Art Group
42nd ANNUAL EXHIBITION

A bright morning, the Village Hall bathed in spring sunshine, a perfect weekend for the Art Group's annual exhibition.
Yvonne Blackwood's unusual topic of "The Long Way Home" interpreted the journey of a Monk, moving away from the viewer towards his bright, lush green homeland; his barefoot walk and the reflection of his orange robes in the puddle capture the unhurried tranquillity of the scene. Moving on to the challenge of painting Venice,
Alan Campbell's "Venice" achieved just that. No bright boldly reflected sunlight here, but translucent, reflective light showing a gondolier braving the early morning blue-grey mists, with a tantalising glimpse of the outline of St Giorgio Maggiore in the distance.
Marian Clarke continues to delight with large canvas oil paintings; however what caught my eye was a much smaller watercolour of the "Thames Barge" The tilt of the shortened sails, the swell of the waves demonstrating the force of the river breeze and the distant smoking chimney of industry on the Thames, all captured in this small powerful painting. Michael Cole's "Winter Woodland" reminds us all of the stark outlines and beauty of bare trees and the joy of a solitary walk in woods, whatever the time of year.
As with all the artists, Laura Doggart demonstrates a versatility of style, in "Rainy Day" the depth of colour used for the archway and the lighter figures and reflections beneath were a perfect example of layering watercolours. In contrast the botanical painting of cascading "Crab Apples" had a light delicate touch.
Ann Fuller's beautifully proportioned water colour "Winter Flowers" showed the deep colour of the vase, enhancing the graded background colours and delicacy of the flowers, a perfect balance of tonal shading.
whimsical collection drew an admiring group of younger viewers, resulting in "Magic Mushrooms", now gracing a delighted 8 year olds' room. In a change of style "Velvet Berets" presents a challenging topic, drawing people is rarely an easy option. Yet here with a certain timeless air were the heads of three women modelling berets. The central and right-hand figures looking demurely down, the figure to the left adding to our interest/curiosity by appearing to be distracted, clever
Elizabeth Hunter's crayon medium showed an interesting juxtaposition of colours in a modern setting. In particular the striking "Fusion", with a low horizon and central curved line above, drawing the eye away from the larger predominantly angular lines.
"The Cello Player" by Gayle Laybourn illustrated the melancholic solemnity of the instrument, emphasized by the dark mount and frame. However, not only did the concentration of the player come across but also her personality, simply by noting her joyous red shoes, echoed in the chair line.
Russell Parker's dramatic central tree in "Early Morning Snow" gave the scene a majestic appearance, the addition of a lone bird skimming over the silent landscape added to the feel of an early morning.
Liz Sinclair's studies of still life produced firstly a subtle display of colours in the "Feast of Mushrooms", followed by a glorious burst of colours in her range of "Fruit & Nut", good enough to eat.
And finally to Beth Weaver, a wide-ranging collection, moving from All Saints' Church, flora and fauna, south to The Seven Sisters on to Italy and finally to Darfur. "Thunder over the Gravel Pit" was given a truly vibrant interpretation, the water colour applied loosely and yet strongly layered; ensuring observers could almost hear the rumble of the approaching storm. In a different mood the deeper yet subtle, softer reduced colours of the "Tuscany Cafe-Lucca" illustrated the art of people watching and letting the world go by, instantly recognised by two visitors to the exhibition.
Well done to all members of the Stock Art Group!
 
 Wyn Ainsworth
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