NEWSLETTER – September 2019

Next Saturday Talks

Our new season of regular talks starts on the 21st September, based as usual at The Pavilion. The schedule for the next few months is as follows:

• 21st September: Mike Duckering, who will show how he constructs and then deconstructs a painting, in oils.
• 19th October: TBA
• 16th November: Martin Bowden, on Cezanne and Post Impressionism.
• 21st December: AGM and Christmas Party
• 18th January: Andy Watt to demonstrate an abstract painting.

We are working on the programme beyond January and will keep you updated as this is firmed up.

Coffee Morning – 2nd November

Our last coffee morning was held at the Exmouth Arms to coincide with the opening day of our August Bath Road exhibition. Our next coffee morning will be on Saturday 2nd November. We will again meet at the Exmouth Arms 10 – 12 am – everybody welcome!

Volunteer Required

The committee currently has 2 members who lead on organizing our exhibitions, Debby Hooper and Dawn Niven. Dawn has been very successful in this role for a number of years but has now decided to stand down. As a result we are looking for a volunteer to join the committee and pick up the exhibition role working with Debby and the rest of the committee. Organising exhibitions is one of our most important activities and we can be proud of the quality of the events we put on. This a great opportunity for someone new to get involved. We would like to identify a suitable replacement by mid November so if you are interested, or just want to know more about what is involved, please send me an e-mail or give me a call (Paul Johnson – 07709992613 or


So far this year we have completed 2 exhibitions at the Pop Up shop on Bath Road. Over the 2 exhibitions our members sold nearly £5,000 of art work and 2,000 people viewed our work and learnt about the Club. Below for information is a break down of the prices achieved for paintings at these exhibitions:

Price Range £<30 £35-50 £55-80 £85-100 £105-150 £> 150 Total
Framed 3 8 15 6 3 1 36
Unframed 10 9 3 0 0 0 22

As I write this final preparations are in hand for a 5 day exhibition at the Gardens Gallery in Montpellier, which starts on 18th September. As many of you know the Bath Road market site is due for redevelopment next year and will no longer be available to us. We are currently looking into a number of options for exhibition space in 2020.

Website and Publicity

Over recent months we (principally Leanne Courtney Crowe and Lynda Merrett) have been further developing the Cotswold Art Club website and our presence on both Facebook and Instagram. As a result we have an excellent website and an increasing number of ‘views’ and ‘likes’ on the social media platforms. If you are on Facebook or Instagram we’d really like you to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ the club’s pages if you don’t already
The website is used for fairly ‘static’ information and provides basic details of the club and it’s activities. It is kept up to date with information on future exhibitions, the forward programme for Saturday talks and for reports on talks that have been held.
Facebook and Instagram are by comparison used to communicate information that is short term and likely to continually change. Many members will have their own presence on these platforms. We are also happy for members to consider the Cotswold Art Club Facebook and Instagram pages as ones they can use to communicate their own activities such as exhibitions, workshops or anything else relevant they wish to share. This also helps the Club by providing a source of new information which helps to keep the pages live. If you have anything suitable you wish to advertise or share, please forward it on to Leanne ( and Lynda. They will of course use their editorial discretion to ensure any information is relevant to the Art Club.
It is always useful to have a ‘library’ of images showing the work of our members. If you have any images of your work that you’d be happy for us to use online please email these to Lynda and Leanne with the image, their name and title of their work.
Cheltenham Paint Festival
I am sure your remember Andy Dyce Davies coming to give us a fascinating talk about the Cheltenham Paint Festival. Andy is the organizer of this event which is gaining an impressive reputation for bringing some of the worlds finest street artists to our town. This year’s event was held recently and was bigger and better than ever. To help you find the works of art there is a location map on their website – https:/ It is well work searching out some of the locations to see the amazing art they have created.
Recent Demonstrations

Graham Findlay – Saturday 18th May

Graham moved to the Cotswolds about 6 years ago following a very successful art career in the Kent/Surrey borders. He has been painting and teaching for 20 years and now lives in Bourton-on-the-water and specialises in painting traditional landscapes in watercolour. He has also been involved in many art groups and has exhibited in London and Connecticut, USA as well as being a member of the Birmingham Watercolour Society.

Graham began by doing a rough sketch in pencil. He doesn’t worry about removing pencil marks, as many people like to see the artistic process remaining in the finished painting. He also recommends a limited amount of drawing particularly to begin with to make sure the composition fits on the page. He reminded the group that the beauty of painting landscapes rather than portraits is you can move things around and, unless you are working on a specific commission, it doesn’t matter if your painting doesn’t look exactly like the scene. He spoke of American watercolour artist Mary Whyte’s advice that none of her paintings were exactly as they were, but are exactly as she felt they were.

His painting for the demonstration was of an old farm barn. He started by damping the sky area of the paper using a large brush. Throughout the demonstration Graham talked us through his materials and equipment and it was very interesting to note that he only uses a limited kit including some really small travel palettes. He shared that this is particularly useful when painting outdoors.

Using yellows, greens and darker blues Graham painted the tree, reminding the group that the lower branches often go downwards. He added some detail to the edges of the tree to give the impression of leaves rather than trying to capture every leaf. The barn was then painted including a mystery trailer lurking in the shadows to make you want to look inside! When painting the building Graham shared tips such as making the lines wobbly, particularly for older buildings and also to try to paint something growing around the base of the building so that you don’t have to work out where the bottom actually is. To avoid too much green in the foreground Graham chose to mix yellow ochre with violet to make a yard colour and then added some green to give the impression of grass around the area. The finishing touch to please those of us who like to draw animals was to paint a chicken in the yard.

You can see more of Graham’s work and purchase prints and cards at www. or on his Facebook page @GrahamFindlayWatercolours.

Rosie Lomberg – Saturday 20th April

We had a very successful Easter weekend demonstration by Rosie Lomberg, a Cheltenham artist who specialises in the combinations of mono printing and painting. Rosie’s work takes inspiration from a love of wild flowers, seed-heads and our beautiful overgrown countryside.
Being an art student at Cheltenham’s Pittville campus Rosie soon realised that although printing was something she took an interest in, when leaving college the facilities of a printing presses would not be available. So working on a budget she developed her own method of printing using discarded cellophane. Her work on MDF, originally from discarded sections from her fathers building scraps, Rosie primes the background using several layers of gesso and then yellow ochre.

Using the cellophane, a wet layer of acrylic paint (usually a dark colour) is applied and then using the wooden end of a paintbrush a design is drawn into the paint, removing the excess from the end of the handle. This becomes a negative image and is transferred onto the wood as a mono print. Any areas that are not wanted are then removed from the wood using the bristles of the brush and water. Left to dry Rosie keeps adding the main imagery before the second stage. This involves ‘splodging’ the areas around the print using ultramarine, bright red and copper tones. These are added at random with darker sections round certain areas to ‘ping out’ the design. In the final stage, the design is built up in gradual layers using pale colour washes which allow the blues, reds and copper tones to show through at different tonal layers. Sometimes this last layer can take up to three coats in different areas for the painting to ‘balance’.
For more information you can find it on her website at
Phil Madley – Saturday 15th June

We welcomed Phil Madley to the club to demonstrate the use of Encaustic Wax in painting and a very entertaining afternoon it was too! Phil’s background is in Graphic Design and Branding for large companies, such as Avon. Initially he was a keen photographer, mainly in black and white and, after seeing a lady at a craft fair using wax as a medium, he bought a starter kit and has since spent 22 years developing his own particular style.

He began the demo by introducing the tools he uses, mainly a special iron designed for this medium, a paint stripper to manipulate the wax, a hot air gun, a hot stylus with attachments such as squares, circles brush made of wire, etc., paper towels to polish a finished piece before sealing with wax to complete the painting. The wax he uses are all made from beeswax and there are 48 colours. This is not a new art form as it dates back to the Ancient Egyptians when they used beeswax in art form and some examples of this are in the British Museum.

He started by testing a mid-colour wax on the iron for temperature. When it is ready it runs like oil on the plate. In order to start you must get the wax onto the card before manipulating it, using the iron flat against the card. He then demonstrated several different methods of painting; the ‘Turner’ which is where he rotated the card and used the edge of the iron to make marks creating texture and pattern.
Once a picture is finished it is polished with kitchen towel which increases the contrast between light and dark as well as making the wax ‘glow’. Phil went on the create a selection of paintings including flowers, fireworks, landscape and seascapes, including in them cliffs, hills, rocks, waves, a lake, a tree, seagulls and some sheep – he also painted a ‘nude’ by waxing the card then removing wax with the iron to create the highlights/figure very effectively.
It was a very interesting and entertaining demonstration with lots of banter and questions and answers, which kept us engrossed from start to finish. Should anyone like to have a ‘go’, a Starter Kit which costs £56.50 can be purchased from Phil.

Further Afield

Exhibitions you may be interested in:

Gauguin Portraits National Gallery, 7 Oct 2019 to 26 Jan 2020
167th Annual Open Exhibition Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 29 Sept – 1 Dec

Please click on the blue link below to open the newsletter in word – which will also show images.

COTSWOLD ART CLUB_Sept 19 Newsletter

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