September highlights

We start the autumn season with a workshop on Saturday 9th September.

Heather Jolliffe will be working with members with oils, palette knife techniques and more. Heather will cover some simple landscape and coastal scene compositions, with an aim that you will make some mini studies, followed by something more substantial.

Drop-in Session

As usual, the Drop-in Session will be on Wednesday morning 14th September, at the Community Hall on Hursley Road. Check here for details.

Life Drawing Session

Having missed a couple of months due to the exhibition, life drawing is back, at the Church Hall on Sunday afternoon, 24th September. Places are limited, usually the season is fully booked. Check with the Treasurer if you are unsure.

Demonstration – Sally Goodden, 27th September

This is our last ‘live’ demonstration of the year – for October and November we switch to Zoom meetings so you don’t have to come out in potentially cold and wet weather.

Sally will be demonstrating how to paint animals, such as lovely fluffy squirrels, using brusho and inks.

If (like me) you aren’t familiar with brusho – this is your chance to find out. The demo is in the Church and starts promptly at 7.30. Members free, visitors £5. Refreshments tba.

August already – exhibition time!

If you haven’t completed your submission forms for the Summer Exhibition, you may be too late! Priority obviously goes to those who submitted on time, but contact Roy if you hope to get a late entry.

No Workshop, Life Drawing or Demonstration

This month we focus entirely on the exhibition so no workshop or demonstration. They’ll be back in September. The Life Drawing session was cancelled as it clashed with the hall booking for the exhibition. That will also be back next month.

Drop in Session

The drop-in session at the community centre in Hursley Road goes ahead as usual. That’s on Wednesday August 9th.

Summer Exhibition and Hampshire Open Studios

The details for the Summer Exhibition and for Hampshire Open Studios were sent to all members at the end of June.

Don’t forget to read the submission guidelines and instructions for presentation carefully, and bring your entries to the Church Hall at the appointed time.

If you are creating your own mini-studio in Meeting Room 3 (MR3), for our HOS23 event, running parallel with the exhibition, don’t forget to bring your working equipment and floor/table coverings!

And… tell your friends. Flyers are available to hand out, but please do not post them publicly except where you have permission.

And even if you’re not exhibiting, please come along and bring your friends. It’s sure to be an amazing show, and hopefully lots of visitors will be tempted to buy a beautiful, unique artwork.

July at a glance

We’re flying through the year, halfway through already, and our Summer Exhibition is looming ever larger!

lindsey cole

Sat 8 July – Lindsey Cole, Summer Hedgerow Workshop

We start the month with a lovely workshop with New Forester Lindsey Cole. I love the idea of summer hedgerows, and wish I could have gone to this one! I’m sure it will be most enjoyable. 9.30 to 3.30 at the Church Hall.

Wed 12 July – Drop-in Session, Community Large Hall, Hursley Rd

Just £5 to cover hire of facilities, for a friendly morning with other creatives. Work on your own project in a relaxed atmosphere.

Soraya French

Wed 26 July – Soraya French, Mixed Media Demonstration

Soraya will be demonstration a Beach Scene in Mixed Media, from 7.30 to 9.30 at the Church. Her emphasis will be on acrylic inks. Full details here.

Summer Exhibition and HOS23

Watch out for submission information for the Summer Exhibition and instructions to book your place at the Hampshire Open Studios event.

Summer Exhibition submissions close on Sunday 30 July. Don’t be late!

Rags to Riches story of Joaquin Sorolla

by Jacky Pett

Following our AGM on 26th April, Dr Anne Anderson treated us to an exclusive tour of the life and works of Joaquin Sorolla.

Despite the name not ringing any bells for me, the pictures Anne sent in advance certainly did. It turned out there had been an exhibition at the National Gallery at which these beach scenes were featured. I must have seen them online…

Catalan’s own

Sorolla is Catalan, hence his name is not the Castillian spelling. He was born in Valencia in 1863, and was adopted after his parents succumbed to various ills. This was a stroke of luck, as he came to a family who recognised his drawing talent, and was admitted to Valencia’s Art Academy relatively early.

If you take a trip to Valencia you will find Sorolla everywhere – a whole walking tour of places related to him. But most of his painting took place on the beach, at Cabanyal. What started as a simple recording of honest fisherman at work (with oxen pulling the boats into and out of the water) developed into amazing studies of light on and through sails, and even in the shade of the backstreets where the women worked mending them.

He moved to Madrid, where he is exhibited in the Prado, but he also built a studio house there, for himself and his family, which has artworks displayed all over the walls.

His wife and daughter are featured in the painting of him painting them on the beach at Cabanyal. Huge canvases on a windswept beach. How did he keep the sand out of his oils? Or stop the canvas tipping over?

He died a rich man in 1923, thanks in part to making good in the American market, and is recognised as Spain’s most important artist of his time. That ‘of his time’ is a sop to Velasquez and El Greco!

I’d really love a trip to Valencia and Madrid to see more. Thank you to Anne for an excellent talk, and looking forward to more.

You can see more of Anne Anderson’s talks on her YouTube Channel (Anne Anderson Art and Design History), and via her website, which also gives details of tours she is leading.

anne anderson

May Delights

After last week’s packed AGM and the weekend’s Exhibition, we can go racing ahead with more summery events this month, weather permitting.

Regular events

As usual, the Drop-in Session is on the second Wednesday of the month at the Community Hall. (apologies for last month’s confusion).

The Workshop this month is a second chance for you to have a go at Stephen Foster’s Palette Knife landscape if you missed the first.

Life Drawing will be on the third Sunday, as usual. Please note some calendar clashes have been identified during the summer, and you will hear from the Treasurer if your booking is affected.

Fine weather on order

Let’s hope the weather is kind to us so we can go ahead with the first date for our Cream Tea day at the Hillier Gardens on Saturday 20th. Full details here.

Postcards on Parade

We’re expecting an avalanche of postcard portraits from all our members to adorn the linkway at the Dovetail for two weeks from the 22nd. Don’t be shy – look what the earlybirds have come up with…

I didn’t realise Alan Bennet and Ringo Starr were among our members, mind… More details here.

How can you resist our Demo?

This month’s demonstration in the Church is given by Alison Butler. She also earns the prize for the wittiest title of the year. How can I resist?! is a demonstration and discussion of the art of Batik. I can’t wait for 24th May!

Hope you can get along to at least some of these events.

Busy, busy in April

April kicks off with our monthly workshop, the first of a new membership year. We welcome Ali Lindley back to the Community Hall in Hursley Road for a City Scape in watercolour. Fortunately Ali is no April fool.

With Easter upon us, our Drop-in session is on Wednesday 12th.

That is speedily followed by our Life Drawing session on Sunday 16 April at the Methodist Church Hall. Let’s hope the weather has warmed up a little by then.

A reminder that by this part of the month you should be well advanced with your prep for the Spring Exhibition – clean and well presented artworks, all ready to hang, and no last-minute panics!

But before the exhibition, we have our Annual General Meeting, at the Dovetail Cafe, on 26th April. We welcome back Dr Anne Anderson, who gave such a fascinating talk on Monet last year. This year it’s the wondrous Joseph Sorolla, whose work you probably know even if you couldn’t place his name!

And we wrap up April with the Spring Exhibition over the last weekend, at the Dovetail Centre.

But that’s not all, since by now you should have more or less completed your self-portrait on a postcard for the event in May. And you should also be looking out your plein air painting kit and praying to the weather gods for our first cream tea date in May.

Happy Easter!

Our first Quiz evening!

Our first quiz evening went off splendidly on Wednesday. Hosted by Bev, with quiz master Jacky, refreshments by Joy and Tessa, and a good time appeared to be had by all.

About 34 people signed up and most came, some extras came which almost balanced out the no-shows, so we had eight teams of about four taking part.

The Dovetail Cafe is a really good venue for this sort of event, as you can see.

The winners were Partly Arty with 48 points (max 66), with Lifers coming second on 45.5 points after a tie-break with Hampshire Hams.

For the record, other teams were Clueless (41.5), Turmoil (39), Gaugin Goers (38.5), Just 3 (36.5) and No 42 (35.5). All very respectable scores.

The quiz had sections on Numbers, Colours, Sport, Geography, Animals and Movies. Just not the sort of questions for each you might expect. All definitely arty (but it helped if you knew what the first Bond movie was!)

And afterwards Roy said ‘we must do this again.’

I think our quiz compiler had better start looking for new questions now. 🙂

Seven Days in March

Sorry about that, but we are already seven days into March. Apologies for the delay in reminding you what’s on!

On Wednesday, it’s our monthly Drop-in Session to help you get on with your own project in appreciative company. Details here, and remember it’s at the Community Large Hall on Hursley Road, not the Methodist Centre.


Saturday 11th it is a palette knife landscape or seascape workshop with Stephen Foster. This was so popular that we have arranged a second one, in May. No, it’s not an aberration of the Calendar.

All the places for the workshops for this year have now been allocated. If you haven’t had confirmation of your successes and waitlist places, please contact Roy. And don’t forget to pay. You should have had all the details in an email around 22nd Feb.

Sunday 19th March we have our monthly Life Drawing workshop in the Church Hall. Wrap up well as the priority for the limited heating is our poor model! Life drawing workshops were also booked last month, check your email for around 22nd if you don’t recall getting one. There are a few spaces left for both March and April (16th).

Our Quiz Night!

Wednesday 22nd brings us a Quiz Night hosted by Bev and led by Jacky. Tea and coffee etc in the interval. And… there may be prizes! Jacky says this is not a test of how much you know about art. Hopefully you may learn a thing or two (she has, in setting the questions) but the main thing is to have a fun evening. Laughter, bafflement, and a few groans, probably!

The Spring Tabletop Exhibition

Spring Tabletop exhibition at the Dovetail Centre, 29/30 April 10 till 4

We are preparing a print run of flyers for you to give to your friends, neighbours, and anyone else willing to spread the world.

Thank you Sue Bowery for letting us use her lovely picture.

Please let Gill know how many flyers you think you could use asap. The poster can also be downloaded here for those who would like to spread it around their social media. If you can do that with a banner style on a webpage, that’s here.

If you are not a member and wish to take part in workshops and other active art, then why not invest a very small amount of money in joining us? Contact Gill (cfagmemsec at gmail dot com) for details.

Your treats for February

After five Mondays in January – such a long month – we have a short and snappy February programme.

On Wednesday, it’s our monthly Drop-in Session to help you get on with your own project in appreciative company. Details here, and remember it’s at the Community Large Hall on Hursley Road, not the Methodist Centre.

Saturday 11th it is the Watercolour workshop with Kirstin White. We put out a call for a late place available last month. I think it’s been taken, but if you are interested, contact Roy.

Sunday 19th Feb we have our monthly Life Drawing workshop in the Church Hall. Wrap up well as the priority for the limited heating is our poor model!

Wednesday 22nd brings us a Zoom demonstration from Chris Forsey entitled ‘Moorland in Winter’ in Acrylic. This looks to be very interesting. Since our painter in oils decried the plastic used in acrylics, it will be interesting to see what Chris says on the subject.

Members will have received two emails with the opportunity to book workshops (life drawing and tutored painting ones) late in January. If you haven’t already responded you may be too late, but check the email anyway. The process after taking all workshop requests is for a computer to allocate places taking account of whether you’ve been successful in the past or not. The aim is to ensure everybody gets at least one of their choices. Then there is the waiting list, so all is not lost if you miss out on a place you hoped for.

If you are not a member and wish to take part in workshops and other active art, then why not invest a very small amount of money in joining us? Contact Gill for details.

November reminders

A gentle reminder of this month’s items…

Drop-In session

The Drop-in is next Wednesday, 9th, at the Community Hall on Hursley Road, 10 till 1. If you haven’t already made your piece for December’s social event, you might like to fix that here!


Phil Biggs
Phil Biggs

Sunday 13th is the watercolour workshop with Phil Biggs, which looks most interesting, but is fully booked. And please note it is Sunday, not the more usual Saturday.

Life Drawing

The following Sunday is month’s life drawing session, and like the watercolour workshop, is the last one of the year.

Zoom Demo

We start our winter demonstrations on Wednesday through the medium of Zoom (at your own home, or place of convenience). Life drawing in charcoal, by Paul Berryman. Watch for the members email with log-in details.