Dot’s paintings

Dot’s previous paintings were still lifes of what was in front of her and of her garden.

As lockdown eased a little she thought of other countries and has painted three more interesting paintings.

Indian elephants and their mahouts having a break from hard work have made a colourful acrylic painting.

An African mask is the subject here, with so much detail in the colours and small dots.

This vibrant sunset on distant shores evokes feelings of hot days and a wonderful holiday. Lovely work, Dot.

Skies – September Weds 2020

It was so good to be back in the hall for the first time in 6 months. Thank you to all eleven members who came along, especially to Ron and Angela D who helped with setting up and cleaning all the tables and chairs before and after the session.

We actually had room for the tables in the usual big circle, with one person to a table, and we all liked spreading out our art equipment. We can fit several more tables in at a safe 2m distance from each other, so if more members want to come next time then that would be fantastic. Government guidelines do change on Monday 14th September, but we are keeping up to date with what the hall committee advise so we’ll update you as soon as we can.

The upper windows were opened, along with the outer door and the door into the hall. The air vents were turned on to get fresh air inside and even though it was a little noisier than the usual aircon we all got used to it quickly. The 2 bucket system worked well in the kitchen hatch, so getting fresh water and disposing of it when dirty was easy, without everyone having to go into the kitchen.

We kept our masks on all session and the time went really quickly. We all had a good time and it was encouraging that everyone was amenable and patient with each other, thank you.

The subject suggested was ‘skies’, making the sky the main part of the painting. Some made the sky about half the painting, others made the sky 100% of the painting and others were in-between.

Some members did different subjects altogether, with one PAOTM being drawn of Tracey Emin. We honestly don’t mind what you paint or draw, as long as you come along and enjoy the session!

September 2020

You should have received emails from both Steve and myself (Tracy) about meeting at the hall again. Please read those emails thoroughly and we hope to see you in person soon.

Here are ideas to paint this month, which you can paint on the Wednesday and Saturday at the hall. If you don’t intend coming to the hall then paint any of the subjects and send your painting to me by email, text, WhatsApp or Messenger, on the mobile number already sent to you, by the end of September.

Portrait Artist of the Month (PAOTM) – Captain Tom or Tracey Emin

There were a few requests to paint Captain Tom’s portrait, so if you asked, here’s your opportunity. There are lots of photos of Captain Tom online and even one of him and his wife after they were married at Gravesend Register Office in the 1960s, standing in front of the mosaic wall outside. Some of us had our wedding pictures taken in front of the same wall!

JANE FRYER meets Tom Moore, the war veteran who has raised £11million (and  counting!) for the NHS | Daily Mail Online

Tracey Emin is an artist that people love or loathe, but for a portrait she has an interesting face as her features are not symmetrical. When she appeared on the tv programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, seeing her vulnerable personality was very moving. Maybe you could paint Tracey’s portrait in front of one her installations, artworks or neon signs?


A subject for Wednesday 9th September if you’re coming to the hall, or anytime at home. Make at least 2/3 or even 3/4 of your painting sky. September often has amazing skies which are bright blue with fluffy clouds, violently stormy or colourful sunsets. Your choice of sky, but make it the majority of your painting.

The Circus

For Saturday 26th September or any time at home. Years ago circuses had animals, so paint elephants, lions, bears, dogs etc from your childhood memories. These days circuses are performer based, so paint acrobats, jugglers, clowns, fire eaters, the ringmaster/mistress, the big top tent etc. Modern circuses such as Cirque du Soleil have become major theatre events worldwide, combining stories with music and human performances. Look on YouTube for Cirque du Soleil shows in all their colourful glory.

PAOTM – Grayson Perry

Seven members took part in our Portrait Artist of the Month challenge this time, with Juliet drawing two beautiful portraits and Steve rising to the challenge and creating three portraits, an incredible feat!

Grayson Perry is a fascinating person to paint or draw as he is famous as himself, but he also dresses as Claire at award ceremonies and parties. Philippa, his wife, has an interesting face too, with her glasses and two-tone hair. Alan Measles, Grayson’s beloved teddy bear, makes an appearance in our portrait gallery, but sadly Kevin the cat wasn’t painted by anyone.

At our Saturday session at Chalk Church last week Cynthia painted Grayson in watercolours. The detail and subtle colour changes that she painted around his eyes is incredible.

At the same session Doreen worked from a black and white image but used colour to create her image of Grayson.

Juliet drew portraits of both Grayson and Philippa, using pencil to make light strokes and heavier strokes to make darker lines, both giving depth and texture to their features.

Steve’s three portraits are in three different mediums and show his skill in each. The portrait of Grayson is in pastel, on Canson 160gsm pastel paper.

Philippa’s portrait is in coloured pencils with white acrylic highlights, on 140lb watercolour paper.

Alan Measles is pen and watercolour on 140lb watercolour paper.

Angela D used water mixable oils, taking about 5 hours for her portrait, where Grayson is giving an intense stare to the viewer. His hair looks so real with many colours combined.

Dot had the brilliant idea of using two images of Grayson/Claire, folding them in half and joining then down his/her face. The resulting portrait is very clever and striking.

Tracy liked lots of online images of Claire, because she is usually bright, bubbly and smiling. One image was different in that Claire is staring away from the camera , not smiling, but looking very thoughtful and almost nervous. Someone can wear a lot of make-up to cover their face, but caught off guard they can look vulnerable. Watercolour on Hobbycraft 300gsm watercolour paper, taking about 2 hours.

Detail of Claire’s eyes. There were lots of eyelashes to paint!

Dot’s paintings

Dot has kept busy painting during the last few months, creating many images with different themes. Here are a few of her acrylic paintings. Keep up the excellent work, Dot.

These three paintings show that you can easily paint what is in front of you, as you don’t have to travel far from where you set up your art equipment. Your mug/water pot is a real statement piece!

Just sitting in a garden has brought pleasure for many whilst we’ve had to stay at home, so why not get your paints out and capture the view? Beautifully painted, Dot, the colours you have brought together here are very harmonious.

Chalk Church August 2020

Saturday saw 18 eager members meet at Chalk Church, some who came last month and others coming along for the very first time to paint outdoors in the church grounds. We had about 10 minutes of very light rain, but after that the clouds melted away, the sky lightened and we had a marvellous day.

The grounds look so lush at the moment, the greens of the trees are really intense. As you can see we all managed to keep our distance from one another, yet be close enough for a good natter!

A huge thank you to everyone for all your donations to the church fund and I’m very pleased to say that your contributions total £101, a very good sum.

Some members carried on with paintings they’d started last month and others started something new, either from their own reference photos or of views in the grounds. Mediums used were watercolours, acrylics, oils, coloured pencils, sketching pens, graphite pencils and mixed media including inks and skeleton leaves. There were a few pictures of Grayson Perry, but they’re not shown here, they’ll be put on the blog at the end of the month.

Rosie’s paintings

Rosie has been busy painting in acrylics and here are her three latest paintings.

Firstly she has painted a beach with a lone sandcastle left by visitors. Rosie might add a tree, umbrella or people to the painting.

Here is a colourful, autumnal image of a couple walking through trees.

Rosie calls this painting “Stormy Souls” and says “it’s about emotion and how sometimes you feel like you are swamped and drowning with anxiety.”

They’re all beautifully painted, Rosie, with the final painting being especially thought provoking. Well done!

Tracy’s poppy and beach paintings

No one has sent me any photos of paintings they have done this month, so I’ll show you what I’ve painted recently.

I absolutely love poppies and have painted them many times. Mainly as ‘weeping’ poppies at Remembrance time, with the red of the poppies bleeding into watercolour paper and with a quote dripping from the poppy’s black centre.

This time I painted poppies on a lighter theme, being inspired by a couple of photos on the IgersKent photo account on Instagram, where photos of Kent are posted every day.

The first painting is a bee flying to a poppy and the second is a view across a field of poppies, near South Foreland Lighthouse. Both are watercolours on Bockingford Not paper, 300gsm, 5” x 7”.

I’ve also painted a few beach scenes lately, so here are my favourite three.
Greatstone beach in Kent, where I went on holiday every year with my parents until I was 15 and which I still visit regularly with my own family. Watercolour on W&N Not, 300gsm paper, 8” x 10”.

A beach umbrella on sand, just out of my head. Acrylic on W&N Not, 300gsm, watercolour paper, 8” x 10”.

Sunset from the beach in Arenal d’en Castell, Menorca, on our holiday last year. Watercolour on Bockingford Rough, 300gsm paper, 5” x 7”.

Finally a painting I did last year of waves coming in on a beach. It is something you could do with your children or grandchildren, by collecting sand and shells from the beach. The close up photo shows I used newspaper, sand, shells, metal foil and gold paint for the beach. The sand stuck well with PVA glue but after the shells fell off I glued them on again with clear multi purpose glue and they stayed on. It was fun to do and easily done with younger members of your family.

Please send me any photos of any paintings you have done this month!

August 2020

We cannot access the parish hall again this month but we should be having our 4th Saturday session at the church on 22nd August. There are 5 Saturdays in August but we always meet on the 4th one. Watch out for more details nearer the time.

Steve, Patrick and Tracy met at the hall the other day with a couple of hall committee members to discuss when it will be opening again. With government guidelines as at the moment, the hall should be opening in September but with new rules about social distancing. We have come up with a new layout for tables and chairs and about how to keep apart during our sessions. Once details are finalised we will let you know, but if guidelines change again then we will have to rethink. Watch this space!

Here are some ideas to paint this month, if you’re struggling to think of subjects. Please send any paintings you do to me (Tracy) by email, WhatsApp, Messenger or text, on the mobile number I have emailed to you previously. Don’t forget to tell me the medium, paper used, the inspiration, how long it took etc.

If none of these ideas take your fancy, then paint something else and send it to me, we’d love to see what you’re painting at the mo. About 20 members haven’t been heard from since March, 5 months ago, what have you painted during lockdown?

Portrait Artist of the Month (PAOTM) – Grayson Perry/Claire

Many members watched Grayson Perry’s series of tv programmes during lockdown and thoroughly enjoyed them. Now is your chance to draw and/or paint Grayson Perry himself or his alter-ego Claire. You could also paint Grayson’s wife Philippa, who he had a great rapport with during the programmes, or his first love, his teddy bear Alan Measles, who means so much to Perry.

Lots of photos are online so show us what you can achieve. Any medium, any size, any interpretation, you have a whole month to create your picture, so you have plenty of time.


The official flower of August is the poppy, so paint a poppy or poppies in a vase, in fields, as the symbol of remembrance, in a hedgerow etc. There are so many ways to paint poppies in their various colours, so please get painting.


Even though most holidays aren’t going ahead, I’m sure you can paint a favourite beach that you have been to or one that you’d like to visit. Use any medium or used mixed media to include sand and shells to make your painting 3D.

PAOTM – Dame Vera Lynn

Only 5 members took up July’s challenge to draw or paint Dame Vera Lynn and all also took part in the weekly PAOTW on Sky. A portrait is obviously something that we feel confident to tackle now, from picking up lots of advice during the Sky programmes.

Come on everyone else, it only takes an hour to put pencil to paper to hone your portrait skills! Look out on 1st August for another PAOTM, a person that many of you have seen on tv recently and said you have loved their programme.

Dot painted with acrylic on textured paper. She drew and did the basic colour at Chalk on Saturday, then finished the facial features, medals and poppy another day, taking another hour.

Juliet used pencil, watercolours and pastels for her portrait. Using more that one medium has given her portrait a liveliness and sense of depth.

Steve used acrylic on hardboard and took about 5 hours to achieve a very good likeness in his portrait.

Angela D used pencil and then colouring pencils for her portrait of Dame Vera from her 100th birthday, taking about 3 hours.

Tracy found this stunning black and white portrait of Dame Vera, in the style of film stars from the 1940s. The plan was to used charcoal and pastel pencils to create a similar style, but after a recent art equipment sort out, she couldn’t find the box with pastels and charcoal in. Going for a polar opposite style of bright colours in a pop art-ish style, it took about an hour.