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December Newsletter 2023

Post Category: Newsletter
Post date: 20 November 2023

Dear Member

The December Newsletter already! As we approach the end of another year it’s time to come along to our Christmas Party, and also to renew your membership if you would like to.

We have recently held two very well received workshops which you can read about, below.

Events in December

The Christmas Party!

Thursday 14th December, 12.45 – 3pm, in the Parish Centre (Church Gate, Cookham, SL6 9SP).

We invite you all to come and enjoy some convivial company and good food in the Parish Centre to celebrate Christmas. We ask all those coming to bring a plate of food to share; the club will supply the drinks. To make sure that we have a good range of foods, Rachel Ireland has kindly agreed to coordinate the list. Please contact us as soon as possible to suggest what you will bring. This will also give us an idea of numbers to cater for.

We will hold a raffle with some lovely prizes including a voucher for a year’s membership. We will have a prize Quiz for each table group – ‘How well do you know Cookham’ will be the theme.

Coming Soon

Your membership renewal will be due on 1st January, 2024. We do hope that you will decide to remain a member of Cookham Arts Club. To renew, simply send your fee by bank transfer to our HSBC account (payee: Cookham Arts Club, sort code 40-42-09, a/c number 41157671) with your name followed by the word SUBS as reference. Fees are £20 for single membership and £34 for a couple at the same address.

If you can do this as soon as possible it will be very helpful. We are not asking members to submit a renewal form this year so if any of your details have changed, please do remember to let us know. If you wish to pay by cheque, let me know and I will make sure you are sent the necessary details.

Recent Club Events

October Workshop

Early in October our workshop brought us the most talented artist Joel Wareing with whom we spent a most wonderful and informative day. The subject was an urban scene with figures. Joel had plenty of photos to choose from and some participants had their own photos. The idea was to draw first and then proceed with glazing, which means applying several thin layers starting by covering the lightest parts and then intensifying the dark areas.

At the end we used normal thick paint to pull everything together and finished by placing the highlights with a mixture of Titanium white and a tiny bit of cadmium yellow which gives the painting the feeling of a lovely sunny day.

Monthly Meeting

Have you ever painted a Guinea fowl? What a funny looking bird! At our monthly Meeting in October Jenny Whalley painted a whole flock of them using wonderfully loose, sweeping brush strokes of watercolour for the body and bright colours for the neck and head. A bit of line work for their large feet, a suggestion of flight feathers, a bit more definition around the head and she was done. After our coffee break she used other media for a more detailed portrait of one bird – Inktense for the brightest colours, Neocolour water soluble wax pastels and water soluble crayons for the more subtle tones. Again, she worked quickly, showing what can be achieved in a short time by not ‘tightening up’

November Workshop

Our November workshop with Catherine Beale was a very exciting experience for all the sixteen attendees. It was all about learning to loosen up the way we paint in watercolours. We didn’t need to worry about details, colours were mixed on paper. The emphasis was on light coming through trees and as you can see in the photo the results were spot on.

Catherine was very informative, encouraging and helpful. Some of us hadn’t touched watercolours since school days but were eager to use a different medium and learnt that it was not as scary as we thought.

A few notes from Catherine

Light = white = paper 
Darkness = pigment / colour 
Watercolours dries lighter
Paint can be lifted or washed off
Invest in good quality products 

Tuesday Painting Workshops

At Cookham Dean Village Hall, Church Road, Cookham Dean, Berks SL6 9PY, from 2 to 5pm.


Christmas Card Competition

Tuesday painters held their annual Christmas Card Competition. The winner was Lyn, pictured, with a super snowy lake district scene. There were some lovely designs this year, so well done to all our Tuesday Painters.

Tuesday Painting: cost £2
A topic, appraisal, tea and cake
Tuesday Extra: cost £1.50
Painting, tea and biscuits
November 21st: Create a piece of work using a black backgroundNovember 28th: Paint what you like
December 5th: A musical instrumentDecember 12th: Paint what you like
December 19th: Collage
The first meeting of 2024 will be on 2nd January


As we approach the end of this year, please look out for the lists about next year’s Tuesday Painting – one will be for suggested topics for 2024 and one for volunteering to ‘Bring the Cakes’.

We have been giving the volunteer ‘Tuesday Cake Makers/Suppliers’ £5 towards their expenses. This is clearly not enough to feed 20 to 30 people on cake, as well as buying the milk, and we would not like people to be put off from volunteering. With that in mind we propose to change the fees to £2 for every Tuesday meeting after the AGM (rather than the alternating £1.50/£2), and to give an allowance of £15 towards the cakes and milk. We hope our members are agreeable to this.

I, for one, would not like to lose the traditional ‘cakes every fortnight’! We welcome any feedback about this, to myself or any other committee member.


Taking photographs for reference – or just for fun.

Have you ever visited a National Trust mansion with priceless paintings and other items on display and wished you could turn on the lights to have a proper look? Modern digital cameras are wonderful and most can give good results in very dim light – you may be amazed at what you can see when you zoom in to the photo on the camera’s screen, or later, when you put the photo on a bigger screen. Almost all cameras will automatically adjust their sensitivity according to the light, whether it’s the one on your phone, a compact camera or a digital SLR. For the technically minded among you, make sure the camera’s ISO (sensitivity) setting is on auto and if possible ‘vibration reduction’ is on. This sad little stuffed bird was in a very dim corner of Arlington Court in Devon (again for the technically minded: hand held shot, 1/6 s at f4.5, ISO 6400.)


Yours sincerely
Robert Jones
Newsletter Editor