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Archive of The Guild's Past Events and Activities

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Dec 20th 2012
Dec 8th 2012
Nov 24th 2012
Nov 5th 2012
Oct 1st 2012
Sep 1st 2012
Sep 18th 2012
Sep 3rd 2012
Aug 6th 2012
July 2nd. 2012
June 14th. 2012
June 4th. 2012
May 19th. 2012
May 7th. 2012
April 2nd. 2012
Mar. 5th. 2012

The archive is a repository of articles about some of the events previously held by the Guild.
A list of the articles in the archive can be found on the left hand side of this paragraph.
Click on any article in the list to go to the appropriate place in this collection.

The Guild Christmas Dinner 20th December 2012

embers and their partners from the Coventry Art Guild held their annual Christmas Dinner at the Royal Court Hotel again and were given a warm welcome by the hotel staff. Despite the wet weather the party spirit was soon under way.

hen all the festive food had been consumed it was the turn of our chairman, Roger, to make his welcome speech and to introduce the daughters of Tom Cain. They had decided that they would like to make the presentation of the Tom Cain Memorial Trophy themselves. It was to be made to the person in the Guild who had achieved and improved most over the past year.

he popular decision in presenting David Mottershead with the award was met with surprise and disbelief by David. I am sure Tom would have welcomed and approved of David's name being the first to be inscribed on the trophy. David was congratulated by the members of the guild. It was a good job you had your best suit on to receive the honour Dave.

Receiving the trophy

David and wife
fter a successful dinner we must thank Shirley Green for organising our Christmas venue once again.
by Alan Smith


Roger and Sue - A Day Out in Leamington, December 2012

oger and Sue spent a cold December Saturday in Leamington Spa exhibiting some of their Art works and demonstrating techniques.

leamington exhibition 1
leamington exhibition 2

ven though it was a long day, they both felt that it had been worthwhile. This is a venue that provides an exhibition facility throughout the year. They found that this was a good venue and thought that the Guild may wish to consider it for future member's exhibitions.

leamington exhibition 3
leamington exhibition 4


Lower Precinct Exhibition 24th November 2012

n Saturday the Guild hosted its November Exhibition of member's works in the Lower Precinct of Coventry City Centre as we have in previous years. This time though was a disappointment on many levels. The setup arrangements were inevitably different from any previous occasion, and as such were untried and untested. As with any new arrangement there were teething troubles. However in the end some 60 pictures were put on display.

precinct exhibition 1
precinct exhibition 2
 here was a distinct lack of shoppers in the City centre, and thus very few members of the public taking an interest. There are probably a number of reasons for this lack of interest, but the paucity of shoppers was noted by regular market traders, and was not particular to our exhibition. The weather, the closure of T. J. Hughes (once a busy store in the lower precinct) and the economic climate were almost certainly contributing factors.

ith the demise of ' CV1' as the City's representative for the purpose of overseeing promotions in the City, and its replacement with a commercial enterprise is highly unlikely that the Guild will be able to afford the charges in the future. All told it would appear that new arrangements need to be made for future exhibitions.


Critique Night Monday 5th November 2012

s our 1st Monday of November coincided with Guy Fawkes Night we could only expect fireworks. However the fireworks remained outside where they belonged and inside we only had spectacular colours and great images.


R oger led the proceedings and offered comments and helpfull suggestions about each of the works. He also invited comments and views from all other members present. A variety of views were expressed both positive and more critical. All in all a lively discussion ensued during the evening - though all potential ' fisticuffs' were avoided.

T he likelyhood of a low turnout because of other commitments had been anticipated. Everyone attending had been asked to consider bringing three pictures for review.

We had also been asked to consider painting within the constriction of using a palette of three colours plus white (and black if necessary, since this is simply a lack of all colour).

Cambodian Lady

T he pictures covered the usual wide range of subject, style and subject. They included an abstract using a swimming pool as the subject matter and managing to portray movement and the ripple effect of the water. At the other end of the 'spectrum' there were traditional watercolour landscapes showing depth and in some cases a feeling of mystery. A number of portraits were seen, but as noted the subject range was large.

A  number of the paintings were produced using a palette of just three colours. Again even with a reduced palette the paintings covered a wide range of subjects and media. The choice of colours was not confined to the three primaries. The evenings range of pictures showed that a restricted palette did not lead to any restrictions in colour range hue or density. While he was by no means the only one, Roy provided one illustration of what can be achieved. He presented a pair of portraits using only cadmium red, raw umber, ultramarine, white and black.

portrait 1
portrait 2
A ll in all an evening that made at least some of us think again, and hopefully inspired many. Our thanks to Roger, who was perhaps a little more restrained than he is on some occasions. (Sorry Roger!)

by Jon Plumley, pictures thanks also to Alan Smith and Roy Thomas


Watercolour Demonstration with Kay Elliot Monday 1st October 2012

Demonstrator Kay Elliot

W hen Sue Lang told me the Guild had booked a watercolourist, Kay Eliot, for the demonstration and she would be painting flowers I thought it would be interesting to see the comparison between her work and the work of the Dutch Masters that I had seen recently at the Ashmolean Museum. It turned out to be a really informative night.

Poppies Kay Elliot

S he produced work on a scale bigger than normal watercolours with paint directly from the tube on palettes (metal plates) using a single large brush. She never mixes colours as she feels that this detracts from the hundreds of years taken to achieve the colours we have today. She was after the character of the subject rather than a direct copy and for me this is what it's about.

artists work 1
artists work 2
artists work 3
Artist Demonstrating
She was funny and very informative with her approach to the demo and allowed people to wander round, look over her shoulder and get a closer view whilst she worked.

I hope she will inspire Guild members to maybe try larger work and as she said

"Only paint what you feel a connection to."

There will probably be a run on large brushes at Hobbycraft in the next few days, get down there quick!
by Roy Thomas, pictures from Jon Plumley


Visit to Ashmolean Museum Oxford and demonstration 1st September 2012

My son, who is on a theatre tour with a production of 'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby, told me he would be at The Playhouse in Oxford on 21 September so we arranged to meet for lunch. We drove down that morning it's so easy to get to A46, M40, A34 to the Peartree Interchange where you can park all day for £1.50 and then get the bus into Oxford £2.40 return or free with senior citizens bus pass.

The theatre turned out to be right opposite the Ashmolean Museum and Gallery and as we had some time to kill we went in. We were told there was an exhibition of Dutch Masters work and directed to it. There we found still life oils of mainly flowers in vases I didn't realise that still life could be so inspirational with vibrant colours. Most of the paintings were produced round about 1600 and at that time The Netherlands was breaking away from the Catholic Church and it allowed the artists to seek more commissions outside the patronage of the church. This attracted artists from all over Europe which produced the golden age.
by Roy Thomas


A Celebration of the Life of Tom Cain
on 18th September 2012

Tom Cain
25th July 1927 to 7th September 2012

G  uild members and fellow artists gathered, together with family and friends, on Tuesday 18th September to say a sad farewell to Tom, at a humanist service held at Canley Crematorium.

The lovely service celebrated Tom's full and eventful life with narration, poems and nostalgic music.

His gentle manner and wicked sense of humour will always make us smile whenever we reminisce.

I know we all feel it has been a privilege to have known Tom and his loss will be felt by all.


Critique Night with Mike Thompson
on 3rd September 2012

Mike Thompson

W  e were fortunate to have a visit from Mike Thompson on Monday 3rd September. Mike is a talented artist who uses a variety of media in his own work, and demonstrates across the UK. He is an internationally recognised artist in the use of just three colours.

picture reviewed

Although the number of members was limited, possibly because it coincided with the end of the summer holiday period, those present brought a good variety of pictures for appraisal. The selection included work in most media and varied considerably in size. The subjects also covered a wide range from portrait to abstract.

picture 2 review

Mike managed to use the artworks that he was reviewing to illustrate technique, while at the same time adding the criticism, positive and negative, to enable the artist to continue to work on the painting to improve it and use the ideas in their future work.

One of the techniques that Mike returned to throughout the evening was the addition of blue colouration to distant scenery in order to add perspective. Another of the concepts covered in his critique was the manner in which solidity and shape was obtained, by the use of a gradation of colour from lighter to darker, across the surface of objects in the picture

Our visitor gave us a memorable evening using his talent and experience to make the evening a worthwhile experience. Many of the members present said that the evening had been one of the best critique nights they had attended for some time. We look forward to a return visit, perhaps as a demonstration evening.

by Jon Plumley, pictures from Alan Smith


Watercolour Demonstration by David Rees
on 6th August 2012

O  nce again, we welcomed back David Rees to the Guild - this time for a Watercolour Demonstration. He had intended showing us how to use a lollypop stick to draw with, in a line and wash style watercolour but unfortunately, he was unable to do this because of the angle the board had to be in for demonstration purposes. He had however, brought along completed pictures where he had used this method and these were passed round the group. He had chosen to paint a picture of some horses pulling a log waggon.

David had already stretched a sheet of Arches 140 lbs. Not Watercolour paper. He used 1" flat and a No 2 round watercolour brush to paint with and his colour palette consisted of Sepia, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red. He never draws the picture in pencil beforehand but "draws" using a paint brush directly onto the dry paper with a weak mix of Sepia and a small brush. He began with the sky, wet on dry paper using the 1" flat and using Cobalt Blue. Next, beginning about a third of the way down the paper, he" sketched" in the horses with his brush and blocked them in with a pate wash of sepia and continued downwards with the same colour across the rest of the paper. Whilst the paper was still wet, he strengthened the mix of pale Sepia with Cobalt Blue to make a darker brown and fleshed out the horses a bit more. He reminded us that we must always remember where the light source came from.

Reviewing the pictures

With the sky still wet, he used a mix of Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Crimson for the distant background tree shapes, remembering to leave sky-holes David suggested we look at the pictures we paint through a mount now and then, to see how the picture looks.

With the paint still wet on the horses, he darkened them further in places adding more Cobalt Blue to the Sepia but leaving one horse lighter than the other, for contrast.


As he worked, he told us that he sometimes put blue paint into the mixing water, to give the picture an overall unifying colour. He also advised us not to dab at the painting with a rag or tissue to liftoff offending wet colour but to use the brush to whisk it off. David said he had no preference for the make of brush he uses but that a good brush will hold more liquid and he liked a good point. Next, using the darkest mix of Sepia and Cobalt Blue and a No. 2 brush, he painted in the waggon wheels and horse trappings. Using a pate mix of Alizarin Crimson, he touched in the muzzle of the leading horse. David added that waggon wheels were difficult to draw and paint well, therefore should be done with care. Then, using the 1" flat brush and a dark mix of Cobalt Blue with a touch of Alizarin Crimson, he painted behind the pale Sepia waggon, to make it stand out better.

The shadows were then added to the middle and foreground, with a deep mix of Cobalt Blue stroked over the still wet Sepia. David added a touch of Cadmium Yellow to brighten things up in places and said he sometimes uses Cadmium Red as well in some paintings.

Before the background trees had dried, David added another mix of Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Crimson to give a deep purplish colour in places, for shadows in the trees. He said the secret is never to let the paper dry out as you add in the various details and that way you won't make mud! Then with the deepest shade of Cobalt Blue and Sepia mix, he Went on to add in some trunks and branches here and there, to the background trees. As he worked he added that he paints a lot with the side of his brush which he felt helped his brushes keep a good point. To complete the picture, he used a strong mix of Sepia to paint in tracks in the foreground. Unbelievably, an acceptable picture was completed in about half an hour!

  Picture 2

A  fter the tea-break, David began to paint another picture of an old grain silo set on a farm. He began as usual, "drawing" the outline of the silo and farm buildings with the No.2 brush and watery Sepia paint - painting on another sheet of Arches 140 lbs. Not Watercolour paper which had already been stretched to stop cockling and using the same colour pallet as the first picture. Then, changing to the 1" flat brush, he blocked in the buildings, adding Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt Blue to the Sepia to vary the strength of the mix in order to add variety of colour to the buildings.

The sky was put in next with Cobalt Blue and background trees were added using the same mix but with a touch of Alizarin Crimson added. David admitted he would have preferred to use Ultramarine Blue but he had not got it with him. He then softened the edges of the clouds with pure water to prevent hard edges from forming. As he worked, he told us to keep the paint wet, not moist, as you add your colours and this would prevent muddy colours. Another tip given was that leaving white paper streaks added vibrancy to a painting.

David then added sheep and grass using mixes of Cobalt Blue, Sepia and Cadmium Yellow. Next, the windows on the buildings were put in using a deep brown mix of Cobalt Blue and Sepia. He advised that we didn't need to paint them all in, just one or two, to suggest windows. Then with a flourish he painted the shadows across the grass area, to finish the painting.

He had brought with him two pictures that he had previously painted with a stick in the manner he had expected to demonstrate on this occassion.

harbour scene 1
harbour scene 2
It is always a pleasure to watch an Artist at work and see the picture come to life before us. I am sure his practical tips and Artists observations will be of value to us in our future paintings and we look forward to seeing David back again in the near future.

by Olive Scott, pictures from Alan Smith


Critique Evening with David White
on 2nd July 2012

Roger welcomes our Visitor

R  oger welcomed David White on behalf of the Guild. Although he has been to the Guild on previous occasions it has been some time, and for the newer members it was the first time. The evening was somewhat experimental in that each picture was given a strict timeslot in which it had to be reviewed. An alarm was set to ensure that there was no over-run. The system worked well and everyone had their pictures reviewed. This has not always been the case in the past.

Reviewing the pictures

Our visitor considered each picture carefully before providing his thoughts. His comments were, by and large, both encouraging and helpful. In many cases he offered advice about how the artist in question could extend the work into new areas in the future and thus progress.

Reviewed picture

As usual the pictures covered a wide range of media and subjects. The subject matter ranging from romantic to modern, and portrait to seascape. David was able to use the pictures to provide a more general view of the art of painting, illustrating the concepts with the pictures under review. The concepts discussed included the use of good proportion in composition; getting a good colour balance by using a limited palette; ensuring good shadows to provide solidity; and the changes in hue saturation and detail from near to distant objects to give good depth.

Reviewed picture

He had some nice words to say about the quality of work produced by members of the guild, and Roger suggested that it was the regular workshops that helped to encourage member and help them improve.

pictures reviewed

The evening went well and those present were generally appreciative of the comments and criticism offered by our visitor. He expressed the hope that he would be invited back, and this was applauded by the member present.


Guild Outing to Patchings
on 14th June 2012

On the bus to Patchings

P atchings Annual four day Summer Festival of international art, craft and design festival was celebrating its 19th year. The weather was kind to us, the sun shone and we managed to bring some of it home with us.

The festival was, as in previous years, crammed with over 200 artists and artisans holding demonstrations, presentations and numerous workshops, making choices of which ones to attend very difficult. David Bellamy and Charles Evans demonstrations proved immensely popular with guild members.


We arrived early as the show opened, so we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy a coffee in the sunshine, The free festival guide gave us the chance to sort out the order we wished to view the many attractions because it had a detailed guide and map of all the shows, marquees and demonstrations, it also gave a daily programme of events and the time they were on. It contained information on all the artists, craftsmen and contributors, including their web sites and email addresses, with short descriptions of what they specialise in. Very useful if you wish to follow up on an artist who has impressed you.

The crafts section proved to be very popular and the marquee was packed with jewellery, clothing, ceramics, wood and metal artefacts, with numerous ideas for gifts, Many stall holders were regulars but many new faces were there, I myself spent some money in this section, (one or two moths escaped, but what the hell, a girl has got to live sometime) and mentioning no names? One of our members was not allowed into this part of the show!

The glass and paper painting marquee was really full with artists and exhibitors, some had really impressive stands and nearly all of them were selling reproductions of their work in the form of DVDs, prints or cards, of which I purchased several.


I was pleased to see the lovely Linda Wain demonstrating again, she had bought along one of her rescue dogs; I even caught our vice chairman enjoying a conversation with her, What? Our own oil specialist actually talking and listening to an acrylic specialist, what on earth has happened to our oil purist?

The Art and Craft materials section, as usual held some interesting bits and pieces that the public could test try and buy, and many stalls that we go to every time we visit to replenish our art supplies at discounted prices One of the more adventurous of our members purchased the new Pan Pastel sets. I look forward to seeing some of the results at our next critique evening.

The Galleries and permanent workshops in the old barns are always interesting to visit. The Leisure Painter Exhibition held in the upstairs gallery had both professional and amateur works on show. There was some inspirational work on show for which good prizes had been awarded. For many this was the last port of call as we made our way back to the coach for our 4pm departure.

artist at work

It is amazing that during the day you can meet the same people over and over yet some you never see until boarding the coach, spent out both financially and physically. Now was the time, despite exhaustion to share the days experiences and showing and telling of the bargains we had bought

Despite the low turnout of guild members causing this to possibly be the last organised trip by the guild, I think I can speak on behalf of everyone who went to Patchings that it was a really enjoyable day, the atmosphere was good, the laughs were many and I think everyone had a good time.

Special thanks must go to Olive and Pat for organising the away day, the effort; commitment, and time such an event of this nature requires is surely deserving of a better turnout by the guild membership, and should the committee decide to give it another go, I can only hope that their efforts will be appreciated and more members show their support and appreciation.
by Sue Lang pictures from Roger Chamley


Acrylic Landscape Demonstration with Pat Landon
on Monday 4th June 2012

members attending

I t was a Bank Holiday Monday and the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations to boot, which may well have contributed to the lower than usual numbers. However those who were not there missed a treat.

Pat started with a blank white 'canvas' and painted it red. This she said was because a white expanse tends to be over awing, and she added "I just like red." She used a light brown paint to outline rather than pencil. Since the paint was acrylic any outline could be painted over and corrected as necessary.

Demonstrator Pat Lindon

She used just one brush, a filbert, for all but the detail. We noted too that her palette consisted of a limited number of colours, namely three greens (phthalo, chromium oxide and sap) blue brown red yellow and white. Yet another shade of deep dark green was obtained by mixing the darkest green with purple.

As the painting progressed working in the main from dark shades to lighter ones, the landscape came to life. The red background still came through in places but appeared to help to give the work a unity.

artist Pat at work

The photograph from which she worked was a copy of one of her previous paintings. The original had a bridge at the centre of the work and she used masking tape to aid in its production. This may well have been an experiment, but it worked.


After the break in just half an hour she painted a second picture, once again starting with a red expanse to cover the acrylic paper.

The evening was delightful, and we were very lucky to have been treated to a demonstration from which I am sure we could all learn something.
by Jon Plumley pictures from Alan Smith


Precinct Exhibition on Saturday 19th May 2012

I t doesn't matter how much notice I am given I always seem to be rushing to get things ready for the day. The "regular volunteers" met at 9am to meet the Transport with the stands, we all had a bit of a wait For security to open the doors, after a couple or trips backwards and forwards the stands were up and most pictures in place by 9:45am.

in the precinct

We had a very promising start with 5 pictures sold by just after 11am and then a further picture for the rest of the day totalling 6. Most people I spoke to were not aware of the exhibition until they got into town but said They enjoyed it.

painting portraits

This year there was the added dimension from our new Member Jay painting watercolour portraits of passers by for a small charitable donation. Another new member Neil created a lot of interest with his acrylic paintings of Vintage racing scenes.

the portrait artist

Some members, who never attend Wednesday workshops Or critique/demonstration nights turn up, hand over their pictures only to be seen at the end of the day to collect their pictures or sale money taking no active part in the day. This is a bone of contention with some of the Membership.
Sue and Olive did a sterling job on the desk, as did all those who helped on the day.

by Roy Thomas pictures from Alan Smith

Critique Night on Monday 7th May 2012

W  as this to be a case of "Good cop, Bad cop?"

Roger Chumley

Tom Caine

For a change our critics for the evening were Tom and Roger, our esteemed Chairman and Vice Chairman. The evening proved to be very successful with so many pictures to review that we ran out of time, and had to leave some for another day.

As usual there was a wide variety of subjects and styles in the paintings. The pictures presented ranged from classical and romantic 'masterpieces' to surrealist abstracts. The media used by the different artist represented, varied too from pastel to acrylic through oil and watercolour.

various pictures presented on night
One of the good things, and there were many, was that there was probably more interaction between the 'presenters' and the 'audience' than usual. There wasn't always full agreement with the criticism, but that only went to show that opinion is only subjective.

presenters discussing the art

As has often been the case at critique nights, there was some discussion about light source shadows and highlights. Another area that promoted comment was the consideration of colour reflection from one area onto another. Thus the greens and browns of a tree can also contain some undertones of the ambient pinks and oranges, or whatever colours are applicable, found in the sky and surrounding areas.

The evening provided an opportunity to benefit from the experience of two good artists with specialisation in differing media, and there was no need for any 'Oil' to be poured onto 'Troubled water'. In conclusion it was apparent that we all had an enjoyable and instructive evening.

by Jon Plumley


Watercolour Demonstration by David Rees
on Monday 2nd April 2012


D avid Rees is always a welcome visitor to the Guild. On this occasion he came to give a demonstration of watercolour technique. We were fortunate to be able to view an artist at work, seeing the picture build, and appreciate the construction to the final artwork.

the farmyard in progress

He started with a farm scene, using a pale (watery) brown wash to 'draw an outline of the buildings. He pointed out that this was not a particularly fine line and didn't need to be too correct, since the final painting would obscure the original outline. David began to build the picture with areas of colour, still using pale washes. He added some contrast so that the buildings began to have some shape. Splashes of colour, blue and purple in particular gave the sky some atmosphere. Greens and browns were added in the foreground. To the basic picture he added shadows below the eaves and in the windows areas, using darker colour, although still mainly brown. This brought the work to life. Within around half an hour a very acceptable piece of art was born.

Before the break David had also produced a picture of two cart horses. These he painted in much the same way as the farm scene, building from a rough outline to the resulting picture. Some of us were surprised that the final colouration, a rich reddish brown was built up using quite a bright red.

David Rees at work
After the break he went on to complete yet another picture. This time the subject was a boat in a seascape. The result was remarkable. Close up there appeared to be a lack of detail. The figures in the boat were little more than splashes of colour. The effect from a little distance however was quite different, as the eye saw the splashes of colour as real people and the boat in some apparent detail. What many of us found remarkable was that David had managed all this at close quarters, never standing back to see the effect.

artist at work

Overall the visit was very much appreciated, and an experience from which I am sure we have all learned. We can only look forward to a return in the near future.

by Jon Plumley, photographs courtesy of Alan Smith


Annual General meeting
on Monday 5th March 2012

T he Guild's Annual General Meeting was held on the 5th March at the Unitarian Church Hall.

Gloria Randle resigned from the Committee, while Dave Mottershead and Jon Plumley were elected as new members. Otherwise the Officers of the Committee remained as in the previous year.

It was agreed that subscriptions would remain the same, as will the cost of hiring DVD's. No charge was to be made for the hire of Videos.

The Chaiman reported that exhibitions would be held in the Lower Precinct on 19th May and 24th November 2012. The Guild would also be exhibiting at the Allesley Village Church Hall on the 7th and 8th July 2012.

Monthly sketching outings will commence in May. Details will be announced at later dates.

Both Viewpoint magazine and the Web pages request more articles, cartoons and other items. The members pictures on the Website are due for a change. Members are asked to contact Roger Chamley.

Geoff Caine reported on progress with the future of the possibilities of exhibiting works at the Albion Theatre. He was asked by the meeting to continue with this liaison.

The summer outing to Patchings will take place on Thursday 14th June. Members will pay £5.00 towards the coach and non members £10.00. The entrance fee for adults will be £8.50, and for Seniors £7.50. Members are asked to contact Olive Scott.

It was agreed that a suggestion box be brought out at every meeting. A further decision means that with the new washing up rota, those washing up will not have to pay.

Information supplied by Sue Lang