wee glasgow keelies

My auntie took Stuart and me to the newly renovated Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and I made a couple drawings based on some of the pictures. I love the face on this kid, from a series of photos taken by Joseph McKenzie of kids in Glasgow’s Gorbals. But darn, he was hard to draw! He kept looking like an old man, which is part of his charm, really, but he shouldn’t actually look like an old man. I finally ended up thinking, what would Gary do, and drew him that way, which seemed to work the best.

This one isn’t spot on either, but I loved the gormless expression and composition of this painting by painter and optical repairman John Quinton Pringle, one of the Glasgow Boys. The gallery was displaying a large collection of work by the Glasgow Boys, which will be on exhibition at the Royal Academy next year (when you’ll have to pay a whopping fee to get in. See ’em for free in Glasgow!).

Here’s an eyeglasses sign, painted, I think by Pringle again. Sort of spooky looking and very cool.

The museum’s laid out as sort of cross between London’s Natural History Museum, the V&A and the Horniman, but with entirely different stuff, lots of amazing Scottish paintings. Here’s Sir Roger the Elephant, who was so big he couldn’t be removed when they were doing renovations, so they just boxed him up on the spot.

Some lovely icky bugs:

Here’s the spire of Glasgow University, where my dad studied:

Another place we visited was the Scotland Street School, designed entirely by one of Scotland’s best-loved architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. (You can see a drawing of it here on the wall of its local subway stop, Shields Road. We had fun riding the Glasgow subway, which originally worked by having its trains clamp onto a moving circular cable, thus its nickname the Clockwork Orange. (Here’s my auntie and Stuart stopped at Ibrox station, which is next to the big Rangers football club where my cousin once took my sister to a match. She came back knowing all these songs that made my aunt and uncle blush.)

They even had a class full of school children in Victorian outfits being taught by a cranky old teacher, who apparently is the only teacher in Scotland who will threaten to cane them, even if he can’t legally carry out his threat. One of the hallway invigilators said the kids really love this.

Lovely tilework. Apparently Mackintosh wanted to use the dark green tiles everywhere, but had to compromise and bring in cheaper white tiles, reserving the green and blue tiles for borders and detail work.

Lots of interesting details:

And a last photo of Glasgow’s rainy shopping street.

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