NEWSLETTER – April 2020        

Welcome to our Easter newsletter, although it is not quite what we expected when we were all wishing each other a happy new year only 3 or so months ago! Anyway the sun is shining and I hope you are all keeping safe and well. We have all had to adapt to a new routine but I hope this has given you an opportunity to spend more time being creative.

 Facebook Group

 As we aren’t having our monthly meetings we have set up a members only Facebook group to give members a way of staying in touch with each other. It is a private group and only members of our club can join. It allows any member who joins the group to post and share ideas, pictures, etc.  Lynda and Leanne will act as the group administrators and will approve membership and content. If you are on Facebook you just need to visit the Cotswold Art Club page and then click on Groups. You should then see a group called Cotswold Art Club Members and need to click ‘join’. You will then be asked to confirm your full name (so we can check club membership) and click to say you agree to the group rules. Once approved you will be able to see the group, post and comment.

So far 14 members have joined the Facebook group and are sharing their artistic endeavours, such as this topical offering from Lynne Mumford. It would be great if more of you joined so we can keep our Club spirit going during the lockdown.

If you don’t have a Facebook account setting one up is simple. Having an account doesn’t mean you will get a load of random rubbish off the internet. I only use mine to connect with my sons and for the Art Club. If I can manage it any of you can!

 Art Competition

 During this period of social distancing, and whilst our club demonstrations and exhibitions have been put on hold, the Committee has decided to run a Free Members’ Art Competition. The competition is open to all members of the Cotswold Art Club. Even though the aim is to give you all a fun art goal over the summer, there are prizes to be won!!

There are seven categories.  Each member is allowed one entry per category, but you can enter as many categories as you like.  Entry is free to all Cotswold Art Club members.

The categories are:

  • Landscape
  • Seascape
  • Floral
  • Animal
  • Portrait
  • Abstract
  • Still Life

There will be a winner selected from each category (judged by our very own President, Martin Bowden).  The category winners will then be entered in our Best In Show competition and the overall winner will be also be selected by Martin.

There will also be a ‘Members’ Choice’ winner run through our Facebook group.  All group members will be invited to ‘like’ their favourite picture in our competition photo album.  The picture with the most ‘likes’ will win the prize.


Category winner £10 voucher

Best in Show winner £50 voucher

Members’ Choice winner £30 voucher


The competition entries must be received by 1 September 2020.  You can submit your entry at any time before then, but judging will not take place until after 1 September 2020. The Members’ Choice prize will be based on likes recorded on our Facebook group on 14 September 2020.

You can use any medium (so you can use what you have and no need to try to get any more supplies in). Your work can be any size but you must submit photographs of your entries rather than the actual artwork (see below for details as to how you can do this). Your submissions must be your own work and not a copy of someone else’s art.

How to enter:

You must submit a photograph of your work rather than the original piece. If you are able to take a digital copy of your work (e.g. photograph or scan) then you should email it to with your name and Competition Entry in the subject box. All entries will be added to a competition album on our Cotswold Art Club Members Facebook Group. You can post your entry onto our Cotswold Art Club Members Facebook Group, but you must clearly state in your post that it is a competition entry, your name and which category you are entering.  Your entry will then be added to the competition album ready for voting. If you are not able to take a digital copy you can send a hard copy photograph in the post to 152 Arle Road, Cheltenham, GL51 8LH.

We hope you all join in and enjoy the competition.  Whether you are entering the competition or not, you can also join our Cotswold Art Club Members Facebook Group and submit any work that you are creating, share ideas or just chat with your fellow club members.

We look forward to your posts on the Facebook group and to receiving your entries for the competition.

Coffee Morning

Our coffee mornings have proved to be a popular innovation and we still plan to continue with these when the situation allows. As well as providing an additional social event they have also helped us attract new members.


Exhibitions and art events of all kinds have been cancelled across the world for the next few months. In terms of our own plans we have been advised that the Lower Slaughter Village Hall is closed until at least the end of June. As a result, our own exhibition planned for May/June is obviously not taking place. What the situation will be when the current lockdown ends and people’s interest in such events is anyone’s guess. It may be possible to obtain a new booking for Lower Slaughter later in the year, although it is likely to be only for 1 week. We will keep this under review.

Despite the lack of live exhibitions there are a number of exhibitions that have moved on line. Leanne Courtney-Crowe has an exhibition that can be found at:

There are lots of others taking place which can be found by searching on Google. A couple of local ones are:

Next Saturday Talks

We are currently planning on the basis of resuming our monthly meetings with the new season in September. Let’s hope this becomes possible. Here are details of what we have lined up from September onwards. Hopefully this gives us something to look forward to.

19th September            Liz Robertson

Liz is an exhibiting Textile Artist and Teacher based in Gloucester, UK. She teaches textile art and craft courses, such as sewing, dressmaking, feltmaking and silk painting, to name a few and will talk about and demonstrate a piece of her distinctive artwork.

17th October                   Geoff Tristram

‘A Lifetime Waiting for Paint to Dry.’  Geoff has been a highly successful professional artist and illustrator for well over 35 years, and also a top flight cartoonist. His artwork has been seen on fine art prints, collector’s plates, magazines, postage stamps, jigsaw puzzles, greetings cards, press advertisements, billboards and packaging. His talks are lively and entertaining and not to be missed!

21st November              Catherine Beale

Caroline is based in Bath and specialises in contemporary watercolours and has become absorbed in experimenting and exploiting pigment behaviours using a method she has termed “gravity painting”. Catherine will demonstrate an ‘Expressive Seascape’.

20th December              Christmas Party and AGM.

We have contacted the artists who were due to provide demonstrations for March to June and are hoping we can reschedule them for the 2021 programme.

Recent Demonstrations/Talks

Before we had to cancel the remainder of our season we had two Saturday talks. These seem a world away now! We started 2020 in optimistic mood with a talk by Andy Watt on Saturday 18th January. Andy Watt is a Cheltenham based artist who taught art for many years and, although he enjoyed teaching, finally wanted to do his own thing. Andy is know for his colourful abstract landscapes and before doing a practical demonstration talked about the inspirations that have influenced his work. Andy trained at Winchester School of Art under the guidance of Gillian Ayres, who was best known for abstract painting and printmaking using vibrant colours, which earned her a Turner Prize nomination. After art school he trained as a teacher and spent over 24 years as an art teacher, mostly at Cheltenham Ladies College. Andy took us through a wide range of diverse artists who had influenced his approach to painting. There were too many to record here but included Matisse with his love of colour, portraits done blindfold by Paul Heath, the skin tones of Rembrandt, Ken Howard and his use of brushstrokes, John Virtue who created great atmosphere with a limited palette, Turner’s watercolour sketchbook and Willem de Kooning who introduced him to a new set of colours. The main theme from all the influences he described was colour.

Andy then showed us a number of examples of his own work and made links with the art work that had influenced his development. He explained that he took the landscape as a starting point, not to copy what was there, but to play with the composition and enjoy the paint. He was not a purist regarding materials and would use anything to hand that worked. For his demonstration he used an existing composition based on a footpath in the Lake District, which he had originally sketched on location. Andy clearly liked his painting to be unpredictable and he experimented with applying different paints, inks, colours and means of application. He explained that his colour choices were instinctive and he had no preconceived idea of the outcome. His approach was reactive and the nature of the work would keep changing and developing until he obtained something that he felt worked and was balanced. Andy provided an entertaining and thought provoking talk, with an informative description of his many influences and how they relate to his current work.

This was followed in February by Sheila Bryant, a local artist and teacher who organises Portrait and Life Drawing classes at St., Nicholas Church Hall. Many club members have attended Sheila’s classes and benefitted from her teaching. Sheila’s demonstration consisted of doing portraits of two volunteer sitters using her ‘rub-out’ technique. Her approach to doing portraits is based on understanding the effect of light across the surface of the face, looking for the areas of light and shadow to define the portrait. Natural light is best for doing portraits as artificial light is too flat, the lighting in the hall providing a challenging environment for the demonstration.

Marilyn Hay kindly volunteered to act as the first sitter. Sheila noted that it usually takes the model about 10 minutes to ‘settle’ in their pose, so it is important not to try and put too much down too soon. The whole method requires you to take your time and carefully observe the sitter. Sheila used smooth paper from a Windsor & Newton sketch pad and works with compressed charcoal. This type of charcoal is made with oil and therefore doesn’t need fixing. It also produces very little dust. She started by shading in an area on the paper large enough to contain the intended portrait. She then gradually looked for shadows and ‘felt’ for the shape of the face. Sheila described it as almost more like sculpture than drawing. She used a plastic rubber to rub out the charcoal and create lighter areas and used the charcoal to add darker areas. The image was constantly changing and developing as she looked at the model and adjusted her work. Sheila explained that she usually tried to establish some reference points against which to judge the light and dark. The corner of the eye sockets are often useful for this.

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