For me, art galleries have always provided shelter from the storm. The tempest in question might be a literal one, such as Storm Dennis, who buffeted us all from on high last weekend, or it could simply be a sudden squall in the mind. Art in all forms can take us out of ourselves – even if it's for a split-second – and recalibrate the mind.

Last Saturday, as the rain bounced off pavements and cascaded down windows, I hurried into Milngavie's Lillie Art Gallery, with its brutalist exterior and homely interior, to seek shelter and to check out three new exhibitions, all of which provide visual balm for the soul.

Scotland's Far North

To say that every picture tells a story is an understatement when it comes to Scotland's Far North. I first saw this exhibition in Glasgow's Street Level Photoworks in 2017, but the photographs are so box-fresh it was like seeing them for the first time.

So many individual photographs in this collection vie for attention and cram the mind with unanswered questions; from Tom Kidd's perfectly-composed Boy in boat near Scalloway to Chick Chalmers' Stromness Shopping Week fancy dress parade to Glyn Satterley's women hand-folding and assembling The Northern Times in a Golspie hotel.

All the photographs were taken before social media was a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg's eye and portray a view of Scotland's people and places which is far removed from the Insta-view of Scotland which tempts 21st century tourists to scour Scotland in search of Outlander-like hunks and dramatic scenery.

Glyn Satterley documented life in Caithness and Sutherland at a time when the oil industry was mooted as the saviour of Scotland's economy. Similarly, Chick Chalmers' Orkney project and Tom Kiddʼs Shetland present a grainy insight into these island archipelagos at a time of social, cultural and economic upheaval.

These are images to lose yourself in. They live on in the imagination long after you have left the building.

Tom Kidd and Glyn Satterly will be giving a talk about their work in the gallery at 3pm on Saturday March 7.

36 Views of Dumgoyne

James Greer uses the centuries-old technique of wood engraving to unleash his distinctive view of the world around him. Wood engraving sees an artist incise into a block of hard wood, rather than cutting away the background to leave a line in relief. Using this methof, he creates contemporary scenes close to his home in the Glasgow suburb of Bishopbriggs.

Inspired by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s famous woodblock print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1830-32), created when he was in his seventies, Greer, who is 85, began his own series of woodcuts, called 36 Views of Dumgoyne over a decade ago. The distinctive little hump of Dumgoyne on the edge of the Campsie Fells can be seen from all over Glasgow.

Greer's series grew arms and legs, to the extent that he made were more than 36 woodcuts featuring Dumgoyne; some more obscure than others. The series includes scenes close to home – there is a beautiful and affecting small work called Stobhill Again, which depicts his late wife, Patricia, in her hospital bed surrounded by hospital paraphernalia and flowers. In the background, out the window, you can just pick out the outline of Dumgoyne.

There's comedy and sex too in the mix. Not to mention a homage to Rembrandt in the form of Susanna and the Elders, a woodcut which depicts a languorous nude stretched out on a tartan travelling rug clutching a photograph of a man.

James Higgins, team leader at the Lillie, explains that a sudden gap in the exhibition schedule allowed this exhibition to happen at short notice. "We had just acquired 47 woodcuts by Jimmy through the National Fund for Acquisitions when we heard that we had a space to exhibit them sooner than we thought.

"We are so lucky to have them. The idea behind them is so clever and they are beautifully executed. In 100 years from now, people will be thinking, 'thank God they bought these works."

Books and Prints – Remembering Alasdair Gray

In the Lillie's smallest space, there's a display of five screen prints by Alasdair Gray held in the gallery's permanent collection, and a host of books and ephemera designed by the Glasgow-born artist and author, who died recently at the age of 85.

The prints, created by Gray in 2008 at Glasgow Print Studio, were purchased several years ago for the collection by Peter McCormack, Museums Development Officer with East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLCT).

McCormack, a bibliophile and self-confessed Gray groupie, has put together this tribute to the artist books and associated ephemera from his own collection. He says: "I realised many years ago how lucky we were to have an artist like Alasdair 'on our doorstep'. He was unique, an artist with much to say, who was concerned with Glaswegian, Scottish and International politics.

"I was never able to afford a painting, let alone a print, for myself, so I started collecting his books, and anything else, including ephemera, I came across that was designed by him.

Unfortunately, the artist who was supposed to be exhibiting in galleries two and three had to withdraw for personal reasons at short notice and this allowed me to put together a little personal tribute to Alasdair Gray.

"He was a fascinating person; a serious and brilliant artist and it'll be a long time before we see his like again. It was always nice to know that Alasdair was around and you might bump into him in Byres Road any day of the week... and think, yeah, there's a real artist, just getting on with being an artist."

Scotland's Far North, 36 Views of Dumgoyne & Books and Prints – Remembering Alasdair Gray, Lillie Art Gallery, Station Road, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 8BZ, 0141 956 5536, Until March 12. Open Tue-Sat, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. Free

Critic's Choice

Fidra Fine Art owner, Alan Rae, has gone with his gut instinct in staging this exhibition of work by Six Dundee Artists who all attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee (DJCAD) between 1942 and 1982.

The idea to bring the work of William Cadenhead, Neil Dallas Brown, John Johnstone, Joe McIntyre, Joseph Urie and Michael McVeigh together evolved from lengthy conversations Rae had with Urie and Johnstone, who have been friends for over 40 years after meeting at DJCAD as student and teacher.

Rae, who is an art lover with a keen eye for the overlooked artists in our midst, detected a deep sense or friendship and mutual respect between students and tutors, born out of a rigorous approach to the fundamental skills of drawing and painting at DJCAD at that time. As well as showing the work of Urie and Johnstone, he decided to approach McVeigh and McIntryre, and the families of Bill Cadenhead, who died in 2005, and Neil Dallas Brown, who died in 2003.

Fidra is not a large gallery but what struck me was the way in which the work of all six artists occupies its own space so well. From Urie's figures fighting their way out of dense thickly-applied colour to Dallas-Brown's smooth seventies-style tripiness, boy can these artists all paint. There's something deeper too. The solid, rigorous grounding in drawing and painting which allows each artist's imagination to soar free.

One last thing; national collections should be jumping on these works – particularly the work of Cadenhead, Dallas Brown, and Urie.

Six Dundee Artists, Fidra Fine Art, 7-8, Stanley Road, Gullane, EH31 2AD, 01620 249389, Until tomorrow (Feb 23). Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am to 5pm & Sunday, 12pm to 4pm. Closed Monday.

Don't Miss

Hawick-based Alchemy Film & Arts’ Forage\Image programme concludes with the screening of a two-channel installation by South Korean artist Darae Baek. Language makes me an uncertain person, which premiered in 2019 at The Glasgow School of Art MFA degree show, is a meditation on language, landscape and the inhabitation of rural space. In the film. Baek presents a series of images filmed in and around central Scotland, exploring stillness and movement, the internal and external, and the relationship between viewer and viewed.

Darae Baek: Language makes me an uncertain person, Alchemy Film and Arts, 53 High Street, Hawick, TD9 9BP, Until Feb 28, Wednesdays – Saturdays 11am to 4pm. Free