Guild monogram
Coventry Art Guild:
Guild Activities from 2016

December 5th 2016

D ecembers first Monday was a critique night with an artist new to the Guild. Michael Goatman was recommended to us and proved to be interesting amusing and helpful. He is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Coventry University, and an artist in his own right.


T he evening’s selection of artworks covered most if not all media and a wide range of styles. Pencil, watercolour, oils and materials were used in the pictures and the subjects ranged from portraits to sea and landscapes. We were also treated to traditional, modern and surealistic pictures

W hile our guest was ‘gentle’ with us, he also offered good advice. We received praise and constructive criticism in a balanced manner. The evening was a great success and proved to be enjoyable. We would not be dissapointed if he were to be invited back for a return visit.
sail in oil
A fter the event we received comments from Michael who said
“I very much enjoyed the evening ... Lots of talent in the group.”
by Jon Plumley: Pictures by Alan Smith

September 5th 2016

B ecause of the holidays and illness, there were not too many for this session. Those that were unable to make it missed an evening with a difference. Our visiting artist, Glen Morgan brought along examples of his pyrographic artwork. The art was stunning.
Children on fence

two children

G len showed us some of the blanks and other materials that are available to work on. He explained that the best wood was probably sycamore and that ideally any wood should be kiln dried and well sanded to give the finish required. He decribed his equipment and the tips that he used, which when heated up in the tools provided the heated drawing edge to mark the wood. By varying the time held against the wood and the speed and pressure, he showed us that it was possible to get different depths of colour and even a degree of shading.

Glen at work
tool tips
N ot to be outdone, one of the Guild members, Steve, showed that it was not an artform that was beyond our capabilities, and that with practice our artistic prowess could be applied to produce something very different.

Steve at work
T he evening was certainly unusual, but never-the-less very enjoyable. All agreed that it had been a worthwhile experiment and that Glen should be invited back at a later time to continue his demonstrations and give more of us an opportunity to try for ourselves

Monday August 1st 2016

I t was the first day of August and it was raining, typical English weather some might say. Nevertheless several member had ventured out and arrived for a sketching evening. The subject was ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries’ and ready to draw was a bowl of fruit. Not only cherries but a variety, some whole and some cut.

members bowl of fruit ready to sketch

O n the face of it, it was a straight forward subject and therefore not too difficult. In practice the shadows hues and variable textures, made it far more tricky than first imagined.

am always amazed to see the variations of media and style in the artwork produced on occasions such as this, and this time was no exception. The variety as great as ever from pencil sketch of the bowl and fruit content to a full colour painting of four cherries.

bowl and fruit painting pencil sketch 4 cherries 1

Some might have thought that Vice Chaiman Roger was working completely out of character to his expected form. Pastel, Roger, who would have believed!

rogers cherries

T he rain remained, the fruit was left un-eaten, but the evening had proved enjoyable and even fun, if the comments were to be believed.

Monday July 4th 2016
Critique night
W e invited two artists, Ali Josh and his wife Tahmineh, to join us for our Critique night. Ali paints miniatures and his wife is a pyrographic artist, with studios in Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street. They brought along a couple of examples of their work for us to see and admire. However they were a little shy and perhaps not properly prepared for the 'ordeal'.

miniature pyrograph 1

T he evening progressed with many of those present offering comments and advice about the artworks on show.

A s usual the variety of subjects was wide and they were produced in nearly all imaginable media. Thus we were able to consider a picture made up from carved pieces of wood applied to a board and over painted, landscapes in oil, and portraiture in pastel.

aplique seascape impressionist

portrait landscape animal head

I t has been some time since we have had a critique night and I believe that we were looking forward to the evening. It has to be said that the evening was somewhat different from most of our Mondays, however we still enjoyed it.

Monday June 6th 2016
Our Own George Borg
W e have watched George on a Wednesday, and seen some of his work from time to time, noting that his way of working appeared to be different from those of the average member. As he talked we began to understand a little of the working methods that he adopts.


H e spoke of his background in architectural drawing and its need for precision speed and accuracy. He also mentioned that coming from Gibralter coloured his views of life and his particular love of ships. We were able to percieve how his background had informed the way that he works

cottage in perpective

W hat did come across was that he had a great deal of patience, perhaps more than most of us, and that to get the results that he managed, involved a lot of research and repetition of details. With the aid of many of his artworks and sketches he explained how elements of a painting could be extracted, repeated and varied until they were in the format that he needed. They could then be traced back onto the final painting, thus removing the need for corrections on the canvas itself. This he felt helped to keep the painting fresh and free from a dullness that comes from frequent changes on the canvas.

ships watercolour

H e also showed us how he worked from models to get the angles and lighting just as he wanted. Given a basis provided by the model, he was then able to add the details. From his research he could also ensure that the details added were consistent with the actual ship, plane or building etc for the time of the story that the painting was intended to portray.


O verall the evening was enthralling, very interesting, and full of hints and tips, that we can apply to our own work in the future.

George and painting

T hank you George for a special evening.
by Jon Plumley pictures by Alan Smith

Monday May 2nd 2016
T he first Monday in May 2016 brought a new challenge to our evening session. It was to be 'One Subject: Many Interpretations' night. Initially those present were shown 4 different pictures and were asked to choose one of them as the subject.

einstein yacht cockatoo country cottage

I n the end the majority choice was the thatched cottage

H aving chosen a picture, it was then time to decide on the medium and style in which to reproduce the artwork. Several guilders decided to use pencils. However the braver chose colour including watercolour pencils.

1601 1602 1603

1604 1605 1606

A t the end of the session each artist made a tour of the other works. It was certainly true that the original object picture had been reproduced in a variety of styles.

1608 1609 1610 1611

T he view was that the evening had been different. Some at least had wondered with trepidation if it would even be enjoyable. However the outcome was that all enjoyed the session and wanted to have another at sometime in the not too distant future.

April 2016
F or our April Monday we welcomed a new model. Following a trend for the more recent model sessions we had invited someone who would be engaged in an activity rather than posing in a statuesque way. Our model on this occasion was Alison Elliot and she spent her time arranging a flower display.

april model artists at work

A lison sat in a wheelchair while she worked, giving us plenty of scope to produce artworks with a difference

artist and painting artist and sketch

A lison prepared a beautiful display of roses, while we had a very enjoyable sketching evening.


February 2016
Watercolour Demonstration
O n Monday 1st February we welcomed Paul Maddocks to the Guild for a demonstration evening. Paul has been before and entertained us with some useful techiques and expert illustrations.

artists at work

O n this occasion he brought a number of items with him to demonstrate various techniques and styles. One of the items was a portfolio of illustrations demonstrating their development to a finished artwork.

artists at work

A fter the break Paul painted a watercolour, and suggested ways in which the medium can be used to produce various effects. On this occassion his picture was a landscape, with an atmospheric feel

artists at work

A ll told it was an enjoyable evening and once again Paul was able to delight us, and educate some of us at least.

January 2016
F or the first Monday of 2016 a sketching workshop was arranged. The number of members who came along was thought to have been quite reasonable for the January meeting especially considering the weather.

artists at work

A   variety of objects were brought along to sketch, and everyone chose something different to draw. There had been a suggestion that charcoal and chalk might be used as the medium, and several members did in fact do just that.

elephant chinaman glass horse

A ll those present managed at least one picture.

artist at work elephant 1 china man

T he evening went well and was agreed to have been a success.