Aberystwyth Gallery Trip – great art and gorgeous sunshine!

42 of us went to Aberystwyth on 14th July, stopping on our journey across Wales in Newtown, to see the Oriel Davies Open 2018 exhibition – and for refreshments. This was a first visit for many people to a small but prize-winning gallery, showing us a real mixture of contemporary art.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth’s exhibition, Kyffin Williams: Behind the Frame, marks the centenary of the artist’s birth. Probably most of the group was already familiar with this artist’s impasto landscapes but this also showed a range of portraits, so our eyes were opened wider. Seeing some of the archive collection of his drawings – including some wonderfully self-deprecating cartoons – sketchbooks, letters and diaries added in something special, and sent us away with more understanding of the importance of this particular artist not just in Wales, as well as simply having given a lot of people a lot of pleasure.

There were no complaints on the day about the sunshine, which encouraged a lot of people to also fit in a bit of time down on Aberystwyth’s seafront.

Once again we used Longmynd Travel and their good service was much appreciated. Our thanks go to Jillian and Jennifer Wallace who organised the trip and who are now working on plans for the next Gallery Day Trip, to exhibitions in Manchester in the autumn. And, we are very grateful to Anne Linton for her perfect photographic record of the day.

2018 Summer Exhibition opens at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury

UPDATE!!! Post has been updated to include the winner of The People’s Prize, see below!

Our Summer Exhibition was opened at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury on Saturday 23rd June by Dr Tim Jenkins, Culture & Heritage Services Manager – Shropshire; he was introduced by the Society’s President Wilfred Langford, and gave a splendid speech to the members and guests at the Preview, explaining the unique nature of Shropshire, and making us all (and our art) feel part of a very special cultural heritage.

The Townsend Family were there in force, Alan (Judy’s husband), his three daughters and one of his grand daughters, to select the painting to be awarded this year’s Judy Townsend Memorial Prize… it was great to have three generations of the family involved in choosing Rob Leckey’s painting Aber Foreshore — Caernarfon to win the £100 prize. Here (below) is the painting, which features a more vibrant turquoise colour in real life than the photo shows. It was Rob’s use of colour and space in this painting that was commented on by the Townsend girls in their presentation speech; they said that as well as the stunning turquoise (which they loved), they found the painting intriguing, and that it drew them in to its narrative as soon as they saw it. Congratulations Rob!

We are very grateful to John Willetts and his team for organising and staging the Exhibition so professionally; a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen smoothly. And of course we are delighted that so many of our members take part in exhibiting their work, which is truly varied in subject matter, style and size… there is something for everyone (including a lovely array of greetings cards by our members) to enjoy, and buy… if you visit bring your wallets!

Do visit the Exhibition and vote for your favourite, put your vote in the voting box on the table, as a People’s Prize of £50 is awarded to the painting that receives the most votes. The Exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm daily (not Sundays) and runs until 7th July at 2pm. We hope to see you there!

UPDATE!!! The winner of the People’s Prize 2018 was Lynne Morgan for her painting The Wrekin From Cressage. Here’s a detail from bothe the winning paintings… apologies for any reflections in the glass, it’s tricky to photograph in St. Mary’s Church!

(Photos with thanks to Anne Linton and Sally Townsend Blake.)

Beautiful Beaumaris Paintaway in perfect weather!

Our annual early summer Paintaway to Beaumaris in Anglesey, from 21st to 25th May, was blessed with almost perfect weather.

Collage of SAS Paintaway 2018 to Beaumaris
Shropshire Art Society Beaumaris paintaway 2018 (photos with thanks to Frank Hilton)

This enabled us to explore far and wide across the island and on to the immediate mainland, returning to favourite spots or seeking out new sketching locations. These included formerly bustling harbours such as Amlwch, small, almost hidden churches, and wild, remote beaches. For some of us there was a return to the dramatic moonscape of Parys Mountain, where huge craters and a mine headstock still bear testimony to the scale of the former quarrying and mining for copper, which has left exotic and multi-coloured spoil exposed in every direction.

We were well looked after in the comfortable Bulkeley Hotel, situated on the edge of the Menai Straits with splendid views across to the mountains of Snowdonia.

On the final evening we had an opportunity to enjoy each other’s sketchbooks, compare notes on our various adventures and to look ahead to next year’s Paintaway project.

Thanks are due to the very helpful staff of the hotel, to Alan Townsend, who organised our stay, and all those who helped in any way to make the event a friendly and productive experience.

Finally a big thank you to all for their positive participation and to Frank Hilton for his excellent photographic record.

Thank you Jeremy! A great 2nd Judith Moy Memorial lecture.

On a particularly fine Friday 4th May evening, some 50 members and friends gathered at the Trinity Centre in Meole Brace for the second of our annual Judith Moy Memorial lectures, designed to celebrate her considerable contribution to the Society’s development.

On this occasion we were fortunate to have as our speaker, Jeremy Yates, President of the Royal Cambrian Art Society, in which role he follows in the footsteps of Augustus John and more recently Kyffin Williams. The title of his lecture, “In Artists’ Footsteps through Snowdonia” reflected our request for him to talk about The long tradition of painters exploring and responding to this exciting landscape. Drawing on his considerable knowledge he took us from the earliest responses of these travelling artists up to those of Kyffin Williams and our immediate contemporaries, such as David Tress, well known to us in Shropshire.

Collage of Jeremy Yates giving the 2018 SAS Judith Moy Memorial Lecture
Jeremy Yates gave the 2018 second Judith Moy Memorial Lecture (photos, thanks to Anne Linton)

At our request he brought for display some fine examples of his own landscape paintings.

He was warmly thanked by Wilf Langford, retiring Chairman, on behalf of those present. Alan Townsend was also thanked for organising the event.

Our thanks go, too, to Anne Linton for her photographs of the evening as well as to the staff of the Trinity Centre for their assistance in making the arrangements and for their help on the night.

On the day in two hours, Ron Satterthwaite’s excellent demo portrait

There was a very good attendance of members and friends at the Trinity Centre on Tuesday 10th April for a lively demonstration of portrait painting by Ron Satterthwaite.

Collage of Ron Sattherthwaite's 2018 portrait demo for the SAS
Ron Satterthwaite’s ‘completed on the day in two hours’ demo portrait of Sheila Martin.

Sheila Martin, one of the members present was selected by the drawing of lots to be the model for the afternoon and was later the delighted recipient of the finished portrait. In the course of the two hour demonstration, Ron created a fine portrait of Sheila. Working freely with strong colour on a multi-coloured ground he created an excellent likeness which captured the essence of the sitter’s character.

Our thanks are due to artist and model for another enjoyable and instructive demo and to Rob Leckey for continuing to organise such an attractive programme. Also a big thank you to those members responsible for producing the delicious cakes for consumption during the break. All in all, a great afternoon!