Media Release: Portraiture to literature

BBF16 AllMediaScotland Royal Drawing School

Pick up a pencil!


The Royal Drawing School
The Boswell Book Festival 2016

AYRSHIRE’S Boswell Book festival, recognised as the world’s only festival of biography and memoir, has always considered portraiture as part of its biography theme – but this year, it takes it a stage further by inviting the Royal Drawing School to include a programme of artist led drawing sessions over the Festival weekend.

Festival director, Caroline Knox, says: “These sessions create a brilliant opportunity for festival-goers of all ages to harness their artistic skills under the expert eye of practising artists and tutors from The Royal Drawing School, one of the world’s few institutions offering in-depth tuition in drawing from observation.”

A team of artists will be leading the sessions held in the Rothesay Room within the festival venue, Dumfries House.

Anna Ilsley, Hannah Murgatroyd and Edinburgh-born Clara Drummond – who has recently been nominated as one of only three for the prestigious BP Portrait Awards’ first prize – will act as tutors.

They will encourage participants – eight to 80, of any ability – to try drawing from life, from the clothed body and from the art collection at Dumfries House, as well as out and about in the woods and gardens of the estate.

Some of the sessions will bring books and drawing together with readings from Scottish Literature, legends and poetry.

The event is designed to thrill and encourage those who perhaps have never had the confidence to develop their artistic talent in this way.

Director of the Royal Drawing School, Catherine Goodman – herself a renowned artist – is also thrilled to be involved in the festival.

She said: “These sessions create an exciting synthesis of artistic and literary creativity.

“We encourage festival-goers of all abilities to participate in our observational drawing sessions, working with models and props, in beautiful surroundings, exploring narrative through drawings in tandem with the Festival’s literary programme.”

Drawing can be direct, incisive, intimate, surprising, funny or confrontational.

Everyone can draw and all materials are provided free of charge, so whether one is either or 80, the Boswell Book Festival encourages all to pick up a pencil and bring portraiture to literature in a remarkably fascinating way.

Notes to editors:


Full festival programme:

Carol Carr PR: marketing: Boswell Book Festival
Tel: 01988 700 974
Mb: 07766 754 877
Facebook and @bozzyfest for regular updates

Festival facts

Location: Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire, KA18 2NJ
Directions and site plan: /Location
Tickets: Royal Drawing School events: per session: £8 £6 (c) /£4 age 8 – 16
Author talks: £8 £6 (c) children’s/families: £1 Some events vary in price; some are free.
Online at:
Box Office: 01563 554 900
In person: Cumnock Town Hall and Waterstones, High Street, Ayr
Book signing: Authors will sign books in the new café/bookshop Marquee immediately after their events.
Booksellers: Waterstones of Ayr will run the Festival Bookshop from the café/bookshop Marquee
Catering: On site: Festival Café Bar, Woodlands Restaurant, Coach House Café
Parking: There is parking on the Dumfries House Estate. Access to Dumfries House is from the A70 Ayr/Cumnock or Cummnock/Ayr direction. There is only ONE entrance to the festival, marked ‘Dumfries House Cars Only.’
Sponsors: We are eternally grateful to all our funders and sponsors without whom this event could not proceed. We thank them for their invaluable support. In particular, we thank Creative Scotland who has kindly supported the festival since 2011.

The Boswell Trust:

The Boswell Book Festival is an event inaugurated and staged by The Boswell Trust, a charity registered in Scotland that is established for the promotion of heritage, literary arts and education, specifically the restoration of James Boswell’s mausoleum in Auchinleck churchyard and the creation of a visitor attraction in the adjoining Boswell aisle.

The Boswell Book Festival has experienced phenomenal growth and the organisers are keen for this growth to continue. It has now developed well beyond the capacity of its original site of Auchinleck House – owned and managed by the conservation charity, The Landmark Trust – but which will however continue to form part of the festival programme in 2016.

Trustees: James Knox (chair), Peter Kennerley, Margaret Boswell Elliot, Caroline Knox, Gillian Watson and Dr. William Zachs.

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and


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