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June Newsletter 2023

Post Category: Newsletter
Post date: 18 June 2023

Dear Member,

In April for the first Sunday Painting day of this season, we met in the grounds of Nashdom Abbey in Burnham, a former monastery. Eight painters came and painted different views of the house and extensive grounds. The weather was kind for April, a little overcast but dry and warmish! At the end of the afternoon, we were treated to refreshments by Katy, one of the residents, who joined us for tea in the grounds, with several other interested residents, to view and discuss our paintings. Our thanks go to Roy Baker, a Tuesday painter, who kindly suggested and arranged the venue for us, and to Katy and other Nashdom residents who made us so very welcome.

The theme of our Monthly Meeting was a portrait painting using oils. Mark Fennell, a professional portrait painter, came to show us how he works. Club member Pete kindly volunteered to sit for Mark. It was an interesting session with good advice on measuring the proportions of the face and colour mixing. As you can see, his palette was very simple – black, white, yellow ochre and cadmium red. Although two hours was not enough for a finished portrait, Mark made impressive progress.

Our Workshop in April was with Max Hale, doing still life in oil or acrylic.

Nine people attended this very successful workshop. Max started by rearranging our still lifes explaining what worked or not, and why. He gave us a demonstration about composition and sent us away to design and sketch our pictures, working out the tonal values and placement.

He then showed us how to initially paint in all the dark values with quite a dry brush and build up our paintings from dark to light. He circulated around the class giving advice and suggestions, and occasionally, good humouredly, telling people off for not doing what they were asked to!

Max was very informative and helpful. We all learned a lot. It is, of course, usual for us to be thanking the artist after a workshop. This time we were delighted to receive this note from Max:

I wanted to say how delighted I was at how your members grasped the nettle at the still life workshop last Sunday. I can’t remember the last time I felt so fulfilled, such dedicated artists. Please pass on my good wishes to all involved. Excellent work. Kind Regards, Max Hale BA(Hons)FineArt SPWMO

Events in June

Sunday Painting 4th June, 10.30 to 4pm. June outdoor painting is to be at Dorney Court Garden Centre on the Dorney court Estate, Court Lane, Dorney SL4 6QP. Turn off A4 at Sainsbury’s roundabout and turn right after the Pineapple pub. Free parking in the garden centre with cafe and facilities on site. More info on their website.
The Main Tudor house is open on the day – entry fee £12 – and is a short walk and can be viewed and painted from the driveway. The garden centre is in an historic walled garden with various views outdoors and indoors, and is close to the main house and the 11th century St James church, which has free access.

Monthly Meeting, Thursday June 15th, 7 – 9pm in the Parish Centre (Church Gate, Cookham, SL6 9SP).

Liz Baldin is coming to demonstrate watercolour techniques for painting florals. Liz has a lovely loose method and we look forward to a fascinating session.

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


Tuesday Painting: cost £2
A topic, appraisal, tea and cake
Tuesday Extra: cost £1.50
Painting, tea and biscuits
May 23rd: Turkish tilesMay 30th: Paint what you like
June 6th: Dappled shadeJune 13th: Paint what you like
June 20th: People in a sceneJune 27th: Paint what you like

Coming Soon

Put the date in your diary! On Sunday July 9th, 12 – 4pm, we plan to hold our Summer Party. John, who has a lovely large garden near the Thames in Marlow, has been good enough to volunteer to host our get together. More details soon.


What do you do with the oil paint left on your palette after a painting session? Mark fennell, after demonstrating for us recently, showed me how he lifted surplus paint with a palette knife and ‘blobbed’ it around the inside edge of a small plastic tub (the sort you get cottage cheese in). Put the lid on, pop it in the freezer, and it will keep completely fresh for your next session.

Yours sincerely
Robert Jones
Newsletter Editor