What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

Dickins speaks to the Edinburgh Sketcher…

Rain in the City, The Edinburgh Sketcher

Ever since The Edinburgh Sketcher appeared on the scene, we have been totally enthralled by his work. The man behind the sketches, Mark Kirkham, was kind enough to take the time to speak to Dickins.

Mark showcases the best of Edinburgh through his sketches and delights locals and visitors alike and in this interview, he shares some of his secrets about Edinburgh with us. 

What do you love about Edinburgh?

Of course, the beautiful architecture we have in Edinburgh. The landscape of hills and valleys really shows off the architecture from so many different viewpoints. I also love the busy part of the city being so close to the quiet, hidden parts of Edinburgh and the fact that the countryside and the coastline are so close to one another. We are truly spoilt!

How does the energy of the city change during the Festival?

I think the city’s energy is constantly changing, looking forward as each festival comes and goes, the excitement is different. We seem to enjoy the down time just as much as the crazy busy months of July and August.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

A range of things really! Taking a slightly different route through town and seeing a new (to me) detail high on a wall that dates back three or four hundred years, and then being able to touch that wall. The ever changing landscapes you see from so many points in the city and the great skies we see over the city, and also the kind comments I get on my sketches from those in Edinburgh and those now living abroad who like to see images of home.

The Edinburgh Sketcher

Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh

Where is you favourite place to go in Edinburgh and when?

These are my first thoughts – if I think too much about each one my answers will change too much!

When the sun is out…
The New Town, I love how the sunshine highlights the wonderful sandstone buildings

When it’s raining…
Princes Street, I love to see the brollies up and the reflections in the street.

When the sun is setting…
Somewhere high! Calton Hill is great and recently I have noticed from the West End you can get a great view of a sunset along Shandwick Place. (With the tram rails shimmering!)

When you need some peace and quiet…
When I’m drawing, I get so into my work that I can get peace and quiet anywhere. It’s great for zoning out from the stresses of your day. However, I do like to get down to the coast and Silverknowles promenade is a favourite walking place for me. (That and Portobello, of course!)

The Edinburgh Sketcher

National Monument of Scotland, Calton Hill

Your work is all about the detail of the city. How do you discover the ‘new’ in everyday places?

There are so many ‘new’ parts of the city. I am constantly stopping my walk and doubling back as I notice a new view through two buildings or a quiet close. Every Monday morning, I run a ‘WhereArtI‘ quiz as a way of pointing out the intricate details which surround us and so often go unnoticed.

The Edinburgh Sketcher

St. John’s Church, Edinburgh

What is your favourite kind of architecture and what is your favourite example of it?

That is too hard a question to answer. In Edinburgh, we have such a range of architecture. I love the random medieval streets of the Old Town just as much as the straight lines and measured layout of the New Town’s Georgian buildings.

What would you recommend a visitor sees if only in the city for 24 hours?

One ‘must-see’ is the roof of the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. The museum itself gives a great insight into Scottish history and is great for families to explore, but high on the rooftop terrace, there is a stunning 360-degree view of the city. (Plus it’s free to visit, one of Edinburgh’s true treasures…)

What’s so special about Calton Hill?

Apart from the amazing views over the city, Arthurs Seat and the port of Leith, you mean?! Well, there is always the random collection of structures on top!

Edinburgh Sketcher

Views from Calton Hill (featuring Rock House!)

Had you previously heard of Rock House?

I had not to be honest, which is terrible! I had noticed the roof though, as you can see in my sketch above, and think it’s great that visitors to the city can stay in such a historic building. The renovation looks amazing and I am looking forward to my first visit, which will hopefully be the Dickins instameet.

Stay Social…

We love to hear from readers and guests on social media. To find out more about what’s on in the city, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The Edinburgh Sketcher is also very active on social media and would love to hear from you via his Facebook or Twitter pages.

Remember, Dickins has wonderful properties throughout the city, in all the places you want to be! As well as Rock House, we have properties in Edinburgh New Town, Stockbridge, the Old Town, Lauriston and many other areas.

Find your Dickins home from home here…

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