May 2020

We still cannot meet up at the moment, so here are a few ideas if you plan on painting this month, but it’s not compulsory :o)

Other art groups are suggesting ideas to their members, but please don’t feel overwhelmed, paint any ideas if you want to. 

Send your finished paintings by email to me (Tracy Q-P), or to Susan. Please add info like what medium you painted in, what surface you used etc as it adds interest to what you’ve painted.

If you can’t work out how to email a picture then send it to me on Facebook’s Messenger App, or text or WhatsApp it to me on the mobile number I gave you in a recent email. If you finish any paintings in any subjects, then we’d love to see them too.

Keep safe and happy painting!

VE Day – 75th Anniversary – Friday 8th May

75 years since the end of WWII in Europe, the bank holiday was due to be full of commemorative services, remembrance, flypasts and street parties. Now rather muted, we can still remember VE Day in our own way. Paint a street party from 1945 and add your own colour, an aeroplane or warship of the time, a picture of a relative who fought in the war, remember those who did not return or those who returned but were never the same, or perhaps you actually remember the day and can paint something from memory?

Any subject, any medium, there’s a vast amount of images you can create. We painted a similar subject of ‘Victory’, but it was actually for our competition 5 years ago, for the 70th anniversary! Plenty of time has passed to think about the subject again.

National Trust’s 125th Birthday

Unfortunately we can’t visit any houses or gardens of the National Trust at the moment, which is disappointing in their 125th year. Which one will you visit first we can visit again? One you have visited many times, or a new one? If you’d prefer then paint an English Heritage place, an Historic Houses property, or anywhere you love to visit.


Some of us should be on holiday this month, but sadly they’ve been cancelled. Do you remember the postcards that had a beautiful photo on and said “Wish you were here”?

Paint a picture of where you would rather be right now, instead of at home, with the thought…”Wish we were there”. Paint postcard size if you’d like or normal size if you want to get more detail in. It will be interesting to see where our members would rather be right now!


Use these words to paint a picture of your garden, flowers, woods etc. We didn’t actually have much rain in April this year though did we?

Steve’s bluebells

Whilst on his walk Steve took a photo of some bluebells near Chalk Church. He painted them at home and they look so 3D they looks like the photograph itself. What a fantastic painting with so much detail.

SKY Arts Portrait Artist of the Week (PAOTW) Sun 26th April 2020

Those members who joined in the live session broadcast last Sunday all enjoyed themselves and would highly recommend you join in for the next 3 Sundays. If you do, then send me (Tracy QP) your paintings by Tuesday evening and I will post them on the Wednesday. You can see paintings by other people on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #myPAOTW.

The sitter was dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, who sat so still that it looked like the screen had frozen. He did go out a couple of times to bounce on a trampoline in his garden with his son, which he said helped him stop fidgeting!

Winner of PAOTY 2020, Christabel Blackburn, painted from her home and the usual 3 judges joined in the broadcast too.

Here’s the screenshot of Akram that people could work from after the programme, and Christabel and her painting which she intends to complete.

Cynthia sketching along on Sunday and created a wonderful pastel portrait during the programme itself. Afterwards she painted another portrait in watercolours.

Rosie painted along and finished 20 minutes short of the 4 hours.

Steve painted standing at an easel, working from a screenshot of Akram at a different angle, which he preferred. He really enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot.

Tracy did 3 small sketches on the day (the first two awful, the third a little better), but ended up watching Christabel paint most of the time. Afterwards she used the screenshot to work on a portrait of Akram in brown coloured pencil, studying the tones and shadows on his face. His eyes were definitely the hardest part to get right.

Dot has drawn Akram from the screenshot that was taken of him during the live programme.. A really good likeness, well done.

Here’s more info about the programme.

6 days later all paintings by the general public submitted to Facebook and Instagram were judged and these were considered the top three…

Dot’s and Tracy’s ‘Isolation’ paintings

Here are pictures painted in isolation, about isolation.

Dot’s is particularly poignant, with the different generations having to keep their distance at the moment, but hopeful of a reconciliation before too long.

Tracy’s watercolour is based upon a poem called ‘The Old Astronomer’, written by Sarah Williams in 1868. A long time ago but with words that have particular resonance now.

Painting Together

As we were unable to meet for our usual monthly Saturday we invited members to work from home. It was encouraging to receive messages from members saying they had settled down to start painting at 10am, our normal starting time. Well done Tracy for spurring everyone on.

To take the time to set aside the day made it feel special, and under these unusual times it created a sense of coming together and hopefully lifted the spirits.

We have a few photos of members painting.

Here are the results our our Saturday workshop from home

Suzan’s acrylic on the theme of isolation
Jane’s Vincent Van Gogh inspired blossom oil painting was painted on a 7 x 5 inch block canvas
Susan’s mixed media study inspired by a walk last week on the Pilgrim’s Way. Materials used include watercolour, acrylic ink, granulation medium, coloured pencil and gouache. Painted on Saunders Waterford Rough 12 x 9
Susan’s watercolour painted from a photo torn from a magazine. Painted on Geoff Kersey’s High White Saunders Waterford Rough paper 12 x 9
Peter’s two acrylic paintings of dogs
Christine’s watercolour Easter painting and acrylic woodpecker
This is Cynthia’s watercolour painting of her Calla Lilies which are just starting to flower in her garden.
These are Denise’s two silk paintings
Juliet has painted these tulips from her garden
Ron  took a photo from his garden of some pink tulips he has growing and started sketching them. He is using watercolour pencils on acrylic paper 190g. As you can see from the photo, the sketching part is done. Now to add water to draw out the colours more… be continued…
Steve used a photo he took last year of the cockerel that wanders around the tea room at Owletts in Cobham. It’s acrylic on hardboard