Watercolour workshop with Bill Newton Oct 2019

What a fabulous workshop we had with Bill Newton, who patiently guided us through painting a river scene at Pin Mill on the River Orwell, near Ipswich. The main subjects were a barge and the Butt and Oyster pub, along with an atmospheric sky, based on one of Bill’s own paintings.

Bill used Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue , Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Orange to mix all the colours in the painting, so it was easy for us to combine these colours in different strengths to achieve a picture with harmonious colours throughout.

During the day Bill walked around everyone several times and helped those who needed it, giving advice all the time. He showed us how to add birds to a painting, demonstrating how we could show their direction of flight by painting parts of their wings more thickly. He also showed us a successful way to paint a tree in the light in summer and winter, and also how to paint rounded object successfully by painting shadows.

At the end of the session Bill held a mount to every painting and commented on how the artist had done, suggesting one or two ways to complete the paintings.

All-in-all a very successful day painting. Thank you Bill!

Here are all our paintings, most of them finished or with only a little more to do. Isn’t it interesting how we were all given the same picture to work from, but we’ve all ended up with our own interpretation of it?

November & December 2019

How are your paintings for our Open Day coming along?  Hopefully you have a few finished already, either for hanging or mounted for the browsers.  Susan will soon be asking how many framed paintings you will want to hang, so get deciding now!


Wednesday 13th   7-9pm   –   Preparing for Open Day

Use this session to finish any paintings for Open Day. If you’ve already finished your paintings, feel free to bring along frames to string or unframed work to mount, wrap and label.  If you’ve already done these, then bring along anything at all you’d like to paint.

Friday 22nd    7-9pm    –   Handing in paintings and hanging

We would be grateful for a few volunteers (with scissors!) to help with hanging.

Please do not come before 7pm as we need to set up receiving tables before this time.

Framed work – up to 6 per member, ready to hang with cord/wire across the back, for sale or not.

Please do this as we have frames handed in every year that are not strung so cannot be put up on the wall. If a frame is very heavy it might have to be leant against the wall as the hooks already on the wall cannot bear a heavy weight.  No clip frames please, as they are just too fragile.

Mounted work – no limit, in clear plastic sleeves, ready to be placed in a browser. All browser work must be for sale, as visitors expect to buy from the browsers.

All work must have a label with your name, title, medium, £ price or NFS. 

The label should be on the front of the painting or plastic cover of browser work, or a luggage label is okay hanging from a frame as long as it can be seen.  A label stuck on the back or tied tightly to the cord is no good, as all your details must be seen from the front. There are paintings every year that have no label and we do not know who they belong to, so please label everything!  

We do not charge commission, so please price at the amount you would like for your work.

If you stay to help hang the paintings please don’t reserve a bit of wall and spread your paintings out. We often run out of space so be prepared to hang a picture where there’s a gap. Your paintings might not all be together but it doesn’t matter as people walk around and look at everything.  The group and the hall do not have insurance, so if you’re concerned about loss or damage, you need to arrange your own cover. If you’re a member of the SAA please check with them as to what level of cover you have.

Saturday 23rd      10am-3.30pm    –    Open Day

Come along and ‘do your own thing’ today, like a normal Saturday, but with our work on display. Bring your lunch as normal and eat it at any time, as we don’t have a break.

Visitors are welcome between 10.30am and 2.30pm and we hope you will be happy to chat to anyone who shows an interest in your work. 

If you see visitors waiting by the kitchen hatch for a cup of tea, please make them oneeven if you don’t know them.  Wash up any cups or plates so we have enough all the time, and, very importantly, keep the biscuit plate topped up!

If anyone speaks to you about buying a painting from the wall or browser please take them to Tracy Q-P, and if there are any membership enquiries, take them to talk to Susan.  If you just point to Tracy or Susan, people often just wander off and we lose a potential buyer or member. 

We usually accept cash as it’s easier to hand out at the end of the session.  If a visitor wants to pay by cheque then they will be introduced to the artist to arrange cheque clearing and delivery details between them.

If you don’t sell any paintings, please don’t be upset.  We call it our ‘Open Day’ so that friends, family and local people can come to see what we create during our arty sessions, and any sales are a bonus.

The fee for today is £6.00, no need to book, just come along to paint and enjoy the day.


Wednesday 11th    6.30 – 9pm    –    Party

We will be having our traditional party and your family is welcome too. Wine and soft drinks will be provided but please bring along a plate of food to share.  If it’s for a coeliac/ vegetarian/ vegan diet please label it clearly so people know what they can and can’t eat. 

If you can help organise the evening and/or have any quiz ideas, please let us know.

Dress in your best Christmas jumpers and hats!

Please let Susan know if you are coming and if you are bringing guests, so we know numbers. Thank you.

There will be no Saturday meeting in December, but please put Wednesday 8th January in your diaries, as it will be our first meeting of 2020.

Remembering Renoir – Sept 2019

What a colourful session we had when we painted in the style of French Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who died a hundred years ago in 1919. We found inspiration in many of his paintings when we painted people, still-lives or landscapes…

Members also came along to paint their own subjects and either continued them from a previous session or started something new…

Brenda’s beach huts

Brenda made an initial ‘sketch’ of her beach huts by using all types of interesting papers to make the shapes and to get an idea of colours. A photo of this can be found if you scroll down to our beach huts session on the last Wednesday. The first photo is the one.

Then Brenda enlarged her idea to make an embroidered wall hanging. Using a sewing machine for traditional stitching, she also moved the fabric around in freestyle mode to create the patterns you can see in the sand, sea and sky. Brenda finished off by hand-stitching on some tiny bird shapes, a fabric rose and a small confetti shell as hut decorations.

Isn’t it beautiful?

September & October 2019


Wednesday 11th     7-9pm    –    Remembering Renoir

Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir died one hundred years ago, so let’s celebrate his life by painting in his style of using vibrant light and saturated colour. Renoir painted people, landscapes and still lives, so choose which you would like to paint.

Saturday   28th      10am-3.30pm  –   Nature

A broad subject that covers a multitude of ideas. From the tiniest insects to the largest animals on land or sea, the smallest leaf to the tallest tree, the narrowest stream to the largest ocean, your garden to the Grand Canyon or Antarctic, and anything in between.  Nothing man made, so no plant pots, no vehicles, no buildings.  

The fee for today will be £6.  No need to book.


Wednesday 9th     7-9pm  –   Autumna walk in the woods

Think of autumnal colours…yellow, orange, red and brown, with a hint of green still around.  Paint a woodland scene with a path running through the trees, children running delightedly through a pile of crunchy leaves, a dog exploring the trees, or paint fallen leaves in detail.

Saturday  26th    10.00am-3.30pm   –   Watercolour workshop with William Newton

William Newton joins us today to paint a landscape or seascape.  Final details will be given nearer the time, but do have a look at his website at … www.williamnewton.com

If you’d like to attend, please check first that you are free that day.  Then email or phone Susan asap, on the phone number or email address you have been given, and she will add names to the workshop list in the order received. If there are more than 25 names, then a waiting list will be used. 

(Please don’t use the comments box on this blog to ask for a place, as messages can take days to appear) 

For the last workshop we had 29 people wanting to attend, but only 23 came on the day.  If you decide you can’t come, please tell Susan asap, as letting her know the day before is a bit late unfortunately.   If you’re on the waiting list you may well get a place, but if you plan something else then let Susan know by phone or email, so she doesn’t have to phone around. Thank you!

The fee for today is £13, which includes the workshop and the hall hire.

Finished moon landing painting

Steve started his moon landing painting at the last session then finished it at home. His painting is based on the iconic photograph taken by Neil Armstrong, of Buzz Aldrin climbing down the steps of the lunar command module Eagle, just about to step onto the lunar surface for the first time.

Steve’s painting is so detailed that the Earth looks real and it even includes a crosshair from the original photo. It’s a fantastic painting, well done!

Moon Landing – June 2019

A very challenging subject as we had no photographic images of our own, but everyone painted superbly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing in July 1969.

There were paintings of the moon’s surface, astronauts on the moon, the planets, an alternative moon landing from an alien, Earth rise, the Eagle lunar module, a blue moon, the moon from the Earth and the Columbia command module being recovered from the sea. Most paintings were not finished on the evening, but will be completed at home.

Three of us used the same reference photo of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon, but all three paintings were different.

There’s also one beautiful iris from Fay, as she had already completed her planets picture.

July & August 2019

We’ll be holding our annual Open Day on Saturday November 23rd 2019.  Please get painting so you’ll have work ready for our visitors, either framed on the walls or mounted in the browsers.  


Wednesday 10th    7 – 9pm    –    First Moon Landing

50 years ago, on 20th July 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission successfully landed the first men on the moon. In any medium paint the Saturn V rocket blasting off, the lunar landing craft called Eagle, astronauts walking on the moon, the view of Earth from the moon, the moon in space, or if you want to stay on Earth then paint a picture of moonlight.

Saturday 27th    FROM 10.00am – 3pm  –   ‘Do your own thing’ at Chalk Church 

Please arrive after 10am and no earlier, so we don’t block Church Lane with cars before the gates are open.  There’s room for all of us to park, so you won’t miss out on a space.  Thank you!

The church and the pond with its ‘Monet’ bridge are popular subjects to paint, but please don’t feel you have to.  Many of us have painted these before, so instead start any project for our Open Day, or bring any paintings you want to finish. 

If it’s raining we still meetas there’s an indoor room with tables and chairs. There’s free parking, toilet facilities and refreshments as usual. There’s no raffle but bring your packed lunch to eat.

Remember a folding chair if you intend to paint outside, and if you can only make the morning or afternoon, please come along and join us for a couple of hours.

There is no fee for today, but any donation to the Church Fund is appreciated.


Wednesday 14th   7 – 9pm    –   Beach Huts

Think of sunny summer days, or rainy summer days, when beach huts in UK seaside resorts have provided refuge from our weather for many years.  In any medium paint one beach hut or a row of many, all one colour or a rainbow variety. Bring in any photos you might have from your holidays. 

Saturday 24th   FROM 10am – 3pm   –  ‘DYOT’ at Chalk Church

As in July, please arrive after 10am and not before.  You do not have to paint the church or pond.  Finish your painting from last month, paint something new, or complete another project…have you got any paintings ready for our Open Day in November?

Remember your folding chair if you want to paint outside. Again, no fee for today, but any donation to the Church Fund is most welcome.

May & June 2019


Wednesday 8th 7-9pm – Queen Victoria

Princess Alexandrina Victoria was born 200 years ago this month. At birth she was fifth in line to the throne, but just 18 years later became Queen Victoria and reigned for 63 years. You could paint Queen Victoria as a young or old woman, or paint a famous Victorian like Prince Albert, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickins, Isabella Beeton, Alexander Graham Bell, Mary Seacole, William Morris etc. Or paint a Victorian invention, the crown jewels, a William Morris design, a view in India as Victoria was Empress of India, or a statue of her, such as the one in Gravesend Market. 

Saturday 25th     10am-3.30pm    –   Acrylic workshop with David Hyde

David painted with us a few years ago and today we welcome him back. We will be painting wildlife in acrylic, probably birds, but final details will be known nearer the time.  Have a look at David’s website at www.davidhyde.org.uk

If you’d like to attend, please check your diary first to see if you’re free.  If you are, please email or phone Susan asap and she will add names to the workshop list in the order received.  If there are more than 25 names, then a waiting list will be used.

Do not use the comments box on the blog to ask for a place, as messages can take days to appear.

The fee for today is £14, which includes David’s workshop and hall hire.


Wednesday 12th      7-9pm     –    Start painting for our Competition

Our yearly competition is a friendly affair and is NOT compulsory.  If you don’t want to enter a painting that’s fine, please just use what is suggested as inspiration for your painting.

The theme is…ANIMALS.

A very general theme this year, so you can basically paint any animals you like! Wild or tame, farm or flying, British or worldwide, furry, feathery or fishy, polar or tropical, in its own native habitat or a study on a plain piece of paper, the choice is yours.

There’s no right or wrong way to paint this subject…just your way.

Saturday 22nd    10am-3.30pm    –    Competition continued

Continue with your animal picture, or paint another. All pictures to be in by 2.45pm, then we all cast one vote for our favourite painting. The artist of the winning painting will win a small cash prize.

The fee for today is £6. No need to book.