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Saturday, December 13, 2014



Although the weather was in a frosty winter mood attendance was good at the Palm Room on Wednesday.

Helen got things going by showing us a display of pictures illustrating the optical tricks used by artists in their work. The simplest of these is using perspective (linear or aerial) to create depth in the picture while artists such as Escher, Bruno Ernst, and in more recent times Bridget Riley deal only with illusion in their work. Even Salvador Dali used the illusion to good effect and trompe l'oeil has always been a popular art form. The display caused much amusement as we tried the "tricks" out on each other.

After we had eaten the Christmas fare and Pat and Paula had distributed the raffle prizes, we formed a circle to carry out the main aim of the evening. This was to pick a charity to support. Members had brought paintings, photographs, poems etc that represented something of meaning in their lives and which had influenced them enough to want to support a particular charity. The charities chosen were Help for Heroes, It's Your Choice, the Salvation Army, the Trussell Trust and the Wildlife Trust. We put a pound in the pot to vote for the one we thought we would support which turned out to be "It's Your Choice" sponsored by Di. This charity helps young people who are going through a difficult time in their lives and need help and support.

We were forced to end the very enjoyable evening through lack of time and our thanks go to Di and Helen for organising it and to Pat and Paula for arranging the raffle.

Finally we'd like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing all at the next meeting on January 28th 2015!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Party, 10th December in the Lilac Room at 7-30pm

This year our party will be a "Christmas Chat for Charity."
As well as "nibbles" bring along a painting or any object, song, poem etc that has affected you in some way in life and tell us about it. There will be a collection and a vote to decide which charity it should go to.
Our parties are always great fun so make your way to the Lilac Room, Civic Centre at 7-30 on 10th December.   

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Wendy started with a short talk on materials used in acrylic painting. For the evening's painting she was using a canvas but watercolour or acrylic paper, canvas board, mount board and M.D.F. can all be used successfully.  The basic brushes are flats and riggers - she was using a brush of her own design similar to a swordtail. Starter packs of paints are good value for money and she always uses a stay-wet palette.  She recommended using texture pastes such as sand or glass beads to introduce some variety into the painting but "be careful not to over-do it!"  They are put under the paint.

The painting had been roughly drawn onto the canvas and highlights  been put in using masking fluid and a ruling pen. Wendy started painting by laying in washes for the background varying the tone and using a mix of blue and burnt sienna with a touch of green. Foreground shadows and windows were painted next using a dark tone of the same mix.

Then, using thicker paint, a green canopy and flowers on a balcony were placed in the picture followed by umbrellas, table and chair legs, shutters etc and finally people. A wash of yellow ochre was put on the foreground

The masking fluid was removed and then the highlight areas toned down slightly with a wash. Finishing touches were then worked by increasing the contrast between shadow and sunny places and adding detail eg. to balconies, shutters and foreground areas.

Although Wendy was painting on a white canvas she often uses yellow ochre for sunny pictures or red under green for foliage etc. Finally she showed us her sketchbook and photographs of reference material that is used in paintings or as teaching aids for her workshops.

This was a truly inspirational evening. Wendy had not only produced a beautiful painting but had taught us many things. Everyone went away feeling enthused and keen to try out acrylics for themselves. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014


Looking forward to the evening with Wendy Jelbert on Wednesday (26th).

The One-Day-Sale last Saturday was a successful event with a good number of pictures and cards sold. Thanks to all
members who produced a terrific display.  Photos below:-


Friday, November 14, 2014

One Day Sale 10am to 4pm TOMORROW

Start getting ready to hand paintings (framed or unframed ) in tomorrow between 9 and 9-30am at the Three Score Club with hanging fees. Presentation and labelling as for the Exhibition. Collection of unsold work is at 4pm. Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lantern Procession

We have just received this e-mail from the new Art-E-Mail  for Totton  about this years Lantern Procession:-

Light it up with the Lantern Procession.

Local people will be getting stars in their eyes when artist Caroline Rackham will be making star lanterns with local residents from Totton and Eling.  The lanterns will be in readiness for the Totton and Eling Lantern Procession, which takes place on the 7th December this year.

The lantern making workshop will take place on the 22nd November from 12 to 3 pm (free entry) at Hounsdown Community Centre where Children and adults will be making star lanterns using a special cut paper technique which they will then be able to carry in the procession on the 7th.  More details can be found on posters or contact Caroline on

The lantern procession will leave the Countrywide car park at 5pm on the 7th December to walk down Salisbury Road, Commercial Road and Beaumont Road.  With the fair, bands like Back 2 Swing, and carol singing taking place until 8pm.

There will be a second workshop at on December 6th - details later.

 The new Art-E-Mail is aimed at advertising any Totton-related art events- meetings, exhibitions, workshops etc
 Any members wishing to receive the information directly or advertise an event get in touch with Caroline as above. The full newsletter, sent out once a month, will be put on the notice board at our meetings and on this blog.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Next Meeting, Wednesday 26th November

Our demonstrator for this evening will be Wendy Jelbert.

Wendy is a nationally well-known artist who will paint a French café scene for us in acrylic.
Details of Wendy's work with examples of her paintings can be seen on her web-site.

Friday, November 7, 2014


The sale takes place on Saturday 15th November. All paintings, cards, and mounted pictures should be given in with the completed form and entry fees from 9 to 9-30am. at the Three Score Club.

Publicity is important for an event like this so please tell as many as possible about the sale. It is an ideal opportunity to get Christmas presents etc. and people are usually pleased to hear about it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Affordable Art Fair

Claire, Anne, Mary and her husband Mike went to the final day of the Affordable Art Fair in London on Sunday. This is an annual event.  Claire says it is well worth the visit as there are so many different media and styles of art on display. She has sent pictures of three demonstrations of oil portraits - very relevant after the August meeting.                          

Our meeting with Derek Witts on October 22nd was cancelled at very short notice so instead we were shown three DVDs.

THE FIRST was a demonstration by Geoff Kersey on painting a bluebell wood in watercolour.

      He sketched in the main elements of the picture and masked off tree trunks, branches and a horizon line. Then the basic washes were mixed to produce different greens and yellows for the tree canopy and blue for the sky. The colours used were :-
                                          aureolin and cobalt blue
                                          lemon yellow
                                          aureolin, ultramarine and raw sienna
                                          ultramarine and burnt sienna
                                          cobalt blue and manganese violet for the sky.

After thoroughly wetting the paper the washes were applied starting with the sky and ending with the darkest green in the foreground. The painting was then left to dry.

The next stage was to paint the bluebells The masking fluid on the horizon line was removed and the distant bluebells painted in sky colour. The colour was deepened toward the foreground. Green was put around the base of the trees and edge of the path.

Masking fluid was removed from the tree trunks which were then washed with sky colour and burnt sienna for distant trees and branches and raw sienna added to the mix for frontal trees.

Lemon yellow was added to the foliage using a No. 8 brush on its side and shadow areas emphasised in the same way using dark green mixes.

Geoff then started on the final stage of painting the path using a wash of raw sienna and burnt sienna. A highlight was removed with a dry brush and dappled shadow added using sky colour.

Bluebell colour was deepened in the foreground and highlights added by mixing the colour with a small amount of white gouache.

The Second DVD- a wave burst demonstrated by Roy Lang using oils.

After sketching in the rock, wave and sand  Roy started painting by putting in the sky using ultramarine and alizarin. Then the foam was placed behind the rock using titanium white and cadmium yellow pale. The rock was painted using a mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine with reflections at the top using deep sky colour and some sap green at the base. Fissures were represented using a rigger brush and dark rock colour and white trickles of water.

The sea was painted next using dark ultramarine and cobalt blue and foam put in at the edge. Spattered foam was added over the wave burst and wave and the sand painted in yellow ochre. Highlights were put in using titanium white.

The Final DVD  was Vic Bearcroft's demonstration of an Amur Leopard in pastel.

Vic was using his own photographs taken in a zoo for his basic drawing. He did a basic outline and then put in the dark markings with raw sienna using soft pastel and naples yellow for the light areas in the fur. The eyes were painted with hard Conte pastel using yellow for the base of the eye and highlight on top of the black pupil. Dark pink was used for the nose with a black outline and shadows and black for  the mouth. The next stage was to strengthen the fur colours and add the white of the chest and white highlights on the ears. Finally firm flicks of hard white pastel were used to put in the whiskers.

All three videos were very helpful and informative and the evening successful.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our next Demonstration is this Wednesday (22nd October) at the Three Score Club. David Witts will paint a portrait of a cat in watercolour. This should be very interesting as it always seems difficult to paint fur in watercolour and animal eyes are usually a challenge in any medium.

The One-Day-Sale is on Saturday 15th November and Mary Maskell will be giving out details for handing in paintings etc 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Joan finished her picture which she started at our demonstration evening and has kindly sent us a photograph.

Monday, October 13, 2014


At the Hillier gardens there is an exhibition by the New Road Art Group. There is a wide range of  subjects represented all approached in a non-traditional way using a variety of media. The result is an unusual and inspiring exhibition. Entry is free and the exhibition runs until28th October.

At Mottisfont Abbey there is an Open Show which includes craft work, sculpture, embroidery as well as paintings in different media from more than 90 different artists. The show runs until November 16th.  Normal National Trust entry fee required. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Joan Scott's demonstration of a coastal landscape was unusual and inspiring.
Her base was mount card on which she had glued a newspaper cut-out of two headlands. She then added another strip of paper as a base for a distant coastline and corrugated cardboard jetties. Then using thin card of various colours Joan glued houses (smaller in the distance) onto the headland and the rear of three boats with their cabins onto the foreground sea.
The sea was painted next in watercolour using darker tones to show reflections from the jetty and boats. The next stages made use of other media such as Indian ink, acrylic ink, oil pastels and white gouache to add details in houses and boats, ripples on the water and colour in the hills and jetties.
The final picture amazed us all and left us determined to "have a go" with any odd bits of card, paper etc. that we can find. We are all indebted to Joan for showing us what can be done using such very mixed media.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We are starting our autumn programme with a demonstration by Joan Scott on Sept. 23rd. Joan will paint a coastal landscape using mixed media and collage so should include something for everyone.

The exhibition "Natural Collection" is well worth seeing at the Hillier Gardens. It features botanical paintings in a variety of styles, etchings and aquatints, collagraphs, textiles with embroidery mostly based on wool/ felt and watercolours. Entrance to the exhibition is free and it ends on Sunday 28th September.

Friday, September 5, 2014

After a very successful and well attended opening by David Harrison the exhibition is now well under way. There have been plenty of favourable comments and a good number of pictures sold. The exhibition finishes at 5pm on Saturday when pictures can be collected. Congratulations to everyone for making 2014 another successful show.

Artist : Peter Gurney

Artist : Trevor Pike

Artist : Di Alexander

Artist : Pam Payne
During the opening people voted for the best picture and the four above all received exactly the same number of votes.
General Views of the Exhibition :


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Hampshire Open Studios event is now well under way and if you are not too busy getting ready for our Annual Exhibition it is good idea to is to select an area and spend a day visiting the studios. Most are open until Monday 25th August  and many until the end of the month - check in the brochure to make sure.

 Four of our Committee members - Ruth, Anne, Mary, and Claire - are exhibiting as Testwood Arts in Whinwistle Road,  East Wellow and some other members have open studios in the Lyndhurst area.  Some past speakers such as Wendy Jelbert and Claire Wiltshire are also taking part.

Congratulations to Roy Fisher who has had two pictures accepted in the New forest Show Art Exhibition. The exhibition is on at the New Forest Visitors centre at Lyndhurst until the end of the month and is well worth a visit. Entrance is free.
Christmas at Ashlett Creek


Saturday, August 2, 2014

John Rosser demonstration
At our meeting on July23 rd., with a change to the programme, we welcomed John Rosser from Poole.

John is an entertaining speaker and started by relating the story of how he "lost" a painting given to him by Francis Bacon. He used to share a studio with Bacon and slept in a roll of canvas!

Now living at Sandbanks he works outside and paints views of the beach especially as seen from his house. This was the subject of his main demonstration picture. First he showed us his working method by drawing the audience. Using felt-tip pens, he sketches first in one colour then refines the picture in a second colour so removing any mistakes.

For his beach scene he did a basic drawing in turquoise using gouache. He then put more detail in the picture starting with the sky and using a few appropriate colours. All the time he was very careful not to loose areas of light. He finished with a small brush to put in a few foreground details. The  result was a beautiful impressionistic beach scene full of light and life.     

Sketch of the audience
John with his beach scene near completion
Another of John's paintings

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Waterperry Trip

A great day! That was our verdict at the end of an inspiring visit.

We always return from Waterperry amazed at the variety and standard of art and craft in this country. An entire marquee was devoted to painting. As usual the glasswork, ceramics and embroidery were stunning as well as furniture (including musical instruments) jewellery and metalwork. We were fascinated at the different types of printing being demonstrated and in the International Tent we watched cut paper work using sheep shears, marbling and intricate wood carving. At lunchtime we listened to the A440 String Orchestra in the Amphitheatre then wandered round the gardens. The Art Materials Tent was well worth a visit. All this was interspersed with drinks on the lawns and a "Wimbledon" Pancake (the best bit!)

 We are very grateful to Helen for organising this trip which went very smoothly and gave us a memorable day.

Cut Paper Work
The finished picture
Glass Gramophone
A rest in the shade
The Next Meeting is on Wednesday 23rd July
NOTE the change of demonstrator
It's John Rosser - should be good.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Waterperry visit


Reminder to get the coach at 8 am outside the Countrywide stores on Saturday.


 If you look at the Art in Action website you can plan your day and work out the artists etc that you most want to see. There is some very exciting work on show not only in painting but glass, printmaking, woodwork and many others. There are also art materials for sale from many firms so go with a list. Music and drama events will be taking place and there are also the gardens to walk around. The day won't be long enough!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jake Winkle demonstration

The demonstration by Jake Winkle exceeded our expectations and was excellent. He decided to do two pictures for us, one on the view from the Accademia Bridge ,Venice and the other a view of a small town on the Costa Brava.

Jake started his Venice painting by drawing an outline of the buildings on the skyline starting at the centre or focal point. He then drew the base of the buildings, main shadow areas and vertical lines such as windows.

 Painting started with the darkest shadow areas, again beginning in the centre

and using a mix of browns, greys and blues. He continued in this way with the windows, roofs and areas of vegetation.

The sky was painted with washes of raw sienna near the base and cobalt blue and turquoise elsewhere. The colours were repeated in the reflections in the water using darker tones in the foreground.

Using various tones of light red, crimson, lemon yellow and violet the buildings were depicted next, making sure that many areas of white were left.

Finally the foreground reflection of the buildings and gondola poles were painted using a black mixed from sepia and ultramarine. A gondola crossing the canal was then added as the finishing touch.

The second painting was done in a similar way by starting with a drawing of the shape of the mountains, roofline and shadow areas.  Here Jake was aiming to paint the light not the buildings.

Painting started with the mountains using warm turquoise and crimson in the foreground and cool cobalt and crimson in the background. He then started on the buildings by painting their shadows and mixing the colours on the paper. A few odd roofs were added using red. Windows (mainly in the foreground) were painted using black. The final touch was rendering the town reflection in a dark colour and the sea in turquoise.

The evening ended with lively questions and left us feeling very inspired to try watercolours in this way especially at the work evening on July 9th.

Also on this evening it will be possible to order frames for pictures going into the Exhibition.

Costa Brava Town

Jake and Venice

View from Accademia Bridge

The next demonstration evening is on July 23rd when Penny Wilton will demonstrate painting on silk but before this is our visit to Waterperry gardens on July 19th.     

Pastel Workshop Pictures

 Tea break discussion

                                                                  On to the next stage 
Still Life in the Afternoon

Monday, June 23, 2014

The pastel workshop run by Graham Oliver was excellent.

Graham first told us about pastels and papers before taking us through the different stages in painting a scene based on the Solent coast.

After drawing a basic composition and choosing our colours we laid the pastel on thickly, resisting the need to rub the pastel into the paper until the whole picture was covered. After the colours were blended we added final details such as rocks in the foreground and yachts in the distance.

The afternoon session was spent putting what we had learnt in the morning into practice on a still life painting set up by Graham.

The afternoon closed with a very constructive critique of our work by Graham.

Graham is an excellent teacher and we all left feeling we had learnt much and

had an inspiring day.   



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Next on our programme is the Graham Oliver Workshop on Saturday 21st June 10.00 - 4.00pm.

Don't forget to bring newspaper and wet wipes with your usual pastels, paper, sketchbook, easel etc.


On Wednesday 25th June we welcome back Jake Winkle for a demonstration evening. He will be painting a Venetian scene in watercolour in his unique style. He sees the picture as a series of shapes in different colours and tones  and captures  light and movement  in a unique way. He is also an excellent teacher who did a memorable

workshop for us after his last visit. We look forward to an instructive and entertaining evening.


Also on the evening we pay for the Waterperry trip and collect entry forms for the Summer Exhibition.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Robert Dudley Demonstration

Robert started the evening in a lively manner with anecdotes about his early career including his work on "Shaun the Sheep"

His first premise for any art work is that it is a visual communication between artist and viewer.

 The major part of a painting is the planning. This involves primarily observation and thinking of the content but also making sketches (about 12) and taking photographs (about 200) He will readily omit or move objects in a scene to achieve his aim of communicating what he feels about the painting. Light is an important factor especially with water as the subject.

He started his picture by using masking fluid to create sparkle on the sea. The mask is diluted and the brush dipped in a solution of warm water and detergent and then masking fluid each time it is used. Continual use produces a good splayed brush.

The next stage was the sky which was painted so that a light area was left in the centre with more washes in some areas

The sea followed using Ultramarine and Winsor Blue to produce horizontal streaks of colour. Areas around the masking fluid were darkened to emphasise the waves. The whole was carefully worked over and blended using a large brush. An atomiser produced streaks of colour to indicate reflections.

The distant headland was then painted using Permanent Rose and Ultramarine used pale in the distance and strong in the foreground. More detail was added with Green Gold and Burnt Sienna.

Finally, after putting in finishing touches and detail, a few yachts were placed to emphasise the focal point of the painting.

The final result was a beautiful picture which Robert has very kindly given as a raffle prize at our Annual Exhibition.  
Rob with the finished painting
Light on the sea
Another of Rob's paintings

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Congratulations to everyone for a brilliant display at the One Day Sale -  it certainly helped the Festival off to a good start. Eleven paintings were sold and some cards, which is very good for this time of year. Hope everyone enjoyed it and the festival events and workshops which were very successful. The shop and the exhibition at the Anchor are continuing for the next few weeks so don't miss them!

Some pictures of the One Day Sale follow:

Handing in

Setting up
  Ready for sale

 Our demonstration evening is tomorrow when we welcome Bob Dudley who will paint a seascape in watercolour.