Founder member of Totton Art Society Reg Whiting has been unwell and passed away in a care home on Sunday 8th January 2012. The society exists thanks to Reg's enthusiasm and hard work. He commanded everyone's respect and remained Vice-President for several years into the twenty-first century. In 2004 the society created a best in show award in his honour. Here is an article written by Reg in 2003.
"The Origins of the Totton Art Society
by REG WHITING
It all started from the evening art classes at Totton Grammar School where we painted with help from Mr Lewis, the Art Master. After about five years of this, which included several terms of life classes with a variety of nude models, a number of us decided to start an art society, to encourage new members and to exhibit our efforts. I am now the only remaining founder member left in the society. We held our exhibitions in an upstairs room of the present Totton Council offices, until we were moved out to accommodate the council staff expansion, to our present venue. We had demonstrations by visiting artists and evenings for criticism. We found that the best method for criticising members’ work was to have a panel of three experienced members who would sit in the front and discuss each painting. They often did not agree with each other, but nevertheless, their views were all kindly and helpful. I, as Chairman, would summarise their conclusions, and encourage other members to say what they thought
There was Maurice Maynard, a ‘character’ and full-time bait-digger, who produced the most colourful and marvellous abstract paintings. He would never sell any paintings and had unframed paintings stacked around the walls of his house in Totton High Street. We had an elderly lady from Netley Marsh; she always wore a fancy hat with fruit or flowers on it! Her paintings were of the ‘Grandma Moses’ type with funny figures and animals, a lot of flowers and no perspective (which didn’t worry her at all). They were delightful little paintings, which often seem to appeal to people of her age-group. She always made a point of saying how much she enjoyed our meetings and thanking me. Barry Peckham joined us as a young man and was always very serious abut his painting. He soon left us all behind, to take it up as a full-time artist. We also had Rex Trayhorne for a short time. He also took it up professionally. I still see some of our former members who remember those earlier years."
The Society pays tribute to our distinguished founder member.
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