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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Lyndhurst report from Adventurous Artists

Although it was Friday 13th, Adventurous Artists were lucky with the weather and the location.  A good sketching morning and everyone produced great work.
Report and Photos by Helen

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Next meeting of the Adventurous Artists is at Bolton's Bench, Lyndhurst at 10-15 am on Friday 15th April.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Demonstration and special GENERAL MEETING

On Wednesday April 25th Paul Dolman from Ferndown will show us how he paints a seascape in oils.

In the tea-break there will be a Special General Meeting to discuss the steps we have to take to comply with the new amendment to the Data Protection Act. We hope that as many members as possible will attend.


The AGM was chaired by Elaine instead of Kate who was stepping down and leaving the Society as she is moving to Dorset. Elaine first thanked Kate for her years of Chairmanship and wished her luck for the future from us all.
Anne Hammerton was elected as the new Chairman and Mary as President as Ruth retired after many years service. The rest of the committee remained as the previous year.
As we have to comply with new regulations for the Data Protection Act there will be a Special Meeting in the tea-break at the next Demonstration evening on Wednesday 25th April. Please try to attend this.
A more detailed account of the AGM will be sent to members later.

The second half of the evening was a talk on framing by David Ridler from First Floor Gallery at Hunt's Farm Michelmersh. He gave us tips on framing various types of paintings eg using a moulding for narrow canvases. He also pointed out that buying in bulk and sticking to the same size canvas or paper saves money. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


There were thirteen of us on the trip to the Russell Cotes House and Gallery on Saturday 17th March.   We were impressed with the  beautiful cliff-top house and its paintings. Sir Merton Russell Cotes had been an art dealer, politician and mayor of Bournemouth. He and his wife Lady Annie travelled the world collecting arts and crafts and shipping them back to England. The house was designed by them and the luxurious interior of the house is a unique setting for their collection.

We visited the A Question of Guilt exhibition of twentieth century portraits and at least one person identified the murderer using the clues next to the paintings. Many thanks to Helen Bartlett for organising the trip.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

                      DON'T FORGET!

                                       AGM    28TH MARCH    7-30pm

                                                        See earlier Blog and Web site for details.

Choice Plants Sketching

Choice Plants visit

The craft room at Choice Plants is a treasure trove of ready made models for artists . The wall are lined with shelves of  pots, bowls and other pottery and an assortment of model animals in all shapes and sizes. Some of us sketched these while others selected pottery items which were painted with glazes. They were then left for firing and later collection. We finished our session with tea and a chat and left after a very enjoyable morning.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018



Saturday 17th March 10.15 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.

East Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth, BH1 3AA  

There are car parks on the Bath Road after the Royal Bath Hotel.  Alternative parking is at the Bournemouth International Centre on Exeter Road BH2 5BH.
Entry £8 if you are coming under your own steam.
 Minibus passengers who have prepaid - please be at  the bus stop near the former Countrystore shop on the Salisbury Road in Totton  before 9.00 a.m. for a prompt start. The museum has  stunning views over the sea, a large collection of artwork and a cafe. We are looking forward to seeing their special exhibition ‘A Question of Guilt’.

Adventurus Artists Friday 9th March

Friday 9th March 10.15 a.m.
Choice Plants, Stockbridge Road, Timsbury. SO51 0NB

From Romsey, take the A3057.It is on the left after the sign to the Household Waste Amenity Point. We will be well catered for - there is the crafts studio, cafe and plant centre
We can choose to sketch or to pay a small sum to try one of the crafts on offer.



Wednesday 28th March 7.30 p.m. Three Score Club Totton

This will be an important meeting for the society.
We need to appoint the Committee members for this next year, including a Chairman since Kate Rodrigues is standing down. Mary Maskell is collecting nominations. Please contact her if you would like to nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission).
  • There will be changes to the constitution, including new procedures to conform with the General Data Protection Regulation  2018. It will be necessary for us to obtain your permission for us to store safely and use your contact details, photographs, videos, etc. of yourself and your artwork. You  have legal rights over how we use that data. The unsubscribe message at the foot of this email is just one example of the new procedures that have to be implemented.
  • Help us decide how to celebrate the golden anniversary of Totton Art Society.

After the business of the AGM and refreshments we will focus on framing.

FRAME SALE  David Ridler, owner of First Floor Gallery Picture Framing at Hunts Farm Michelmersh 
David will give us the professional low-down on framing and will be bringing a selection of frames for sale.

FRAMING FAIR       Members bring samples of their frames 
Framing can be daunting if you have never been shown how to do it.
if you are an experienced artist please bring a framed sample of your work, with the back fully finished with D-rings, cord and labels. Hopefully there will be a variety of media: watercolours, drawings,  mixed media, pastels, acrylics and oils. We will lay them out and the idea is to share information and tips about finishing work for sale.  


You are welcome to bring your unwanted art equipment, magazines, DVDs, etc. to this meeting to be sold in aid of T.A.S. funds. Please clearly label them with a suggested price.  This is a good chance to have a ‘clear-out’! 


February Demonstration Animals in Watercolour




Julia Cassels has a wealth of experience sketching and painting in Africa. She lived in Zambia for more than ten years and on a farm in Kenya for one year.  Her exquisite watercolour paintings owe much to patient observation and sketching the details that might not be evident in a photograph.  

The main subject of her demonstration was a group of flamingos using two photographs of flocks of the birds as her reference. Her preferred supports are stretched 140lb Arches NOT paper purchased on a roll and Saunders Waterford pads for painting trips. Favourite brushes are Kolinsky sable pointed round Nos. 8 and 16 (sold by Luxartis of Blandford in Dorset, a hake, sword and rigger. Using a cheap child’s paintbrush, some splattered masking fluid reserved white paper for splashes of water around the birds’ legs.
While it dried Julia drew and a mother and baby elephant.  The following techniques were used to depict animals on the move:
·        sketch important lines and angles – little hooks” -even if these are disjointed
·        draw the legs less well-defined than the body
·        draw more loosely and do not connect all the lines – leave “optical gaps”
·        use energetic lines and marks
·        “scribble drawing” – tonal sketches using a scribbling stroke with pencil
Returning to her main painting, Julia used five Winsor & Newton artists’ colours including prussian blue, which dries to a muted shade, cadmium red and naples yellow. She worked wet-in-wet creating subtle colours using layers of washes. Her flamingos were peachy pink with dark grey-blue wings and the water was white with shades of  muted blue-green. The total effect was not unlike a group of beautiful ballet dancers.
Members enjoyed the demonstration and were also interested to see her sketchbooks, greetings cards and copy of her book ‘How to Capture Movement in Your Paintings’.   
Julia’s painting holidays in Zambia, Spain and Greece are very popular.
13th – 21st May 2018   Zambia, Luangwa National Park  2  places available
6th – 13th June 2018    Wild Spain, Aragon & Valencia   . 2  places available
2019    Greece, Island of Zakynthos  (full for this year)
2019    Spain, Andalucia, (full for this year)
More details are to be found on Julia’s website
Kate Rodrigues thanked members for their support during her two years as Chairman and regretted that it was not viable for her to continue in the role. She was presented with flowers on behalf of the society by Anne Hamerton
Di Alexander
Kate retires as Chairman
Masking fluid flamingoes
African Elephants

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Roy Fisher has currently 2 paintings hanging in Southampton Art Gallery. They are part of the “FOUR SEASONS” SOUTHAMPTON OPEN ART EXHIBITION. The paintings are called “The Winter Bird Table” and “The Bournemouth Ice Cream Van”. The Exhibition is on to  the 21st April 2018.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


There were ten of us at the February sketching morning. It was good to see some members who had not been before.  We were welcomed by Mike the manager and given the freedom to sketch where we pleased, The displays were very attractive and it was warm under cover. We were spoilt for choice for subjects to draw.

After some very productive work we enjoyed a refreshment break surrounded by colourful blooms. Wyevale is now one of our top sketching venues!

The Artists
The Sketches

Monday, February 12, 2018




Report on abstract workshop 

Twenty members attended the workshop on  abstract art run by Betty (Rackham) We first looked at a powerpoint presentation Betty had prepared on the development of abstract art ending with an examination of the different ways of abstraction which  

exist today. She then showed examples of her own paintings which illustrated these before we tried a few exercises to produce simple paintings using shape and colour and line to express our personal feelings about a subject. After the lunch break we developed this approach to produce a final painting.

 Betty is an excellent teacher and this well organised and prepared workshop inspired us to think about and approach our paintings in a different way to our usual style with very satisfying results. Hopefully this will continue in the future.

Anne at work

Betty and Muriel

June and pattern painting

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Russell Coates Museum Outing


 Helen is trying to arrange this outing for MARCH 17TH . Please let her know if you are interested.



This was an evening devoted to viewing videos chosen by Di to help us with our art.
She put much effort into selecting them and getting permission for us to view them as a group so we are grateful to her for arranging such an entertaining evening.

        The evening started with a video on how to photograph pets to get a picture to help with painting a portrait by Glynis Barnes Mellish. She suggested that the photographer gets down to the same level as the animal and doesn't use flash. The background should be simple and the picture not include people.
         The second video dealt with composition and the "rule of thirds" - usually regarded not as a rule but an aid to composition. The author - Will Kemp - does on-line courses .   

         We then had a series of drawing tips by Phil Davies. Referring to a still life he suggested that the general arrangement is drawn first. As curved lines are more difficult it is best to draw a series of straight lines first then turn them into a curve. Block in the shadows first and then the highlights.
          Di then did a live demonstration on scaling up a portrait from a photograph using strips of paper and proportional dividers. The strips of paper were placed on the photograph to form a grid and a proportional one created on the canvas. This was done using the dividers and locking on to features such as the tip of the nose as reference points. It was then easy to transfer the subject in the different segments using good judgement. She referred us to her website www. Old England Fine Art . for more information.

         After the tea break we had another video by Will Kemp this time on mixing greens to paint trees. He picked up blues and yellows on a wide flat brush and then rolled it across the canvas to produce a tree. Sound simple but needs practice!

         We then had a session on "loosening up" by Peter Keegan. The first point he made was that it is best to stand back from your work and hold the brush by the main part of the handle and not the ferrule. Also a large brush helps a looser style and if it feels too big it is probably just right. Using few brush strokes helps and - even more important - take a break!

          Next followed a tip from Rob Dudley who suggested dividing a large sheet of paper into squares with masking tape to form small "paintings". These could then be used to practice e.g. skies in different colours and moods and produce good reference material.

          We then had 5 top tips for portraiture. These were:-
                (i) nose - this is usually drawn too long so turn the photo reference if using one on it's side to get the feel of the length. Compare the length with the distance to the eyes or chin.
                (ii) eyes - these are usually the same size as the bridge of the nose. They tend to be pushed apart.
                (iii) ear - this is slightly down from the eye line so keep it low.
                 (iv) neck and shoulder - these are lower than you think so check that the neck is not lengthened.
                  (v) jaw - usually made too round so keep it angular. 

This was a fascinating evening so Thank You, Di, for all your hard work.




Monday, January 15, 2018

Next meeting JANUARY 24TH

The next meeting will be on January 24th when we will have a selection of videos to watch will questions and discussions. See website for more details.
There may be one or two places left on the Abstract Workshop on February 3rd with Betty Rackham and Anne will be taking bookings at the meeting.  Again more details on the website.



Nine of us gathered  to sketch in the City Art Gallery in January. Helen, Jean and June sketched a sculpture, David sketched the architecture, Muriel sketched items in a display cabinet and Elaine, Pam, Di and Pat found paintings to sketch. We all enjoyed being in the familiar artistic environment. You might like to visit their Four Seasons Exhibition of the work of local artists on display in the Gallery  from 3rd February until 21st April. Afterwards we enjoyed a well-earned break for refreshments in the Sea City Museum.

Monday, January 1, 2018


The next Totton Art Society Adventurous Artists sketching trip will be at:
the Southampton City Art Gallery, Civic Centre, SO14 7LY on Friday 12th January at 10.15 a.m. There is a multi-storey car park in West Park Road (near the railway station). We will meet in the art gallery.