Friday, 7 October 2011

Interview with Foulridge Art Group

Keith Parkinson is the tutor of the group. Keith comes from a teaching background and now works professionally as an artist; carrying out schools work, community work and exhibiting across the North West.

Foulridge Art Group meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6.30 - 8.30pm at the village hall. New members are welcome and the group costs £45 for 6 sessions. If you want more information you can email Keith -

The group has about 18 members regularly attending and 13 members of the group have brought their work to the exhibition. Of these 13, some have been attending for two years, but some have been part of the group for less than six months.

Keith describes the group as "a friendly group who learn a bit, improve our drawing and painting, but it is also a social gathering." Each block of six sessions focusses on a different topic and includes a mix of demonstrations, lessons and practice. For example a drawing block might include basic and first step drawing skills. Each time a new topic is started the group decide together and blocks might include; still life, portraiture or landscapes, for example.

I then chatted to Keith about how the group interacts, well I actually said "What is the group dynamic like?" Keith explained that there is a wide range of skills and experience, some are really confident, some are not, some have exhibited in the past and some are complete beginners who have made rapid progress.

The above work is by Roger, he has only just joined the group and has never had any formal training, although its apparant he has heaps of natural talent. I think this work could be very commercial and it reminds me slightly of Annie Tempests work. Click here.

This work is by Tracy, who lives on a canal boat and paints on a massive easel. Oh, I immediately asked if she had to sit on the roof to paint... she doesn't, she sits inside but with all the windows open so she only paints on nice days.

Tracy said she started coming to the group, a year ago, for a bit of 'me time' and she felt really welcome when she joined, saying "it really doesn't matter what your ability is".

I was a bit obsessed with the living on the boat comment, so asked nothing else about painting but about what she missed from a house... I know, you'll all be on teeterhooks too...well the answer is... a hot bath, and space to build lego!

This work is by June who makes a living painting dog portraits (I'm not surprised, did you know there are 8 million dogs in the UK?) but has started doing different subjects since coming to the class.

And there we have it - the current exhibition. Next up is Open Arts - it's a big one! Up to 200 artists, 400 works, 700 visitors, 3 judges, and one very tired me at the end! But it's all worth it.

I'll post next week about how to enter.

Ta Ra


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