Outdoor Sketching

The summer season of Outdoor Sketching has seen members over the past three weeks painting and drawing scenes in Shaldon, Powderham Castle and the Ferry Beach in Teignmouth.

In Shaldon the weather was glorious; the bowlers on the green dressed in their whites made wonderful models holding their poses whilst watching the bowls roll over the smooth grass just long enough for a quick sketch. Meanwhile other budding artists sat on the beach and seats along the water side with views of the Ness and boats swinging on their moorings making picturesque scenes.

The day out to Powderham Castle has become quite a favourite and on this fabulous hot day and members were spoilt for choice of subject. Some members walked to the folly or the Belvedere while others made studies of the castle from various angles. Although it was very hot it was delightfully cool to sit sketching in the shade of the beautiful mature trees. Members met at lunchtime for a chat in the café and to comment on each other’s work. Some artists purchased season passes and are already planning further sketching days at the Castle.

The third sketching day was held at the beach hut on the Ferry Beach belonging to the Society chairman Joyce Boyne; the threatened rain did not come. The local fishermen provided excellent subjects for the artists with a few boats pulled onto the beach for painting and repairs. The sand eel fishermen opened there keep and the sea gulls flocked for a feed, there were far too many to draw! Donations from members for their tea and coffee have been sent to the Fishermen’s Mission.

The next outdoor sketching day will be held at Widecombe which will be in complete contrast to the beach scenes. The Summer Exhibition in Shaldon during August is where members show their paintings, and compete for trophies. This year no doubt will show the results of all these days of sketching followed by hours painting and perfecting the finished masterpiece.

Anyone who would like to join the Society on their sketching days can see the whole program on the website www.teignmouthartsociety.co.uk

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Distinguished Landscape Painter Alan Cotton

Teignmouth Art society was treated to a talk by the d a member of the South West Academy

Alan Cotton has work in collections in Europe, North America and the Royal Collection

This fascinating talk was light hearted and hugely inspiring and kept us spell bound for the full 2 hour session with a small break midway and with superb projection of his paintings Alan works in oils which he applies with a ‘painting knife’ what we would call a palette knife. Many of his paintings are very large over six feet across, the paint is generously applied giving them a wonderful texture with awe inspiring results. His illustrated talk took us on his expeditions to the Southern Hemisphere taking in Shri Lanka, Fiji, New Zealand with the Prince of Wales and on other expeditions to Transylvania, Tuscany, Provence, Venice, the West coast of Ireland, Morocco and Everest not forgetting the Isle of Sky and Hartland Point in N. Devon. All these places illuminated with stunning paintings.

Alan captivated the members with entertaining tales of his trip accompanying HRH Price of Wales who is a keen water colourist. Alan told us he tried to get the Prince to use a ‘painting knife’ and oil paints’ also he told us of the visit to HRH’s old school with some hilarious royal banter. In all it was an excellent talk with some superb pictures.

The Society’s next Friday talk at the Teign Heritage Centre is on February 24th 7pm (non-members welcome) when Martin Dutton another South West Academy Artist will talk about Abstraction.


Memories of Summer in Art Society’s Christmas Exhibition

the-fairy-door-powderham-castleSaturday 3 December sees the opening of Teignmouth Art Society’s Annual Christmas Exhibition at the TAAG Gallery in Northumberland Place. With a large and diverse membership, the work on display will also be diverse and extensive. But one theme to look out for is work based on the Society’s Summer Sketching Days.

This year members have studied views around the harbour, from both Shaldon beach and the Back Beach; they have been up the Estuary to the peace and tranquility of the reed beds by the Passage House; and also a highly successful day at Powderham Castle.

There can be no doubt that work painted from outdoor study of real subjects and scenes is full of life and atmosphere. Illustrated here are Kath Loram’s painting of the Ness from Shaldon in which she has broken up the view into abstract shapes – but shapes that are so well observed from nature that we see that gorgeous view we all love so much and feel the warmth of the summer shimmering around us.

Barbara Armstrong painted a Little Egret in the water by the passage house – a very accurate depiction of this pretty species whose numbers are increasingly locally. It is always good to see a natural history subject painted in the context of its environment, and doing what it does – in this case, fishing.

Des Maxwell Clark enjoyed the peace and quiet of the new American Garden at Powderham Castle. Pupils from Kenn School had put little fairy doors on the trees and so Des let his imagination run away with him, and added fairy dustbins outside the door. He has used the play of light and dark between the trees and the view of water beyond to build a bit of mystery and help us continue the story in our imaginations.

There will be many more examples of locally-inspired works, alongside work inspired from further afield. Cards and pottery are now a regular feature of Teignmouth Art Society Exhibitions, and it is always worth taking a closer look at the unframed work which always produces a few surprises. The exhibition runs just for a week, until Friday 9th December.

Painting the Sunshine back into Shaldon’s Summer

Members of Teignmouth Art Society met in Shaldon last Thursday for a sketching and painting day. The weather was a little bit chilly, but with sunshine in their hearts and hot drinks from the Clipper in their tummies the artists made the skies blue and sea turquoise.

Outdoor sketching is completely absorbing and very good for well-being. It’s lovely to meet up with friends, exchange gossip and have a giggle. If all goes to plan there’s a lovely picture to take home too – a picture full of sunshine reflecting the fun and enjoyment rather than the reality of slightly grey skies!

The artists will be meeting again on the back beach, come rain or shine on Monday 11th July.

Rosemary More adding some sunshine in oils to her view of Shaldon Beach Simon Wakfer's  studies of boats outside the Clipper in Shaldon Barbara Armstrong and Kath Lorem's beautiful paintings of the Ness from Shaldon Beach Jane and Ray Gratton sketching the boats at Shaldon

Photographs (please credit Anna Grayson):

Barbara Armstrong’s and Kath Loram’s beautiful paintings of the Ness from Shaldon

Simon Wakfer’s studies of boats outside the Clipper in Shaldon

Rosemary More adding some sunshine in oils to her view of Shaldon Beach

Jane and Ray Gratton tackling the tricky subject of boats on Shaldon Beach

Acclaimed Artist Greg Ramsden Comes Home to Teignmouth To Take Workshop

Acclaimed Artist Greg Ramsden Comes Home to Teignmouth To Take Workshop

Members of Teignmouth Art Society had a real treat last week when well known Devon Artist Greg Ramsden returned to his home town to give a demonstration and workshop.

It was an unusual workshop as only black and white paint was used. The artists mixed a range of greys – not quite fifty shades this time, more like six or eight. They used this palette to study light and shade in landscapes and seascapes. It was incredibly effective, and many people finished the day with work they felt could be framed and exhibited. Some of the pieces looked quite photographic from a distance, but with more depth and feeling.

Value painting, as painting in greys, blacks and whites is called, is one of Greg’s specialities at the Coves Quay Gallery in Salcombe where he is artist in residence. “Colour can get in the way sometimes, and I wanted to explore the value of tones. It’s all about capturing the light really” said Greg.

Greg spent several years of his childhood living near the Minadab along the Dawlish Road. His bedroom window overlooked the sea and he spent many hours staring at clouds. Now, quite a few years later one of his favourite subjects is clouds over a low horizon. Greg attended Teignmouth Community College where his talent was spotted by his teachers, Sue Williamson and Paul Taylor. “I owe them a big thank you for making me take art seriously and study painting at University.” Actually, the whole county and our town of Teignmouth should also be grateful to Sue and Paul for nurturing such a rising star in the art world. Greg Ramsden is a name to watch in the world of art.

Greg became the youngest academician of the South West Academy and is now very active with them as a trustee, encouraging art in the county and taking part in their exhibitions. His work has been shortlisted by the RA in London and he has been hung several times by the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. He is also hung in many private collections around the world.

It is entirely possible that you will be able to see some of the results of this workshop at the Society’s regular exhibitions at the Victoria Hall in Shaldon, over May half term and in the second half of August.

Greg Ramsden using a paint roller on a sunset painting Greg Ramsden Workshop in progress Greg Ramsden Worshop finished work

Autumn Harvest of Art

Autumn Harvest of Art

Teignmouth Art Society launched their autumn programme of Wednesday workshops last week with botanical studies of conkers and apples. Professional artist Clare Jenkinson lead the session. Clare is a carpet designer by profession but is best known locally for her oil paintings of local scenes and her very detailed and accurate watercolour studies of botanical subjects.

Guided by Clare, participants applied watercolour washes, observing the specimens Clare had brought in very closely. Looking carefully at shadows was key to making the paintings look lifelike.

The Society’s workshops take place on alternate Wednesday afternoons at the TAAG Centre in Northumberland Place. Members pay £2 and non-members £3. “It’s great value” commented one participant, “Not only do you get a nice cuppa and decent biscuit (chocolate if you are lucky!), but often at these sessions there is the expertise of a professional artist at hand. It’s brilliant.”

Autumn Harvest of Art

Photograph (please credit Anna Grayson) Professional Artist Clare Jenkinson (seated third from right) with participants at Teignmouth Art Society’s “Autumn Harvest” workshop