Some people are not keen on Facebook but I have met some interesting people through it and had a few opportunities for my paintings.
In this instance, Dave Hendry from the Westhoughton Art Group, contacted me to ask if I did demonstrations. It has been over twenty years since I did my one and only demo to Swinton Art Club and so it was something I had to think about.
As an artist I am quite happy to show my work but I tend to work in silence and go off into a trance -like stage at times, where I become unaware of things around me. Members of Salford Art Club, where I go, will testify. Only recently one lady had been trying to get my attention for five minutes, as apparently I had been kicking her chair!
In this case Dave said that it would be a paint along, where I painted in stages and members followed the work on their own painting. This suited me far better so I agreed to his proposal.
I sent out the photograph above, so that members could see the scene they were painting. I also took the watercolour study I had done of the scene.
I arrived early, as I wasn't sure of the traffic and had a lot to set up. I was met by Dave who had a chat with me about important things like break time with coffee and biscuits!
Dave had been the instigator of the group and had several roles to play in managing the group. Members started to arrive shortly afterwards.
It was a class with a wide range of ability; some had never used oil paints, let alone a palette knife that I would be using.
After a quick introduction, I started by slowly adding some light colours on the canvas. Members followed along. At each stage I would stop and have a walk around to help and talk to members. It was an interesting experience because each one approached the task differently. Some were a bit timid about applying paint thickly, particularly ones who were used to using watercolour. One member ran out of white half way through; others worked at different paces.
I had decided to miss the big tree out but some members added this. A range of final paintings resulted with each one reflecting the personality of the painter. I was really pleased with the end results; some of these are shown underneath. Some were unfinished but they took the photograph away to finish the work at home.
Hopefully, some of the members will continue to try out this technique and maybe some of them learnt something to take away with them. This was a really enjoyable day for me with a lovely group of people and I would like to wish them continued success in their painting.
As I packed away, a lady came up and said that she had really enjoyed learning a new technique and had learnt a lot, which was very gratifying. On a more lighthearted note, one man, as he left, said to me that he was going straight to the art shop to buy a big tube of white oil paint! Success!
Westhoughton Art group's Website is http://www.westhoughtonartgroup.com/blog/
We were all a bit apprehensive about how we might cope with oils..... a medium that few had used before, but you did a fab job of putting the group at ease and, by the end, I believe that you opened up the eyes of the members. We will be asking you to return next year if you're up for the challenge........and thank you for a interesting and entertaining session.
I must have done something right!!