James treated us to a full demonstration of his clay sculpture technique - creating a hare in front of our eyes, in just over an hour! He runs the Pheonix Studio in Towersey, despite starting out as a scientist/conservationist as he followed advice to that Art was too risky. He now combines his love of conservation with artistic flair to lead a variety of day and weekend courses as well as working with local schools.
A wonderful evening hearing about the history of the Public Art of Milton Keynes, which celebrates it's 50th birthday this year. They also shared some Thomas Hetherwick consultation work and informed us about the plans for Milton Keynes to bid to be the European City of Culture for 2023 - which can only be a bonus for us here in and around Buckingham.
November Exhibition Theme Announced!
We have linked up with Buckingham Medical School for our next exhibition. Although the theme, as always, is optional we hope that the recent work of the Medical School with local schools, on Diabetes Awareness, will inspire you!
June 2017 - Dale Devereaux Barker was very inspirational and showed us the many ways in which his printmaking skills and designs have been used in other formats and many innovative uses. Some members even got to have a go at his stencil linoprint technique.
Written by Emily Pool; Photos by Emily Pool
Our biggest entry yet for our Spring Exhibition - we hope that you enjoyed either exhibiting, visiting or both! Thank you for supporting our Macmillan Fundraiser with the sale of the Charity Pictures - we raised over £200!
A great evening hearing about Jackie's journey through art, including being the Artist in Residence on exclusive cruises, as well as living in France for many years! Her sketchbooks were a wonder to see and a wonderful record of her travels. These are her inspiration from where her contemporary watercolours now come, recently building on the idea of how ripping the paper can increase the experience of the artwork.
Written by Emily Pool; Photos by Emily Pool
A wonderful night finding out about the traditional learning process of artists learning the academic art of drawing by attending an academy for 5 years. The premise being that anyone can learn to draw by hours of practice and honing skills. George wowed us with a great sketch using his Sight Sizing Portraiture process using charcoal and alot of patience. Th evening also saw Bafa's first Live Facebook post - enabling members who weren't able to attend the chance to see this precise technique.
We had a great night on Tuesday with Mike starting the night by giving us a really interesting historical background to the art of Stained Glass. This was followed by Jenny giving us a demonstration of the Copper foil technique of Stained glass that is perfect for artistic and creative designs. She explained that the traditional leading technique is more suitable for items that are for outside locations. The evening concluded with members being given the chance to have a go at cutting glass - no cut fingers to report! Jenny and Mike offer many courses for those wishing to have a go at the whole process.
Photos by Emily Pool and John Credland
January 2017 - Caroline Chappell, Expressive landscape painting
With a calm, but exciting voice Caroline showed how to create paintings which express the sensation of actually being there; in the landscape. Creating images that can best be described as expressive, or if you prefer impressionist.
Continually drawing in the landscape she captures the crucial elements of the settings en plein air, not necessarily attempting to replicate the exact location. Back in the studio her work begins, first a larger sketch, creating the image, before developing the full-size picture. Whilst being influenced by the likes of David Tress and Kurt Jackson; her own pictures can be seen at various galleries around the country.
And her style to achieve these exciting pictures, though created in the studio still drawing you into the landscape itself – charcoal, Indian ink, acrylics; using sticks, brushes, feathers, and an old credit card to apply medium to cartridge paper. Her pictures tell the story, the moment, the atmosphere.
Words by James Rowell: Images by Emily Pool
December 2016 - A great Christmas party and Quiz - Thank you Peter Bowtell for another great job! Well done to the winning team, and for the team with the least points - we hope you are enjoying your old paintbrush... We said a fond farewell to Debs Last, a founding member and Patron, who has moved with her family to Devon to set up Art Courses by the sea!
November 2016 - We have had another successful exhibition and a big well done needs to be given to all of our exhibiting artists on creating that success with their great work. Results of our competitions are given below.
Best Interpretation of the Theme
Winner- Helen Shaw 'New Adventures at 80'
H/C - Jane Bottomley 'Spirit of Adventure'
Best in Show
Winner - Alan Chown 'Quiet Day at Maldon'
H/C - Zoe Day 'Goldilocks'
Winner - Lucia Pearson-Gee 'Finding Fish'
H/C - Gillian Nicholls 'New Worlds Waiting'
Winner - Nicola Smith 'The Pioneer'
H/C - Karen Joy 'We Could Get There'
Winner - Alan Chown 'Quiet Day at Maldon'
H/C - Zoe Day 'Goldilocks'
A great evening being shown a very useful example of how to paint a townscape in Oils! We also said farewell to Marion, who is heading to Devon, with a little token to show our appreciation of her help to Bafa over the last few years!
Emily Brady's presentation was fascinating as she talked about her work in mixed media, cartoons, Illustrations and as an art tutor.
At school her art teacher did not seem to approve of her work and she got very low marks. This did not put her off. She went on to art school and gained her degree. She is fascinated with Japanese. manga comics and, together with a friend, produces an online, on going web comic book and also publishes her own books. (See her website at www.footloosecomic.com)
It is not easy to make a living doing art. To fill the coffers she produces many buttons and figures for computer games as a freelance artist. She showed us videos of her work on Arcen games.
She demonstrated how she makes a comic strip using the incredible software on her Wacom Cintiq Companion tablet. She explained layers showing how one can overlay colours to make a picture seem three-dimensional and how they save time when changing facial expressions. She emphasised the importance of placing speech bubbles.
As this type of Art was new to many of us, those with Photoshop (similar but not as sophisticated) felt inspired to have a go. A thoroughly interesting and well presented evening!
written by Sue Ambrose; Photos by Emily Pool
A great evening thinking about how we could market our artwork in better ways! Paul told us some of his tricks of the trade regarding going to Art Fairs and selling artwork online via auction sites and galleries.
A great weekend - Thank you to all that helped, exhibited and visited our exhibition! The weather was kind and it encouraged many visitors to the pub garden to come and have a look at what we had to offer! We raised £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the weekend with the raffle and games.
May 2016 - Debs Last Daily paintings for a whole year! Debs gave us a great talk about her 2015, a year of painting every day no matter where she found herself! She admitted that living at Stowe school with Stowe Landscape Gardens on her door step may have made this easier on cold winters days! Even going on holiday on a plane didn't put her out of step, as she investigated how to transport her paints and solved the problem of how to bring her paintings home by having a special pochette made especially for the job. It was great to see some examples of the paintings and hear of the lessons learnt about painting 'En Plein Air'.
April 2016 - Liz Dixon - Powertex sculptures using recycled textiles - a great opportunity for us to have a go at using this amazing hardener along with plaster faces to create our own mini sculptures.
March 2016 - Gino Ballantyne - 'Curator of Ideas'
Gino used the first half of the meeting to give us his opinion (and ask for ours!) of modern art - raising questions as to whether modern artists such as Damien Hirst are good businessmen rather than artists, in comparison to some of those considered great in earlier eras.
He covered many areas of interest such as the medium from which different people create art (who draws from life and who from an ipad for eg), giving us all food for thought. After a coffee break, Gino spoke to us about the properties of a very simple medium - charcoal - and demonstrated how impressive a very quick sketch of as many members of the audience as possible, could be.
written by Emma Hamilton, Photos by Brian Eldridge
March 2016 - Our Spring Exhibition is launched!
We continued with our traditionally short AGM! We reviewed the reports and accounts and members present had the opportunity to ask any questions. There were no changes to the committee with all members being re-elected in post.
The meeting was then transformed by Brian Eldridge giving us a great review of Dismaland - the exhibition set up by Banksy, last summer in Weston-Super-Mare. Set to uplifting 60's music to remind us of its seaside location, Brian gave us an insight into the art that he discovered in the alternative theme park of Banksy's creation. Please find here a list of artists and links to the video shorts that were being played in the cinema. If you were unable to come to the meeting you missed a treat. Brian may be persuaded to show it again - we will update you if this is an option of the future. Thank you Brian, a great evening.
January 2016 - Zoe Day, Portriature - Zoë talked briefly of her background in art and shared her passion and dedication to art and her journey to where she is nowFirst she did a demo of a self portrait demonstrating how to to work with graphite power, pencil and eraser. We then broke for tea after which she demonstrated the use of Zoe's magic palette! Which is yellow ochre, vermillion, black and white. She suggested that we buy the best paints we can buy so you can get an amazing range of colours form these four paints including greens and blue tints. She finished the evening showing us some of the properties of the face and how you can change a head completely using different proportions making the head older and younger and then an old man! A really enjoyable evening watching an expert at work making it look easy when what she has is years and years of good artistic practice.
Written by Debs Last, Photos by Emily Pool
Another great evening full of laughs and interesting questions which tested our festive brains! Well done to the winners and our best wishes to the losers - better luck next year!
November 2015 -
Our Winter Exhibition has been a roaring success! Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, opened the exhibition on Friday night with a great crowd appreciating our record entry. We were pleased to have four paintings from our twinned town of Mouvaux, in France, to add to our wonderful show of local artistic talent.
For those of you that visited over the weekend and took part in the competition element of our Journey Themed exhibition, here are the results.
Best Interpretation of the Theme
Winner - Pilgrim, A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step by Cathy Read
Highly Commended - After the Storm by Rowena Devas
Winner - Birch Reflections by Maria Pratt
Highly Commended - Memories of my Childhood by Dianne White
Winner - Journey to Safety by Geraldine Rendle
Highly Commended - A Frosty Morning Walk by Wyn Burder
Winner - Too Shy to Go Anywhere by Barbara Geary
Highly Commended - T.G.I.F. (after Joseph Zbukvic) by Peter Baker
Best in Show
Winner - Too Shy To Go Anywhere by Barbara Geary
Highly Commended - After the Storm by Rowena Devas
September 2015 - September’s guest was Christian artist Yvone Bell. Yvonne primarily designs church vestments, banners, chasubles and panels and it was particularly interesting to hear of her work on vestments designed for the Archbishop of York. However Yvonne also brought with her other examples of her varied styles of silk painting, mainly carried out using the ‘stained glass’ method but there were also a few examples of more freehand work. Yvonne carried out a demonstration of her work, which we were actively encouraged to watch very closely, and she practically completed an entire painting in the 2nd half! It was good to hear a few people mention that those silk paints at the back of the cupboard might get another airing.....
Written by Emma Hamilton, Photos by Emily Pool
July 2015 - Phil Madley, Encaustic Wax Painting - A great evening with lots of demonstrations of how wax can move and create different effects. Full report to follow shortly.
June 2015 - Deborah Hopson-Wolpe came to visit on Tuesday 9th June and entertained BAFA members to a very enjoyable demonstration of her silk screen printing. Following the break she gave a most interesting talk about her work as a potter after leaving Camberwell School of Art.
She talked about her inspiration and creativity to achieve her desired results and photographs of her works were shown to an appreciative audience, which responded enthusiastically.
written by Carol Bagni; Photos by Emily Pool
May 2015 - Well done to all who took part in this weekend's Exhibition @ The Woolpack. It was our 4th spring exhibition in central Buckingham and despite a very slight change of venue from The Cote to the main Dining Room, we had a great footfall throughout the weekend with some sales to also note. Many of the customers from the pub, who didn't expect to find an exhibition on the way to the garden from the bar, were particularly interested with a good number taking the time to look around the whole exhibition. The miniatures section also proved very popular as it seemed to give a wider range of prices for people to contemplate making a purchase. Thank you to all members and committee for giving their time and energy to a great weekend. We also raised £200 for Macmillan Cancer Support on behalf of local musician, Udo Doltz for his Killimanjaro Challenge later this year.
May 2015 - A great night with Francesca Hinton, explaining her approach to painting in the open air. There was a chance to have a go including a pencil drawing from a photograph, and it was very interesting to see the difference between the ones lined up at the end of the evening. Using a marker on the end of a long stick also created some interesting results.
April 2015 - Rod Craig returned to give us an insight into how he is inspired in his paintings by the music he hears.
March 2015 - Entries are now open for our Spring Exhibiton to be held in The Cote, at The Woolpack, Well Street, Buckingham; Click here for an Entry form
March 2015 -
Tonight's Bafa talk was a fascinating insight into contemporary art from the Perspective of Mita Vaghela. She shared the evolution of ideas and understanding she went through when creating various projects from her degree course. The first project was working with cotton wool which she made into nails. Her thinking behind the process linked to the Health and Safety Culture and how things and being made so "safe" as to be as useless as nails made from cotton wool.
As a British Asian, the next focus of her work examined the perception and attitudes towards women in her culture. The result of one project involved holding a small wax model of a baby whilst watching an image of an unborn child and listening to a moving poem written from the perspective of a female foetus. The child asking her mother not to go through with an abortion but to allow her to live.
Inspired by the artist Tara Donovan who creates work from stacked items which create distinct patterns when laid together like polystyrene cups, co trail sticks or sheets of glass. Another project involved using packaging items discarded from men's shirts to make jewellery (transparent clips) and a sari (shirt collar stiffeners)
All in all it was an insightful journey into a personal understanding of contemporary art.
written by Cathy Read, photos by Emily Pool
Portrait Demonstration by Peter Keagan, Artist.
Great start to the New Year BAFA monthly programme. The invitation to Peter Keagan who is a professional Portrait Artist was a huge success and has settled the members into wanting more demonstrations to this high standard. Peter makes a living out of painting portraits of people. He prefers to meet the sitter and portray their personality into the painting. He will paint from photographs upon request but states that one cannot get the tonal values that are seen in a live sitting.
Peter paints in Oils on different mediums, such as solid MDF board to soft surface framed canvas. For the purpose of the demonstration he used Canvas paper, suitable for painting in Oil. The pallet layout is always the same – light swatches on one side and dark on the other. A typical layout would be Light - Alizarin Crimson, Chrome Red, Flesh Tint, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White, Dark – Terra Vert/ Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue , then Turpentine to assist the flow.
Mel agreed to be the subject for the composition and the portrait began with size and placement on the canvas, i.e. tip of thumb to tip of middle finger equals bottom of chin to forehead hair line, followed by blocking in straight outline of head shape. Sub-divide position and angles (and axis) for the eyes, nose, ears and mouth.
Rechecking the positions of the facial parts throughout the process is vital and key to an accurate likeness. The beauty of painting in oils is being able to make corrections. However, keep the detail to last.
Once satisfied with the drawing, block in the halftones, working from dark shadow first to lighter shades last, then add the highlights.
Next, restate the process again, moving first to the darks, introduce reflected light, check and cover halftones and highlights.
It was now time to model the eye area and eye detail, followed by the nose and mouth. Move to the Hair. Finish with the head creases, clothing and background colour.
The final detail is placed with a sparkle of Titanium White to the Eye.
Portrait finished – thank you Peter for an excellent Portrait demonstration.
Written by Les Riley, Photos by Les Riley
Happy New Year, Membership starts again this month so please bring your fees, the next time we see you! Our AGM is just over a month away and with this come the call for more members to join the committee. We are especially looking for someone willing to take over the treasurer role, this would give Helen more time to concentrate on our growing exhibition opportunities.
Bafa Member Iain Hodgkinson is running a variety of Printmaking courses at his new studio in Northamptonshire. Please see his website for details.
Ten members of the Bafa Printmakers Network have taken part in the 20:20 Print Exchange run by Hot Bed Press. The prints are currently on a National tour (Stage 1 - Neo:Gallery 27, Bolton 10th Jan-22nd Feb 2015) and can be viewed alongside the other 571 participating artists work on Flickr follow this link to have a look - Buckingham 20:20 Print Exchange 2014
An excellent exhibition - a big thanks to all who helped and a big well done to the winners of the competition! Here are the winners!
Novice Winner Stella Bell, Island rocks
Novice highly commended Kathryn Acton, Storm Tree
Novice highly commended Emma Heyes, A Walk to Porlock Weir
Intermediate winner Colin Price, Beyond Torremendo
Intermediate highly commended Colin Price, Kakudu
Intermediate highly commended Barbara Chivers, Look after the trees
Experienced winner Barbara Geary, 'Hare today’
Experienced highly commended Barbara Geary, On the Wild Side
Experience highlty commended Sylvia Davidson, From Dawn til dusk
Best in show winner Barbara Geary, On the Wild Side
Best in show h/c Barbara Geary Hare today
Best in show h/c Sylvia Davidson, From Dawn til dusk
Great News, Exhibition month has brought with it our first ever 100th Member - Welcome Helen Ledward!
Furthermore the number of exhibits for our upcoming 'Environment' exhibition is up by about 40%! With the most members exhibiting in our 7 year history.
We hope that you will support our artists by coming to view the wonderful artwork. There will also be local musicians playing throughout the weekend and great refreshments to enjoy from a pop-up by local coffee shop Gyre & Gimble. Invites (A4 & 3 to a page) to the Friday Night Preview, for members to share with friends and family.
A big well done to the Bafa Publicity Elves - Helen Shaw has got a wonderful Linocut, 'Sheep in the Snow' on the front page of the MK18 magazine, being delivered this week! Mention it to all local friends to remind them to come and visit the exhibition; 15th-16th November @ Buckingham Community Centre.
September 2014 - Elaine Marston, Pastels
An excellent evening which gave us all a great insight into the amazing detail that can be achieved with pastels.
July 2014 - Iain Hodgkinson & Lindsey Graham -What is a Collagraph?
A great evening with a dual talk from the two printmakers about the technique of collagraph's. The dual talk was well thought out as despite printing using the same title, their techniques are quite different!
June 2014 - Robert Fathers, Greetings Cards
The demonstration was started with a brief history of Cards, with early examples shown. This was followed with a brief history of Robert Fathers introduction to art and how he progressed over the last 50 years, which was very interesting.
We were then given an insight into the materials favoured by the artist (Paints, Brushes and ground etc.). There was also a fine array of cards and paintings on display, which gave a really good window on the work that he produces. Which through his agent (which he recommends having) sell in many parts of the world.
We were then delighted with a painting demonstration in Gouache, when he painted a white dove carrying a twig of peace, with the star of Bethlehem and a stable in the distance. In doing so, several techniques were demonstrated. Painting onto damp paper, wet into wet paint, scrambling, masking, wet on dry and splatter with a toothbrush. Many questions were answered during the demonstration which again was very interesting.
The end result was a really impressive piece of art which seemed to jump out when a white mount was placed over it. I for one was very impressed, as were the people I spoke to afterwards, and this was reflected in the applause Robert received at the conclusion of his demonstration.
If you would like to look at some of his work, he has a web site :- www.robertfathersart.com
written by Stephen Poulter, photos by Emily Pool
May 2014 - Bafa @ The Woolpack
Another amazing exhibiton weekend! Well done to all of you who exhibitied. Many visitors commented on the standard of work being of such a high quality.
May 2014 - Cathy Read, Masking Tips and Tricks
Cathy is well known for her distinctive architectural paintings in which she uses masking fluid extensively. Her well-prepared demonstration introduced us to masking – temporarily covering up an area in a painting so as to keep an area white for highlights when using watercolours, for instance.
She showed us a variety of masking techniques including the use of objects and paper shapes – including post-it notes!; crayons and candle wax; masking tape; Friskit film (a sort of plastic film to cover a larger area which is then carefully cut away before a wash is applied.) and, her favourite, masking fluid.
To apply the masking fluid Cathy uses a line drawing tool which she has found to be the most effective for drawing fine lines. The consistency should be that of single cream. Dilute with sprayed water if too thick. Masking fluid should not be applied with a brush as it will destroy the bristles.
Cathy talked of the importance of using good quality paper to minimize risk of tearing when the masking fluid is removed. She prefers to use Langton and Fabriano Artistico papers but advises us to experiment to find which works best for us. Masking fluid should always be applied to dry paper and the paper must be dry before attempting to remove the fluid.
The stimulating evening ended with lots of time and opportunity to try out techniques; discuss any queries with Cathy and to enjoy looking at interesting and exciting examples of her work.
written by Sue Ambrose, photos by Emily Pool
April 2014 - We have extended the closing date of the Spring Exhibition to Friday 2nd May, as the original date, so close to Easter, seems to have arrived far too quickly! So if you were going to have a go but thought it too late - Now is your chance!
April 2014 - John Credland, iPad Drawing
John gave us a great demonstration of how to put the iPad to good artistic use, using the Brushes and Snapseed app. The most important thing John told us to remember was to make sure that you were drawing on the correct layer! By usng the layers function of Brushes it is possible to add different effects with the many brush options and the ability to trace from photographs! we were reminded that it should not be seen as cheating, as for many years artists have made use of the technology around us, like the camera obscura! The Snapseed app was used the then add filters, the grunge effect being John's favourite. Many members brought their various tablets and I imagine that there may be more digital art appearing in our exhibitions after this demonstration!
April 2014 - We are planning on fundraising again for Macmillan Cancer Support by holding our Mystery Picture Sale at our Spring Exhibition in May. Buy your 5"x7" canvas board from us at the next meeting, or you can source your own of course! Remember that once complete, sign the back and place in an envelope and give it to us on or before Friday 16th May.
March 2014 - Rod Craig, 'Painting the Elements'
It was a full house that watched Woodstock Artist Rod Craig inspire us with his loosely-painted, atmospheric watercolour demonstration on Tuesday evening.
Rod trained as a graphic artist and worked in that field for many years before turning to painting full-time. He has used bright colours in the past but now works with a limited palette of mostly grey and yellow mixes. He uses thick paper (680 gm Fabriano) which enables him to start work immediately rather than have to stretch the paper first. His brushes are large. “If you want to free up your work, throw away your small paint brushes” he told us.
He sprayed the paper and then applied sweeping strokes of yellow, leaving white areas in the centre. To this he added roughly applied greys which, with the help of more sprayed water and the wetness of the paper ran into each other to produce effective cloud formations. To add depth to his work he used Indian ink mixed with the paint for rocks and hills in the foreground. “It is very effective but unforgiving if you make a mistake!”
What interests him most is trying to create an impressionistic mood of time and place rather than a representational study. He works from memory and the occasional use of photographs, listening to music of various genres as he does so. He is a guitarist in a group who loves any sort of music and has run sessions of painting to live music. (See video on his website)
He really did create an atmosphere of remote hills and silence with somewhat forbidding clouds rolling in…..it was a joy to watch.
Written by Sue Ambrose, Photos by Peter Baker
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
to all of our members!
November 2013 - A fabulous time was had by all at the Bafa 2013 'Contrasts' Exhibition & Art Sale
- Wonderful Artwork, a wide variety of Fantastic Live Music and tasty coffee! We hope that you enjoyed it too if you were able to come!
Voted for at the Preview Evening and over the weekend by our 1000+ visitors! Thank you for voting if you were one of them.
Best Interpretation of the 'Contrasts' Theme
Winner - 'Sunshine & Shadows' by Dilys Benjafield
Highly Commended - 'The Bag Ladies' by Dinah Longland
Best in Show
Winner - 'Life of Brian' by Zoe Day
Highly Commended - 'Low Tide at Mevagissey' by Alan Chown
The following were voted for at the Preview Evening on Friday
Best Novice entry
Winner - 'After the Storm' by Colin Price
Highly Commended - 'Light Dance' by Stella Bell
Best Intermediate entry
Winner - 'Sunshine & Shadows' by Dilys Benjafield
Highly Commended - 'Black Dog, White Snow' by Pip Hitchin
Best Experienced entry
Winner - 'Low Tide at Mevagissey' by Alan Chown
Highly Commended - 'Life of Brian' by Zoe Day
Photos and report
November 2013 - Exhibition forms are in and we are now in full swing of getting everything ready -make sure your artwork is ready, we look forward to seeing it next week! (Have you seen MK18 this month?)
October 2013 - Bafa Member Carol Bagni will be interviewed on BBC Radio Three Counties on Monday 14th October, at 2.15pm. They will be discussing how Carol took up iPad Painting after having to give up Oils due to poisoning!
October 2013 - The Bafa Art Trail has just been updated around town. There is a new exhibition upstairs at the Dragon Gallery by Sylvia Davidson, do go in and have a look if you get the chance. The Dragon Gallery is a great location for solo exhibitions and we are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to all of our members! The Woolpack Dining Room exhibition, has also had a new batch of wonderful work hung for the season!
October 2013 - Chinese Brush Painting, Paul Maslowski
Although billed as Chinese brush painting our speaker Paul Maslowski immersed us in Chinese culture for 2 hours.
Paul, a Painter, poet and Thai Chi instructor, came dressed for the part. Taking us through the 4 treasures (Ink, brush, paper and stone) and various paraphernalia required to the 8 strokes used to create any painting. These 8 strokes can be demonstrated easily but take a lifetime to master. He showed us how ink is traditionally made by rubbing the ink stick (costing a mere £1000) onto the ink stone with a drop of water. He then painted his name in Chinese characters and then created a painting of Bamboo with a bird.
Paul explained how Chinese art begins with the mastery of calligraphy before taking on more illustrative characteristics. Concluding his talk with a slide show presentation illustrating how Chinese Art has evolved over the last 8000 years.
The second half was a chance to get our hands dirty. It quickly became evident why the technique took so long to master as our artistic skills were tested to the full. From holding the brush in an unaccustomed fashion to regulating the thickness of ink and producing marks of any quality. Another example of how apparently simple things are often the most complex to achieve.
In short a perfect method for those who like control, method and meditation in their artistic practice.
Written by Cathy Read, Photos by Peter Baker
September 2013 - Wonders of Wire, Lindsay Waring
A great evening looking at the sculptural effects possible with wire! Lindsay mainly uses chicken wire but of many different thicknesses, and often paints them to create amazing effects. We enjoyed seeing many of her great creations and with care and a thick pair of gloves some people were treated to a 'have a go'. The group of snails at the end were wonderful.
Report & Photos by Emily Pool
July 2013 - Drawing with a Needle, Thelma Robinson
A wrapt audience of thirty Bafa members were drawn together with the threads of Thelma’s narrative. The overhead projection worked like a dream and we could all see and hear clearly and were encouraged to ‘approach the bench’ in the second half for a detailed demonstration. Very professional. A member of the Core group, Thelma has regularly exhibited her work at Buckingham’s Chantry Chapel during the two weeks of the Bucks Open Studios.
Free needling is setting up your sewing machine so that the foot does not engage the bottom teeth thingies that constrain the fabric to move in a straight line. Set that to zero so that the cloth is not automatically pulled forward and move the fabric yourself, drawing or tracing a picture or design, rotating the fabric where appropriate and off you go.
Thelma shared various wrinkles (geddit?): using metallic threads, sewing onto sweet wrappers, metallic foils, plastic, sheer fabric and explained how to use a dissolvable support material. The subject matter was crows, grasses, seed heads, the sea, trees and branches. These seemed to suit the medium well. Later Thelma showed us work from other free needlers one of which was 1.5 x 3 metres and the subject matter here was more figurative and narrative.
Everyone who attended had a good time. The coffee was good and hot and the raffle raised valuable funds for the group. Links to recommended products can be found on the event page (click on Photos link)
Thanks, Thelma, keep on needling.
Written by John Credland, Photos by Emily Pool
June 2013 - Well done to our Bucks Open Studio Artists, we hope that you had fun as well as many lovely visitors...!
June 2013 - Mannequin Sculpture, Len Gifford
A great evening finding out about the involved artistic processes that are involved for the creation of shop mannequins, that you see whenever you pass through a High Street! We were shown a short DVD from the 2011 Bucks Open Studios where Len created a life size mannequin of a gymnast in just 2 weeks, when it would normally be a 6 week process from start to finish. Len had brought with him a full size mannequin as well as some of his head sculptures showing the range of models he has worked with through his 30 year career after he initially worked as a scructural engineer for many years designing bridges and much of Milton Keynes - quite a job change!
Written by Emily Pool, Photos by Peter Baker
May 2013 - The Bafa Spring Exhibition gets underway tomorrow with our Preview at 7.30pm, but if you are exhibiting, don't forget to drop off your paintings in the morning!
May 2013 - What a wonderful Exhibition! The Preview was packed and there was a steady stream of visitors throughout the weekend, it helped that the weather stayed on the positive side... Well done to those members who on exhibiting for the first time were pleased to walk off with a cheque instead of their artwork!
Thank you to everyone who donated £10 in exchange for one of the great Mystery Paintings, our fundraiser in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The quality of the artwork was magnificent, we could have sold many of them more than once! Including Gift Aid, we managed to raise nearly £500!!! This was boosted by Stuart McMahon of Frame Art Display's generous donation of making the frames at cost price, which added an extra £2 to the funds for each frame ordered.
If you forgot to collect the Mystery Painting that you chose, then they will be available to collect at the June Meeting.
Written by Emily Pool, Photos by Emily Pool
May 2013 - Paper Sculpture, Graham Lester
Bafa members were treated to a talk and demonstration on paper sculpture by sculptor Graham Lester. Graham works in wood and stone but has recently focused more on using paper as a decorative art form. His work includes free standing pieces and pieces for wall hanging. He exhibits and demonstrates at many venues where his attention to detail and intricate work is a pleasure to see.
Graham sculpts beautiful free standing shoes out of papers of various weights and it was the creation of one of these 'killer heels' that he chose to demonstrate to us. He showed us how he traces each shape on to the appropriate paper using tracedown (a sort of carbon paper) and carefully cuts out each shape with a sharp scalpel. He then bends each piece to precisely the right curve by wrapping it round a rod. He showed us how to form the beautifully curved sole, create the heel and form the upper. He glued the pieces together to create the 3D piece. After coffee break several members had a go at making a decorative fan and flower to embellish a plain shoe. Using Grahams' templates they traced then cut out a spiral piece to form a rose like flower and cut, scored and folded a piece to make a fan shape. This certainly gave an insight into the care and precision needed to achieve a good result!
Graham had brought with him a good selection of his work which was much admired. Using paper in a 3D way may well be something that some members will choose to incorporate in their future work having been inspired by Grahams wonderful creations.
Written by Dilys Benjafield, Photosby Emily Pool
April 2013 - 2 Days to go, to get your Spring Exhibition entry to us! Please contact us if you wish to discuss your entry - we can accept work that is yet to be created... as long as you tell us about it!
April 2013 - Portrait Painting from Life, Podi Lawrence
Podi Lawrence invited Ian to be seated and adjusted his position for maximum effect for the portrait she was about to paint in oils during her brief demonstration to the BAFA knowledgeable audience over a short period of 2 hours. “The first important thing” she said “is to ensure that the subject matter and the canvas are on view without the Artist having to turn their head. Ian is not allowed to fall asleep during the sitting, so I will allow a stretch whilst mixing colours”.
Blobs of paint from light to dark were placed on the palette, with lots of white and Ian stretched. Lighting cast a shadow across his face which helped to define his features. Proportions of the male or female head are exactly the same, it is size of head that differs.
The canvas was ready with a green base coat and a week mix of Cerulean blue was used to sketch in facial features. Podi took an “air” measurement with her brush to define size and placed marks on the canvas denoting the top of Ian’s head and then one for the chin and then two more for the side. A horizontal line was placed half way down and then she positioned the eyes. A vertical curve placed down the centre of the face should accurately define the nose and mouth positions.
With dabs and strokes of colour Podi started with the Iris, then shaped the eye lids, the base of the nose, top lip and shadow under the bottom lip and chin. Then she blocked in the shaded areas not forgetting Ian’s hair. With the under painting now complete Ian’s face started to come to life. It was time to take a break.
With the relaxed sitter repositioned, Podi with a palette now complete with colour shades and skin tones deftly added depth to the portrait. A final touch of white with a smidgen of Cerulean blue reflected a sparkle in the eyes and the master piece was complete. Ian now was able to step down off the podium to admire the finished product and congratulate Podi on a portrait well done.
Written by Les Riley, Photos by Clare Tebboth
March 2013 - Impressionistic Line & Wash, Robert Newcombe
Robert Newcombe, a regional winner in watercolour challenge and one of the artists selected to paint the royal flotilla from the bridge, introduced himself and his work with amusing anecdotes. He bravely showed the first piece of work he had framed, pointing out faults and leading us into a short explanation of his “5 C’s of painting” Concept, Composition, Contrast, Colour and Completion. A mantra he uses to help him teach art on Cruise Ships, a hard job but somebody has to do it!
Robert proceeded to demonstrate his approach to line and wash using a rigger brush (a progression from a sharpened matchstick) and Indian ink to draw directly onto the page commenting on concept and composition. After a short drying time and tea break, Robert applied washes of colour all the time generously sharing tips and techniques. There was an audible intake of breath from many in the audience when Robert washed over some areas with a dark wash for shadows, providing dramatic contrast and achieving completion.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening seemed to be had by all. It was also lovely to welcome so many new members.
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February 2013 - Congratulations to Bafa members Peter Baker and Carol Bagni for being awarded Highly Commended in the EAC Art Awards 2012. Peter told us that he was also quite chuffed to finish 79th out of 1877 in the peoples' choice awards for 'Bernard'. Click herefor a slideshow of all of the winners and highly commended entries.
'Bernard' by Peter Baker; 'Red Flag' by Carol Bagni.
February 2013 - Woodblock Printing Workshop
Following on from the very successful Tuesday night session that Laura ran for us last year we held a one day workshop for eight people at Buckingham Art School.
Laura’s enthusiasm is contagious and she worked us hard keeping up a consistent pace of clear instruction and demonstration; taking us through the process step by step and highlighting where her methodology now varies from the Japanese master from whom she learned the art. She also brought a wonderful selection of examples of her work to inspire and guide us.
Although none of us had experienced the process before we all managed to cut and print a block without shedding blood or tears. Some of the results were really encouraging – so much so that four of us bought a starter kit that Laura sells at a special price for those that have been on one of her workshops. Look out for the results at our May exhibition at The Cote for Bafa@The Woolpack!
Highly recommended. If you are interested, let us know, and we will arrange another one.
With a few changes to the committee we were able to thank Lindsey and Barbara for their dedicated service over Bafa's first 5 years as well as thanking Jen for her support with the refreshments. We heard from two of our networking groups, The Artist's Way and The Friday Group, sharing with us how they began, what they do and how they help each other. Clare, our new Chair, then shared plans for the Bafa Art Cafe - an opportunity to meet during the day, at The Woolpack in Buckingham, once a month to share ideas, support each other and have a chat! The first Bafa Art Cafe will be on Thursday 7th March at 11am.
Written by Emily Pool, Photosby Clare Tebboth
January 2013 - Bafa Members; Irene Foster, Lindsey Graham, Dinah Longland, Helen Shaw and Clare Tebboth all had work selected for a show home in Royston in Beds.
Sonia Bacchus gave us a fascinating talk and beautiful painting demonstration of a still life in acrylic and oil paints.
Her work is inspired by the old masters and she produces figurative paintings with the main focus of her work being light and shadow. Her painting subjects include still life, portraits, nudes, landscapes and pets.
Sonia was born in Lodz, Poland where she studied for a Master of Fine Art Degree. She has also been involved with the film industry as a scenery artist and wardrobe assistant painting murals and making costumes.
Sonia first talked to us about the origins of still life painting and oil painting with particular reference to the Dutch Masters.
Sonia had set up a still life which included glass and copper with a strong light to give a wonderful shadow which would then make up an important part of the composition. She began her painting on a pale ochre coloured canvas and used grid lines painted in watercolour to help form her composition onto the canvas. This is a great tip as these lines were removed easily with a little water as the painting progressed. She loosely painted in the still life using acrylic paint and then once this was dry she used oil paint on top to give more detail and a deeper saturation of colour. I loved her observation of reflective light bouncing colour from one object to another and also in the cast shadows.
Sonia answered lots of questions throughout the evening which gave a warm friendly atmosphere as is usual for any Bafa event. The evening was thoroughly entertaining and informative.
Written by Zoe Day, Photos by Emily Pool
November 2012 - First time sellers...
A big well done to Jackie Chambers, Kim McMahon and Swee Har Newell for making their first 'Bafa Sale' at the Winter Exhibition. For many of our members, the 'doing' is how we show our love for art, however to be able to then say that you have sold a piece of artwork is definitely the icing on the cake! We hope that this will encourage members who have not exhibited with us yet to give it a go in 2013...
December 2012 - Great time had by all at the Bafa Christmas Quiz - Well done to the winning team. A reminder for the rest of us, to learn your local trivia ready for next year!
December 2012 - The Bafa Yearbooks have arrived, for those of you who have ordered one, they will be waiting for you at the Xmas Quiz.
November 2012 - Winter Exhibition a great success!
Letter written to Buckingham Advertiser, 14th Nov 2012
Buckingham Art for All held their fifth annual exhibition at Buckingham Community Centre this weekend. We would like to thank everybody for their help and support. Over 800 people visited and we were pleased to welcome members of the British Legion who attended after taking part in the Remembrance service at the war memorial.
On show were over 120 pieces of art produced by local artists; professional, amateur and those exhibiting for the first time. The standard was very high and comments in the visitors’ book indicate how much visitors enjoyed the work on show and some even purchased a piece to take home. Guests were able to view the new Bafa year book and to join Bafa, who welcome anyone who produces, or has an interest in, art. Visitors had the opportunity to vote for their favourite pieces. At the Friday night preview Bafa members and their guests voted for the best in novice, intermediate and experience categories.
The results were:
Novice : Winner – Pip Hitchin, Highly Commended – Brian Eldridge
Intermediate : Winner – Kim McMahon, Highly Commended - Steven Hawkin, Mary Murphy, Abby Cork
Experienced : Winner – Peter Baker, Highly Commended - Zoe Day
Prizes were handed out by Buckingham Mayor Ruth Newell, the evening having been officially opened by The Right Hon. and Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow and music provided by Marion Wedley and Udo Doltz of Buckingham Acoustic club. Over the weekend visitors voted for best in show and best interpretation of the theme. The results were;
Best in Show: Winner – Kim McMahon, Highly Commended – Carol Bagni
Best interpretation of the theme: Winner –Mary Murphy, Highly Commended – Kim McMahon
The prizes were handed out by Tryph Foster, proprietor of Canvas and chair of Buckingham Traders Association. The winning pieces can be seen on show in the windows of Student Keys Letting agency, Buckingham. Over the weekend we held a raffle in aid of Macmillian Nurses which raised, £148 we would like to thank the local traders and Bafa members who so kindly donated prizes.
The date for our next exhibition is the weekend of 18th and 19th of May 2013 at the Woolpack Pub, we will be back at the Community Centre in November 2013.
Bafa makes the front cover of MK18. A big well done to our publicity wizards! Lets hope we have enough refreshments... Please note that we will be open from 10am on Sunday.
On the 9th October I went to my very first Buckingham Art For All (BAFA) meeting. BAFA is a wonderful group for artists living in and around Buckingham... Laura began by talking about her eight week residency at Nagasawa Art Park in Japan, working under the guidance of master craftsmen and artists. Laura showed us some wonderful slides of the Japanese countryside where she stayed, including one that showed the resident bugs that she had to share her living quarters with which made everyone gasp and wriggle with horror! We were also shown a fascinating slide taken of four men in a paper factory making a very large sheet of mulberry paper. We learned a little about Japanese culture and attitudes and got a feel for the importance the Japanese place on this craft. Laura talked about suitable types of paper and wood to use and showed us images of the brushes and cutters needed. She also talked about various methods of sharpening the cutters.
read more on Alex's blog
**STOP PRESS** - Bafa Yearbook 2012 will be availble to Preview at the Winter Exhibition! Don't miss out - available to order for Christmas
October 2012 - Laura Boswell:- Japanese Woodblock Printing
We had an interesting talk on the Dummy Board figure, the folk art origins and how it was used through the centuries. The oldest known one is of Charles the Good of Flanders which is 13th Century. We saw many amazing slides of the dummy boards throughout the presentation, some of which sold for around £5K. We were introduced to the methods used, painting direct onto the treated wood with oils then cut out, some of the old ones were taken from canvases and mounted on to wood then cut out with edges bevelled away from the subject to give it a 3D look, various supporting methods were used throughout the centuries to give life to the subjects. Susanne explained how she originally became interested in the Dummy Board figure, first painting one to stand in front of her fireplace and her interest in this art form just took off from there. Initially painting the full size boards but she now focuses her talents by painting miniatures for dolls house collectors. These were amazing to see with some displayed in a little Victorian room box all at a 12th of the original size.
Written by Ruth Marsden, Photos by Emily Pool
July 2012 - The House of Commons Sketching trip to London was a great success for last year's competition winners and committee members. We had a wonderful time and were blessed with great weather. Many thanks to Mr Bercow for inviting us, we are already looking forward to next year!
Photos by Lindsey Graham
July 2012 - Charles Evans, watercolourist.
Maybe you know of ‘Nathan Summers’ as the artist credit on Emmerdale. In the flesh Charles Evans, his real name, lives up to his reputation as an ‘exuberant personality’, which was the case for BAFA’s July evening. Sprayed with humour to engage the audience Charles gave away great insights into creating attractive watercolour pictures – brushes, a limited palette and techniques; all encompassed with immense enthusiasm. Two lucky raffle winners took home the pictures Charles lured and intrigued us with in his painting demonstration. See http://www.charlesevansart.com/index.htm
Written by James Rowell, Photos by John Credland
June 2012 -Many congratulations to Alexandra Olding, a Bafa member for many years, as she has had a linocut accepted into the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition for the second year in a row! The print is called 'Sunlight Through Redwoods' and is No. 697 and is in Room I. The exhibition in on until the 12th August and we would highly recommend going to see it if you get the chance.
June 2012 -Our Art Trail has been relaunched with Bafa @ The Woolpack, our Summer Exhibition and Art Sale being the perfect event to highlight our excellent artists and supportive local traders.
Bafa @ The Woolpack -Photos