February 2023

Cold, dark January zoomed past didn’t it? This first day of February brings apricity and hopefully a lifting of our spirits as spring looks not too far away.

Thank you to everyone who has paid their subs in January, either for the whole year or the first of three instalments. Paying promptly gives us the financial backing to pay the hall hire fees and also helps planning for tutors to visit, raffle prizes and most importantly, a regular supply of biscuits! :o)

We met on unusual days in January but from February we are back to our usual second Wednesday evening from 7-9pm and the fourth Saturday from 10am-3pm. Just circle these days in your diary or calendar for the rest of 2023 to keep them free for art. Some months have five Saturdays, but we meet on the fourth one.

Here are the session ideas for February to hopefully give you inspiration. As always, if you don’t want to paint the session idea it’s absolutely fine to paint your own subject. Just come along and enjoy the sessions with friends over a cuppa.

Don’t forget to try and add the colour Viva Magenta to your paintings this year.

Wednesday 8th – 7-9pm – Valentine’s Day

Named for Saint Valentine, a 3rd century Roman bishop martyred on February 14th, he is the patron saint of courtly love, the town of Terni in Umbria, Italy, of epilepsy, and beekeepers.

Draw or paint a picture of anything to do with Saint Valentine. Or of a couple together, or one mourning a loss, a pair of lovebirds, the traditional modern gift of red roses or chocolates, or paint anything in a heart-shaped image. Tracy will bring along three wooden heart shapes if you need a firm shape to draw around.

Saturday 25th – 10am-3pm – Full length portraits

We have drawn or painted portraits and self portraits in the past which have been of a person’s head and shoulders. This time draw or paint in any medium a full length portrait to include the body, arms and legs.

It can be a self portrait or of anyone at all. Whilst a head and shoulders portrait can be more intimate, a full length portrait can bring more information about the sitter, if they are at rest or being dynamic with their limbs. Work from your own photos, online images or life. Steve has offered to sit for an hour at the session so you can draw or paint him. If anyone else wants to offer too then please do so on the day.

Chinese New Year of the Rabbit – January 2023 – Saturday

Our session this weekend coincided with celebrations for the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. This suggested theme was expanded to include hares and also to incorporate Pantone’s Viva Magenta somewhere in our pictures. Twenty members came along and it was a busy session as most drew or painted more than one picture.

Whilst everyone was very creative with this subject, particular mention goes to Susan as she used Chinese brushes for her rabbit paintings, along with Chinese ink, rice paper and learnt the Chinese symbol for rabbit. Steve also used Chinese brushes for his picture inspired by rabbit tattoos which he painted in magenta and Brenda used magenta for one of her rabbit pictures. Peter used acrylic paint very thickly to create a rabbit whose fur looked 3D, Chris W painted her rabbit in a Chinese style with great detail and Wendy created a linocut image which she took home to print, then sent a photo of the print so it appears here too. Well done everyone!

Here are pictures completed from the Pantone Viva Magenta session on the last Wednesday and a sketch started for a monthly challenge of one sketch a day.

The next session will be on Wednesday 8th February 7-9pm.

Steve’s oil pastel portrait

Steve enjoys creating portraits using oil pastels on pastel paper. His latest subject is Tai-Shan Shierenberg, one of the judges on the Landscape and Portrait Artist of the Year programmes.

Steve prefers oil pastels over soft pastels as he likes the way the colours lay down and can be mixed on the paper. The first photo is the work in progress and the second photo the finished portrait. Well, done, it’s another super portrait and we can see exactly who it is!

Viva Magenta – January 2023 – Weds

Our first session of 2023, a week earlier than usual, had 10 members attending. Unfortunately, several artists were unable to come along as they are poorly at the moment. Get well asap and we hope to see you very soon!

Viva Magenta was the suggested subject, with Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2023 featuring in flowers, beetroots and abstract pictures.

If you want to attend a session and draw or paint your own subject then that’s absolutely fine. It’s always fascinating to see what members are interested in at home, on holiday or at art classes. This evening there were colourful Funchal ferns, a robin and portraits of identical twin granddaughters and Artist of the Year judge Tai-Shan Shierenberg.

A super, colourful start to the year, well done everyone!

Our next session is also a week earlier than usual and will be on Saturday 21st January from 10am to 3pm.

January 2023

Here are ideas of what to paint at the sessions in January, but you are always very welcome to come along and paint whatever you want to.

Wednesday 4th 7-9pm – Viva Magenta!

Worldwide colour company Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2023 is Viva Magenta. It’s a rich, deep, red colour similar to Alizarin Crimson, Perylene Red and Cadmium Red Deep in a watercolour palette. Use any medium to paint or draw any subject using this colour alone, or make it the most used colour in a picture. Draw or paint a flower, animal, landscape, an abstract, a person wearing magenta clothing, a car, absolutely anything at all!

Remember this colour, Viva Magenta, and try and use it in paintings through 2023.

Saturday 21st 10am – 3pm – Chinese New Year of the Rabbit

Sunday 22nd January is the official first day of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.

Draw or paint a wild or pet rabbit in the style of Chinese art using inks or another medium.

Expanding the rabbit family, called leporidae, to include hares gives us more choice of subjects. Draw or paint brown hares or arctic hares on their own or in their natural landscape in any season. Use any medium but why not try one you haven’t used for a while, such as collage or printing? Or if you received art supplies for Christmas bring them along to try.

If you can’t join us today to paint, please do pop in to say hello and pay your subs if you haven’t already done so online.

Welcome to 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR and THANK YOU to everyone for your continued support for M&C during 2022, attending sessions or painting along at home.


We will finance M&C the same way as last year, with an annual subscription of £75 to cover the hall hire fee for 2023. Alternatively, equal payments of £25 will be due 3 times a year in January, May and September. If you choose to pay in instalments you are committing to pay for the whole year. Without this support we will sadly not be able to raise enough funds to hire the hall. Steve has already emailed everyone with details of how to pay by bank transfer, cheque or cash.  Please pay promptly as this saves members being emailed and phoned to be reminded to pay.

If you no longer wish to be a member any more then please email Steve asap so you don’t continue to receive emails from us.

If you have any friends or family members who would like to join us then please show them this blog so they can see what we draw and paint at the sessions. If they want to join then please pass their details on to Steve. 

Please pay your membership fee by the end of January to continue to be a member of the art group.  Thank you! :o)


Our sessions will continue to be on the second Wednesday and the fourth Saturday of the month, except for the January sessions being a week earlier than usual because of the hall already being booked. Session ideas will be posted monthly at the beginning of that month.

You don’t have to paint the suggested ideas, you’re welcome to come along and paint anything you want to!

Free tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided at all sessions, so if you just want to come and chat with your art friends then that’s fine too.


Workshops will have the usual ‘first come, first served’ policy of putting your name down, with an additional amount to pay to cover the tutor’s fee. If more artists wish to attend the session than the tutor has room for, we’ll have a waiting list and you have a chance of getting a place as members sometimes pull out at the last minute. 

Even if you don’t want to attend a workshop you will have already paid for the hall hire in your subs. You are therefore welcome to sit and paint quietly at the kitchen end of the hall, whilst the workshop session takes place at the window end of the hall.

Here are the session dates for 2023. 

Please print them out or write them in your diary or calendar. Some months have 5 Saturdays but we meet on the 4th one.

Please note that our Open Day is on Saturday 25th November.

      1st Wednesday     7-9pm     3rd Saturday    10am-3pm
    *** January only ***      4th       21st
     2nd Wednesday    7-9pm     4th Saturday   10am-3pm
      February      8th      25th
      March      8th      25th
      April      12th      22nd
      May      10th      27th
      June      14th      24th
      July      12th      22nd   (not at hall)
      August      9th      26th    (not at hall)
      September      13th      23rd
      October      11th      28th
      November      8thFRI 24th  – Hanging evening 
SAT 25th  – OPEN DAY
      December       13th       Christmas Party  

Angela M’s paintings

Here are Angela M’s two latest watercolour paintings . The first is of paddle boarders on a river and the second, a very festive one, is a pheasant in the snow.

Thank you for painting your pictures and sending photos to be included on the blog, Angela, as it’s always interesting to see members be creative at home. It’s good to finish the year with such an apt painting, given all the recent snow we had.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.

See you on Wednesday 4th January at 7pm for our first session of 2023!

Rochester Cathedral sketches

Here are two more pictures from Rochester Cathedral.

Gloria sketched different arches and their stonework and the head of a carved stone figure called Ecclesia, representing the Christian church, wearing a crown and holding a crucifix staff. The figure is on the Chapter Library doorway, commissioned by Bishop Hamo de Hythe circa 1340.

Tracy sketched the South Door and archway leading into The Garth (garden) at the side of the Cathedral. She liked the stone archway around the door but then focussed on the ironwork on the door itself.

Christmas Party 2022

Twenty members braved the snowy, icy, freezing weather to attend the annual Christmas Party. A few members couldn’t come on the night as they were poorly with Covid and germy coughs and colds, so we all wish you well and hope you get better very soon!

Unfortunately our Pass the Pass parcels were snowed in in Walderslade so we couldn’t partake of our traditional party game. After last year’s Christmas-themed quiz proved very difficult, a biscuit-themed quiz was provided to pass the time, but that proved challenging too. Tracy thought the quiz was quite easy as she does have a thorough knowledge of biscuits, but please do not mention Hob Nobs, the ghastly things :o)

The lucky-dip of painted wood slice decorations was well received and we all took some home to decorate our tree. A huge thank you to everyone who painted the wood slices so well, you did a grand job painting so small and perfectly.

Thank you to Neil for providing the evening’s Christmassy music and to Angela D and Myrna for wrapping all the Pass the Parcel gifts. Hopefully The Christmas Party of 2023 won’t be in such snowy weather so we can look forward to playing it then.

Festive Felicitations to everyone and all your families. May you have a restful time over Christmas and the New Year and be raring to paint again in January.

Here’s a photo of most of the wood slices…aren’t they all fabulous? In the other photos a lot of us wore festive jumpers, but the heating wasn’t very effective in below-freezing temperatures so some wore coats over the top…

As previously emailed to you, due to double booking at the hall, the next session will be on the first Wednesday, 4th January and the Saturday session will be on the third Saturday, 21st January. All other sessions from February will revert to the second Wednesday and fourth Saturday.