February 2016


Our new venue at the Pavilion seems to have been a successful choice at least according to those who have attended our meetings there, so we have booked ahead for the rest of this year. Parking has so far proved very satisfactory, the lighting is good and our ‘tea ladies’ are coping well with the new arrangements.  Unfortunately Nicky Barrett of Strand Arts (tel. 01242  253907) is unable to come to the meetings until April, but she would be prepared to deliver art materials to your home free of charge for orders of a minimum of £20.  She can deliver to Cheltenham, Gloucester, Winchcombe, Bishop’s Cleeve, Tewkesbury and all surrounding areas.

Forthcoming Saturday Meetings:

2.30pm – 4.30pm at The Pavilion, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham  GL51 6PN


20th February           Sheila Bryant                                    Icons

19th March                Susannah Gilmore-Powell             Flower Gardens                                                                                                       (Pastel)

16th April                   Barry Herniman                               “The Travelling                                             Sketchbook”  Immediate Sketch – Pen and Wash


There will also be meetings on the 3rd Saturday in May and June followed by our customary break for the summer.  Meetings will then resume on the 3rd Saturday in September.  Details for all of these will be in the April Newsletter.

Next Selection Committee Date:  

New/Associate Members wishing to apply for Full Membership should note that the next Selection Committee Date will be 16th April.  Please submit three framed pieces of work (or deep canvases) for approval.  They should be presented as if ready for exhibition.

Saturday Meetings at the Pavilion September 2015 – January 2016:

 19th September      Martin Bowden (Gouache)

Using 300g half Imperial NOT surface paper, our Chairman, Martin, wasted no time in brandishing his large hake brush to create a raw sienna gouache background quickly drying it off with a hairdryer.  Martin then applied further washes in Intense Blue before sketching in an image of the Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.  Once this was all completely dry, he worked over the picture with strong neat colour using a no. 6 brush for detail. Martin stressed the usefulness of white gouache, and, later, even a little black to add finishing touches.  For his second painting he chose St. Paul’s in London with atmospheric misty effects.  Throughout the afternoon we were treated to anecdotes and information about artists such as Turner, Seago, John Palmer and Monet. Finally, Martin reminded us of the maxim that ‘less is more’ and also gave us some tips for pushing the background back, such as adding a few strongly painted foreground figures walking away from the viewer.


16th October            Charmaine Williamson  (Scilly Isles – Watercolour)

Charmaine started her afternoon by describing her visits to the Scilly Isles and the various topics covered in her sketchbooks. The light there is very bright and some of her colours reflected this. Her demo was a seascape with stems of agapanthus preserved by masking fluid on the right of the picture. Several colours were applied with washes allowed to flow by tilting her board in both vertical and horizontal positions. Later, she removed the masking fluid on the agapanthus and developed their foliage. She also used a small hog brush (no.2/3) with a little wetting to lift out fine lines in the sea.


21st November                   Pam Stone (Portraiture)

Unfortunately I was only able to arrive when Pam was halfway through her demonstration.  Our members were all sitting quite agog as they watched the portrait of a little boy emerging mark by mark upon an enormous piece of turquoise-green paper.  For her demo Pam used a meticulous method painting with very fine brushes and watercolour plus some gouache on a Bockingford surface.  Gradually the portrait took shape. Pam’s model was a large colour photograph.  Before the meeting finished, we were given the opportunity to ‘paint an eye’ – Valerie Currie won this little ‘competition’. A few weeks later Pam gave Dorothy the finished portrait to show to us at a subsequent meeting, so we were privileged to see it in all its glory.


(NB I was asked by one concerned member to let you know that it might be better not to use Pam’s method of dampening the end of one’s brush… Personally I prefer to use water rather than saliva, but we must each make our own decisions.  Ed.)


19th December                   Annual General Meeting

The business of the meeting was conducted as efficiently as ever and followed by an art quiz organised by Richard Wood.  After numerous tie-breaks the winning team was presented with delicious prizes and then we all had our usual plentiful Christmas buffet – organised yet again by our stalwart ‘tea ladies’.  Many thanks to all who contributed to an enjoyable afternoon.


16th January                       Roger Matthews (The Art of Signwriting)

A quite fascinating start to the 2016 programme!   Roger is one of our members and volunteered to discuss and demonstrate aspects of his craft. Various examples were on display and also some of the tools required to construct them.  Not only that, but Roger passed round numerous books illustrating the many styles of sign that can be made for different clients: shops, pubs, cars, events and so forth.  A wealth of historical detail as well as the practicalities of painting gave us an insight into the choices and skills that a signwriter has to practise in order to create the desired impact on the passer-by.  Using a tiny palette, masking tape and special brushes (called pencils!), Roger demonstrated letter-spacing, how to keep the lettering in a straight line and how to use the brush to draw the paint downwards to create the perfect shape. Once again we had some audience participation with two members bravely attempting to emulate the perfect model created by the master.

Workshops for 2016

We hope to have a workshop later in the year, but details have not yet been finalised. It is of some concern that demand for workshops has diminished in the last year or so.  If you have any views on this subject or new ideas, please let us know (Barbara Swindin or Richard Wood).



 Our next exhibition will be held in Lower Slaughter from

25th May to  7th June 2016. 

 Please note the following: The exhibition forms will NOT be sent out until one month before the start date, so in the meantime please don’t contact Debby or Dawn.  It’s not long to wait.

If, nearer the exhibition date, you do need to make contact, please note the following telephone numbers/email addresses:

Debby Hooper: 01242 530780

Dawn Niven:     01242 522189

but only if absolutely necessary.

The Committee regrets to inform the Club that there will be no exhibition in August this year, as the cost of the Stow-in-the-Wold venue became unjustifiable and so far, despite considerable effort, we have been unable to find a suitable alternative site.


Sadly, two long-standing members have recently had to resign.  Tony Bates contributed much assistance to the running of exhibitions and Robin Sealey was my predecessor as Secretary.  Both will be greatly missed.  Diana Roberts has stepped down from her exhibitions role, and this has now been taken on by Dawn Niven.

Our President, Allan Laycock, was unable to attend the AGM because of ill health and is unlikely to be able to continue driving much longer.

Our Chairman, Martin Bowden, has announced that he will be stepping down at the next AGM.

The Committee is keen to recruit new members to the Club Membership so please encourage other artists to come along, see what we do and consider joining us at least as Associate Members in the first instance.

Finally, please send me any news items for the next Newsletter by the end of March:    

 Barbara Swindin, Secretary:  

42 Perry Orchard, Upton St. Leonards, Gloucester GL4 8DQ  tel: 01452 616687

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