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Saturday, December 14, 2013


The Murder Mystery Christmas Party began with 'Chairman' Tony Rackham welcoming members to the party. After the 'Guest Speaker' had presented a prize, 'Doris' Karen Lewis discovered the victim in the kitchen and gave a great performance when she emerged.
'Police Officer' Peter Griffiths asked everyone to remain seated and took charge of the 'murder scene' in the kitchen.

TTV Presenters Helen Davies and Di Alexander then entered the action and asked the characters to introduce themselves one-by-one. They did this by reading from their script.

The readings evoked much laughter particularly when Gary Lewis spoke as a female character. Jean Kirby is shown in the photograph reading her script as 'Ian Cooper'. There was a welcome break for refreshments organised by Anne Hamerton and other members of the committee. Pat Scammell operated the superb raffle.

Labelled clues were placed on a table and members equipped themselves with a chart .During the second half of the evening various characters gave their evidence. Everyone had to listen and use their charts to match the suspects with the clues.
 There was a vote for the most likely suspect and the identity of the would-be murderer was announced. It was Ian Cooper. Di then explained the murder plot. Fortunately the victim was apparently not dead, but recovering in hospital!


The party had been most unusual and Di and Helen were presented with flowers by Anne at the end of the evening.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Demonstration November 2013

Hashim Akib uses large brushes loaded with several colours to create his colourful acrylic paintings. Having examined the scene and decided which parts will be given greatest prominence, his approach is direct and fast. He does not draw an image, he does not water down paint or wash his brush in water and he does not blend colours on the canvas. Working with a photograph as a reference, his first priority is to "get stuff onto canvas" trusting his skill and his instincts. The initial layer is established via blocks of colour that are streaked with several colours.
Hashim applies paint at speed to achieve a result that has a sense of urgency and movement. He says that we should aim to be bold, not controlled. Galleries and art collectors want paintings with personality and creativity. Hashim asserts that not all areas of the painting should be represented with precision.
Resisting any attempt at copying the photograph (which is the easy option) or modifying his original bold vision of the scene, Hashim concentrates on applying interesting marks and looks for interesting colour combinations .He uses blocks of bright colour to draw attention to the focal points in the painting. Complimentary colours like blue and orange, red and green are exciting together as seen in the portrait below..
Hashim's demonstration painting was a street scene using a photograph of Brick Lane in London with a green base colour.The final stage of the painting pulled the composition together with lighter and darker tones,("punctuating areas") negative shapes and patches of colour.

Hashim, now a very successful artist, intends to concentrate more on his own painting in 2014. Nevertheless he still enjoys teaching. Last year he produced his 'Vibrant Acrylics" book and DVD he is now tutoring holidays abroad. More information on his website

See also our May 2011 page for his previous Totton Art Society demonstration.

Photos Di Alexander

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Danny Byrne (second from the right) created three charicatures of members Tony Rackham (left), Claire Palmer and visitor Terry Callen (centre) at the October demonstration.

Sunday, October 13, 2013



Peter Jacques, from Chandlers Ford, is an artist who has to meet tight deadlines. He has developed a technique that enables him to produce paintings and illustrations quickly. Moreover he can use a wide variety of styles: from a traditional landscape to an ultra-modern poster. He demonstrated how to paint Thames Barges to members of Totton Art Society in September.

Peter used a very large glass palatte over a sheet of white paper and a very large number of brushes: mainly filberts, flats and brights (shorter flats). He painted on MDF which had been primed with white gesso primer using a lange brush to create texture, particularly in the area destined to be focal point of the painting. He prefers to paint with fast-drying Alkyd oils together with very expensive Old Holland oils. His white tends to be creamy rather than pure titanium white.


Peter aims to use as few brush strokes as possible, very effectively. He has mastered the art of using the brush to produce many kinds of strokes and he encouraged members to build up their own 'library' of strokes. In his words: he does not dab, but produces a 'lively' layer of colour . He demonstrated his 'organic' brush stroke, where he twists a flat brush across the surface in an upward motion. Incidentally, the equestrian artist Rosemary Sarah Welch (who exhibits locally and in London) uses a similar technique in her equestrian paintings. Peter made full use of the texture in the primer and also left some of the support showing through the paint layers.

The water in the foreground featured some wonderful colour combinations: patches of green over viiolet and pink, naples yellow and phthalo blue, with burnt sienna reflected from the sails of the barges. Peter said that he 'entertains' the viewer using paint surface, colour and composition. His blocks of colour contain subtle colour variations which increase the illusion of realism. Alternatively bold colour combinations serve to keep the eye moving.

Peter has an unusual way of framing his oil paintings. He makes his own wide mounts from MDF.  The mounts are painted with emulsion paint and placed between the painting and glass. A few of the ones on display had a piece cut out to show the name of the artist and title of the painting. The result was a highly finished piece of artwork.

Peter's portraits command high prices and he is a professional illustrator. He now holds classes twice weekly for up to six people at his studio.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


24 artists sold a total of more than 40 paintings at this year's summer exhbition. The standard of entries exceeded all expectations and the professional quality of artists' greetings cards enhanced the event.

'Just Having a Rest' an acrylic painting by Peter Gurney
Live Life Like Someone Left the Gate Open' and 'What Tme Do You Call This?' acrylic paintings by Paula Anning

Betty Rackham and her acrylic painting 'Mont St. Michel from the Cote D’Emeraude'
'Rhiannon Porthlevin' an oil painting by Rosalind Saggs
Pat Garvey and her encaustic painting 'Stream of Life'
'Poppies' an acrylic painting by Jill Gillespie

'Colourfall'  an acrylic and glaze painting by Mary Maskell 

Shirley Lester and her acrylic painting 'Solo'

'Dramatic Splendour' an acrylic painting by Claire Palmer
Peter Warland and his watercolour painting 'Seagull'

'Chelsey Ex Furzey' an acrylic painting by Mary Andrews

Karen Frampton and her coloured pencil painting 'Venetian Window'

'Saddler's Mill' a watercolour painting by David Ridler
There was a wonderful selection of artists' cards for sale. Anne Hamerton's card 'Bude' was a popular choice with visitors
A selection of mounted, unframed paintings was on sale. Works purchased included works by Pam Payne, Ruth Edwards and Pam Whittington.

After the clearing up President Ruth Edwards and the Committee presented Anne with a special joke 'Head of Interruptions' certificate and badge.

Friday, August 30, 2013



Drop in and 'feel the difference' this year. There are surprising subjects such as Glennis Courtney's 'Wishing You Rainbows'. 

There are unusual techniques like Paula Anning's swirling acrylics and you will see more abstract paintings. The exhibition appears to be more colourful, for example Claire Palmer's volcanic 'Dramatic Splendour' blazes in the middle of it. Notice the new stands of unframed paintings and members' own greetings cards

Guest of Honour Alan Langford opened the show on Thursday 29th August with a thoughtful and humorous speech.

Alan mentioned a few artists by name: Pam Payne for her 'Papaver' watercolour; Rosalind Scraggs for her oils; Roy Fisher for his 'primative-style' works; Ruth Edwards for her 'All the Way Home, Fritham' watercolour; Di Alexander for her light effects; Derek Huntley for his painting of deer in oils and general mention of Shirley Lester and Anne Hamerton.
 Votes were cast for many different paintings at the Preview, but the winner of the Best Painting Rosette was Trevor Pike with his atmospheric 'Fog Bound'

The exhibition is mounted by Anne Hamerton, Mary Maskell and a team of dedicated artists who work extremely hard. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Please show your support by buying a raffle ticket or making a donation when you visit.

Photos: Di Alexander


John is a successful landscape painter and member of Totton Art Society. His August demonstration showed the later stages of painting a watercolour scene.

He included some useful painting tips: 
  • create foliage by applying a sponge with only a 'kiss and a whisper' i.e. hardly touching the paper
  • create sunlit foliage by applying white gouache+a touch of lemon yellow with a sponge
  • create a field of poppies  or roses around a door by applying white gouache with a sponge, then ading daps of red on top
  • use a closer-textured sponge for distant foliage
and framing tips :
  • use photographic corners to hold the painting against the mount
  • twist the cord to make it taut 

Photos: Di Alexander

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Sera Knight announced "I'm living dangerously this evening" at the begiining of her July demonstration. She is a spontaneous artist who particularly enjoys painting dancers. She was born in Turkey, worked as an architect in Norway and now lives in Woking.
Her first stage was a simple outline of a flamenco dancer with Neocolour II crayons she quickly moved to the second stage: collage.  
Applying smallish shapes of coloured newspaper to the foreground and background with PVA glue., Sera created an unusual structure, which was the basis for an unusual painting.

Prints of Sera's work
More texture was introduced in the third stage by sticking on pieces of acid-free tissue paper with diluted glue. Sera said that the effect was similar to the texture of an oil painting. The tissue also decreases the colours in parts of the picture, particularly the background.
After drying the picture, there were still plenty of white spaces left and Sera began the fourth stage. Using a dropper (she also uses a spray) Sera applied strong transparent coloured inks to glaze sections of the picture and then spreading it with a brush. The magenta was used on the figure and background and the yellow and blue areas on the background behind the figure.
Sera at the end of the demonstration
Sera prefers to use acrylic paints and watercolour brushes  in a dry brush technique for the fifth stage. She aimed to keep the colours tranparent, fearing that too many layers will create 'mud'. Should the painting be too wet, the colours sink into the paper; so it is helpful to leave it to dry overnight.
Her fifth stage was to increase the tonal contrast in some areas, for example painting light colours on the face using a small brush and darkening the negative spaces around it.Only a small portion of the figure was a natural skin tone. She also made no attempt to copy the folds of the skirt, preferring to move the brush in a flowing motion.

There was a lot of interest in Sera's work at the end of the evening.
Sera sent us a photograph of her painting after she had put the finishing touches to it at home. Her work is framed under glass. She has had exhibitions of her work in Trkey, Norway and London since 1983. We were indeed fortunate to see her at work.

Sera's finished painting

Monday, June 3, 2013


The Totton Art Society 'In-house' workshop on 1st June was all about experimenting. It was very successful, producing some good work at the end of the day. 

Our experts were:
Glennis Courtney demonstrating using Interactive acrylics to create a seascape,  
Mary Maskell using acrylics to create a coastal scene. 
Ruth Edwards using watercolours to create a forest scene.  
Claire Palmer using pastels to create a full-length portrait.

 Lesley Grosse and Kay Cavalier are seen here with their fabulous acrylic paintings .

Henry Needham created his own seascape.

Audrey Sharrar's delicate watercolour forest scene was painted under the guidance of the President of Totton Art Society Ruth Edwards.

David Butcher's forest in watercolour had quite a different atmosphere.

Glennis Courtney's demonstration painting was a seascape in the Roy Lang style, but with interactive acrylics.

Mary Andrews used dramatic lighting in her sunset scene.

Rosemary Cunliffe's enjoyed trying pastels with Claire Palmer.

Shirley Lester painted this accomplished, well-balanced coastal scene.

Muriel Hiscott did something completely different with this exotic forest scene.

Everyone who attended found the day found it to be relaxing and fun experience.