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March Newsletter 2024

Post Category: Newsletter
Post date: 16 February 2024

Dear Member

A question for you. We have recently moved more of our Monthly Meetings to the afternoon so that it is not dark when we finish. We understand that some members are put off from attending if they have to drive home in the dark. Our ‘usual’ pattern now is: May – July, 7 – 9pm; September – April, 2-4pm. (There is no Monthly Meeting in August.)

This year and next we have even had to change one of the summer meetings to the afternoon (July this year), as otherwise we would not be able to have both meeting rooms for our critiques, leaving us with only two 7 – 9pm meetings.

The committee is considering whether to make all our Monthly Meetings 2 – 4pm. Looking at numbers over the last two years, 4 or 5 more members attend afternoon meetings than evening ones – that’s 20 – 25% more.

Please get in touch if you have strong feelings one way or the other on the question: should all of our Monthly Meetings be held from 2 to 4pm?

Recent Club Events

Monthly Meeting

The first monthly meeting of this year was a Critique of our paintings by Jan Gaska. Jan gave us an interesting afternoon, with astute comments on colour, tone, light and atmosphere, and what was ‘working’ or ‘not working’ in our pictures. At the end of the afternoon, we voted for our favourite. The winner, with a superb portrait, was Fred, pictured below with Jan.

Events in March

Spring Art Exhibition and Sale

March 1st – 3rd is the date of our Spring Art Exhibition and Sale in Pinder Hall.  All the details can be found here on our website. Here’s a summary of times: on Friday 1st bring paintings along between 11.30 and 12.30 to hang on your screen. Bring craft work for the tables between 12.30 and 1.00. Opening times are 2 – 6pm on Friday, 10am – 6pm on Saturday and 10am – 4.45pm on Sunday.

Bring along all your friends and relatives!

There may still be a few screens available. To enquire please use the website form which can be found on the website here under the FAQ called ‘How do I book a screen/table’.  Wendy will get back to you very soon to let you know.

Monthly Meeting

Our March monthly meeting is on the 21st, at 2 – 4pm in the Parish Centre (Church Gate, Cookham, SL6 9SP)

Paul Oakley will demonstrate in oils how he paints a big sky landscape.

Pewsey Vale Studio is run by Wiltshire artist Paul. Do look on his website www.pewseyvalestudio.co.uk to see some of his work, and we are sure that you will be inspired to come to this demonstration. Mainly self-taught, Paul has developed his skills as an oil painter through attending Norfolk Painting School and, as well as exhibiting, enjoys sharing what he has learnt and continues to learn through running courses and giving demonstrations.

Coming Soon

We will start our season of Outdoor Painting on Sunday April 14th – details next newsletter – put the date in your diary.

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 £2
Painting, tea and biscuits
February 27th:   Use a coloured ground – allow the colour to show through the composition to promote unity. (JMW Turner used a favourite blue ground). March 5th: Paint what you like
March 12th: A very blustery day (A A Milne quote!) March 19th: Paint what you like
March 26th: An unusual view of Cookham (See text below). April 2nd: Paint what you like

An unusual view of Cookham

The next Cookham Festival, a celebration of the arts by the village, for the village, will be in May this year. Our club usually runs a project for the festival and this time we plan to put on a display of paintings in the Ferry inn with the theme ‘An unusual view of Cookham’. These will show, perhaps, a small detail of a building or an unusual view, so that visitors can have the fun of seeing how many places they can recognise. Many examples of what you might paint are on our website, but these are only examples – paint what you like!

The paintings will be offered for sale and should measure not more than 50cm in any direction. (in the hope that we will have lots of entries to fit on the screens!)

The plan is that they will be taken for hanging in the Ferry on Tuesday 7th May, and they will be on display from 8th to 15th May, and then taken down on 16th. We will be able to give you more details later on.


Some acrylic painting rules.

When preparing a canvas for painting with a light wash of colour:

  1. Use only 30% or less of water with acrylic paint for the ground cover or
  2. Alternatively use an airbrush medium – still a very watery effect or
  3. Use a glaze medium that produces a thicker creamier effect.

Now here’s the sciencey bit. The acrylic molecules in the paint when mixed with too much water won’t bind the pigment particles together (think of a honeycomb structure that locks together like interlacing your fingers) so further coats of paint will flake off either straight away or later. Airbrush medium and glaze medium have the same honeycomb structure as the acrylic paint therefore binding it to the canvas. This only applies to less absorbent surfaces such as gesso’d canvases. Absorbent surfaces such as watercolour paper, non-gesso’d canvases and untreated wood will hold the molecules of paint without using a binding medium.

Yours sincerely
Robert Jones
Newsletter Editor