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Check out our latest Budleigh Salterton Art Club news!

liese webley demonstration

For our November club meeting we had Liese Webley demonstrating for us. Over the past 10 years Liese Webley has been drawn to coastal semi-abstract painting, and the time she spent in Cyprus ignited her love of the bright and rich colour palette she gravitates towards today. Liese said 'I am less focused on making my artwork representative, but more focused on where it takes me.' Liese demonstrated her personal approach to abstraction and talked us through how she usually starts sketching from life or photos but with a simplified methodology- noticing the main shapes that catch her eye, and what interests her. She creates layers and layers of underpainting which gives her artwork depth and texture, with oil being added with a palette knife to block in sections. She described this evolution beautifully as 'the history of the piece'. She follows an intuitive approach when painting, and makes decisions on colour based on what she is drawn to rather than being representational. She explained how the juxtaposition of certain colours set each-other off, and she often adds a newly mixed colour into many paintings at once, and watches as the paintings naturally evolve through this technique, feeling what seems right. Through working on 3 or 4 paintings in tandem, she has time to step back and look for balance.
Liese’s demo inspired us all to try abstraction in our own artwork and to listen to, and trust our own intuition as artists. 


phil creek WORKSHOP

On Friday, 17th November, Club Vice President Phil Creek held an Acrylic Workshop.

Phil explained that he uses a very limited amount of tools- a synthetic flat ¾ inch brush and a rigger. He recommended Windsor and Newton Galeria Acrylic paint as he finds it has a good flow. He often uses an unprimed Mill board, sometimes known as grey board. He explained at the workshop that he doesn’t draw out his composition in pencil, but actually dives straight in outlining the large shapes with paint. Part of his method to create the effect of his work is to minimise the amount of paint strokes used. He suggested that the group could try and do a painting in only 50 paint strokes. It really made them think about where the paint was going and what impact each brush stroke had. They followed a demonstration with their own effort, which, as you can see from the photos, turned out really well! Phil then allowed the group to use his photos of snowy landscape scenes as guidance. It was a great day with lots of inspiration!



For our October club meeting we had a watercolour demo from Mark Gibbons. He is an artist from Cornwall who has been painting all his adult life.

With watercolour, he suggested that we don't think of a painting as a quilt of many colours but to think of it as coloured cellophane which you put your layers on top of each other- starting with light tones first and then when dry, start the next layer. He advised to match your size of painting to your paint palette and to consider the amount of paint coverage before you start. He also explained how he finds it useful to sketch out his idea with a 4B pencil, which can be rubbed out with a putty rubber once the paper is dry. He explained his process of keeping the paper flat- his method being to use Blu-tack to stick it to the board whilst painting and then to mist the back of the paper and put it in between plates of glass with a weight on top for a day or two.


He also mentioned complimentary colours to bring out the different elements, hence the blue boat which emphasises the peach sky reflected in the water. He certainly made the painting look easy to do and his way of painting achievable for all.

Mark has written a blog with lots of tips and apparently this winter he may put them altogether into a book which will be something to look forward to!

I think I can speak for everyone when I say he was very interesting and funny to listen to as well as informative!

A number of Art Club members joined Mark for a watercolour workshop in the afternoon. They described how they tried attentively to follow his clear progress of layering the watercolour and produced some great results. View the slider gallery to see the work produced.

'A very worthwhile workshop with Mark who thoroughly knows his subject.' 

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Portrait showcase

We held a showcase of some of our excellent Portraiture Group’s artwork. It was great to see such a range of different styles and mediums, and the essence of the live sitters that they captured so well.


Budleigh Salterton Art Club held their Spring and Summer Exhibitions this year bringing in a footfall of over 4000 people! The Public Hall in the town was transformed into the vibrant art gallery that visitors from far and wide come to see each year. The exhibition not only showcases and promotes the work of its talented artists but also raises funds for local charities and other worthwhile causes. This year, Budleigh Salterton Art Club raised money for Mill Water School, which is a Specialist School for children and young people who have complex, severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties, based in East Budleigh. On Wednesday 11th October the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Budleigh Salterton Art Club were thrilled to present a cheque for £400 to Mill Water School which will go towards an Art Week there. This will include a visit from Exmouth Artist, Nic George and will culminate in Mill Water School holding their own in-house exhibition to showcase their artwork. Mill Water School's Assistant Headteacher Sally Cregan said: "This support from Budleigh Salterton Art Club is tremendous. Art is hugely important for our pupils. Its positive benefits go far beyond it being a fun and inclusive activity. It helps with communication, social skills, dexterity, attention and making choices, as well as it being a wonderfully sensory, calming, rewarding and therapeutic experience. Many of our pupils do not have the same opportunities as their mainstream peers to engage in art activities outside of school. This generous donation from the arts club will help fund materials and boost what we can offer our pupils." Budleigh Salterton Art Club seek to promote all of the benefits which art can bring.

For further information about Mill Water School visit:


Sally Cregan (Assistant Headteacher), Nick Speare (Treasurer), Gill Wilson (Chairman) and Lucy Corbishley (Vice Chairman).

Julie dunster demo and workshop

For our September demo, we had Julie Dunster, a mid-Devon artist. Julie is passionate about painting from life, on location, in all weathers. She works in oils, hoping to capture the essence of a moment in the landscape, an emotion in a portrait, a narrative in a still life. During the demo, Julie explained her thought processes for a composition considering how the viewer’s eye will zig-zag through the painting. She spoke about linear perspective and how this informs the direction of her brush strokes. She considered the values within her painting- light and dark- and used colour theory to explain colours that lean to the cool and those that lean to the warm, and where these would be realistically found within a scene. She helped club members to understand the difference in saturation in a foreground vs background to create a sense of recession- again considering the journey of the eye. Following the demo, Julie held a workshop where she continued with her generous teaching and those attending were inspired with their creations. 

Julie has an up-coming solo exhibition entitled ‘Time and Tide’ at Seaglass Gallery, Lympstone from the 3rd to 11th November 2023.

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On the 16th August we had an en plein air painting event down on Budleigh Salterton beach. It was a glorious morning with the sun shining and the sea glistening. Our artists completed a challenge to create a group picture. We all enjoyed the refreshing glass of prosecco at the end!


Our demo in July was given by Angie Seaway - a local artist from Exmouth renowned for her large expressive canvasses. Angie has just produced a beautiful book called ‘Painting East Devon’s Jurassic Coast’ from Exmouth to Lyme Regis. This was inspired when the pandemic was on and there were restrictions on travel, and Angie began to explore her local area and appreciate the geology of the Jurassic coastline and wanted to learn more about it. So she began a series of paintings of each beach starting with Exmouth, then Budleigh, Ladram Bay, Sidmouth etc until she reached Lyme Regis. This culminated in a series of paintings and thoughts which have been made into the book.

Angie showed us how she starts her paintings- usually on very large canvasses and painted flat rather than an easel though fortunately she used an easel for her demo! She talked about light and dark, layers, colour etc all the while using a variety of different mediums such as biros and spray paint, sand and sawdust! Whilst doing this she showed a slide presentation of her work in making the paintings for the book - regailing many a funny anecdote for each beach!

I think we all learnt lots of fun ways to make our paintings more visually exciting and interesting and hopefully we can go away and put some of those ideas into our own artworks! She has promised to show us, in the future, what happens to the canvas she started today, so it will be interesting to see how it developed! I am sure everyone agrees it was a very entertaining and thought provoking demonstration!


Our demonstrator for our June Club Meeting  was Hester Berry who worked in Oils. 

Hestor grew up in rural Devon and has always been interested in landscape and the environment. She says that her traditional university training in Aberystwyth nurtured this interest and also led her to explore life drawing and portraiture. After continuing her studies to complete an MA in Fine Art in Wimbledon, she taught life drawing and painting in Brighton and London. In 2016 she returned to Devon, where she now lives and works.

In the demo, it was very interesting to see how Hester was able to translate a subject with an economic style of painting- adding paint to the board from ‘dark to bright’ and only making a mark if it is vital to the composition. Hester had an impressive understanding of colour theory and gave club members tips on how to use sometimes tricky colours such as green by incorporating several tones. She explained how it is important to stand back and squint to see the main features on a reference photo, and to avoid too much detail- keeping things loose and with a sense of freshness.


Shari Hills was our demonstrating artist at our May Club Meeting. She is a watercolour and mixed media artist and she demonstrated in the medium of Brusho for us.

Brusho is a powdered form of paint which is sprinkled onto wet watercolour paper to give very interesting and spontaneous results of vibrant colours. As Shari said "you never quite know how the picture will turn out but often the effects are spectacular, if unpredictable!" Many members asked questions relating to the various uses of Brusho. Shari's main picture was of a vibrant flower composition and she told us various ways to experiment with the effects of Brusho using salt, bleach and wax resist crayons, to produce interesting effects. This was carried on in the afternoon workshop where colour ran riot! A very interesting and experimental afternoon was enjoyed by members of the club Our results were displayed outside in the sunshine adding to a bright, colourful day. Brusho may not be for everyone but its playful nature makes it worth giving it a try!

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