Notes and images taken on Friday 4th February 2022
Once again Coronavirus, this time in the form of the new Omicron variant, meant that the AGM has had to be held via Zoom. There were relatively few members able to attend in this way but members will receive this in their Newsletter via email.
At the start of the meeting, Peter Tuitt, the Chairman, began by remembering Graham Scandrett, who had been the President of FCSA for many years. Sadly, Graham died on 20th November. He was a great artist and art teacher who gave his time and encouragement to his students, one of whom was Peter himself. FCSA members enjoyed the workshops he used to take over two nights every September in recent years. He was one of life’s true gentlemen and he will be missed by us all.
The Society is very fortunate to have Liz Seward take up the mantle as President, especially as she has had a long-established relationship with Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts ever since 1979. In fact, she has held the role of Chairman and for many years she was the Exhibition Secretary. She taught watercolour and mixed media for 14 years at France Hill Adult Education. She is a member of the Society of Women Artists, and she exhibits regularly at the Mall Galleries, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Society of Floral Painters.
Peter Tuitt explained that the Coronavirus had impacted the Society’s programme again this year however it was possible to hold the Annual Exhibition in September rather than in July. The Annual Exhibition for this coming year has been booked at High Cross and will be held in September again, on Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd, and Saturday 3rd September.
The new brackets for the display panels, designed by Terry Ralph, were used this year. Terry was only meant to oversee and direct the installation of the panels but because of the lack of helpers on the Thursday morning Terry ended up putting the panels together himself, thankfully with help from Alan Stoney and a few other members.
Thank you, Alan Stoney, and the other helpers but as none of us is getting any younger, Peter stressed that there will have to be more volunteers to help with the installation this coming year 2022.
The prize winners at last year’s exhibition were:
The Winsland Prize won by Lesley Kilner for “Mouse”.
The Theme Competition, Lockdown Dreams, won by Olga Salgado, for “Changes in Life.”
The Committee prize, The Theme of Water, won by Tracey Allen for “Water”.
The Gerry & Jill Seward Award, also known as the People’s Choice, was won by Lesley Kilner.
Peter Tuitt announced that there will be a new prize available this year, the Val Brookes Prize for the best pastel in show, which is kindly donated by Val’s husband.
John Stacey has been the Membership Secretary for more than ten years. Peter announced that in recognition of John’s years of service he was being awarded Honorary membership.
John said he had enjoyed his time as Membership Secretary, but all good things must come to an end and he felt it was time to hand over to a fresh pair of hands. Craig Whitehead has offered to take on the role and John said he would be perfect for the job.
John gave the following Membership Secretary’s Report: “Membership in 2021 fluctuated between 75 and 84, the number of members at the end of the year being 81. However, 8 members have not renewed for the coming year, but we have one new member this year already. This means that the total at the start of 2022 is 74.”
Val Painter, the Honorary Secretary, said that in the past year the committee had met eight times. Four of these meetings were via Zoom and the rest were either at Peter Tuitt’s house or at the studio. She outlined briefly the wide-ranging topics of these meetings and thanked Olga Salgado for facilitating all the Zoom demonstrations and meetings that took place over the year.
Lesley Kilner, the Honorary Treasurer, began her report with these words: “We are very lucky that the club has acquired a very solid financial foundation over the years. This has meant that we have been able to weather the Covid storm without having to worry about insolvency. We have spent some of our assets on bringing our display boards up to a good health and safety standard with new secure floor brackets. These will serve us for many years to come although we have written off the expense in the one financial year.”
Please see the AGM Minutes for the full report and the Spreadsheet that has already been sent to the membership by email.
Olga Salgado, the FCSA webmaster, provided interesting graphs to illustrate the amount of traffic that the website received during 2021. It was clear that the on-line Christmas and Spring Exhibitions and the Annual Exhibition produced peaks of interest. Olga urged members to use the website regularly to keep up to date with the latest news and any changes to the FCSA calendar, as Covid has meant changes were inevitable.
Sue Whitehead, the Vice Chairman, described the plans for the coming year. There are five Zoom demonstrations already booked. (These are listed in the calendar inside the membership card). There are plans to exhibit both at the Annual Exhibition and at other events. There is an exciting new initiative for Friday night studio sessions when members will share their skills and expertise in different areas. DYOT remains an option. There are also plein air painting days, and it is hoped members might enjoy meeting up to go to some of the art exhibitions that take place during the year.
At the Election of the Executive Committee the whole committee were returned unopposed, with the exception of John Stacey, who was retiring from the office of Membership Secretary and from the committee after very many years. Craig Whitehead was nominated to take over John’s role and he was unanimously elected. Craig reflected on the size of the shoes he would be expected to fill and hoped he would be able to do nearly as good a job.
The other items on the Agenda will be covered in separate news items in individual News posts.
The current exhibition of paintings at the Heritage Gallery has been up for nearly a year. We would like to refresh the display on Friday25th February. If you would like to submit up to four paintings, please contact Lesley Kilner Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org bring them to the Studio on Friday 11th, or Friday 18th, or to her house by agreement or to the Heritage Gallery at 9:45 on Friday 25th at the time of the rehang.
Paintings for exhibition at the Heritage Gallery can have been exhibited before or on-line and the hanging fee is only £1.00 per painting. 10% of sales go to the Heritage Gallery. Framing and labelling should be to exhibition standards with secure means of hanging.
If you would like to exhibit please email Lesley Kilner with the following details:
Name of Artist
Paintings in the current exhibition can either be collected from the Gallery on Friday 25th February between 10:00 and mid-day or from the studio on Friday 25th or by other agreed arrangement. There is also a display of FCSA members cards at the Heritage Gallery. If you would like to contribute, please make sure your name and the price are on the back of the card.
A report of the Zoom AGM on Friday 4th February will appear in the News feed shortly. In the meantime, the good news is that members will be meeting again face-to-face at Camberley Adult Education studio on Friday 11th February. There will be a warm welcome for all; old members, new members or prospective members. Come and Do-Your-Own-Thing. Let’s get painting again!
Joel Wareing is a practicing artist and teacher who lives in Surrey. He was born in South Africa and moved to England in 2001. His work focuses mainly on people in urban environments and he likes to pay particular attention to dramatic sunlight. Joel has demonstrated to the FCSA before in oils but the technique he uses is equally good to use with acrylics.
To begin Joel had mapped out the cafe scene he is going to paint in pencil on canvas. He has a colour and black & white photo of the scene for reference but he tends to work from the black & white one for the tonal values. The first thing he is going to do is fix the pencil with a light hairspray. It is important to ensure this fixative is dry before adding any paint to the canvas.
The first colour he uses is Cadmium Yellow. He wants to put in his light areas; anywhere that has direct sunlight. This is essentially an underpainting so the paint is being mixed with water and quite a lot of pigment. Then he takes Raw Sienna (or Yellow Ochre if preferred) which is a darker tone of yellow but still very warm. He uses a fairly big brush to block in the light parts of the painting.
The next stage is to look at the dark tones. He switches to a clean pot of water. It is very important to use clean water so that the yellows do not muddy the transparent colours he is going to use now. Ultra Marine Blue and Alizarin Crimson to produce the nice purple shadows. He points out that he has gone from yellow to purple, its opposite colour on the colour wheel.
After painting the red purple colour on the top left he mixes Ultra Marine Blue and Burnt Sienna to produce a darker shadow colour. He likes to vary the colours in the shadows. Ultra Marine Blue and Cadmium Yellow produces a deep green which he also puts into the dark areas of the painting.
Joel is working on cotton canvas that has been primed with Gesso. The additional coat of Gesso makes a good surface to work on especially for this next stage when Joel uses Willow Charcoal to re-capture some of the drawing and to make the figures stand out more. The charcoal drawing will be visible in the finished painting. This is an element of his work that he likes as he thinks it gives structure to the work. Originally he used this technique in his oils and has found it works equally well with acrylics. Joel was influenced by Richard Smits, an American artist, who also uses charcoal in a similar way.
The next stage is when Joel puts a large amount of gloss varnish on his palette to mix it into the additional washes he is going to put on now. Once again it is very important to use the hairspray fixative again at this stage to stop the charcoal from mixing with the paint. He is essentially using transparent glazes to build up his darks. He was asked if you can use gloss medium for this. Yes, gloss medium would work too but Joel likes this particular gloss varnish by Pebeo.
The benefit of using this gloss varnish is that the paint dries and the colours look as fresh and good as they did when they were being painted. Acrylics without varnish tend to dry to look a bit flat. Joel was asked which paints he uses and he said he uses both Winsor & Newton and Daler-Rowney but he does not find brands a big issue. Joel likes to keep to a limited colour palette. He uses Daler-Rowley for the dark areas with the varnish. Colour transparency is very important. Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Ultra Marine Blue and Alizarin Crimson are transparent colours. The unvarnished light areas are Winsor & Newton Cadmiums. He was asked if he would eventually varnish the whole painting and he said he does not do this. He likes to separate the lights and darks, it makes the painting more 3D to his mind.
At the break Joel was asked to give the audience a close up of the two photographs he was working from. The photo was taken at a cafe near Sloane Square just outside the Saatchi Gallery. Joel is a teacher and he likes to go to London in the summer holidays to get his reference material. He usually works on series of paintings. There is an advantage in working on several paintings at the same time especially when working in oils as he can let the layers dry properly on one painting as he works on the next. The brushes he is using are Rosemary & Co Ivory Filberts No 4 and No 6. He finds synthetic brushes keep their shape better.
Up to this point Joel has not used any white paint but he is going to use quite a lot of white now to mix his mid-tones. He changes his water once again and uses Crimson, Raw Sienna and Ultra Marine Blue to make a variety of different types of grey. He puts it down freshly, he does not blend the paint at all. He wants to ensure that the original Raw Sienna is still going to show through.
The composition of this painting is in line with the rule of thirds. The main figure lies on one of the thirds as does his leg across a third of the painting; the two panels of dark colours divide the painting along those lines too. Joel now uses Titanium White with a touch of Cadmium Yellow to put in the highlights on the man’s back, the legs of the chairs, his shoes, and items on the tables. The good thing about painting in acrylics is that it is possible to return to areas such as the mid-tones or to the darks with the glazing technique to deepen the colours.
When it comes to framing, Joel likes a simple white frame such as the one on this painting. Some will recognise this painting from the demonstration in oils that Joel gave FCSA when we were able to meet at the Adult Education studio instead of watching on Zoom.
Joel was asked again whether the charcoal lines would still be visible in the finished painting and he said that they would. He likes this effect and it certainly gives this painting a distinctive look.
The time had come for the Zoom Demonstration to come to an end. From reference material that was frankly mono-tonal Joel had produced a warm, interesting, pavement cafe scene full of urban life. The heightened sense of sunlight and the blues and purples in the shadows seemed reminiscent of French impressionist paintings and the subject matter, being a cafe scene, perhaps works to reinforce this effect.
Members are gradually returning to the Adult Education Centre studio in Camberley to paint together on a Friday night. There was a happy little band there last week and the studio will be open again this coming Friday. Come and join us. £4.00 per evening. Tea, coffee, soft drinks provided and a warm welcoming atmosphere despite everyone being seated on separate tables in plenty of airy space to protect against Covid.
There will be a Zoom Demo on Friday 5th November with Joel Wareing of a street scene with figures in Acrylics. As this demonstration has reverted to Zoom while Covid numbers remain high the studio will be closed. Cost to join this demo is £5.00 for members, £6.00 for non members.
Liz Seward is a long-standing member of Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts and she began the day by reminiscing about the rooms we were in and all the many occasions she had taught in them. She has been a Chairman of our Society and she is very familiar with what is involved in running the Annual Exhibition. We are lucky to have benefitted from her wealth of experience and professional know how over many years. During today’s workshop Liz will illustrate ways to add interest and texture to watercolour paintings using watercolour pencils, colour pencils, watercolour crayons and marker pens.
Liz showed several examples of her work to illustrate what happens when using these additions to pure watercolour. The first photo is a flower painting although Liz said it could almost be two paintings with the tea and toasted teacakes making its own composition. The use of coloured pencils works beautifully for the kind of details seen here.
Liz is also well-known for painting lovely woodland scenes. She likes to paint ‘en plein air’. For this she finds watercolour pencils are very convenient.
It is a good idea to start with a pencil drawing. Liz recommends that you always do a pencil drawing first when working from a photograph. This is a tonal sketch that Liz did of Sprat’s Hatch Bridge on the Basingstoke Canal.
Recognising negative spaces can make such a difference. Using the under-painting to outline the positive objects is very effective. Liz used this half-finished floral painting to illustrate this.
She suggested that some people might like to use one of the either outline of trees or pears to develop the idea of painting the negative space first. Quite a few people took up her suggestion.
She often works with four colours to do the under painting: a yellow, a red and two blues. Today she will use Yellow Hansa medium, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue (reflects both red and yellow and creates good light greens, not so good for dark shades), and Prussian Blue (has a yellow bias and is better for making greens). Creating shades of green could be a whole workshop in itself! Liz advises against using green colours themselves in underpainting as they tend to become muddy as soon as other colours are added to them. Liz also advises against Payne’s Grey for much the same reason. An artist who uses negative painting to good effect is Linda Kemp: https://lindakemp.com
Here is the demonstration Liz did with the tree outline. She put down the four under paint colours and then painted in the negative shape with darker shades still using the same four colours.
Here is FCSA Chairman, Peter Tuitt, working with the tree outline. He managed to produce two versions during the course of the day.
Helen also used the tree outline to experiment with negative space painting.
Tracey decided to have a go with the outline of the pears.
While Val applied negative spaces and under painting to her pansies.
Craig also worked on two versions of his waterlilies.
This is Carole attempting a floral painting while applying what was being taught. She did not know, until Liz told her, that Opera Rose is not colour fast and will fade with time. Such a shame as it is a fabulous vibrant pink colour.
Watercolour pencils: This is a set of Caran d’Ache watercolour pencils. It is possible to buy them in different size sets, some specialising in particular colours such as flesh tones, greys, earth colours, etc., it is also possible to just buy a single colour that you want once you have got a basic set. Liz demonstrated how by adding a little water on a brush and painting over the colour the effect of watercolour is achieved. She warned that artists should NEVER put the pencil directly into the water pot. The water will just go up the barrel and ruin the pencil. However, you can load your brush with colour by taking a wet paintbrush over the tip.
Colour Pencils: Liz also has a fabulous set of dry Permanent Colour Pencils by Caran d’Ache which she was given as a thank you for a workshop she gave. She recommends using moments of boredom to practice using pencils to produce a gradient of tone from pressing very hard to very, very lightly. These pencil colours can be overlaid but should not be wet.
Neocolours: Some of the participants of this workshop had bought the set that Liz produced when her daughter-in-law was running the art shop in Camberley and ordered these sets to be produced on Liz’s behalf. They are water soluble pastels.
Marker Pens: Liz also demonstrated how Winsor & Newton Pro Marker twin tip pens can be another useful tool. She added a little water on a brush to move the ink from the marker to produce another interesting effect. This works especially well when depicting silver birch trees.
Brushes: These Da Vinci Chisel brushes are what Liz likes to use to create her distinctive watercolour style of painting. She also likes the Pro Art Sablene brushes that are available now for painting in watercolour.
Watercolour Paper: Liz recommends working on hot pressed watercolour paper when using colour pencils. There are three different kinds of watercolour paper: Hot pressed, Not and Rough. Here is a good illustration of the difference between them along with an explanation of which is used for what purpose from Ken Bromley Art Supplies website.
Perhaps one of the first choices you will encounter when selecting a watercolour paper is choosing a surface type. Generally, watercolour papers are one of three different surface types; Hot Pressed (HP), Cold Pressed (NOT) and Rough. Hot pressed is the smoothest watercolour paper and is great for artists looking to render their subjects in fine detail. This paper is popular with illustrators and designers as it gives a flat finish good for reproduction. Cold Pressed paper has a medium textured surface favoured by beginners as it is compatible with a variety of techniques and applications. Rough, as suggested by the name, is the most textured watercolour paper. The deep pits in the paper are brilliant if you want to get the most out of the granulation of your watercolour paints. This heavily textured paper is well suited to those with a loose watercolour painting style.
The four hours of the workshop went by so quickly and everyone was so busy painting right up to the very last minute that there was not time to put all the work together for a plenary. The photos here are by no means a complete account of everyone’s work and these notes were taken while being one of the workshop participants. Hopefully they give some idea of what was learnt during a very enjoyable workshop.
Several members of FCSA will be taking part in this workshop at Camberley Adult Education Centre on Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.
This workshop is called Watercolour Plus so that watercolourists who have watercolour pencils, dry coloured pencils, white acrylic or coloured acrylic inks, watercolour pens etc., can have some fun. Do not worry if you do not have all or any of these as people are often happy to share. Please bring your own reference materials/still life. Liz advises not to make it too difficult.
Good quality watercolour paper (16 x 12”) (Not Bockingford). Hot Pressed watercolour paper is a good idea if using pencils
Any of the following that you already own: Watercolours, watercolour pens, pencils, white and coloured acrylic inks
Drawing materials such as pencils, rubbers, sharpeners etc
Assortment of brushes
A palette, preferably a large plastic one with deep wells
Old clothes & an apron
Remember to bring a packed lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.