Why do they put art colleges so close to parks? Table-top arrays of shoes and bottles left unmanned as us students splashed a quick under-wash of paint as a base, then disappeared to the park to converse lightly, generally loiter, pass funny-fags and perhaps consume the odd jacket potato.
A liberal beard-scratching lecturer peered over his glasses at the still life as the door burst open three minutes before home-time; stoney-faces smirked at him as he examined our hourly efforts; sploshes of random colours. “What sir? It’s like abstract, man!”
Why, oh why did I not pay more attention at Art College, why could I not allow distractions to pass over me; parks, pondering Pink Floyd album covers and hippychicks? Oh those hippychicks. It was an easy life; didn’t know what I had until it was gone. Yep, I’m an art college dropout; still keep my hand in when the mood sets, but if like me, you miss the smell of gouache and wooden easels; a friendly weekly art group in Devizes may suit.
So dust off your beret, for they’re looking for new members. The group meets every Tuesday morning, 9.30am – 12.30pm, for three terms of ten, or twelve weeks each, with the same holidays as Wiltshire schools; so your children may never find out you’re creative flare has been rekindled (I know they’d only laugh at my canvases of ingenuity!)
Lessons are usually led by tutor Christy Wyper, often step-by-step, but members are welcome to work at their own pace, and on their own projects. New members are welcome to join at any stage throughout the year, but the term begins on Tuesday 24th April.
Okay, it’s going to set you back £120 for a 12 week term/£100 for a 10 week term, but you’ll be covering projects which will equip you with the confidence and knowledge to practise your drawing and observational skill in still life, portrait/figure drawing, and landscapes. You’ll be using a variety of different media from acrylic paint, pastels, coloured pencils, mixed media and collage, to watercolours in both traditional and contemporary styles.
This sounds like an ideal opportunity to meet likeminded people. What could be nicer than a friendly and cheerful art group, who are welcoming, who enjoy sharing ideas and skills with each other in a relaxed and creative atmosphere, and who, most importantly, customarily fit it in around frequent tea, and home-baked treats?!
Projects can be flexible; most lessons are presented as directed projects with specifics aims, but none of the lessons are so rigidly planned that you can’t adapt them to your own skills and tastes. You could be adapting your own photos and images to create unique projects, improving your understanding of composition and design, developing appreciation of well-known artists’ work thus enhancing your own creative style, and generally developing your skills further.
Call 01380 730864 for more details, or cast your artistic eye over their Facebook page here. Oh, and let me know how you get on if you attend, maybe send me a picture and we’ll do a gallery, like Take Hart, not that he ever showed one of my pictures, watched every episode in anticipation; I blamed Morph…..still do.