David Hardcastle wrote "I thought that our regular painting trip to Suffolk with the East Coast Painters would not go ahead this year. But Dennis (in his late 80s and one of the original leaders of the group) said it was his only holiday this year and he was going ahead, even if it meant painting on his own. Then someone else said: "Well if Dennis is going, then so shall I!" and it snowballed from there. In the end we had 14 who came along at some stage, and usually 9 or 10 each day. We visited Sizewell Beach (right by the power station), Beccles Quay, Walberswick Beach, Orford Quay, Crow Hall (Jim Power's neighbour) and Southwold Harbour. No formal agenda or tuition, just a group of friends meeting up to paint in company.
The group has been going for some 40 years, starting in Dorset and visiting various parts of the UK. I was press-ganged into being organiser when the previous leader was getting infirm. We now meet in the second week of September (10th -17th in 2021) and all are welcome to attend. Some of us stay at the Crown pub in the delightful village of Westleton but others use B&Bs or rent locally. A number of locals also come along and sometime we are joined by the Norwich Art Society. A few of my paintings from this year's trip are shown below, including my painting of Maggie Hamblin's studio at Sizewell (middle picture) which sold in the PAC online exhibition."
Ingrid Skoglund reported that it had been an interesting summer, exhibition-wise, in 2020. "When Denbies gallery re-opened after lockdown many bookings for the gallery had been cancelled. A group of exhibiting friends took a gamble and mopped up all the spare weeks - giving us a clear run of 5 weeks exhibition time in the gallery. This gave me the opportunity to show an unusual artwork - both in size (1M x 1.2M) and in construction - the culmination of much experimental work with acrylic. The Edge Of Dreams, created in creams, golds and smoky greys, portrays a Dreamscape - a narrative of how one drifts in and out of Dreams with glimpsed shadows and small fragments of dream half remembered (on right).
I used archival quality Golden paints which absolutely glow, on a stretched linen canvas completed with a professionally made gold frame. I was blown away when some delightful buyers took this piece for a prominent place in their home - along with several other of my pieces. I now plan on creating a series of Dreamscapes - a new giant canvas awaits my attention while I think about its composition."
Steve Wells reported that he had joined the Surrey Hills Plein Air Painters. This group meets most Friday mornings for a two hour session, whatever the weather. They have no fees and you just need to live in Surrey, paint as much as you can and get onto their mailing list. They have a few professional artists, Roger Dellar, Robbie Murdock and Rick Holmes, all members of the famous Wapping group of artists. Anthony Shelton, who joined Pirbright Art Club in 2020, is also a member. Steve regularly posts his plein air paintings on Facebook and one is shown left.
Elaine Balmer's painting 'Golden Days' (right) was sold to the Hilton Hotel group having been selected for the Lightbox virtual exhibition and for display in the new Victoria Square development. The Victoria Square Art Project is a Woking-wide art competition celebrating work from those who live, work, study or have an affiliation to Woking. The exhibition is currently being held online. See the Lightbox website, www.thelightbox.org.uk
Elaine writes "Earlier in the year I entered the Lightbox Open Call exhibition, not expecting anything to come of it so I was delighted to have Golden Days accepted for the exhibition.
Then on the virtual private view I found that the painting had already been reserved for sale. Later I was told it is going to the new Hilton Hotel and is being reproduced to hang in all the bedrooms. Well I think they have a huge bargain as they are only paying £50 extra for the repro rights but unfortunately it's in the T&Cs! I didn't take much notice of them as I never thought of this outcome! Anyway, I'm very pleased with the outcome. And I've also sold the companion piece! So an excellent result."
Elaine has also taken part in the Woking Society of Arts pop-up exhibitions in the Peacocks shopping centre, where she sold several of her paintings. Other Pirbright members who also sold paintings there are Jadwiga Grimshaw and Nina Klein.
David Harmer reported an April sale, "This was from my Artfinder site. I sold 'Reigate from the Tunnel' - the painting (right) went to a buyer in Reigate of all places. Parcelforce collected so I didn't have to break my isolation, and it was delivered the following day. The lady who bought the painting has sensibly put the package into quarantine.
I did also sell another painting from my Artfinder site in January, to the USA. Two paintings from the Artfinder site in one year would be good. In one quarter is something of a record".
In May, David reported that he sold 'Eilean Donan Castle, Lochalsh' (below left) from his own website. As he says "Very pleased about that as that brings sales to three for the year at a time when there are no local exhibitions."
In September, David wrote "I seem to have benefitted from the lockdown factor this year. Usually I might sell one or maybe two from my Artfinder shop per year. This year to date I have sold seven, six from my Artfinder shop and one from my own website. Mostly to UK customers although one did go to the US. The latest sale was Horses in the Snow (below left) which sold remarkably quickly."
Maggie Read, Stephen Jones, Ingrid Skoglund and David Drury exhibited at Denbies Wine Estate as part of the Village Artists group, from 24th February until 8th March, 2020. The exhibition had just finished when the news of the first National Lockdown begun to emerge!
Ingrid Skoglund, had one of her paintings accepted for the Royal Watercolour Society's Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition at the Bankside Gallery, London SE1 9JH between 6th and 18th March, 2020. Ingrid is shown here with her entry, "Look up in the Sky and See".
All the entries can be seen by clicking here
Maureen Phillips, a member of our Drawing Group; Watercolour Plus! and Thursday Original groups, recently exhibited at the Guildford Model Engineering Society event. Maureen says "The Society hold a yearly two day gala event, mostly engineering, of course, but we have a stand exhibiting other skills by members, woodwork, needlecraft, knitting, art, etc.. This year (2019) I was voted into second place by a public vote for my acrylic painting - painted at Art Club, following the monthly theme of 'An Engine - Monochrome in Acrylics' - entitled "Wheels".
Sue Pallot writes "While husband Chris was chatting to his pub acquaintances and showing them (on his mobile) my latest painting of a deer on the outside of our house, the village butcher asked him if I would consider painting an animal mural under his shopfront window - leaving me to decide on the design.
Not the easiest project as the panel was at ground level and 12 foot by 8 inches. The animals were relevant to his shop with alternate herbs between them. I made a thumbnail sketch of the design and actual size acrylic paintings of the animals to show him. These were cut out and used as templates, the herbs were taken out of the garden and painted from life.
Only being able to do it on Sundays when the shop was closed, it took me 4 weeks to complete, partly due to the weather and how long I could sit on the ground!"
LANDSCAPE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
In July 2018, Maggie Read took part in Sky Art Landscape Artist of the Year competition at Inverary, on Loch Fyne, as one of the Wildcard Artists - see photos below
Nina Klein had one of her paintings accepted by the Royal Society of British Artists for their Annual exhibition at the Mall Gallery during March 2018. Nina, shown right at the Gallery alongside her picture, "Dark, Dark Wood", has written about her experiences during the selection process.
"I sent a digital photo of my painting in December 2017 and was notified of my pre-selection. This entailed taking it to the Mall Gallery for further selection by a panel and - surprisingly - it got through and was hung in the Main Gallery during the Exhibition.
This was the first London exhibition I'd ever entered and I really didn't expect to hear anything ever again. It just shows - you have to be in it to win it! It even made it to the Surrey Advertiser!
Philip Mould from BBC's "Fake or Fortune" opened the Private View and I met a couple of other non-members who had travelled down from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to see their pictures displayed. Two of us were in the Main Gallery which was an added treat.
It's been an interesting venture, as there was quite an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures, prints, etc. that were chosen.... I am still none the wiser as to what they might be looking for but they do seem to be opening up a little more from previous years and selecting more from non-members, so it is really worth giving it a try."
Jenny Griffiths completed a painting for the Eikon room at Collingwood School, Camberley, used by young people with Eikon staff and volunteers. Jenny says "This is by far the largest painting I've ever attempted (120 x 75 cms). It is deliberately dream-like and has several symbolic elements relating to Eikon's mission to support young people to be confident, thriving and resilient - the river, the rainbow, the swan, the young person emerging from the leaves as she discovers her identity". Jenny is shown (below) handing the painting over to Eikon's mentoring coordinator in Surrey Heath.
QUEX "ART IN THE PARK" EXHIBITION
Maggie Read and Stephen Jones exhibited at the QuExhibition event held at Quex Park, Birchington in Kent during December. The paintings on display were all done "en plein air" at art-in-the-park days held at Quex House (home of the Powell-Cotton Museum). These painting days took place throughout the Summer, once a month. Further details can be found on the Quex website.
Stephen Jones, then a member of the former Tuesday group, was shortlisted for Artists & Illustrators magazine's "Artists of the Year" award. His painting 'Echos' (right) was among 50 paintings selected from thousands of entries and was exhibited at London's Mall Galleries.
Stephen says "I first heard about the competition whilst visiting Art in Action in July 2017 with the Pirbright Art Club. My successful entry shows that it's always worth persevering and keeping your eyes open for opportunities to exhibit your work to a wider audience"
For further information on the exhibition and Stephen's entry, visit the Artists & Illustrators website, by clicking here.
Galleries worth visiting for current and future exhibitions are:
Watts Gallery www.wattsgallery.org.uk in Compton, Surrey
The Lightbox www.thelightbox.org.uk in Woking.
The Mall Galleries www.mallgalleries.org.uk
The Bankside Gallery www.banksidegallery.com is the gallery of the Royal Watercolour Society & the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.