Update from Swanton Morley Art (SMART)

With the changing colours of autumn and wintry shorter days, the summer seems a distant memory. However, reflecting on our lovely outing to Wiveton Hall Café during the summer break in August, helps to rekindle warmer days when we were able to paint en plein air. We were fortunate to visit the beautiful grounds of Wiveton Hall where we painted at leisure, producing some wonderful artwork of Wiveton Hall, the sunken garden and other interesting features. This was made all the more special by enjoying a delicious lunch in the café and having a browse in the shop too.

In September we returned to the village hall for our autumn term. One of the first sessions held was by Helen Breach, a mixed media artist with a particular interest in life drawing. Helen visited us with a life drawing model and encouraged us to work quickly and creatively. We began drawing line sketches in charcoal or pencil of 1 minute poses, this was gradually increased to drawing a pose for 20 minutes. We looked at the shapes made within the poses and tried not to overthink drawing a ‘figure’. Interestingly, we also tried drawing with our less dominant hand and in many cases the outcome was quite astonishing, possibly because we had less control and the drawing flowed! Helen made it an enjoyable and inspiring session giving us encouraging and constructive feedback on our attempts. It has definitely sparked an interest within the group to do more life drawing.

Members enjoyed bringing in footwear, all shapes and sizes, for the session on painting shoes. With varying heel size, colours and textures, some glam, some comfy and well worn, the selection chosen certainly inspired some creative artwork. It also evoked memories – especially with those first pair of shoes and reliving little ones taking their first steps!

It is interesting to observe cultures and history within art, and the presentation on Alaskan Art highlighted this. For example, the Totem Poles seen in North America are part of the cultures of many indigenous people of Alaska. Towering sculptures carved from wood they provide various meanings and denote symbols from the figures carved on them. The colour tended to be limited but often bold. There was a selection of photos showing Alaskan art and preprinted animal/bird designs to inspire the group into creating some colourful and bold artwork based on this subject.

The art group continues to thrive and provides a great opportunity to enjoy a shared interest within a friendly environment. We are also fortunate to have a wonderful venue such as Swanton Morley Village Hall to meet in. With this in mind we decided to organise our own Art Exhibition with Art and Craft stalls at the hall in October.

It was organised quickly within 5 weeks but still proved to be enjoyable and successful. We appreciated the visitors who came to view and buy our art and crafts whilst also enjoying some social time with a cuppa and cake. We were very grateful to the stallholders who sold a variety of unique art and crafts and contributed to making the day a success. A raffle helped to raise more funds to give to our chosen charity this year which is Caister Lifeboat. So, we thank everyone who came to the event and hope that we can repeat it next year.

Jacquie  – 01362 697783
Mike – 01362 652935 mike@mdeward.co.uk