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Latest update 23 September 2018 - newest items are at the top
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Report for May to September

HRH The Prince of Wales held a 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 22nd May. Our society is one of many who are honoured to have the Prince’s patronage (he is our president) and we were invited to send a contingent of 5 members. Having passed security checks, we were allowed into the grounds which are impressively large. During the course of the event, music was provided by a military band, a pipe band, a Welsh men’s choir and more. Refreshments had been laid on for all. After the speech by Prince Harry that was featured in the news, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made their way along a path through the crowds towards the royal tea tent where they and some special guests would take refreshments; it was a very leisurely journey as they enjoyed talking to people along the way. Afterwards, the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall spoke to organisers, helpers and entertainers I think, on their way back to the palace itself. There were crowds of people so it was difficult to see what was happening for much of the time but we were happy to just have the opportunity to experience and take part in the Prince’s celebration.

During July and August we do not hold our monthly meetings. Instead we paint and sketch outdoors on Monday afternoons if the weather permits and the weather this summer has been very obliging. We have visited such places as Malmesbury where we were able to paint the river and abbey atop the hill from the shade of trees on the riverbank; Leighterton with its church, pond and cottages; Beverstone with its castle, church and farm buildings; Avening Court with its house, extensive grounds and outbuildings; Kingscote village with its church and cottages; Rodmarton village where a resident, Jane, came out with cups of tea for us which was unexpected and greatly appreciated. Typically, around 8 members would take part in these expeditions. With the good weather this summer, we tried to extend our outdoor painting activities into the first week of September. But we were reminded of the lateness of the season when a shower thwarted attempts to add water colours to our sketches. So we bowed to the inevitable and headed off for a coffee instead.

August was a busy month as, besides the outdoor painting, we held our Summer Social in the Avening Social Club and our August Exhibition was held in the Tetbury Market Hall. Setting-up went so well on the preceding Friday that we decided to open that afternoon. This year we were able to hang around 150 framed pictures and display around 30 unframed pictures on tables but sales were down a bit mainly due to persistent rain on the Sunday. Visitors voted Jane Holford-Atkin’s stunning painting of a snow leopard as the best-in-show.

With the arrival of September and noticeably shorter evenings, we resumed our monthly meetings indoors at St Michael’s Hall. On Wednesday 5th, Ray Hedger visited us again for a surgery to advise on pieces of our work that hadn’t turned out as well as we had hoped. He looked at a selection of our work, offering tips on how we could make improvements. He commented that often artists know what needs to be done to improve a work but just don’t do it. From there he modified a few paintings with the artists’ permission. For example he partially removed a hedge painted in water colours and redid it. He worked with oil paints on another to lighten the middle ground and darken the foreground making it stand out to give the picture depth.

[posted 23 September 2018, expires 31 December 2018]

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