An exhibition that has introduced vast numbers of gallery-goers to gems in one of Scotland’s finest art collections is being extended. 

A dazzling array of paintings managed by cultural charity OnFife features in Brushstrokes – which was complementing the Jack Vettriano retrospective at Kirkcaldy Galleries – will now run until 9 January.

Jack Vettriano: The Early Years ended last Sunday (23 October).

Curator Lesley Lettice says: “Lots of visitors to the Jack Vettriano show were blown away by what’s on show in the adjacent two galleries – and, for many, it’s been their first glimpse of our amazing permanent collection.”

Brushstrokes features 21 paintings by the ever-popular Scottish Colourists – Francis Cadell, J D Fergusson, John Leslie Hunter and Samuel Peploe – and eight by renowned landscape artist William McTaggart.

Included in the blend of traditional and modern works are paintings by acclaimed artists such as Alison Watt, Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath. Among the other leading names from 20th century Scottish art are John Bellany, Robin Philipson and Fife’s own John Houston.

Galleries staff have chosen several of the exhibits and written texts to accompany their selections. QR codes let audiences learn more about many of the artists and their works.

Brushstrokes is family friendly. Visitors are welcome to access an art cart loaded with books, colouring sheets, craft activities, a giant jigsaw and a quiz game.

“I’m not much of a gallery-goer and have never been here before,” wrote one visitor in the comments book. “I came for the Jack Vettriano show but thoroughly enjoyed Brushstrokes.”

Another commented: “Brushstrokes is excellent. I didn’t realise you had so many paintings – I will come back with family and friends. It makes me proud to live in Kirkcaldy.”

Others praised its inclusivity: “I enjoyed the witty, insightful interpretations of each painting and the staff picks labels – very helpful for those of us not from an ‘arty’ background.”

Many have welcomed its broad appeal: “It’s nice to see activities for families to enjoy. My grandkids loved the quiz. And there are so many famous names to get close up to.”

Visitors have had a chance to suggest which paintings might feature in future displays at Kirkcaldy. Audiences can tell staff which works appeal to them most, and curators will use gallery-goers’ feedback to inform their choices when the Galleries are rehung next year.

“We wanted to use Brushstrokes to engage with our audience and we’re pleased that has happened,” says Lesley Lettice. “I’ve spent a lot of time chatting to visitors and this has given us a clear idea about what they like and what they want to see in future.”

After closing in Kirkcaldy, Brushstrokes will transfer to St Andrews Museum in early spring, once the building’s current refurbishment programme has been completed.