Sketch Club starts new season at Hundred House Hotel

Our April outing (the first of the Shropshire Art Society Summer Sketch Club season) to the Hundred House Hotel (www.hundredhouse.co.uk) and Norton village was a successful event. The weather in the morning was overcast, with a blustery, cold wind, brightening up later in the day. There were plenty of interesting views to draw, including old brick & timber buildings, thatched roofs, a quirky flower and herb garden, and inside the Hundred House Hotel, a cornucopia of objects and furniture in several rooms. It was a most enjoyable and productive day out.

Report and photographs with thanks to Alison Williamson. We hope to see you on a sketch day soon!

Shropshire Art Society Bristol and Bath Gallery Weekend

On Friday 15th March, 46 of our members and friends set out on our twelfth Annual Gallery Weekend, this time to Bristol and Bath.

Showers did not dampen our spirits, and we enjoyed our first day, exploring the National Trust village of Lacock and its magnificent Abbey and ancient inns. The delights of Bristol, with its museums and galleries, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, attractive waterfront, excellent covered market and niche shops, kept us busy through Saturday and Sunday morning. Then on Sunday afternoon, the stunning National Trust owned Tyntesfield House beckoned, with its original contents, including a centrally heated billiard table, largely preserved intact through its occupancy. Finally, Monday allowed us plenty of time for us to savour the attractions of Bath, both architectural and gourmet, before heading for an 8pm return to Shrewsbury. Our very comfortable and welcoming hotel and the good spirits of our party ensured that an excellent weekend was enjoyed by all.

Plans are already being hatched for a return London Gallery Weekend in March 2014. Watch this space!

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!