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June 2024 report

Our summer programme is well underway and at last we have seen some sunshine. Fortunately the joy of our art sessions has added some brightness to the many rain filled days of this year.

We enjoyed exhibiting at the Lyng Art Exhibition and Fair in February. It is always lovely to meet the visitors who enjoy our art and a total of 13 paintings and 11 cards were sold.

Our programme of themes to paint has been varied and a session on ‘Through the Microscope’ led us to paint a variety of subjects such as bacteria, plants, eyes of birds, raindrops etc. The aim was to focus on one area close up. It made us appreciate looking at them in a different way and how to interpret the tiny details artistically.

Another theme ‘Tools of the Trade’ encouraged us to reflect on our past and present job roles and paint tools associated with the areas of work.

Collectively we have been asked to paint a poster for Swanton Morley Village Hall to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. We appreciate the opportunity to be involved in remembering such a historic event.

Continuing our theme of members sharing their ‘journeys into art’, Anne Atkinson shares her thoughts as follows.


The inner artist:

As a child I loved drawing, particularly horses. I was potty about them. My Mum even pointed out that it ‘runs in the family’ as one of her brothers was very artistic (and I now have his watercolour paint box). My first experience with a more formal approach was at secondary school. I wasn’t the most academic of students but Art lessons were my favourite. Our teacher was fairly unimaginative but I found this was an area where I could shine. I took art at O level, and A level but didn’t feel ‘good enough’ to apply to Art college (something I have since regretted).

I went to a teachers training college in Surrey. On my arrival I was asked, ‘Do you want to paint or do you want to pot?” I chose painting and was tutored by a larger than life Welsh artist called Gomer Lewis. He taught us how to use acrylic paints creatively and I found my ‘style’ as I discovered the Cubists and the Futurists. I was encouraged to ‘paint BIG’…I still have some of those large paintings rolled up in the attic -not the sort of size you can put up on the average living room wall, sadly.

After college, changes in my life meant that there were long years without much creativity. But somewhere along the way I was able to do little ‘commissions’ for friends – wall paintings, boards and scenery for a dance school, and a couple of murals for children’s bedrooms. All great fun and ‘keeping my hand in’.

While my children were little, I had no time for many creative endeavours. However, as they grew up I started dipping in and out of arty pastimes and even managed to grab the box room for myself. I enrolled in a weekly course in children’s book illustration which I loved, and from which grew a small collection of beautifully illustrated books.

Being able to retire was the final ‘gift’ which enabled me to return to my creative roots. However, it was a toughie – I felt that I had lost most of what I had learnt and even drawing was a struggle. But I never lost the love of ‘playing’ with ideas, colour and materials. And, of course, alongside that has been the joy of making friends with other creative people too!

Answers to last quiz:-

1.  Sister Wendy Beckett

2.  Sir Anthony Blunt

3.  Johannes Vermeer

Questions for this month:-

1.  What colour is gamboge?

2.  Who painted a naked benefits supervisor asleep?

3.  What is the name of Spain’s national museum of art?


Jacquie 01362 697783     

Mike 01362 652935

December 2023

Swanton Morley Art continues to provide a great opportunity to enjoy painting and to meet others with a shared interest of art. The new year began with some wonderful sessions led by members. One on abstract painting allowed us to be very creative and ‘free’ using various techniques to create some unique art. This was in contrast to the more detailed and intricate nature of botanical painting.

In February, Sonia Dobbs Orr, an artist specialising in pastels, gave a wonderful workshop on pastel painting. She had recently had her work exhibited at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition in The Malls Gallery, London. Sonia did a demonstration of how to paint a snow scene, giving us tips and tuition along the way. It was a very enjoyable session and we appreciated her help and expertise.

We are working towards our exhibition at Bawdeswell Garden Centre on Saturday 25th May (10am -5pm), Sunday 26th May (10am -4pm) and Monday 27th May (10am – 3pm). We hope you can visit us and enjoy the art displayed.

We are fortunate to have a thriving art group with enthusiastic members. In the past we have asked members to share what inspired them to do art. In this article, Patricia Keegan shares her thoughts as follows.


 An Inspirational Journey into the Arts


I never really thought of myself as an artist.

In fact, when I was at school, my friend and I would exchange our artistic efforts during art class, as we thought they were so ridiculously funny. Consequently, every year my school report read, ‘Poor. Could do better.’


However, I have always admired other people’s artistic skills. It wasn’t until in later life, when my children, had fled the nest, that I decided to put my nursing skills into practice and secured a post as a personal live in carer, to a particularly interesting lady. Enid Collett.


As I was shown around the house, I immediately became aware of the abundance of sketches, paintings and drawings that adorned the walls of her home. I was intrigued as she told me about the creators. The pictures brought a vibrant energy to her home, and I was in complete awe. Most of them were very professional, others were attempts of amateur creators. That encouraged me, as I realised, they held a special place in Enid’s heart which were also worthy of a place on the wall.


Over the weeks I became more and more interested in my surroundings and one day while my inspiration was fuelled, I found myself in Enid’s comfortable library dreamily trying to recreate the pictures. I brought home plants and wildflowers from my walks and began drawing those too. Birds, pot plants anything that was still enough for me to copy. Since those times I have found myself over the years always drawing, scribbling and sketching. I am amazed that some of them actually resemble the things I am copying.


Learning to draw has been one of my greatest achievements, it brings a peace into my world that I truly appreciate. I laugh now when I think of my early attempts at school, and realise that with encouragement, and inspiration, anyone can create art.


Answers to last quiz: -

1. Orange, green and purple

2. Canaletto

3. Hans Holbein

Questions for this month: -

1. Which nun had her own TV art history series?

2. Which Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures was unmasked as a Soviet agent?

3. Who painted Girl with a Pearl Earring?


Jacquie 01362 697783      

Mike 01362 652935


Arts & Craft Fayre 2023 

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