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May Newsletter 2024

Post Category: Newsletter
Post date: 22 April 2024

Dear Member

Recent Club Events 

Monthly Meeting 

In March Paul Oakley gave a very enjoyable demonstration using oil paints (as per the image above).

He specialises in landscapes, and particularly likes a ‘big sky’ – so that’s what he did for us, a great Norfolk Broads scene! He used a fairly limited palette and gave clear advice about colour mixing, especially all the different tones he used in the sky. He had some interesting ideas about gesso – see ‘Tip of the Month’.

Many thanks, Paul, for a clear and well-presented demo.

Paul Oakley painting

Events in May

Sunday Painting

Sunday Painting at Tithe Barn House, Hitcham Lane, Taplow, SL1 7DP on Sunday 12th May, 10.30am – 4pm.

Tithe Barn House is a house of Tudor origin, converted from a Tithe Barn. It is located immediately next to St Mary’s Church, Hitcham Lane – on the left driving from the direction of Taplow Village. (location can be viewed on google maps, street view). There is limited parking in a small area in front of the church, depending on Sunday morning service, but the owner is happy for us to park some cars in their driveway and to use the facilities in the house. We are very grateful to club member, Ann King for suggesting and arranging this attractive and unusual private venue for us.

Although large numbers of painters do not usually attend, given the location in a fairly narrow lane, it seems advisable that we try to car share where possible. Booking is not necessary, but Lyn is happy to help coordinate car shares if anyone expecting to come would like to call her, as mentioned in your personal copy of the newsletter.

Please Note: we originally planned to hold this event on Saturday 11th, but changed to Sunday, so that you could come to this as well as taking part in the Cookham Festival En Plein Air event, detailed below.

The Cookham Festival

The Cookham Festival runs from 3rd – 19th May.

Some of you will have prepared paintings for the Unusual View of Cookham Exhibition at the Ferry. Please click here for information on this website. The ‘Registration and labelling’ tab on this page will give you a link for sending us the title of your work and registering it. The ‘Schedule of events’ tab will tell you when and where to take your paintings.

Other events of the festival are detailed on www.cookhamfestival.co.uk

Members may be particularly interested in The Cookham Dig Showcase on 5th May. Archaeologists have been working to excavate an 8th Century monastery in Cookham. The team from the University of Reading first discovered the Anglo-Saxon site in Cookham in 2021.
Since then, it has conducted two full-scale digs next to Holy Trinity Church. The third dig has taken place with a focus on the cemetery area in Paddock Field. The team hope the excavation work will give a glimpse into daily life at the monastery.

Some members of our club were involved with filming at the site last August. This has been made into a documentary and will be shown on 5th May as part of the Cookham Festival.

On 11th May (the day before our Club Painting Day!) Tushar Sabale (who recently gave us a painting demo) will be advising at the En Plein Air painting event which you might like to join. See the Cookham Festival website for booking details.

Monthly Meeting

Monthly Meeting on Thursday May 16th, 7 – 9pm (Please note an evening meeting) at the Parish Centre, (Church Gate, Cookham, SL6 9SP).

A demo by Becky Gouverneur – Becky will use different drawing media to develop an animal picture. She is a professional artist specialising in realistic, detailed portraits of animals working primarily in graphite and charcoal but occasionally in colour with pastel or coloured pencil. Her high contrast, quirky images, most often presented on a stark white background, are born from her background as a professional studio photographer. For inspiration just have a look at Becky’s website – we are sure you will enjoy this demo at Becky’s website.

Coming Soon

CAN YOU HELP? On Sunday July 7th, 12 – 4pm, we plan to hold our Summer Party. In previous years one of our members, with a suitably large garden, has been good enough to host our get together. Do you think you could offer a venue for the Club? If so please contact us.

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
April 23rd:  A woodland (Spring colour) April 30th: Paint what you like
May 7th: Patterns in nature (e.g. pine cones,     sunflower seed head, pineapple) May 14th: Paint what you like
May 21st:  A portrait May 28th: Paint what you like

Coming in 2025

Cookham Arts Club Holiday 2025

Fancy a week’s holiday in the Cotswolds with full board?

The Club is planning a 7-night Painting Holiday, based in the Cotswolds, with HF Holidays

 Date 6th-13th June 2025 

 Harrington House, Sherbourne Street, Bourton on the Water, GL54 2BY

 Although the HF Holiday title is ‘self-guided walking’ it is a holiday week with options to sightsee or walk independently and, of course, paint. For the non painters you may be able to book and pay extra to join the walking groups if any are available that week.  Members may share a room with a non member.

Bring your partner or a friend – someone with whom you are happy to share a room.

Go sightseeing or if you decide to paint join one of the club members who is painting.

If you join the walks, follow the route suggestions that fit your requirements and fitness level, (details planned by HF Holidays).

 The Grade ll listed retreat is just a skip from the heart of Bourton on the Water. This pretty Cotswold town with chocolate box cottages, old fashioned tea rooms, and low arched stone bridges that span the River Windrush is within walking distance of plenty of places to visit.

Harrington House has 27 well-appointed guest rooms in two categories (Classic and Premium) spread across the main house and the converted coach house.

HF Holidays have reserved for us:

7 classic singles
1 premium singles
3 classic doubles

Our discounted group price:

The price for Classic rooms is £959 per person per week.

The price for premium rooms is £1029 per person per week.

If we have more than15 persons £959 will be deducted off the whole invoice.

This price includes: comprehensive breakfast choices; pre ordered packed lunch; 3 course evening meal; evening’s entertainment.

If you would like to go on the holiday, please complete the slip which was in your personal copy of this newsletter, or contact us via this website.



A tip from Paul Oakley, our demonstrator in March. If you want the first application of diluted oil paint to dry quickly, so you can add more layers of paint on top, prime the board with Gesso which is mixed with extra chalk, making it extra absorbent.

He told me: ‘My suggestion is to mix 1 part whiting (chalk) with 8 parts gesso, but it’s a matter of personal choice as to how absorbent you like your board or canvas to be, so it’s worth experimenting with a little more or less whiting to gesso (more whiting = more absorbent).

Most important is that you need to mix the whiting with a little water first; just enough to make a stiff paste and make sure there are no lumps. Then mix this with the gesso and stir it in. Once mixed in I usually apply two coats, letting the first one dry. You can use a roller or a decorating paint brush if you want some texture on the surface.

This is where I buy whiting from, although I’m sure there are other options– it usually costs more to post than to buy! 1kg would usually be enough for a few years’ – www.handover.co.uk/handover-whiting.

Also look at www.jacksonsart.com who stock Handover whiting in smaller 500g tubs!

Yours sincerely
Robert Jones
Newsletter Editor