We have had a busy year, with rising numbers in the group. We now have thirty two members and if everyone came one Friday, we would be sitting on the windowsills at the Fielden! We also have another new associate convenor, Corinne Roberts, who brings her long experience in Art teaching so generously to the group. She joins Mike Peace as the second Professional artist to teach the class.
We have had a varied programme, as usual, from how to use our own photos in paintings, adjusting the composition by using framing, to technical lessons on aerial perspective and strategies with watercolour. We looked at painting perfect watercolour skies with Sue Hayter and drawing techniques with Mike. Corinne introduced us to the delights of Oil pastels, one session devoted to using them as resists. Two new media, Inktense and Scraperboard have been experimented with and we have used Acrylics as well as watercolours. As a fun last session before Christmas, we painted silk scarves in the dipping method and had a Jacob’s Join party.
In this New Year we hope to introduce everyone to the delights of block and mono printing( when we can assemble the equipment needed! ) and also to mixed media as used in a more abstract approach.
At the general meeting in March, we have the five minute slot to explain what the Practical Art class is all about and hope to show the large mural we produced on Todmorden and the surrounding area, as well as some of the other wonderful pictures painted by our talented members We may also have our own exhibition, if we can find a suitable venue in town and organise a couple of visits to art galleries, as requested in our survey of what people wanted from their group and how they saw the Practical Art going forward in the next year or so. We are also setting up a library system so members can borrow books and videos from our increasing store. Roy Harfield, who with Liz, has just downsized and so has been ‘ considering’ what to keep, has generously donated many beautiful picture frames from his days as a professional photographer, to sell as a boost to Practical Art funds. We may use the money raised to buy equipment for group use or put it towards a Life Study model or an outside demonstration.
The practical Art Group have been trying our hand at drawing and painting reflective surfaces. We are also holding a sketchbook competition to inspire members to use one throughout the summer and this will be judged later in the year.Our group is now full and people wishing to join us will go on a waiting list.
In the words of Clive Dunn “Don’t panic!”, we have Mike to lead us gently into topics and I think you’ll find it interesting and fun to look at other ways of seeing and painting.
In July, weather permitting, we hope to have a painting session outside as we did last year.