Thursday, 14 October 2010

14/10: LEAVING MY COMFORT ZONE ...

A few weeks ago I contacted a local Art Group who meet fortnightly in a hall just 5 minutes drive from my home with a view to becoming a member.  The Group meets fortnightly and tries to alternate between themed drawing/painting meetings and demonstrations.    Most of the Group members seem to be oil or watercolour painters but I was assured that I can do my own thing and take pastels/coloured pencils to the sessions.

I've never belonged to an Art Group before so was a little anxious ... but they were a lovely bunch!

I joined them today for a demonstration in oil painting by professional artist Michael Richardson.   I was amazed by the speed at which he completed a Kentish snow scene  (around 45 minutes) and an oil beach/seascape of a familiar view about 3 miles from my home.  I'd always avoided trying my hand at oils because of the long drying times/smell and mess I associated with the medium.  But Michael rarely uses thinners or oils and his technique seemed to involve working quite small and detailed.   I don't really think its something for me but it was fascinating to watch an expert at work and, of course, lots of his observations about perspectives and colours are relevant to all mediums.

The Chairman of the art group has asked whether I'd be willing to demonstrate coloured pencils at some stage so I'm keen to see how other artists demonstrate - next week I'll be going to a demonstration by Wildlife Artist Chris Christoferou which I'm excited about - I love his 'big cat' paintings!

One big advantage about joining an Art Group or two is getting access to Gallery/Exhibition venues with shared costs.   This local Group is holding an exhibition at Fish Slab Gallery in Whitstable in early November (but as a newbie I didn't like to ask to join them this time - plenty more opportunities in the future).

I am also planning to join the Executive Committee for the UKCPS in some capacity and am looking forward to helping out with next year's Annual Exhibition.  As the UKCPS will be celebrating its 10th year the Society has ambitious plans and the venue will be in London - Opposite Westminster Abbey.   They plan to run workshops and demonstrations alongside the main Exhibition to 'bring coloured pencil art to the attention of the world of fine art'.  So ... exciting (and busy) times ahead for 2011.

6 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

joining an art group is great! its a nice way to meet other artists and see other techniques
I've tried oils, not too fond of them, but they are much easier to work with then acrylics I find.
I keep meaning to enter into one of the exhibits the UKCPS has, been always run out of time lol

Christine said...

That sounds like a lot of fun, and like a great opportunity for you. I hope you'll share your experience once you have done the color pencil demonstration. ;-)

Dors said...

Good for you Sue. It can be very daunting going to art groups for the first time. I admire your courage.

Sounds like fun and big bonus's there. Good luck and I hope you get lots out of your new venture.

sue said...

Hi Jennifer
I know what you mean about running out of time. The Spring UKCPS exhibition normally requires entries by March I think so you need to start thinking about it now (not easy with Christmas commissions as well). Their Int'l exhibition isn't so bad - I think the call for entries is June?

Thank you Christine and Dors ... I need to try new things .. whether or not I'll enjoy them remains to be seen but I've got into a bit of a rut - so nothing ventured ... etc

Jan said...

Oil was my first serious medium and I would still paint with it except for the mess and smell. I always used "odorless" thinner for painting and cleanup but it still smelled. Love what you can do with it though.

You're very fortunate to have found a good art group. I hope you'll enjoy the experience and I'm sure you'll do a great demo with the CP's.

sue said...

Thanks Jan

Any demonstrating won't be till next Year as I'd need to do a lot of planning.

I've had some helpful suggestions from UKCPS members and think the 'hands on' approach will be best so everyone gets a chance to try them pencils/papers/solvents etc rather than me standing up for 2 hours demonstrating - as you know, coloured pencil art is a slow process!