5 November Talk and display by Mark Bergin
There were certainly fireworks at this Guy Fawkes meeting, with a sparkling talk by renowned Illustrator Mark Bergin. Mark’s superb, meticulous and highly detailed illustrative work can be seen in a huge amount of historical, scientific and educational books, artwork for video games, films and other publications. His historical interpretations and cutaway illustrations (including acetate books which were tremendously difficult to create) are breath-taking in their accuracy and attention to detail. In 1991, he won the Time Ed Senior Book Award for ‘An Egyptian Pyramid’. He joked that he has drawn many Vikings – but they certainly did NOT wear horns! All absolutely enthralling!
Oct. 1st. Talk and demonstration by Ian Penny
This month the artist was Ian Penney.
Ian specialises in fine art paper cutting,
producing the most intricate designs
using a sharp scalpel that look like delicate lace,
and include calligraphy and illustrative work.
Those of us who can remember
the rather doubtful looking paper doilies
and snowflakes we hacked out with scissors
at Primary School especially appreciated
the intricacy and precision of his work.
He has commissions for picture books,
greetings cards, magazines, puzzles,
packaging, advertising and design.
Ian initially talked about
the history of paper cutting,
materials used, showing examples
of some of his own work to illustrate this.
During the second part of the session,
he also gave a practical demonstration on the actual paper cutting.
Our visiting demonstrating artist for the month was Judit Matthews an illustrative artist.
Her luminous, detailed paintings and collages are quirky, inventive, whimsical and witty – she disregards scale and distance which adds to the charm of each piece . She prefers using ink and dip pen, watercolours and collage to create her lovely, award winning work which has been exhibited widely as well as being used for books and murals.
It was a feast for the eyes to watch her working, while she calmly chatted about her methods, her background and instances from her life as well as providing some useful tips along the way. Initially drawing out a picture in pencil on heavy duty watercolour paper, she then went over this in Indian ink, leaving it to dry whilst in the best Blue Peter tradition, she bought out one that had been done earlier, to demonstrate her techniques for adding watercolour. This was followed by a third example to then add her carefully selected, precisely cut out collage pieces.
Some useful hints were included – don’t use newspaper for collage – it doesn’t weather well. Try choosing watercolour colours in harmony with the collage paper you’re using (wallpaper, origami or wrapping papers are all good). Use a maximum of five colours and mix from these. Don’t put too much ink on your dip pen…..and…if you make a blot with the indian ink – there are three things you can do. Cry – or turn it into a blackbird – or use a posca pen to cover it up. Great tips!
Thank you Judit – it was a fascinating afternoon.
There was a healthy turnout of members with a few new faces at this month’s meeting including, very pleasingly, some young budding artists.
Members had been informed prior to the meeting that the scheduled pastel portrait demonstration had been postponed until next year and that Val Sprott, BAS’s Secretary had generously offered to facilitate a workshop on the original subject of portraiture. Val started with a presentation on portraits and portrait history, followed by some quick fire interactive drawing exercises on the subject.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, Val introduced some famous as well as some not such well known portraits that she had researched, providing some fascinating anecdotes along the way. Who would have known, for example, that the rather dour ‘James Robertson Justice lookalike’ Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II let a lion and tiger roam his castle? This is known because accounts were maintained recording compensation paid to survivors or to the families of victims!
The exercises, using head and shoulder images, included drawing the image upside down, sideways, as a continuous line, with five minutes for a straightforward drawing and finally also drawing the image from memory. Despite the chorus of groans that greeted each exercise, everyone seemed to enjoy them and were pleased with their own efforts. Val herself said that she had enjoyed the challenge and for the opportunity to share an interest of hers with such a responsive group! Thanks to everyone who rallied to make the afternoon a success.
There were two entries for the ‘Is that you’ competition, both by committee members, and it was agreed that there would be no competition on the day. The paintings were left on display for members to see during the meeting.
Line and wash demonstration by Anthony Nield
Bexhill Art Society September 2022 Meeting
This month the visiting artist was Anthony Neild. He demonstrated his Line and Wash technique by painting an early morning scene of a village square previously visited in Avion, South of France.
Anthony’s introduction to Art was at a very young age via his two Uncles and an Aunt who were professional artists. They gave him a key tip - take ten minutes to fully observe the subject before putting pencil to paper.
His career has led him to teach on Saga Cruise Ships journeying to the Caribbean and Norwegian Fjords. Having previously having lived in Bermuda, his broad spectrum of work has been exhibited in both Bermuda and now at Galleries in Sevenoaks and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
During the demonstration, having sketched the subject in pencil, Anthony used his pen and ink to produce a line drawing on his preferred Bristleboard paper then applying a favoured pallet of water colour wash. His final technique of creating depth by introducing shadows to the subject brought
June 4th 2022
Stephen Cheeseman is a larger than life character and a great ‘presence’.
As visiting artist, he concentrated on two of his favourite subjects, sport, and the depiction and assertiveness of speed and movement in paintings.
Ordinarily, he specialises in oil pastels but on this occasion, he demonstrated how well watercolour pencils can be used to great effect, drawing, wet into wet, dry painting, overlaying and mixing.
His career in technical drawing and designs was evident in his careful and intelligent mark making and construction of the two demonstration paintings, one of a cycle race, the other of racing horses.
One of his most important tips concerned quality.
The better the pencil, the more pigment it has and the more flexible and ‘moveable’ it is on the paper when wetted. Something for all of us to note when purchasing such materials.
May 7th 2022
A well attended meeting by watercolour expert Julie King a master of botanical subjects Julie gave us a well explained demonstration of a spring flower bed with vibrant Tulips.
Unfortunately the video camera failed so the detail Julie put into her work could only be seen close to, but she was pleased to let people observe and answer any questions they had.
Thank you Julie.
April 2nd. 2022
The April meeting of the Bexhill Art Society was graced by the award winning
artist, Hashim Akib demonstrating his free flowing, inspirational painting style to a
rapt and large audience. The subject, a harbour scene was almost miraculously
brought to life by Hashim, expertly using just a two inch wide paintbrush and free,
blocky strokes to build a vibrant and colour-filled interpretation of what was a
complex and busy subject. The end result, produced in less than two hours, would
have delighted and satisfied any one of the watching members had they produced
anything similar. There was a definite gasp of disappointment from many when
Hashim told us that he would simply be painting over it afterwards!
Hashim worked as an illustrator in the UK for over 15 years gaining valuable
experience in developing a backbone of drawing, conceptual ideas and various
painting techniques although his preferred medium is acrylics.
Developing from his earlier realistic style, over the years he has painted more from
instinct to embue each painting with an overall impression, energy and personality.
During the demonstration he spoke passionately about how he creates each artwork.
He also resonated with his audience when he spoke of how his confidence had built
through the years but is still ongoing and how painting is very much down to mental
attitude. (I think we can all relate to that).
He certainly has the awards and recognition to reflect his skill, including winning the
SAA Artist of the Year in 2009 and commissions from The Times, Daily Express,
Smirnoff, Esso and Time Magazine as well as many private commissions – one of
his other specialities being portraiture. He’s even designed a stamp for the Royal
His talent has led to working with Daler Rowney in their relaunch of the System 3
Acrylic range (which I’m sure many of us have used) demonstrating the versatility of
the medium at various events.
It was a privilege to watch Hashim at work and to hear some of his useful hints and
tips – I have a feeling that quite a few members will endeavour to emulate some of
his techniques. For those of you who would like to see videos of him demonstrating
landscapes and portraiture techniques, there are several interesting videos available
on You Tube, so why not take a look?
March 5th 2022
Membership Renewal, and a HUGE WELCOME to some NEW Members and an even bigger WELCOME BACK to previous members.
Many of our members have professional skills that they generously share with the rest of us, and so, during our March meeting, Neil Buchanan provided a fascinating talk, laced with hints, tips and demonstrations regarding his many years as a professional framer.
Neil, now retired, went into the profession in the 1980s and was one of the very first ‘Guild Commended Framers’.
The biggest picture he ever had to frame was 7’ x 4’ – so you can imagine that his heart was in his mouth when manoeuvring the glass for that!
Neil gave a short history of picture framing styles and mounting, illustrated with examples from the Tudor period when only the rich could afford framing, up to modern day, discussing the process of ornately hand moulded and gilded earlier frames as well as the fine creation of mounts complete with wash lines (two drawn lines around the mount ‘washed’ with colour), to the minimalism of modern day. I never realised that in the 60s Boots was the major supplier of framed pictures (prints)! Neil showed one of the most famous Boots prints ‘Wings of Love’ which apparently was the top seller. One of my own favourites as a child was ‘Wild White Horses’ by Violet Skinner (do any of you remember?). All very kitsch now I suppose, but heck – I still like it!
Over the years, he has witnessed many changes in frame fashion, simplification and minimalism of style, and indeed, the fashion for no frame at all, although he feels that there will be a return to more ornamentation in the future. He also demonstrated just how well, professional mounting, printing and framing can transform the most mundane of paintings or prints.
Questions and discussion were encouraged, especially regarding the benefits of giclée printing and it was felt that the session was a great success – thank you Neil!
The April Meeting (2nd April) will host exciting, award winning artist Hashim Akib, demonstrating a marine landscape in acrylic.
Our members’ competition was ‘March Madness’. The winner, Val Sprott, was decided by a show of hands for her painting which was created using ‘Brusho Crystal Colours’. Thank you to those members who took part.
For April, the monthly completion title will be ‘All at Sea’. Besides the undoubted Glory of Winning, there is a cash prize!
We have waved a fond farewell to the Committee, who after several years have stepped down, having done many great things to move BAS forward – not least achieving two exciting new exhibition opportunities at the Stade Hall during 2022. We have also waved an equally fond hello to the new Chairman, Gary Caney and Secretary, Val Sprott. They have big shoes to fill – as well as three more vacancies, so please do get in touch if interested. Our enormous thanks to the outgoing Committee for all they have done in the past. They will be continuing to assist as sub committees and we are grateful for their ongoing support with the newsletter and website: www.bexhillartsociety.com.