Figure painting inspired by watercolourist John Lidzey

On Saturday 2nd March, our penultimate Saturday Workshop of 2013 took place at the English Bridge Workshop. This month the artist chosen by the members of the group as the starting point for their day’s painting was the distinguished watercolourist, John Lidzey.

His subject matter includes landscapes, still lifes, flowers and figures, the latter typically seen in a corner of his studio. His loose and free flowing watercolours display a vivid and vital quality. After a helpful introduction from our leaders, Mike and Lynne, members spent the rest of the day painting the figure, working from our excellent model, Sally, who with her viola in hand managed to create and hold some challenging poses.

We took plenty of photos of the works in progress to give you a flavour of the day. We hope you enjoy them.

Collage (1 of 3) output from SAS Saturday Workshop 2013
Collage (2 of 3) output from SAS Saturday Workshop 2013
Collage (3 of 3) output from SAS Saturday Workshop 2013

Our final Saturday Workshop on 30th March will focus on the work of semi abstract landscape pastellist, Norman Blackburn. We realise it’s Easter Saturday but we hope to see as many of the Saturday Group as possible to round off our Workshop season!

Ben Nicholson inspires first Saturday Workshop of 2013

Collage of SAS Saturday Workshop, January 2013
Saturday Workshop, January 2013

In spite of low temperatures, sleeting rain and a few telephoned cancellations from far flung members who feared serious snow later in the day, seventeen of us assembled to launch our creative New Year together in the familiar surroundings of the English Bridge workshop.

The artist whose work was to provide the focus and stimulus for our day’s painting was Ben Nicholson, known to us particularly for his distinctive still life works with his subtly muted colours, skilfully achieved textures and tightly constructed compositions. For those of us who had enjoyed the November Gallery Trip to Cambridge and our visit to Kettle’s Yard, home to a good selection of his work, the reality of his paintings was still fresh in our mind’s eye.

The rich collection of stimulating artefacts and house plants, assembled by members, provided an exciting range of starting points. After a well researched introduction from our Saturday Workshop leaders, Lynne Morgan and Mick Krupa, we were soon fully absorbed in our paintings, working on through a very enjoyable day.

Welcome to a new Shropshire Art Society Painting Year, 2013 !

Happy New Year from the Shropshire Art Society!

It’s a brand new year, and we are looking forward to a wonderfully full and creative 2013 for the Shropshire Art Society. We ended our 2012 activities with a thoroughly enjoyable excursion to Birmingham and we’d like to share a little report of it here to tempt you to join us on any new gallery trips and social events that we announce over the year ahead. Meanwhile we wish all our members a very Happy New Year!

Collage of SAS Birmingham Gallery Day Trip 2012
A festive visit to Birmingham enjoyed by all!

On Tuesday 11th December, after a 9.15am start from Shrewsbury and a Wellington pick-up, our party of nearly fifty members and friends was soon having coffee in the welcoming foyer of the Barber Institute on the University Campus in Edgbaston. We were then able to enjoy pictures on display from its own rich collection and to view the Special Exhibition, ‘In Front of Nature’, featuring the work of Thomas Fearnley, a Norwegian painter with British connections, living in the first half of the 19th century. He travelled extensively across Britain and the Continent, seeking out and capturing its more dramatic scenery. As we left, a member commented that this was probably the best smaller gallery in the whole of the UK.

Just after midday, our coach took us to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery where an arrangement of very attractively laid out tables awaited us in their splendid Edwardian Tea Room. Here we enjoyed an excellent Christmas lunch, now an annual feature on the SAS calendar, before setting out to explore the riches of Birmingham’s major gallery and museum, the BM&AG. Most of us headed straight for the magnificent adjoining Gas Hall which was housing ‘Revealed’, a breath taking selection of works from the Government Art Collection. The items on display represented only a fraction of this major, very widely dispersed, collection, started in 1898 and designed to promote British art and history while contributing to cultural diplomacy. The items displayed had been chosen by Government ministers, senior administrators, cleaners and catering staff working in embassies, ministries and even No 10 Downing Street. The number, quality and range of the items displayed and the personal comments from the individuals who had been involved in choosing the artefacts for display, made this an unforgettable experience.

Soon it was time for a well deserved cup of tea, a quick visit to the Gallery shop and for some a snooze as the coach carried us safely back to Shropshire. What a great start to the festive season.

We look forward to making a similar trip in 2013!

Celebrating the close of the Saturday Workshop season – we resume again in the New Year!

Our thoroughly enjoyable Autumn season of Saturday workshops has drawn to a close. Over the past four months guided by the creativity and inspiration of SAS members Lynne Morgan and Mick Krupa, we have had the opportunity to explore and respond to the work of a range of art and artists.

Collage of SAS Saturday Workshop, flower painting 2012

Floral art was our first focus. The large upper floor studio of the English Bridge workshop was transformed with a rich variety of colourful blooms brought in by participants. The Impressionists, Van Gogh and Shirley Trevena, amongst others, were the stimulus for floral paintings in different styles. Maggie Hambling’s portraits and seascapes were our next challenge. Mick Krupa modelled, dressed for the part, enabling us to practise painting the figure from life. Maggie’s distinctive approach invited members to take risks in their painting with some interesting results. The bold colours of Raoul Duffy’s seascapes and still life provided vibrant material for members in November. Whilst at our final session this month, another of our members, Emma Roberts, kindly posed to allow us to respond to the work of Gustav Klimt.

Members value these sessions as opportunities to tackle new challenges with others in a supportive environment. This year for the first time in November, the results of Saturday sessions provided an exciting one day exhibition in the English Bridge Workshop Gallery. Sessions resume in the New Year. Thanks to Lynne and Mick for their organisation and input and to all participants for attending and engaging so positively with our programme.

Shropshire Art Society Autumn Exhibition continues until Saturday 1 December 2012

The Autumn Exhibition by members of the Shropshire Art Society is currently on show at the Bear Steps Gallery, St Alkmond’s Square, Shrewsbury. The Exhibition presents an impressive 113 framed works plus an excellent number of unframed works in a wide variety of media and subject matter.

The Reg Harrison and Harold Walker Salver Award — for the picture which in the opinion of the independent adjudicator best reflects the Shropshire countryside — was presented, by the Society President Jean Hammond, to Stewart Rankine for his picture titled ‘Changing Light’ (shown in the top right of the photo-collage above).

The following pictures were also commended :

‘ Fragments of Shropshire‘ by Wen Williamson
‘ Winter Sets In‘ by Maggie Humphrey
‘ Edge of Poles Coppice‘ by Helen Sample
‘ Morning Mist‘ by Blanche James
‘ Shropshire View, Autumn’ by Alan Townsend
‘ Trees on the side of a Hill’ by Reg Turrell

The exhibition continues until Saturday 1 December 2012. We hope to see you there!