This event is always well attended and very enjoyable. Members of the committee set up the outer room with festive table decorations and everyone brought a marvellous selection of food. Jenny Colquhoun produced another of her cleverly designed Christmas Quizzes.
This year the Members’ Critique did not go as planned. On arrival people discovered that both the gates to the Adult Education Centre were locked with heavy padlocks. The key that is meant to be available in the studio was nowhere to be found. In the confusion quite a few members decided to call it a day and returned home. A few intrepid members parked on France Hill Park Drive and used the pedestrian gate to access the Adult Education site.
The critique went ahead with a smaller group of members than usual but John Stacey and Brian Richardson ensured that the paintings below were held up for discussion and constructive criticism by the gathered audience.
This year the AGM (7th January 2020) was well attended. A copy of the Minutes has gone out to all the members. Here are some of the key issues that were covered at the meeting:
Peter was pleased to announce that the Committee decided at the beginning of the year to award Jenny Colquhoun and Brian Richardson Honorary Membership in recognition of all their efforts and hard work over the years.
The Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice charity raffle at the Annual Exhibition raised £234.82 for the Brush with Art group. The prize was a framed painting by our President, Graham Scandrett. The Christmas raffle, organised by Jenny Colquhoun, raised another £94.00 for Phyllis Tuckwell.
Sam Dauncey our Webmaster has done a wonderful job of keeping our website running but it is old technology and Sam now feels it is time for him to step down. A new website is being constructed by a sub-committee with the help of Olga Salgado and her partner. For the time being the old website remains online.
The Society has purchased a Square Reader to take credit and debit card payments in the hope that this will facilitate sales of paintings at the Surrey Heath Show, Camfest and the Annual Exhibition. There is a 1.75% transaction fee. This will be a trial year and the fee will come out of the Society’s commission.
The Surrey Heath Show will be on May 16th this year. FCSA will be in the marquee as usual but this year Camfest plan to be there too. They intend to have an Arts & Crafts exhibition and workshops. They hope to have about ten local arts and crafts groups taking part; the Girl Guides will sell tea and cakes again and it is planned to have local school choirs performing during the course of the day.
Last year FCSA participated in Camfest for one day in Camberley Main Square where Les Patey and some students gave members of the public a chance to try some watercolour painting. Camfest also borrowed 33 of our display panels for the U3A exhibition that Ann Bullimore organised in the council offices which raised the princely sum of £400 for the Society.
The Annual Exhibition this year will be held on 16th, 17th and 18th July in High Cross Church. At the AGM the title of the themed competition was put to a vote and it was decided it would be “WATER”.
As well as the permanent exhibition of FCSA paintings at the Heritage Gallery, Lesley Kilner has arranged with the Museum for there to be a display in the front window from 24th October to 23rd December 2020. Members are encouraged to paint for the theme of “Woodlands”. It is an opportune time of year for Christmas presents and all work should be for sale.
Late news – a possible new exhibition. Peter Tuitt has a meeting on February 13th with Camfest and Major Harry Stow at Frimley Army Cadet Centre, with the view to holding an exhibition on 20th June in the main hall, a very impressive building, which has been called a mini Sandhurst. Watch this space.
Josie is fond of cubism and ‘wonky’. She works mainly in acrylics, pastels and pencil and does a lot of animal art commissions for which she takes her own photographs. She brought with her an eclectic mix of objects – her old teddy, a jig doll, a drum, a glass dish, a metallic dish, a green glass amphora and a glass bauble. There were lots of challenges – metallic reflective, transparent and reflective glass, silky and plush fabrics and wooden surfaces.
These are some of the tips Josie gave:
Buy good quality pastels
Scrape back and then add highlights
Oil pastels are quite chunky so difficult to get details – use pencils to add these
Use chalk pastels for soft blended backgrounds and textured matt materials
Use oil pastels for hard surfaces – wood, glass, metal etc
Use blenders for chalk pastels not oils – useful for getting in the small gaps
Don’t put chalk pastels on top of oils
Any opaque paint will work with pastels – but gouache could crack
Black acrylic ink/ acrylic mix on a rigger flows well for details
Try ink over oil pastels for a transparent effect
She does not like fixatives as they can dull the picture
Brush or blow off loose powder gently
Mount as soon as possible using double mount with a gutter
Acrylic paint is a relatively new medium. It is ideal for new artists as mistakes can easily be remedied. Liz recommends buying good quality acrylics with less garish colours that mix well and produce better results. Get to know colours by making a colour wheel. Painting on a background colour has advantages. Liz used Liquitex Medium Magenta which gave a warm colour for the background for one of her demonstration paintings.
At the end of the afternoon Liz called everyone together to do a plenary and to look at what we had all achieved. There was a fabulous variety of work and Liz praised everyone for achieving as much in the limited time available. This year the hall was only available to from 10 am – 2 pm.
Dave White began the evening by saying “I paint for a living”. It was clear from the way that he had set out his work and his books that he makes a good living from his art. He exhibits annually at Crufts Dog Show where on a good year he can have £4,000 worth of commissions. He explained that he was a finance director for 30 years with Flagship which runs Navy Training Centres until fourteen years ago he discovered he could paint when he helped his daughter with her project “Moving Water” which she had to paint for school.
Here are some of the tips he gave during his demonstration:
Use the golden ratio for composition.
Make the focal point the height of the viewer’s eye.
Sea needs transparency and opacity, blue ultramarine is usually transparent, Hooker’s green usually opaque.
Use greys and purples for the under shadow of white waves.
The waves should conform to the lines of perspective.
The sand and the foam on the beach also follow the lines of perspective.
David Painting, a long-standing member and past Chairman of FCSA very sadly passed away recently. His funeral on Monday 19th May was attended by several members of the art society. He succeeded Liz Seward as Chairman in 1992 and he will be remembered as a very popular chairman with an impish sense of humour, a refreshing down to earth approach and a penchant for practical jokes.
FCSA want to send our sympathy to his wife Marian and thank her for her kind donation of his art equipment to the Society. Peter Tuitt, our current chairman, visited her to collect it and was pleased to be able to assure her that it would go to a good home. He is going to take it to “The Brush with Art Group” at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice as this is the charity that FCSA are supporting this year.
As you can see, the new banners that Peter Tuitt ordered recently worked really well and made the stand look very good. There had been a number of changes to the set up inside the marquee at the Surrey Heath Show this year so that the FCSA stand was smaller than before and we found ourselves in one of the corners.
The Guides were no longer providing teas and cakes in the central area of the marquee. Instead their place was taken by the music stage and straw bales for the audience to sit on. Instead of tea and cakes there was a beer stand. It should be said that despite the smaller pitch it was a successful event for us. We sold three paintings, a few cards and even signed up a new member.
Peter Tuitt and John Stacey manned the stand throughout the day while members came to offer their support, some in the morning and others in the afternoon. Congratulations to Val Brooks and Sue Whitehead for the sale of their paintings.
Cedric began the evening by showing a variety of slides by different Surrealist artists, some were well-known such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Magritte. He also told us about some lesser-known surrealist artists such as Odilon Redon, who is regarded as one of the predecessors of the surrealist art movement, or Yves Tanguy who explored dreams and the unconscious through his paintings of misshapen rocks and lunar landscapes.
The second half of the evening Cedric encouraged everyone to produce some surrealist inspired work of our own. He had told us about Andre Masson, who developed automatic drawing where he would allow his hand to move freely across the page or canvas without a conscious plan. Next Cedric experimented with creating communal drawings. We were given around 60 seconds to add our contribution before the paper was passed to the person on our right. We continued until our original piece of paper returned to us.
Cedric also introduced the idea of decalcomania where paint is squeezed between two surfaces and then pulled apart. At one point in the second half of the evening Cedric directed a communal set of paintings by giving each artist 60 seconds to work on a sheet of paper before passing it on to the next person. The results were surprisingly successful, and one might even say ‘surreal’.
Margaret and John clearly enjoyed seeing the result of their efforts with this technique.
Jenny Colquhoun brought along her Sealyham Terrier, Freddie, to act as the model for this unusual life drawing event in the calendar. Although Freddie was incredibly obedient, quite naturally, he did keep moving. This was a challenge which people tried to meet in different ways. Some people started a new sketch for each different pose while others, who must have had photographic memories, chose to concentrate on one pose.