’s really inspiring and I have lots of photos of things that inspire me from here! Monikie Country Park is great for feeding the ducks (they like peas and seeds instead of bread) and you can pick up an ice cream or coffee from Byzantium Cafe.

Kinshaldy Beach has the great combination of the beach and the woodland area, and check out the Crepe Shack if it’s there too. East Haven beach past Carnoustie has such a picturesque feeling.

For those of you who like the water I’ve seen some really cool pics from people going on the Outdoor Explore trips on the river Tay and Clunie loch.

I’ve always  got my camera capturing some inspiration for my designs everything from wildflowers, textures to patterns in the sand.  My designs bring into focus the positives to capture a sense of place so it connects people to the local area. You can read more about my design work here.

Recently I’ve been inspired by the wildflowers growing during lockdown and started to add this into my Dundee Cityscape. You can see the full Dundee Delights collections here with free postage on all orders.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LouiseKirbyShop

Highlights of 2017, updates and discount and much more

I have started to look back at 2017, I’m pretty chuffed at what I have achieved!  Here are some of the highlights.  The biggest accolade of the year was representing Dundee in Puebla, Mexico.  Since Dundee is a UNECSO City of Design city my design was used to create a pedestrian crossing.  My design was inspired from my Dundee Delights collection, that includes Dundee Cake and Sunny Dundee imagery, using the worlds favourite colour of Marrs green to capture the river Tay.  The project was to highlight and improve road safety for pedestrians.  I would love to see this happen in Dundee or other places!  Great to see my artwork applied at giant scale.  It makes me wonder, what else could my artwork be applied to?  Any ideas let me know. 

On the 13th October I launched the Dundee Delights collection of greetings cards with clues on social media to find them round the city.  The collection is a range of greetings cards with positive images of Dundee for people to share.  It was great hearing where some of the cards ended up and one travelled over 4000 miles to Florida.  If you have any more stories of my work reaching other corners of the earth, please let me know.

Product Launch

  • An enamel Dundee Cake pin ideal for people who love cake, love Dundee or love Dundee cake!  

  • Dundee Penguins in Woolly hats + scarves Christmas cards.

  • Dundee Cake + Dundee Marmalade Tea Towels, which were popular as Christmas gifts.

  • Tested some hand screen prints, loved playing with the marmalade sky in the Broughty Ferry Castle one

  • You might spot my snails in The Imagineer.  A Colouring & Drawing Adventure in Support of The ARCHIE Foundation Tayside, which features the work of 50 artists you can buy the book from here

Where you can buy my work

  • I set up an online shop on Etsy for people to be able to buy the whole range of tea towels, Dundee cake enamel pin and greetings cards.  You can check it out here

  • Locally you can buy my work from The McManus Galleries shop, VisitScotland in the city square, Dundee Contemporary Arts shop and Pretty Fly in Broughty Ferry. 

You may have also spotted my black + white illustration in Goodfellow & Stevens window. The design includes V&A Dundee, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, DCA, RRS Discovery, marmalade, Dundee cakes, comics, rail bridge, thistles and a touch of tartan and of course Dundee Cake sky!

 

On the run up to Christmas I did a festive commissions for the DCA adapting my Dundee Delight image of the DCA with some festive elements and colours.

I created the Urban Quarter festive graphic that included my Dundee Cake with oversized holly, hand written logo, funky polka dots all in their branding colours to fit with their unique style.  They are lovely styish serviced apartments in the heart of Dundee, you can check them out here.
 
So with all that looking back it helps me plan for the future to know what BIG and small steps I want to take forward, here is a peek into some of my plans so far.
 In January I will be launching a 2 minute promotional video about the process of my work created by Son of the Sea Film & Video.  In February I will launch more designs for the Dundee Delights collection that will include the Dundee Marmalade and the classic Wellgate Clock.  If there is partners or collaborators you think I should be working with, stockist I should be supplying, products you would like to see my work on or commissions you would like to see me do please let me know by dropping me an email hello@louisekirby.com or via my social media  this will all feed into my future planning.
 

I would like to thank you for follow me, cheering me on, liking, commenting and sharing my social media posts, coming along to the markets and open studios or buying my products.  It all adds to keeping me motivated and allowing me to continue to do what I love.

For those of you who have got to the end of this blog here is a wee reward, please find a 15% discount for my online shop when you spend over £15, up until the end of January. Code is: BLOG2018

Link to online shop here

 

All the best for 2018!

Thanks

Louise

www.louisekirby.com