The 2016 Members Weekend and AGM at Nature in Art
Another great weekend was organised for you at the wonderful venue of Nature in Art, Wallsworth Hall, Twigworth in Gloucestershire by the TWASI council on October 1st and 2nd 2017. With plenty of good company and enjoyable food, TWASI members from far and wide, new and old had the use of the whole of the education block and the perfectly peaceful ambience of the wonderful museum and art gallery and garden that is Nature in Art. We cannot thank Simon and all the staff at Nature in Art for their warm welcome and thoughtfulness over the weekend.
The AGM went very well and our new Chairwoman Sarais Crawshaw and council member Tracy Ann Sitch were voted into office. It was of relatively short in duration which meant members could visit the amazing British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition before a welcome glass of wine followed by an excellent fish and chip supper complete with bread and butter for us ‘chip butty’ connoisseurs. Enough from me let member Jan Watts and new members Pat Kitching and Chris Walker tell you all about it;
"Having recently joined TWASI, I was very much looking forward to this event at Nature in Art, one of my favourite places.
I enrolled in Gregory Wellman’s workshop, “Big and Bold”, on the first day, a theme well outside my comfort zone. We were asked to bring large brushes (including DIY type!), large canvasses / boards, etc., and acrylic paints.
After Gregory’s demonstration and comprehensive description (very entertaining!) of his approach in achieving loose, bold work, we chose our preferred reference material, provided by Gregory, with some members using their own photographs. The day was hugely enjoyed by everyone and the results were spectacular. Although challenging, I certainly surprised myself, having never attempted this approach before.
The Society’s AGM took place that evening, followed by a fish and chip supper provided by the splendid Nature in Art staff. The next morning we joined Trevor Smith for a talk / illustration about keeping a sketchbook, particularly field studies, explaining in detail the anatomy of birds. It was a treat to be able to look at his sketchbooks, all of which were full to the last page! Members later passed around their own sketchbooks (always a treat), following which we spent a sunny hour sketching in the lovely grounds of Wallsworth Hall.
Members had been asked to bring along two paintings, finished or unfinished, for inclusion in a critique to take place in the atrium, after lunch, by Trevor and Guest Artist, Jackie Garner. It was so interesting to listen to the comments and I’m sure we all gained some useful tips and encouragement for future work.
A memorable weekend, due in no small part to the hard work of the TWASI Committee and the hospitality provided by Nature in Art.
Thank you" - Pat.
“This weekend provided members with the opportunity to try new techniques and learn from one another’s’ experiences.
There were two workshops on the Saturday both very challenging and very different from one another. Gregory Wellman went “Big and Bold” working with acrylics and big brushes. The results were amazing: rhinos, elephants and the face of a beautiful big cat. The colours people used were dramatic and vibrant making the pictures worthy of admiration. Next door Kirsten Hill-Nixon taught the group how to create lovely 3D sculptures using wire armatures and wool. By the end of the day the group had created a range of birds in various colours and sizes much admired by other members. Many of the participants, however, went home with punctured fingers after having used the felt needles for 6 hours!
On Sunday morning Trevor Smith explained in detail the skeletal constructions of birds and animals. Who would have thought that a bird’s ankle was situated half way up its leg! His sketch books were stunning and gave us all the enthusiasm to sketch wild life in their natural habitats. The group were also given the opportunity to pass around their own sketch books.
In the afternoon Trevor and Jackie Garner conducted a critique of members’ work which had been displayed in the atrium during the two days. Comments were both constructive and encouraging. The enjoyable weekend was brought to a close with yummy cakes and tea in the restaurant". - Chris
“Kirsten Hill-Nixon taught Needle felted birds whilst Gregory Wellman persuaded us to be “big and bold” with acrylics-out of our comfort zone for some of us (me!) Both classes produced excellent work, interrupted by coffee, lunch, tea and cake during the day! On Sunday, Trevor Smith showed us invaluable sketches of birds and mammals, including their bone structure- very important in getting their correct shape. Members passed around their sketch books, very interesting how differently people record their outings.
After lunch, Jackie Garner and Trevor critiqued our work, constructively, with members joining in with comments. The day ended with tea and cake -again!
Thanks to all concerned for a splendid week end, hoping to meet up again at various events.” - Jan Watts
We now look forward to our 25th Anniversary Year in 2017 and will welcome ideas of how to celebrate it from our membership other than the Annual Exhibition. The workshop tutors at the members weekend at Nature in Art have already been booked, Jamie Boots (Drawing) and Marion Kardasz (Silk Painting) and we are looking to book up a someone very special to spend the Sunday with us and to give us an illustrated talk and critique. So keep your eyes open for the booking forms.
Council member Valerie Briggs