Saturday, 31 December 2016

A good way to start the new year

The January issue of Paint, the SAA magazine, arrived today complete with an article about Ledbury Art Society on page 44.

New Year Resolution No. 1 - join Ledbury Art Society if your not yet a member. Go to the Membership page on this blog and download an enrolment form.

Paint also introduces the SAA Challenge 2017 and you can find lots more about it online here. I'm sure many LAS members do draw with confidence but some of us need a bit more practice. You may remember I set myself a challenge to learn to draw in 2017 - see Painting/Drawing Challenge which I put on this blog in November. You'll see another challenge in the post immediately prior to this, though that is probably better done as a painting.

New Year Resolution No. 2 - take up at least one of these challenges.

Val Briggs at work
New Year Resolution No. 3 - come an watch our demonstration on Tuesday 10 January when Val Briggs will demonstrate Atmospheric Landscape with Wildlife in Pastel
There's more information on the Coming Soon page, including a poster that you can download. Val's website is

But don't just come in January. Take a look at our 2017 Programme

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Painting Challenge

Here's a new challenge for you. Create a painting or drawing inspired by the photographic image and send a jpeg image to LAS Challenge.

The photo was taken at Bosham on a cold January day in 2013 a few days after snow had fallen.

The copyright of the photographic images used as a LAS Challenge remains that of the originator but you may use them as a basis for your own art work.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Pete the Street

Probably the best one person exhibition I've seen anywhere! This one happens to be in my favourite gallery, the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. Pete Brown paints en plein air, mostly in Bath where he lives. He is so well known there that he is known as Pete the Street. The exhibition has 140 oil paintings done over a two year period and some charcoal drawings. As well as the expected paintings of Bath, there are some from the Glastonbury Festival, from London, Dublin and Arles. All his works seem to give a great sense of light and space. While most of his paintings have been done in the street in all sorts of weather, he has a couple on show that he has also painted again in his studio on a very large scale.

The Artist has a feature on his work and this exhibition in their current edition. If you want to see more of his work and his publications then visit his website. Here's a preview of his oil sketches video

This is a must see exhibition and it continues until 19 February 2017.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

December meeting

Our meeting on 6 December, the day that St Nicholas brings gifts for children in much of Europe, was a social occasion with mince pies and some rather yummy biscuits to accompany our tea or coffee. Many members had brought along sketch books or paintings for our show & tell. We don't stand up in front of everyone for this but sit in small groups around tables. Some had also brought reference photographs for discussion about how they might be interpreted. To add to the festive fun we had a free raffle with five prizes - each person was given a raffle ticket when they arrived and the draw took place shortly after our refreshment break.

We were able to learn from each other in the show & tell and we also looked at a YouTube video in which a Canadian artist, Grant Fuller, demonstrated painting fishing boats in watercolour. You can watch it here.

Grant has published a lot of other short videos on YouTube so do take a look at what else is available. Another artists with lots of water colour demonstrations is Umberto Rossini. You don't get to hear his voice only an accompanying music track but he does provide some English subtitles. Here's one of his videos

Monday, 28 November 2016

Christmas Exhibition Final Day

Marcle Steam Rally - Ian Fountaine
Ian Fountaine sold a second painting on Sunday and there was a trickle of card sales so we finished with total sales close to £700. Visitors throughout the week (323) had been appreciative of the quality and range of work and it was good to have twenty members exhibiting in the Weavers Gallery. This was the first time the art society had exhibited in a gallery rather than a public hall. Some had exhibited there before but for many members this was the first time their work had been shown in a gallery and, from comments heard, it sounds as though this was a good experience.

After the record number of visitors on Saturday, our final day seemed a bit of a let down but at least it gave us time to draw breath before dismantling everything. How strange it seemed at the end with bare walls. Even more strange visiting today and seeing it transformed by colour once more but with textiles rather than paintings. I enjoyed my brief visit to the current exhibition by a group of textile artists called Out of the Blue

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Christmas Exhibition Day 6

Lots of visitors today with crowds of people attracted to the town with all the events leading toward the Christmas Lights being switched on. Cards were selling extremely well and yet more copies of Tony Bateman's reprinted Ledbury Sketchbook were bought today.  They would make an ideal Christmas present and we only have one more day when you can buy at the Ledbury Art Society Christmas Exhibition.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Christmas Exhibition Days 4 and 5

Waiting for the off - Tony Bateman
Although we had 50 visitors on Thursday only cards were selling. Much better today with three framed pictures sold in addition to more cards.

The three that sold were "Waiting for the off" by Tony Bateman, "Snow on the Malverns" by Ian Fountaine, and "Beach Boats, Aldeburgh" by Richard Hyde.

Snow on the Malverns - Ian Fountaine

Beach Boats, Aldeburgh - Richard Hyde

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Christmas Exhibition Day 3

Bee-cause by Diana Veasey
Not so many visitors today but cards were selling well, Tony Bateman sold two copies of his Ledbury Sketchbook and we also sold four paintings (unframed).

As I had missed some paintings from my photos earlier in the week I took some more using my phone and here's a selection so you can see something of the variety and standard of the exhibits.

Christmas Exhibition Day 2

Improved visitor numbers on day 2, plenty of card sales and two more pictures sold.
Goldie - Wendy Bulmer
sold on day 1

Poppy - Wendy Bulmer
sold day 2
Autumn - Daph Willett
sold day 2

Monday, 21 November 2016

Christmas Exhibition Day 1

An exhibition in the Weavers Gallery is a first for Ledbury Art Society. We finished setting up by the end of Monday morning (21st November) and open the doors to the public in the afternoon. What dreadful weather to start us off! Nine brave souls found their way through the door and were probably very glad to get out of the rain. Despite the low numbers we still sold two pictures and some cards.

The photos were taken before setting up was finished so not every picture is shown and I cannot guarantee that you'll find them in the same positions when you visit.

The gallery will open from 10am to 4:30pm from Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th November.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Painting/Drawing Challenge

Here's a challenge for you. Produce a painting or drawing based on the photo showing a knight from my Lewis chess set. If you wish you may send a digital image of your artwork to Knight Challenge. Depending on the response level, I'll post images on this blog.

I set this first of all as a challenge to myself. "I can't draw." That's what I've been telling myself for years. As a result many of my paintings rely on tracing from photos, sometimes with help from the computer. So I've set myself a target for 2017 - I shall learn to draw. Why wait for 2017? I made a start this week with the knight with black card behind and underneath. That helped me concentrate on the figure itself.

I was reasonably happy with my drawing, though I'd really like to get more variation between the dark values and the highlights. Perhaps I need to try ink or paint for the same figure.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Vicki Norman - Indian Townscape in Acrylics

What an excellent teacher and communicator Vicki is!

She usually paints in oils en plein air but teaches in all media. For our demonstration she worked in acrylic using as reference a photograph she had taken in India.

A painting usually begins with thumbnails using just black shapes onto white paper to establish that the composition works. When working from a photograph she will also print it first in monochrome as that shows the values and if the picture doesn't work tonally it will not work in colour. The next step is a small scale sketch such as the one shown here.

Drawing prepared for demo
Vicki had prepared her drawing in advance and also added some texture to the upper right of the drawing using a heavy acrylic medium.

She would normally mix that in with her pigment but it takes a long time to dry so she had applied it well in advance so it formed a textured ground to paint over it during the demonstration.

Do take a look at her website to see more of her work.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Sue Sareen - Domestic Interior in Watercolour

What professionalism from Sue Sareen! She seemed to launch into her excellent demonstration without any sign of stress after a horrendous journey had delayed her arrival. It was well worth waiting for her.

She clearly demonstrated the importance of darker tones to provide contrast to bring light into a watercolour painting. I always think interiors present a challenge because you have to indicate space where you effectively have only fore and middle ground and nothing distant. Her reference photo had the light coming through a window facing the viewer so there was really nothing much of the outside to be seen. She suggested using a photo editing package to manipulate the light in photos as otherwise some of the information is not visible.

She had prepared two outline drawings of the same scene so she was able to first make a tonal painting using just one colour - indigo - and secondly to paint using a range of pigments. She worked very wet, putting on light tones first and at each stage adding deeper tones. One of the advantages of working so wet was that some of the pigment could be easily lifted with a tissue to maintain some lighter areas where needed.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Painting outdoors

My painting
Thanks to Herefordshire Painting Club's invite to a painting day at Queenswood Country Park, I plucked up the courage to paint in the open air for the first time. Why did I need courage? Firstly because I have been reluctant to do any sketching or painting where the public can see what I'm doing. A poor reason really as I've taken part in painting workshops and what I've attempted has been open for other participants to see and comment on. The second reason stems from an incident in 1970 when I had pencil and paper and was trying to sketch some birch trees on the Gareloch. I was held at gun-point by the Naval Provost Marshall's merry men while they established that I wasn't sketching the Clyde Submarine Base and that I was cleared to enter some parts of the base that might be barred to them.
What it really looked like

Several LAS members also belong to HPC and I plan to join when the summer programme starts up again in April. They have a weekly programme of visits to country houses, gardens and estates. I shall bring some leaflets with more details to the LAS demonstration on Tuesday 4 October. If you can't wait then take a look at their website

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Yet more pics from the exhibition

Here are more pictures from the exhibition. The quality is a bit variable as it was difficult to avoid having reflections on the glass. Some were taken during the process of setting up so the labels are in strange places. We try to get most onto the display boards to overcome a storage problem at handing in and then we rearrange and move labels to a consistent position.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Wrong time

When we set up the exhibition the display boards (heavy brutes that they are) have to be transported from the church tower to the venue on Friday morning and they are taken back on Sunday evening.

This would have done the job well but he only turned up on Saturday!

More from the Exhibition

We had good footfall over the two days, especially considering how wet it was on Saturday. We had 355 visitors, sold eight paintings (including two unframed from the browsers) and lots of cards.

I promised more pictures so here's the next batch.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Best in Show

Kirstin with rosebowl and her winning painting

With pictures of a very high standard this year the public had a difficult task choosing a winner of the rosebowl presented in memory of Kath Manistre. Kirstin's impressive painting 'Inuksuk' really caught the eye.

An Inuksuk is a form of cairn built and used by Inuit and other peoples of the arctic region of North America. Go to for more information.

The close runner up 'Barn at Whiteleaved Oak' by Ian Fountaine.

Exhibition Opening

Bill the Bell and the Deputy Mayor opened the exhibition
at the Preview on Friday evening.
Photo courtesy of Sue Embrey

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Pictures from the exhibition

Just a few of the pictures from the exhibition in the Burgage Hall. I'll try to get some more taken on Sunday, the last day of the sale, as my first attempt had far too many reflections from the glass to be usable.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Tony's Angels

The paintings have been hung and we're all ready for tonight's preview evening.

The picture shows four of the several people who helped set up the hall and hang the paintings. Sue, Jill and Kirsten are all in Tony's Friday painting group so we're calling them Tony's Angels.

More pictures from the exhibition will be uploaded over the weekend.

This is the best show I've seen in so far.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Marion Derrett: Pastel Landscape

Marion often takes photographs for reference, which she usually crops and then develops thumbnail sketches if she wishes to adjust the composition. She brought with her the photo and thumbnails for the landscape she demonstrated today and had also sketched the scene with charcoal on the sanded paper support she used.

She began by putting in the darkest values and then added various blues to the sky - darkest at the side from which the light came. Notice the purple on the underside of the clouds.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Demonstration on Tuesday 6 September

Marion Derrett has stepped in to rescue us. She will demonstrate the use of pastel for landscape. For more information visit her website

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Annual Exhibition 10 & 11 September 2016

Members should ensure completed entry forms reach Richard Hyde, 52 Biddulph Way, Ledbury HR8 2HN by Friday 19 August. They should be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee - £3 for each painting to be hung and £1 for each unframed item for the browsers. Cheques should be made payable to Ledbury Art Society.

Handing in at the Burgage Hall will be between 11 am and 1 pm on Friday 9 September. An exhibition Preview for members and invited guests will be held that evening - 6:45 pm for 7:00 pm.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Community Day - Favourite Picture

Here's an image of Belinda Morgan's painting which was won the most votes at Ledbury Community Day.

This image also appears in the latest edition of All About the Hills  along with information about the LAS Exhibition on 10 & 11 September.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Two Directions Art Exhibition

Two LAS members have an exhibition from 25 July to 7 August at the Weaver's Gallery

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Ledbury Community Day and Trip to Compton Verney

Our stall at Ledbury Community Day attracted a lot of interest from visitors as they were asked to vote for their favourite among those on display. Belinda Morgan's picture of the 'Market House' won 'Favourite Picture' in the public vote. We had a real buzz of interest and more than 100 voters. She was  followed closely by Tony Bateman and Ian Fountaine came third. More than 10 pictures got at least three votes. We had around fifteen 'In and Around Ledbury' pictures in all... As much as we could fit on the table. Thank you to all who supplied pictures. It's a pity we couldn't display more.

The weather was a challenge for anyone attempting to paint or draw outdoors but Meg Keeble found a nice corner under the Market House.

This event was our second of the week as 14 people enjoyed out coach trip to Compton Verney on the Wednesday. An enjoyable and worthwhile visit.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Poster Competition Winner

We didn't have a demonstration for our May meeting but had a 'Show & Tell' where we shared tips and sought advice from each other. We had also invited members to submit paintings suitable for use on a poster to advertise our Exhibition which runs over the weekend of 10-11 September. The theme set for this poster competition was 'In and around Ledbury'. The winning painting was a watercolour by Ian Fountaine showing rather deep snow in Church Lane. Well done Ian!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Workshop - Seascapes in Acrylic and Oil

One of Colin's paintings
Colin Ross Jack, who had demonstrated for us in February, led today's workshop at Wellington Heath Memorial Hall. We were glad to welcome a few non-members and to share a day's painting. Colin had brought plenty of his paintings and many photos to serve as inspiration for our own efforts.

He began with a brief introduction to his method which he was able to demonstrate very rapidly, not by painting but by bringing along six canvases, one for each stage. The stages were: 1. paint the canvas/board with thin acrylic in a mid tone; 2. choose a composition; 3. sketch composition with chalk; 4. sketch composition with thin acrylic paint using a small brush to follow chalk lines; 5. acrylic tonal underpainting, dark tones first than lightest lights then mid-tones; finish rocks with thicker acrylic and texture; 6. finally paint it in oil or acrylic ... enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Adrian Clamp - further progress

Adrian Clamp has done some more work on the portrait he began at this month's meeting and has sent us this image.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Adrian Clamp - Portrait in Mixed Media

Photo with grid
To see a range of works by Adrian Clamp visit his website

Adrian showed us how to paint a portrait from a photograph using acrylic paint initially and then adding some oil pastel over the top. He worked on paper which had previously been given a coat of cream emulsion paint so he wasn't working on a bright white surface. He had selected the area of interest in the photo and overlayed it with a grid that was used for scaling up.

The grid on the paper

To scale up he draws a vertical line, with a charcoal pencil, onto his paper where the left side of the painting will be and a horizontal line to mark the top. With the top left corner of the grid aligned with the intersection of these two lines, he draws a diagonal at the same angle as the grid for the photo. The other two sides of the rectangle to contain the
painting can now be drawn in. They will meet at some point on the diagonal. The other elements of the grid can now be drawn.

Using the grid as a scaling guide he added marks with paint to indicate the location of some of the key facial features and began his underpainting.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Seascape workshop and drawing master class

LAS are delighted Colin Ross Jack is coming to lead a workshop in April on painting a seascape in acrylics and/or oils. 

Date: Saturday 23rd April from 10am to 4pm

Venue: Wellington Heath Memorial Hall

Artist: Colin Ross Jack

Subject: Seascape

Media: Acrylics and/or Oils

Cost: £30 per person, payable in advance. Places are on a first come first served basis. To express interest please email

The cut off date for Ledbury Art Society Members to sign up and pay for the workshop will be Friday, 8th April. After that date places will be offered to other Art groups and interested persons

The Print Shed is running a Drawing Master Class in May, led by Allison Neal who recently retired from Hereford College of Arts where she headed Fine Art. More details and a wide range of other courses on the web: