Grandad Wheels talk

Last Friday a lot of members came to listen to our guest speaker Brian Abram. He gave a very interesting and moving illustrated talk on how he came to write 6 books in the series ‘Grandad Wheels’. Brian goes to many primary schools reading out of his books and talking to the children, thus breaking down prejudices about people in wheelchairs.

Many of us had seen him recently on TV on the One Show or read about him at the website

After the break, with cake baked by our member Jenny, Lynne Hickin explained in fascinating details how she went about illustrating the books.

The books are being sold for £6.90. All proceeds go to two charities that offer support to people who have suffered a spinal injury – the ‘Spinal Injuries Association ‘and ‘Back Up’.


Jubilee Party

Last Friday our chairwoman Lynda Thomas had done everything to make the morning of the Queen’s jubilee memorable: There were displays of different memorabilia, photos, even of different dogs. We just brought paper or even sandpaper and pastels and it was astonishing what great work our members created in such short time.

For the extended break Lynda had bought patés, cheese, biscuits, cakes, nibbles etc. We drank the tea out of cups with matching saucers and some of us were smartly dressed for the occasion.

We had time to chat and admire each other’s work before we went on with our artwork.


Nose and lips workshop

Last Friday many members of the HAS were present when Lynne Hickin shared her knowledge and skills once again. Dennis Kilbey had assembled a camera, microscope and screen so that everybody in the large room could join in the experience. The morning was informative and inspiring.

Lynne explained the anatomy of the head to help us with the proportions. She showed us pictures of faces by famous artists.

She had prepared little papers with drawings of different lips and noses for us to copy before we could choose photos of full faces or part of some.


Watercolour demonstration by Paul Talbot-Greaves

Last Friday we finally experienced a long-anticipated morning. About 30 people arrived to witness our president Paul Talbot-Greaves giving a demonstration of a local landscape in watercolour. As he used the society’s modern equipment, everyone in the room had a good view.

Paul brought along a pencilled sketch and a photo of the scene he had in his mind – he had added trees on his computer, changing the view slightly. He also showed us an edit of it to highlight the balance of his painting like the foundation of a house.

The next step was colour-matching. Paul didn’t use a very heavy paper, just 140lbs. With a big brush he started painting the light areas of sky, building, trees and covered the whole paper.  He let the paper dry off naturally, as the use of a hairdryer would freeze it.

Paul dried out his palette for the second stage and used his initial colour match strip. When the paper got too dry he sprayed it with water, but also used the dry-brush technique in parts. He splashed some water into the painting, flicking his brush to give the impression of grass. For the large shapes of brambles in the foreground Paul used big brushes and assured us that the colours underneath would come through. The edges were softened with a wet brush and Paul added shadows on the building and trees.

At break we were able to buy materials and greeting cards from Paul or ask for his advice. The finished painting was stunning even though the paint was still wet.