Following on from the previous evening’s demo by Chris Forsey, members gathered to attempt their own evocations of a coastal landscape. It was another full house and Hildegarde was on hand to offer help and encouragement as well as illustrating some hints and techniques with a painting of her own. At the end of the session the 'gallery' of work made an impressive display and the afternoon was rounded off with an appraisal of the paintings by Hildegarde with plenty of useful advice.
A full house welcomed back the ever-popular Chris Forsey for a demonstration of his approach to acrylic painting. His subject was the harbourside at Polperro bathed in early morning light. His surface was mounting board prepared with gesso and his paints were a variety of brands - including some budget ones - as he said 'it's quite possible to achieve that 'ooh-la-la' effect using relatively cheap materials'. On a cool background he quickly established the structure of the painting by introducing the dark areas and then in a deceptively effortless process developed the picture into a convincing evocation of this Cornish harbour. Finishing off with some white highlights, the demonstration concluded with a spontaneous round of applause from the audience - very impressive and a great example to follow at the workshop on Saturday.
A little later than anticipated because of terrible traffic, but finally the eagle landed - or more correctly the Siberian Eagle Owl together with her companions the Harris’s Hawk, the Gyr Falcon and the Sunda Scops Owl and, of course, Alan their handler. For the rest of the afternoon they enthralled their audience. They proved to be challenging subjects but everyone was thoroughly absorbed in trying to capture their unique beauty. A great afternoon.
After Freda's very informative talk on Friday evening, members and guests returned with pastels at the ready for an afternoon trying to put into practice what was learnt in her demo. Working from a variety of sources members created a variety of floral still life studies and Freda was on hand with valuable help and advice. The end results provided an impressive finale to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
The week-end of flower studies in pastels opened with a demonstration by Freda in preparation for the workshop on Saturday. Her wide-ranging talk started with choice of subject, the importance of lighting and composition on the page. The importance of surface was discussed and she recommended 'Colourfix' paper which has a slightly abrasive finish - it's a bit pricey but the final work does not need fixative spray. Her preferred pastels are 'Unison' and she stressed the importance of having a sufficient range of colours to use them without mixing on the surface too much. She also talked about layering different colours to achieve the desired effect and combining the soft pastels with charcoal and hard Conté pastels. At the end of the evening we had plenty of information to put into practice the following day.
At another well-attended workshop Marcia talked to us about the use of pen and ink to enhance existing watercolours as well as employing the medium to great effect in its own right. There were floral items and a variety of photographic references to work from and some of us worked on other ideas in watercolour. Marcia was on hand to give encouragement and valuable advice and the display of work at the end of the session was very impressive, to say the least.
Following the demo on Friday evening, Ronnie returned to oversee a very well-attended workshop. The challenge was to create a landscape using acrylics and try to capture the atmosphere of the scene without worrying too much about fine detail. Ronnie recapped his basic working method and then it was over to us to give it a try and he was constantly on hand with helpful hints and advice. The session was rounded off with his constructive appraisal of our efforts - a very enjoyable afternoon all round.
For the first demonstration of the new year there was a full house to welcome Ronnie for a return visit. He entertained and informed us with an energetic explanation of his working methods when tackling landscape in acrylics in preparation for the workshop the following day. He stressed the importance of capturing atmosphere rather than photographic realism and this was achieved by the use of bold gestures, big brushes and constant appraisal of the picture as a whole. The challenge was laid down for us to take up in the workshop.
In this our Diamond Jubilee year the annual Autumn Fair was held at St Alban's Primary School as usual, but this time in the newly extended and renovated main hall. This proved to be a much better display space for our members to show their work. We welcomed a number of new members whose creations added greatly to the diversity of work on show. Visitors were treated to an exhibition of high quality and this was reflected in bumper sales of both paintings and craft work. A very successful event all round and congratulations to all who took part - both behind the scenes and on the screens and tables.
After last night’s excellent demonstration by Malcolm West we had the opportunity to apply some of the advice we received with the help of a professional model. While the wind blew and the rain lashed down outside, inside Lula adopted a series of ten-minute poses before the tea break and then a longer pose in a change of costume. All very challenging but a good thing to do on an otherwise miserable afternoon.
For the last demonstration of the year we welcomed Malcolm West - an old friend of the Society - who gave us a masterclass in drawing from the human figure. With drawing medium in one hand and measuring device (a long-handled paintbrush) in the other he proceeded to make quick sketches from the young ballerina who struck a series of challenging poses. Observation is the cornerstone of Malcolm’s practice and it was fascinating to see him transfer what he saw in front of him onto paper in an anatomically accurate way but without losing spontaneity or liveliness.
Joan did not actually do any painting. She had, instead, three examples of interiors she had prepared earlier. The subjects were in black and white and she had a good supply of photos to inspire members. She then went round the room stopping at each artist helping and advising them on what next steps might be appropriate. Her comments and help were well received and her examples were inspirational. A very different approach to painting interiors that initially seemed rather daunting but confidence grew with her sensitive coaching.
Roger gave a very interesting demonstration in oils. He prepped his board with 3 coats of gesso but otherwise started with a blank canvas. Using burnt sienna he sketched out the rough areas of interest and scene layout. He selected the interior of a violin maker’s workshop which was really challenging. He mixed all of the colours at the beginning and painted in a diluted version of oils painting in much the way one would a watercolour. He explained what he was doing as he went along so that everyone’s interest was captured throughout the session, answering questions as and when they arose. He worked continuously, reaching an appropriate finish point to set the picture in a frame.
Marcia Hughes ran today’s workshop and provided us with an assortment of shells and found objects from the shoreline, giving us individual tuition. For those whose interests lay elsewhere Marcia also brought along flowers and foliage. Despite the fine weather the session was well attended and everyone agreed that we had a successful and enjoyable afternoon.
It was a full-house for the first workshop of the season and Freda Anderdson guided us through painting a landscape in watercolour which continued the theme of Friday’s demonstration by Kevin Chapman. Freda was on hand with plenty of tips and advice which she illustrated by painting a landscape of her own. By the end of the afternoon there was an impressive display of member’s work – the creative impulse has obviously been waiting for an opportunity to express itself over the summer months.
7.45 – 10.00pm
For the first demo in our new season we welcomed Kevin Chapman, an old friend of the society, and his theme was landscape in watercolour. The subject was a Tuscan hill village but rendered in the style of a Chinese artist (Chien Chung-Wei) using oriental brushes. With his usual lively commentary Kevin first applied pale washes of naples yellow and cobalt blue onto a basic pencil sketch. Subsequent layers of colour were gradually applied and minimal detail added until the sun-soaked landscape finally emerged. An entertaining and instructive evening was enjoyed by all.
Our annual open air exhibition took place under cloudless blue skies and in blisteringly hot temperatures on the towpath by Molesey Lock as usual. Undaunted by the heat our members put on a really good show on both days with some new faces, some members returning after several years and many regular ‘stalwarts’. Although the conditions may have restricted the number of casual visitors - it really was very hot - the display attracted a lot of interest and quite a few sales and all concerned had an enjoyable, if somewhat exhausting time.
Our AGM was held at Mole Hall in West Molesey. The event was well attended and drinks and light refreshments were available for members as they arrived. Our chairman, Colin Kyte, led the meeting with a comprehensive report back to the members. A copy of this report is available from the secretary. Colin thanked the committee members for their support and hard work in the past year and announced that there were some changes to the officers of the society and to the committee. Colin was standing down as chairman and Wendy Crawshaw as vice-chairman, although both would continue as committee members, and that the committee had nominated Paul Potter to take over as chairman and Eric Drewery as vice chairman. During the course of the year Marcia Hughes, Margie Haslewood and Mike Lambert had all stood down from the committee but Sue Monteath had joined it. Expressions of gratitude were made to all concerned for their contributions to the Society. Prize winners were announced, certificates awarded and then the members adjourned to the next door room for the demonstration of painting a landscape in oils by Jim Hanlon.
The Spring exhibition is the biggest event in our calendar and began with a Private View evening on Tuesday 9th April. It was a very successful social event and well attended. On the night, quite a lot of sales were made which is always an encouraging start to the week.
As this is our Diamond Jubilee year, extra effort and expense went into making it an even more memorable evening for every body, with delicious food and drink and Diamond Jubilee themed decorations, all finished off with a wonderful piano player Peter Toth ‘tinkling the ivories’.
We were also delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mary Sheldon and her consort John Sheldon, they stayed for most of the evening and were really impressed with the work on show.
The exhibition ran until Sunday 14th April and overall has been another success for the society with even better results than last year. Our Treasurer Stephen Waxman says that sales of work were up by quite a bit and that visitor numbers went from around 600 last year to almost 800 this year!
Saturday: 2.00 – 5.00pm
Watercolour – Portrait
The workshop – the last of the present season – was very well-attended and included several new members. Following on from the previous evening’s demonstration, Freda was on hand to offer advice and encouragement in the creation of convincincing portraits, mainly from photographic references. The results of the afternoons labours were of a high quality, as usual, and an enjoyable and rewarding time was had by all.