Filled to capacity, the dining room at East Devon Golf Club was buzzing with members getting together for the Club's biggest social event of the year.
Ralph made his appearance as MC and Chairman for the last time at the lunch and thanked Lisa and her team for organising such a splendid occasion.
He also introduced our president, Alan Cotton and John Hammond, our Vice President, who, with their wives Tricia and Katie respectively, enjoyed a splendid meal and friendly welcome.
Another year and another Christmas lunch - 2019 is now only days away and with plans for a full programme of events and activities, there will be many opportunities for further get-togethers for us all.
Do look at the slide show below – lots of happy members, looking forward to a Merry Christmas and an active, enjoyable and productive 2019.
... and also The Venture Group Christmas Lunch
To finish off a fun season of painting, members of the Venture Group got together for a pre-Xmas lunch and opportunity to critique some of the paintings produced over the last few weeks.
For anyone new to the Club, the Venture Art folks are split into two groups, both morning and afternoon on Tuesdays running through the year with breaks around holidays. Great opportunities for making new friends and learning from each other.
Space is limited and there is usually a waiting list, but if you're interested then we can put you in touch with the organisers.
Great fun, very relaxed and informal.
Very enjoyable sessions.
From Tudors to Victorians
Costumes from different eras
in The Oak Room at Bicton House
The session was packed for the day with twenty five artists drawing and painting from both live models and mannequins.
Courtesy of Fairlynch we were privileged to be
granted permission to take a selection of costumes from the collection for a day to paint and draw.
Iris was kind enough to organise this for us along with our two splendid Models, Carol and Christine, both volunteers from the museum who gave their expert services free of charge.
The models alternated through the morning so everyone had a chance to draw both Tudor costumes and then after lunch we all moved on to studying the mannequins dressed in Georgian outfits through to Victorian – quite a challenge.
Lunch was a splendid affair with a wide-ranging finger buffet laid on by Bicton College – certainly much appreciated and just in time give is the renewed energy to continue through the afternoon.
Much work was produced during the session in a range of styles using oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels and inks. It was certainly something different and quite a challenge for us all - you can see a selection of the work above.
Next year we’ll be organising a new range of themed painting and drawing days so do come back to this website to check when they’ll fall due.
No ... not a newly discovered avian species but an exciting paint and ink treatment that kept members enthralled at the November Club meeting. Alison Board demonstrated how to use Brusho crystals mixed with a variety of other paints, waxes and pencils.
Using a photo of a flamingo as reference, she trace-sketched a broken image outline of the subject on to a high quality watercolour paper, before applying some judiciously placed masking fluid.
This was followed by applying sprinklings of Brusho crystals and then watercolours which reacted on the paper to give beautiful vibrant colours, textures and tones.
Almost any paint or pastel can be incorporated to give an endless variety of finishes with highlights in gouache to bring the painting to life.
Alison brought along several examples of her work ranging from animals, flowers, and landscapes through to more graphic illustrations and use of more unusual techniques. If you'd like to see more, simply Google her name to find videos and further examples of her paintings.
Pastels, Paints and Pencils.
All materials were in use at our last portrait session of the year for our interpretation of our sitter for the afternoon, Rob. A selection of photos below shows some of the artists at work.
More sessions next year? Watch this space!
St Just in Roseland - The Old School House
Members of the Club took up the challenge from the Venture Group with a day's painting of this little cottage, an historic and unique building in our neighbouring county of Cornwall. Below you can see some of the watercolours - varied and interesting interpretations of the subject.
Alan Cotton Studio Exhibition
1st and 2nd December 2018 10am to 5pm
Transylvania – The Vegetable Garden at Miklosvar
Oils on Canvas 51 x 61 cm 20 x 24 ins
Two summers ago Alan Cotton, our Club President, travelled to Transylvania to gather new ideas for his paintings. For many it is a land of legend and mystery, but for Alan it was an amazing discovery of a landscape and way of life largely unchanged for centuries.
The wildflower meadows, hayricks and village cultivation provided rich material for a series of paintings of this pastoral landscape.
For this studio exhibition he has produced a collection of new Transylvanian paintings together with work from Provence, Venice, Piemonte and Hartland in North Devon.
The exhibition is open for two days only, when the artist will be there to welcome Club members and other guests who would like to visit the studio and see his work.
A Life in Landscapes
A full house listened intently to our guest speaker,
Ray Balkwill, well known to many members and a very popular local landscape artist.
Born in Devon on the outskirts of North Dartmoor, his passion is painting around the county, in particular the Exe estuary where he is well known for his amazing output of watercolour and pastel interpretations of boats and their reflections in the low tide waters. Exmouth, Lympstone and Topsham with the Haldon Hills ever-changing light in the background feature strongly and his paintings and books are becoming sought after and valuable collectors’ pieces.
With several books under his belt after a career in advertising and publishing,
he decided to commit to earning a living from his passion, landscape painting.
From watercolours, acrylics, oils and mixed media he demonstrated his wide scope of techniques, all based on traditional drawing skills with acute and empathetic observation.
Interestingly he identified with what we all experience from time to time – artists’ block – and his remedy was to return to art college and revitalise his output with completely new ideas and fresh ways of looking at subjects. It was fascinating to follow the progress of such a renowned artist over many years and encouraging to all members that there is always a way forward, however stuck, unconfident or frustrated we may become.
A really good session and we shall look forward to a return visit, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
A bumper table-top sale at the October meeting produced a substantial sum with proceeds going to charity - art materials and art books donated by members generated nearly £180. The family of our previous Chair, Michelle Sykes has given her valuable library of art books for the club to sell on for charity and along with items from Gaynor Williams and the late Alan Turner there was a mine of fascinating material for members to purchase at bargain prices.
The number of books donated, means that we shall have further sales at our monthly meeting so do arrive in good time to peruse the collections - there's bound to be something to interest you.
the Autumn sunshine
Perfect weather and a great turn out for our day
of landscape painting in the extensive grounds of Bicton House.
It could hardly have been better with a wide choice of locations around the Georgian house, the gardens, arboretum and the lake.
Although there were still a lot of trees retaining their foliage, the colours were on the turn and many had a golden carpet of dry and crunchy leaves beneath them.
The following is a small selection of work and photos taken through the day – and with such a varied selection of drawings and paintings, we’ve been invited to put on an Autumn themed show in the College Library.
More information on this soon.
Our thanks are due to Bicton College, and in particular Sim, for accommodating
us all and, providing the facilities and a most enjoyable lunch in our own room for the day.
Maybe we'll have a return visit next year and catch the trees as they're preparing to burst forth with those wonderful fresh greens and yellows - and of course the daffodils when they're in full bloom.
Finding your mark
Most of the members of our portrait group have by now had the pleasure of sitting as model for the afternoon. For those yet to have the pleasure here’s a taste of what it’s like.
Firstly, take a seat, then choose a position that’s (a) comfortable and (b) is liked by the artists opposite you, after all the idea is for them to paint a brilliant portrait of you and they’ll need all the help they can get.
So all you have to do is keep still for three hours … easy peasy!
Well not quite – three hours is quite a while so think of the time in instalments with tea breaks in between. Firstly, to help you keep still, find a place to focus on so you can keep your head in the same position.
I found this mark on the wall opposite which was at eye level and just the right distance to focus on. Then it’s a question of keeping in the same position for as long as you can – in my case I can hold it for about 45 minutes (on a good day) but anything up to half an hour is really OK. A professional model could probably go for an hour or more but of course it depends how difficult the pose is.
So what to do while you’re watching that mark on the wall?
Well, the brain wanders all over the place so I find it quite a good time to organise things in my mind that I have to sort out and maybe create things for the future. Sometimes the same thoughts just go round and round and round. If that’s going to drive you mad, try taking a download of some music, an audio play to listen to through earphones - or maybe bring along a radio for everyone to hear.
Surprisingly, the time goes by quicker than you might expect. And of course it’s fascinating to see the end results with a variety of visual interpretations of your face and personality. Some you may like, others may not be what you anticipated - but all of them completely absorbing.
If you fancy having your portrait painted, do let us know – we’re always on the lookout for a new subject. And you may enjoy a few hours of quiet contemplation watching that odd mark on the wall.
By John Washington, sitter for the day at the October portrait workshop
Places still available
We’ve had a great deal of interest from members for our day's painting and drawing in The Oak Room at Bicton House so for those who may still want to join us here are some further details:
The date is now confirmed, 30th November and the session will run from 10am till 3pm.
We have yet to confirm the cost for the day but based on members’ responses so far, it looks as if it will be between £15 and £20. This will include hire of the room, a donation to Fairlynch, model fees and lunch.
I’d be grateful if you could let me know as soon as you can if you'd like to come along so I can determine the cost. It should be a very interesting, enjoyable and productive day and something new for the Club. Simply e-mail me through our contact form FAO John Washington.
Many thanks - I look forward to hearing from you.