Homer Watson’s desire to draw was evident at an early age. He made images from his food before he ate it, carved images on fence rails with a knife and drew sketches all day long. The self-taught artist used his father’s collection of books as teaching examples. At 15 years old, Watson was given his first set of paints from his aunt and he completed the painting “Swollen Creek”…. READ MORE

Phoebe Watson was an artist like her older brother Homer. On bright sunny days when Homer was outside painting the landscapes of Doon, Phoebe would be inside their house working on her watercolour paintings and painting her fine china. Homer and Phoebe were very close siblings and helped each other with their artistic careers… READ MORE

Homer Watson had long admired the Ferrie house for its architecture and light. In the autumn of 1881 Watson moved into the house with his wife Roxanna, renting the third floor. Due to success in his sale of art to Queen Victoria, Homer purchased the home In 1883 along with the two and three quarters acres upon which it was situated. The house would remain Watson’s home for the remainder of his life. READ MORE

The first year that the Doon School of Fine Arts was opened, students from all over the surrounding area were drawn to the modest hamlet of Doon to take summer classes. When some of the alumni of the school have been asked what drew them to take classes, the response most frequently given was the desire to learn from some of the great artistic names of the late fifties and early sixties. For example, Frederick Varley, most widely known for his status as one of the original Group of Seven, was an instructor at the school for the first two summers following its opening…. READ MORE

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The Loch Doon area was memorialized in celebrated Scottish poet, Robert Burns piece “Ye banks and braes O’ bonnie Doon”

Ye banks and braes o’ bonny Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu’ o’ care?
Thou’lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o’ departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

Aft hae I rov’d by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ its love,
And fondly sae did I o’ mine.
Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Fu’ sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause lover stole my rose,
But, ah! he left the thorn wi’ me.

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