October 2021 – Wednesday

14 members came along to the session and it was great to hear the chatter as people caught up with each other and talked about their paintings.

There were many pictures with the suggested October/eight and autumnal themes and also drawings and paintings as some members brought along homework from their Adult Education courses or simply wished to paint to their own theme. We don’t mind at all if you follow your own ideas as the suggested monthly subjects are there if you need inspiration. To come along and paint with your art friends and enjoy yourselves is the main objective!

Susan’s transport painting

At our last Saturday session Susan started a watercolour painting for the transport theme, based on a scene from her and her husband’s recent holiday to the Cotswolds. They went on a steam train on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. The guard and tall pile of luggage were seen at Broadway Station.
It’s a beautiful painting, Susan, with colours that sit harmoniously together, well done!

October 2021

Hopefully there will be no more lockdowns this year so we can tentatively say that the dates for the next few meetings will be…

Month Second Wednesday 7-9pm Fourth Saturday 10am-3pm
October 2021 13th 23rd
November 10th 27th Open Day (hanging 7pm Friday 26th)
December 8th Christmas Party 6.30pm start no session in Christmas holidays
January 2022 12th pay yearly subs 22nd

Please put these dates in your diary, calendar, mobile phone etc so you know when we’re meeting again. Wednesday sessions will be £2 (but no fee for the Christmas party) and Saturdays £6, all of which goes to hiring the hall.

Here are a few ideas for this month, but as always you’re welcome to paint anything you want to. Send photos of paintings you do at home to Tracy or Steve with information about the painting/s and we’ll pop them on the blog for you.


You – Yes, after a year spent painting other people it’s time to paint a self portrait! Use a mirror or photo to draw or paint yourself facing straight on, in a three-quarters pose or in profile.

If you don’t want to paint a traditional self portrait then paint yourself in the style of another artist like Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin or Aubrey Beardsley, to name but a few.


From the Greek and Latin ‘octo’ meaning eight, October was the eighth month of the year in the Roman Republic calendar. The months January and February were added in 46 BCE so the eighth month became the tenth month.

Draw or paint anything to do with the number eight…a fancy number eight, an octopus, eight maids-a-milking from the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, flowers with eight petals, an arachnid like a spider or scorpion, a crab, lobster, insects or a starfish such as a morning sunstar which has at least eight legs. Or think or another way of interpreting October and the number eight.


Just before the death of flowers,

and before they are buried in snow,

there comes a festival season

when nature is aglow.


I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze,

the sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.


Use these two quotes as inspiration for your drawing or painting. Paint a landscape with trees aflame in yellows, oranges and reds, the shape and pattern of fallen leaves, children jumping in a pile of leaves, taking a dog for a walk in the woods, pumpkins before or after carving, a still life with wellies and an umbrella or write and illustrate an acrostic poem from the letters in the word ‘autumn’.

PAOTM – Elaine Paige – September 2021

Elaine Paige, worldwide star of musical theatre, was our subject this month with a choice of painting her as herself or as a character she has played. Several members created her portrait in different mediums.

Steve used charcoal and pastel on Mi-Teintes pastel paper beautifully portraying Elaine as Grizabella from the musical Cats. Elaine’s version of the song ‘Memory’ went to number 1 in 1981.

Chris W used black ink for her portrait of Elaine in a dramatic pose. Creating a portrait in profile is just as effective as face-on, as Chris’s portrait proves.

Brenda used soft pastels and pastel pencils for her portraits of Elaine on velour pastel paper. Using a picture of Elaine with a tri-coloured background as inspiration Brenda decided to use a different coloured background on her two portraits. Each one brings different values to Elaine’s skin tone. Brenda uses sponges on the top of her pastel compartments to stop them rattling about and getting damaged, which is a great idea.

Tracy is a huge fan of Elaine Paige, first seeing her as Grizabella in Cats when it opened in the West End in 1981. She has seen Cats 18 times now and it remains her favourite ever musical. Elaine was also amazing in Sunset Boulevard so Tracy has used white coloured pencil and white gouache on black sugar paper for her portrait of Elaine as Norma Desmond, spotlit on stage in her white furs.

September 2021 – Saturday

We had a busy Saturday session with 18 artists coming along to paint together. Sometimes it was very quiet as we concentrated hard and other times the room was abuzz as we chatted to each other to catch up with news. It was fabulous to see so many of you, thank you all for coming!

The transport theme was very popular with many forms of transport being drawn and painted in all types of media. There were rowing and sailing boats, a motorbike, donkeys, a carrier pigeon, bicycles, a pollen transporter (a bee!), a broomstick, aeroplanes, trains and a gondola.

One picture was painted for the theme of September and the number seven, so there are seven swans a swimming from the Christmas carol ’The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Three portraits of Elaine Paige, this month’s PAOTM, were created too but they’ll be shown in a post at the end of this month.

As always we like it when members come along and paint to their own theme, so here are several more pictures. It was a very creative day!

Brenda’s sunflower collages

Brenda has completed her first four collage pictures from the textile arts course she is taking… http://casholmes.blogspot.com/2021/08/making-connections-course-with-fibre.html

The sunflower theme evolved from sketches Brenda made of the wonderful display of sunflowers in her garden this year and scraps left over from a skirt she made several years ago.

Brenda used lots of different processes as they came up on the course. They are a mix of mono-prints and stamps with acrylic paint, inks on fabric and paper, hand painted fabric, commercially printed fabrics and batiks, and hand and machine embroidery.

Once she collected enough pieces they were laid out and arranged on fabric and stuck together with wallpaper paste as a temporary hold. Stitching holds them all together with a combination of free-motion machine stitching and hand sewing. The pieces are then finished around the edges with a conventional binding as on quilts.

All four pieces are separate but they are united by their subject and colours with the yellows, pinks and greens running through all the pictures.

Thank you for showing us what you have achieved so far on the course. These sunflower pictures are very beautiful, Brenda, well done!

The skirt that Brenda made years ago.
Sunflower I – 61cm x 23cm
Sunflower II – 28cm x 39cm
Sunflower III – 39cm x 28cm
Sunflower IV – 34cm x 34cm

September 2021 Wednesday

It had been a real scorcher during the day so we expected to see quite a few members coming along to take advantage of the hall’s air conditioning. Sadly we were only 9 in total which was disappointing.

Members painted various subjects, finished off work started at Chalk Church and some made a start on this months’ subjects of Transport and Animals

There was also a preliminary portrait of our PAOTM subject, Elaine Page

All refreshments including various biscuits have been renewed and the kitchen fully open so do come along to our next meeting on Saturday the 25th September. We need your support to keep the group financially viable.

September 2021

As the months pass by we are mindful of balancing the wish to return to pre-pandemic normality with the anxiety that others feel about this. We do intend to provide free refreshments again from this month, but if you don’t want to go into the kitchen with others then that’s fine, bring along your own drink and snack/lunch.

We kindly ask that you wear a mask whilst walking around and in the kitchen, but when seated then remove your mask if you wish to do so.

Clean and dirty water buckets will continue to be provided if you do not want to go in the kitchen and anti-bacterial spray will be available if you wish to wipe your table and chair before and after use. Aircon will be turned on during our sessions to provide air movement. Use hand gel as much as you want and if you forget your own then there is usually some on the table in the entrance hall.

We are trying to make the hall as safe as possible for everyone, so please come along to paint and enjoy yourselves!

The sessions this month at the hall will be on…

Wednesday 8th September 7-9pm – Fee £2

and Saturday 25th September 10am-3pm – Fee £6

Here are some ideas to paint this month, but you’re welcome to paint anything at all.


Elaine Page – A well known singer and actress but best known for musical theatre. Draw or paint Elaine at any age or as a character she has played. She has sung as Eva Peron in Evita, Grizabella in Cats, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Sandy in Grease, Edith Piaf in Piaf, Anna in the King and I, and also been in Hair, Chess, Anything Goes, Follies and many pantomimes.


This is a very wide subject so you have many choices of what to paint, such as…

Aeroplanes – small private planes, large commercial planes, Concorde, biplanes, triplanes, military planes from early WWI planes to modern stealth aircraft. Also any helicopters, gliders, para gliders, hang gliders or hot air balloons.

Bikes – unicycles, bicycles, tricycles, tandems, mopeds, motorbikes. Being ridden, raced or a bike propped up against a shop with shopping in its basket.

Cars – veteran, vintage, modern, sports, racing, your first car, a car you’d love to own.

Trains – steam, electric, heritage, modern, a train on its own in a station or in a landscape.

Animals – horses, mules, camels, oxen, riding them or pulling a cart.

Boats – rowing boats, canoes, cruise ships, ferries, tall ships, trawlers, gondolas, sailing boats, warships modern and old, leisure boats, canal boats, paddle boats, steamers etc.


Previous months have been named for gods, goddesses and emperors but September is the first of four months named for a number. From the Latin ‘septem’ meaning seven, in the original Roman Republican calendar September was the seventh month of the year. Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in BCE 46, adding two months to the year so the seventh month became the ninth month of the year.

Draw or paint seven still-life objects, seven swans-a-swimming from the Twelve Days of Christmas Carol or a flower with seven petals. There are also seven continents and seven seas on the Earth, seven colours in a rainbow, the film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, seven deadly sins, seven wonders of the ancient world and the South Korean singer known as Se7en.

PAOTM – Benjamin Zephaniah-August 2021

British writer and poet. He was included in the Times list of top 50 Post-war writers in 2008 His poetry is called ‘dup poetry’ which means it is performed – the words are recited over the beat of reggae music.

Christine painted a really colourful Benjamin wearing his ‘Rastacap’ or ‘Tam’

Juliet sent in an image created using her iPad. Surprisingly this was her first attempt. She used the ‘Procreate’ program

Dot first work was a sketch she made in 2005 and the second a striking painting using mixed media. Graphite, watercolour and pencil on Bockingford paper. She started the painting on Saturday and finished it later in the week

Tracy also used her iPad and the pre-installed ‘Art Studio’ programme. She produced the image by using ‘Wet brush,’ her fingers and a ‘tiny brush and has captured a really realistic younger Benjamin

Steve painted a thoughtful Benjamin using Acrylics on hardboard

Well done all.

August 2021 ‘Through the Window’

Tracy finished two pieces of work started at Wednesday’s meeting. She bought these lovely little frames and then added the colourful watercolours. A really original idea

Susan painted two more delicate watercolour sketches from our visit to Chalk Church on Saturday

Steve finished his watercolour and ink painting of Chalk Church in the style of a Tiffany panel. It was fun to try something a bit different.