Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Mike Purkiss

Incoming Tide River Orwell, Suffolk by Mike Purkiss

LAS is sad to announce the recent death of Mike Purkiss, our former Chairman, who did so much to build LAS into the much enjoyed and successful society it is today. We shall miss him.

SAA World Record Art Challenge

The SAA is attempting to set a world record for the largest number of original works of art exhibited under one roof. Ledbury Art Society has sent in 24 pieces painted by members.

The list of contributors (in no particular order) follows

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Robert Guy - Buildings in Watercolour

Unlike most of our demonstrators, Robert had not prepared his drawing in advance but made it part of the demonstration. Initial drawing with a 2H pencil was, unfortunately, difficult to see and impossible to project onto the screen. His drawing and painting was very detailed and he could not complete the image during the demonstration.

Robert has been a professional artist for over 20 years during which time he has worked as a fine artist, illustrator, designer, storyboard artist and art teacher. His work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries in London and Singapore and he has worked to commission at St Andrews and Gleneagles golf clubs. You can find more about him on

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Christine Russell - Short Courses

Please note that you can find out more about Christine Russell, who led our recent workshop, from her website She had copies of her interesting 2016 programme of short courses at the our workshop. These are to be held at the Laurels Studio, Stone, Nr. Berkeley, Glos. At the moment the programme is not on her website but I'm sure it will appear soon. If you cannot wait, telephone her on 01454 269268.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christine Russell: Workshop - Still Life in Pastels

Workshop in progress
For our November workshop, held in the Memorial Hall at Wellington Heath, Christine Russell set up four different still lifes. That meant we had just three people painting each one with soft pastels. Christine began the session with a rapid but helpful demonstration to show how she would tackle one of them. We were advised to use a fairly abrasive paper or board and begin by using a pastel pencil for an initial drawing to establish the composition.

The pictures that follow show a few stages in her demonstration and are then followed by images showing what the workshop participants achieved. Many had little or no experience of pastel painting and yet the results for everyone were good.

Drawing using pastel pencil

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Val Ridler: Light & Atmosphere in Mixed Media

We were pleased to welcome Val Ridler as our demonstrator in November. The inspiration for the painting was a photograph taken in Greece.

Her support was mount-board to which she had applied three coats of a gray primer. She brought it pre-prepared with the scene simply drawn and hand-made paper added to give some texture to the rocks.

Note how she has painted the sky with brush strokes running at a diagonal angle. She used watercolour paint in the main but often added a touch of white gouache.

These two images show something of the development of the painting.

Later white pastel was added to hint at a little cloud and to give some highlights in the water and wet sand. Various blues and purples were added to sky, rocks and sand.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Flavours #BigPaintingCompetition

 Flavours Holidays are running their big painting competition and think it's a fantastic opportunity for LAS members to get recognised and their art work seen. It would also be great exposure for Ledbury Art Society. Of course, there is also a the chance of winning a £500 voucher for their Italian painting holidays.

Here is how the competition works:

How to enter:

  1. Create a painting that sums up for you “La Dolce Vita – What’s your perfect Italian holiday?”
  2. Post a photo of the painting on their  Facebook, Twitter or Google+ Page using #BigPaintingCompetition. You can also send the photo as an email to: 
  3. Make sure the work is your own and the painting is in physical media (they don’t accept any digital artwork)
To find out more you can also visit their blog: 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Pascale Bigot - Musicians image

Pascale has now finished the pastel painting she began in our October demonstration. She has kindly sent us this image which is a detail from the painting.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Pascale Bigot - Musicians in Soft Pastel

Pascale is a French born artist who has lived in England for more than 20 years. She has developed her own techniques for soft pastel using strong colours and very contrasting tones, as can be seen in the detail where she is in the process of adding blacks and dark browns to provide contrast for the musician and keyboard. She is also beginning to add outlines for the figures.

To see more of her work visit her website

Her supports are usually a white or ivory sandpaper which is not at all abrasive. I think it was Clairefontaine Pastelmat.

Composition is very important for her and she can spend hours sketching until she is happy with the composition. For this demonstration she brought with her a prepared drawing done with graphite pencil. This included blocking in some of the darker shapes and shadows with pencil. Pencil marks can be erased to make corrections to the drawing, something that is almost impossible with pastel. This was a technique she developed for the students she was teaching and now uses it herself.

The drawing can be seen to the right. The next step after fixing with extra hold hairspray, is to add a lightly applied layer of white pastel. This makes it much easier to blend colours which are added subsequently. Light colours are added first and then darker colours above. Blending is done with the fingers, working from light into dark. Smaller areas, such as the musicians' fingers, are blended using a colour shaper.

The images that follow show the work in progress. The painting was not completed at the end of the demonstration but Pascale has promised to send an image of the finished painting.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Best in Show

In recent years we've asked visitors to our exhibition to vote for 'Best in Show'. As there is always such a variety of styles, and the overall standard of work on show is high, this is no easy task for our visitors. Yet so many do take part and often take a second look at everything before casting their vote.

Six paintings had ten or more votes. Here are our 'Six of the Best':

  1. Boats at Lyme - Richard Hyde
  2. "Waiting for the Ferry" Symonds Yat - Belinda Morgan
  3. Birch Wood - Ann McKnight
  4. "Serendipity" - Belinda Morgan
  5. Bluebell Path - Ann McKnight
  6. A Street in Robin Hoods Bay - Anita Robins

Here are images for the top five:

Saturday, 12 September 2015

More Exhibition pictures

We had a very enjoyable Preview Evening on Friday which was opened by Councillor Annette Crowe, Mayor of Ledbury who made a brief and appreciative speech . Donations collected at the Preview go to the Mayors Charities: Salters Hill Charity and Love Ledbury

 We had nearly two hundred visitors on Saturday. The sales table and cards were doing particularly well. Visitors obviously enjoyed the range of paintings on display but sales were less than hoped for.

Here are some more photos of the exhibits.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Sneak Preview

Here's your chance to see some of the pictures in the exhibition which will be opened tonight by the Mayor of Ledbury at the Preview. The Exhibition opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4:30 pm. Entry is free but we're hoping to sell some pictures, raffle tickets and the many books and art materials on the sales table.

The pictures below are only a sample of what's on show. There should be more images posted over the weekend.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Tim Nash - Landscape in Mixed Media

Our Autumn/Winter programme got of to an excellent start with Tim Nash demonstrating how he works in mixed media.

What you see above is the end of a journey that began with looking at several textured surfaces including several old paintings that could be distressed and changed in a variety of ways to make them more interesting.

The painting surface of choice was mount board to which torn up pieces of textured wall-paper had been added using PVA. Generally, the textured paper was added to the lower half of the board so that a 'quieter' area was left elsewhere.

You can get some idea of the textures from the image on the right here, particularly if you zoom in.

And, yes, there is a painting that looks suspiciously like the one we ended up with!

But on closer inspection it proves to be far less interesting.

You can see that more clearly in the next image.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

All in September

September looks a busy month.

We start with Tim Nash demonstrating Landscape in mixed media on 1st September. Then we have our exhibition on 12 and 13 September in the Burgage Hall. Don't forget to send or hand in your entry forms by 1st September.

Then there's h.Art - Herefordshire's Art Week - 9 days of open studios from 12 to 20 September inclusive. This is usually a real feast of art and there are plenty of venues in and around Ledbury if you don't feel able to venture further afield. For more information and to download a map and guide visit 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Featured in Leisure Painter

Leisure Painter has a  report from Ledbury Art Society on page 62 of its September issue and features Sarah Amery's painting of the Malvern Hills.

This is the image used for the posters advertising our exhibition on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September - 10am to 4:30pm on both days. The exhibition in the Burgage Hall, Church Lane, Ledbury will be formally opened by the Mayor of Ledbury at the preview evening - 7pm on Friday 12 September.

I look forward to the usual range of good quality paintings and hope for even more entries than last year. My own pictures are not as consistent as I'd like but I'm going to risk public scrutiny and put in at least four. I've always found other art society members to be very encouraging and it's good if our exhibition also reflects the differing abilities of the membership. So don't be shy - get your entry form to me by 1st September!

September 1st is also the day for our first demonstration of the Autumn/Winter programme when Tim Nash will be painting a landscape in mixed media.

Richard Hyde

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ledbury Community Day 2015

Meg painting the Market House
Ledbury Community Day is a great opportunity for community groups to showcase their activities so it was great that LAS had a stall exhibiting some of our members paintings and postcards and letting the public see what we do. We certainly attracted many interesting and interested visitors to our display, including several that we hope to see when our Autumn programme gets going on 1st September.

Three brave artists were out and about with easels or sketch pads. Well done Meg, Mike and Tony!

Tony and Mike at work outside the Burgage Hall

We had a competition for the best painting or drawing on a postcard
which attracted entries from nine children.

 The picture above shows the winning entry and the young artist will receive a £10 book token.

Here's our stall being set up in the Burgage Hall.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Poster competition winner

Congratulations to Sarah Amery whose picture of the Malvern Hills was judged the most suitable for use on the poster to advertise the Annual Exhibition which, this year, is on 12 and 13 September in the Burgage Hall. Sarah has deliberately echoed the style of the railway posters of the 1930's and when the poster is produced it will have a type face that is also reminiscent of those posters.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Paul Weaver - Market Scenes in Watercolour

The end product

I (Richard Hyde) missed this demonstration as I was in Italy at the time. A great pity as I love market scenes and Paul seems to have created something interesting based on three photographs. Andy Castro took some photos as well as working the projector, so thank you Andy. I have cropped a few of his photos and included them here.

Paul Weaver is a full-time artist and popular tutor with many art groups. Townscapes, markets and the bustle of the city are favourite subjects, as well as landscape, marine and coastal. He currently specialises in watercolour and also works in line and wash, oils, coloured pencil and mixed media. You'll find out more about him if you visit his website

The images that follow shows work in progress

Friday, 1 May 2015

Ledbury Community Day - Saturday 6th June

In case you haven’t heard, Ledbury Art Society is participating in Ledbury Community Day on Saturday 6th June which will give us a wonderful opportunity to showcase our work and the society. We will have a selection of members’ artwork on display (from 10 a.m. until 2 pm) and we will be selling cards, prints and paintings inspired by the local area. Members are invited to submit unframed pictures, prints and cards for display and/or sale. We shall also be inviting visitors to our stand to join in with a drawing competition (on postcards).

We will have our stand in the Burgage Hall and there are several ways you can help. The first is by providing material for display/sale. The reason we are asking for unframed pictures only is due to limited space. The second is that we are asking if there are any members who would like to set themselves up around the town, e.g. outside the Master’s House (weather permitting!) as “roving artists”. The third is that we need some volunteers to man the stand between the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 12 noon to 2 p.m. Even if you can only manage 1 hour in that timeframe it would be much appreciated and Christine Castro will be organising a rota.

We will be logging sales during the day and it is suggested that 10% of sale proceeds go to Ledbury Art Society and 10% to the Mayor’s nominated charity.

We would suggest that you either bring your pictures, prints and cards to the next meeting of the Society on Tuesday 12th May or bring them along to our stand on Community Day. Title, name and price should be attached to all work for sale.

Finally, can we remind you all about our poster competition, the theme of which is the Malvern Hills in homage to the theme of the Ledbury Poetry Festival which is “Remembered Hills”. The winner’s painting will be used for the poster advertising our annual exhibition in September. Judging will take place at our next meeting on 12th May so could you please bring your entries along. Entries would be perfect for sale or display at the Community Day and after!

In the meantime, if you need any further details, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of your committee.

Thank you in advance.

Ledbury Art Society Committee

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

David Wilcox - Landscape in Watercolour

Landscapes are not what we associate with David Wilcox. He is, and sees himself as, a figure painter. Last time he came to us it was dancers in watercolour. This was his first landscape demonstration and the first time in a long while that he had attempted a landscape, though he used to produce many when he lived in Devon. He based his demonstration painting on two photographs: one a Dartmoor village, the other a snow scene painting he had done back in the 1980s.

David works very loosely in watercolour and for his sky he worked quite quickly wet-in-wet. Having his board nearly vertical led to some challenges as wet paint ran rather too readily from the sky. The next step was to wash in some greens for the foliage and then he moved on to put in some shadows on the buildings before adding some texture to them. Once he had added darks for the yew trees in the churchyard the battle to balance out tonal contrasts began. There were several occasions where he found some areas were not dark enough. I'm sure for several of us this is a familiar process when a painting needs constant adjustment.

Yet again, a good demonstration. Attendance was not so good with only sixteen members present on this occasion. It was probably too soon after Easter.

The images that follow show David's paintings at various stages of progress.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pastel and painting workshops with illustrator David Brindley

I am including information about a workshop which, although it has nothing to do with Ledbury Art Society, is happening not too far away and it may be of interest to members.

Book in to a beginners workshop to learn techniques of blending, smudging and colour layering. Sessions are approximately 2 hours long and will be held from 10.30am on Friday mornings at RAFT Newent on the Market Square. Price per workshop £15 and includes light refreshment and all materials. Places are limited to 5 only so please book early to avoid disappointment. Telephone 01531 828280 or email Start date to be confirmed soon.

All students will produce a still life of fruit for the first workshop.

If you would like to see some watercolours produced by David Brindley then take a look at 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Geoff Rowswell - watercolour landscape

The finished painting
Geoff Rowswell stepped in at very short notice for this demonstration and we're glad he did because this was an excellent demonstration of watercolour painting which he followed up with a lively question and answer session. He also showed us some of the his work that he currently has on show in his gallery, which is over the Farrow & Ball shop in Ledbury.

Geoff encouraged us toward a looser style and the omission of too much detail.

Two things particularly impressed me with the demonstration were: [1] the use of a very limited palette (I think he used only Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber); [2] the light that seems to shine out of this picture.

Geoff had done his drawing in advance and had applied masking fluid to the trunks of the foreground birches. The images that follow show the progress of the painting.

Friday, 30 January 2015

AGM and programme changes

3rd February 2015

There has had to be a change to the programme for this year. Firstly Val Ridler has undergone eye surgery and so very kindly Cherly Clayton the artist book for November has kindly swapped with her.  Therefore on Tuesday 3rd February Cheryl will be demonstrating and coloured pencil drawings of wild animals.

3rd March 2015

The AGM.  Please do make every effort to support your society and attend the AGM.  AGM papers will be available at the 3rd Feb meeting and mailed to those who do not attend.  You will find a proposal form from which you will see we are seeking nominations for Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and general committee places.

14th April 2015

April has proved a very difficult month for a number of reasons but I'm pleased to let you know that David Wilcox will be demonstrating watercolour landscapes for the society.  David graduated with an Honours Degree in Fine Art in 1978 followed by a PGCE at the Birmingham College of Art and Design.  He has been a professional artist since 1983 and has work in collections across the British Isles.

Lucille Eveleigh