Sunday, 8 November 2015

Robert Brindley Workshop

Fourteen of our members attended The Robert Brindley Workshop on 31/10/2015.

In the first half, Robert gave an inspiring demonstration of a beautiful sunset in oils.

In the practical session that followed we were encouraged us to paint our own scenes, using oils or acrylic.

At the  end of the afternoon, Robert gave constructive criticism of the finished work.  Some great paintings were produced during the day thanks to his guidance and advice.

Thank you to Gina for arranging this session for us.

More of Robert's work can be seen on his own site or on Facebook.

And keep following our blog for news of future Newton workshops and events.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Painting in George Smith's Garden

The second Saturday in August saw a number of our members, plus friends from York Art Society, attending the annual painting session in George Smith's garden.

Here's a few snapshots of the day, courtesy of Lin Taylor

Once again thanks to George for throwing his doors open for us and to Lynda Baker for organising the event.

You can see more of Lin's photos over on the York Art Society Blog.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Art by Daphne Stead

Thanks to Daphne for providing pictures of some of her work, including Byland Abbey, her contribution to our Lay Flat Challenge entry.

A Walk Across the Moors

Roof Tops

Byland Abbey

If you'd like to see your work here, please send your pictures in to me at with the name and a little bit of history behind them for the blog.

Upcoming Workshops

A brief note for your diaries,  Robert Bindley will be holding a Workshop in Oils/ Acrylics on 31st October.

As soon as we have the dates for the Winter and Spring workshops we will let you know.

Knaresborough exhibition, 15th August

News from Lin Taylor of an upcoming show in naughty Knaresborough that she will be exhibiting at.

Saturday 15th August, less than two weeks away, is the date for your diary.

Free admission and art prices start from £20 - so get along there and get an early start on your Christmas shopping !

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Nunnington Hall Yorkshire Market

Advance notice of a Yorkshire Market to be held towards the end of August featuring the best of local arts, crafts and food.

More details at Nunnington's own site

Nunnington Hall - Events

Nunnington Hall - How to get there

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Newton on Ouse Annual Dinner

Here's some photos from the recent Newton Annual Dinner.  

Dinner ...

... and Drink !!

This was held on Thursday 9th. July, at The Blacksmith's Arms, Newton on Ouse.  A total of 14 members attended  and enjoyed a delicious three course meal. 

Brian getting to grips with a Poppadum

Hard at work (studying the menu)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The 2015 Lay Flat Challenge

Completed at last!

Congratulations to the twenty artists who participated and supported this effort, the paintings were brilliant and hopefully the SAA will think so too!

The final two pictures were from Peter Barber and Ron Walker.

by Peter Barber
by Ron Walker

And somewhere in the middle was Gina’s lovely painting of her cows.

Here's Looking At You
by Gina Bean

Saturday, 9 May 2015

SAA ‘Lay Flat’ Challenge taken up by Newton on Ouse Art Group

Sharon certainly challenged us with this last minute entry!

The Challenge is to complete 20 paintings and to return the completed book to the SAA by 12 June.

Our recent Exhibition was the springboard for getting artists involved and to date we have five paintings completed.

Sylvia Symmonds

Valerie Bell

Richard Bell

Lynda Baker

Luisa Holden

As you can see we have some wonderful paintings to date and if you have not already got your name on the list to have the book to paint in, please contact Sharon Longcroft. 

As you will only have about a day to do your painting you might need to get your thinking caps on or even copy a previous painting you have done!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Early Spring Bank Holiday Exhibition

A reminder that our spring exhibition takes place over the coming bank holiday weekend in the Newton on Ouse village hall.

Come along and support this.  Lots of original work by members on display and for sale in the main exhibition ....    

Whitby Twilight
Lin Taylor
....  and also some bargains to be had in 'the Back Room'.

Newton on Ouse spring Exhibition runs all weekend -  Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th May.  

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Newton Spring Exhibition

A reminder of our upcoming exhibition over the early spring bank holiday weekend.

Admission free.

Paul Talbot Greaves Workshop at Newton Art Group

Paul started by showing us how to kill the white of our paper with a coloured wash to either add warmth or coolness to our pictures.  Next it was on to the composition using simple outlines in acrylic paint. Paul stressed how important that we made sure that everything was right at this stage  because if we had to go back into a painting to correct shapes then it distracted from the spontaneity of painting. Finally it was a lesson on how block in the colours and how to mix many shades of green. , Using splatters and dribbles Paul produced a wonderful painting showing light and shade.

Then it was left up to us to begin our paintings, Paul had made it look so easy and now we were seriously nervous!  However after a coffee everyone soon loosened up and paintings were starting to take shape.

Gina and Sharon sharing a table, paints, skills and clutter whilst in the background Rhona’s shades of green were giving her a headache!

Meanwhile Sue had commissioned a bit of help (no wonder she managed a record three paintings on the day!)

Christine as usual in total control with a tidy table and her wonderful picture of Venice.

At the end of the session Paul gave a critique and valuable comments on how to improve our paintings.

Our thanks go to Gina for organising this workshop and to Paul for his patience, humour and for providing us with an unforgettable workshop.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Catherine Inglis Workshop held Saturday 28th February 2015

Catherine ran a pastel portrait workshop for ten of our members and two from York Art Society. She began with a demonstration picture of her granddaughter,  showing us how to get the correct proportions for a face and how to paint eyes, noses and mouths, not to mention how to put curls into the hair!

Catherine with the picture she painted as a demo

Catherine also brought along a ‘sweet shop’ of pastels and paper to buy all of which we found very tempting.

Then we were left to begin our own portraits, some chose pets whilst others took the plunge into portraiture.  With Catherine’s help and guidance we all produced some good work, whether it quite looked like our chosen subject was another matter but we all had a very enjoyable day.

Everyone hard at work!

Sue receiving a personal critique from Betty!

Of course the Big Painting Challenge, on BBC1, the following day also focussed on portraits and I am sure we all looked on with some sympathy for the contestants as they struggled to get the likeness of their models.  We already knew just how difficult it was!!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Spotlight on Lynda Baker

In this spotlight I am showing two pictures, both are in acrylic and I painted these during the  afternoon sessions at the Newton Art Group. I find that  having a long afternoon session gives me more time to actually get something done besides chatting and of course breaking off for the endless cups of coffee and tea!

I would like a title for this framed one if anyone has any ideas?

This is my latest picture which is still work in progress!

Lynda’s tips for painters

I like making my own textured gesso in different consistencies to give my pictures a bit of depth. I have used it on these two pictures especially on the rocks and the tree foliage. When you paint over these raised areas it means you can catch the hints of light with dry brush work.

1.This is my ‘recipe’ for normal Gesso which can be made at about a quarter of the price

One third each of  talcum powder,  white (or any colour of acrylic paint) and PVA glue

Add enough water to create the consistency you require. I find the best way is to combine the glue and paint first and then the talc and water .

There are quite a few ways of making Gesso, some people use polyfilla (powdered form) or bicarbonate of soda but I haven’t tried either yet!

For texture I crush baked egg shells and mix with the above but you can use anything you wish like sand etc.

2. Maurice Tooby told me how to treat MDF or any other kind of boards you wish to paint on by mixing emulsion paint diluted with 10% of the volume with water and adding some PVA glue to the mixture.  The boards should then be given three thin coats on both sides. I have used this method for a long time and find it works very well. It is also cheaper than painting gesso on to bare boards. Sometimes I paint the last coat on the side to be painted with Gesso.

I usually paint in oils but have recently tried acrylics and with help from Luisa I feel I am getting to grips with a new medium.  I have not had any formal training but have always enjoyed the workshops and demonstrations with the York Art Society and Newton Art Group.  I attended life drawing classes for many years, these did not have a tutor just a model. This experience has really helped me with prospective in drawings and paintings of any kind.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spotlight on Lin Taylor

Art was a subject that I enjoyed very much at school, where I gained my GCE 'O' Level. However when I married and my children arrived, my interest in art had to take a back seat and it wasn’t until they left home that I had the time to take up art again.  By this time it was 1994 and I was living in South Africa where I found so many wonderful subjects to paint.

You looking at me ?
In 1998 I returned to the U.K. and settled in York immediately joining York Art Society and later the Newton Art Group.  Newton is a small and friendly art group with some very talented artists. I have always enjoyed attending the weekly meetings and the three annual workshops and it is always good to receive help and advice from some of the other more experienced members.

My preference is for watercolour but I also enjoy painting in acrylics. Recently I have been experimenting, painting pictures of birds on real feathers and I feel that these feather paintings capture the imagination and link the art to the spirit of the birds.

Barn Owl (on feather)
Lin Taylor

Monday, 23 February 2015

Morning Hike, Namibia by Lin Taylor

Morning Hike, Namibia
Lin Taylor

More of Lin's work can be seen in our Member Galleries

or, if you're in town, why not pop in to The Hungry Artist and see some of the originals.

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Short Word On Copyright


In view of our forthcoming Annual Exhibition we thought it would be helpful to remind all members about the issues of Copyright. With this in mind, Peter Barber has very kindly condensed and simplified a version that is easy to understand.

A copy will also be posted on the notice board at Newton and we would be grateful if you could take a few moments to read it. Any queries should be directed either to Peter or me.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Peter Barber tries to paint a portrait

When I first started on portrait work I worked in coloured pencil, a medium which is easy to work in. The fine points on the pencils allowed one to get the fine detail and the wide range of colours available was a big help, although by use of layering thin coats one over the other it is possible to blend and produce graduation in changes in colour.

However after a while I found that working on paper was a limitation as I liked to be able to put on thick layers to get the deep intense colours. I tried working on mount board and that was pretty good but difficult to correct mistakes, which were frequent.  I then hit on the idea of using a finely textured gesso applied to mdf board. The surface could be left rough or sanded to produce a hard smooth surface which would take very fine detail, but since it was hard one could use a plastic rubber to totally remove any errors.  I also found that it was possible, with care, to varnish these pictures. Spray varnish in very thin coats worked well but great care was needed as the varnish whilst still wet dissolved the wax of the coloured pencil !

After some time I felt the need to move on and wanted to try oils, fine but colours had to be mixed as the range available was much more limited. I enjoyed this challenge although I am still having to work very hard to match mixed colours on subsequent days, particularly in different light conditions.

I have never liked working on soft surfaces so again I find that mdf board suits me best.  A couple of coats of Gesso, works well for me followed by a thin base coat of oil before I start work in earnest.  The board will tend to warp with the water from the gesso, so I find it best to coat both sides at the same time and then it stays flat, I also like to sign my boards on the back in the wet gesso!

I quite like to mount the board onto a light wooden frame, to give stiffness and also with painted edges it might not need framing. With most of my work I like to paint what I see and so the portraits are precise and detailed, it takes time but I enjoy it. The one I am working on at the moment is oil on board and I am working from a photograph.

I am also a believer in squaring up, in just the same way that the old masters transferred their sketches from sketchpad to finished pictures.  The oils I am using at the moment are the ‘Alkid’ which dry overnight, that's good but I do find that sometimes they are going off too fast as after about an hour it becomes more difficult to blend the colours. I like to do quite a lot of the colour mixing actually on the surface of the picture and have no qualms about getting my fingers in there to help the blend, or using a piece of rag to take paint off where it is too thick or not wanted. A plastic shaper is also useful

So there we are , that's how I go about it, with varying degrees of success.

A Vision for this Blog in 2015

The main objective of this blog, as I see it, is to keep the members in touch with what is happening at the Newton Art Group and, to some extent, within the other art groups around York.  To achieve this I felt we should try a monthly feature to ensure that members logged in on a regular basis.  As a small art group, Newton itself simply does not generate enough ‘news’ in itself.

Our Chair Peter Barber has very kindly started the ball rolling by writing a piece on how he starts to paint a picture. I would like to thank him very much for his contribution and I am sure you will find it interesting.  We would love to hear your feedback as to whether this is the sort of article you would like to see more often.

The blog belongs to the members and I would like some contributors for future blog profiles. It does not have to be as wordy as Peter’s just a paragraph about you and your art plus a couple of pictures is fine!

At the same time if you come across anything in the York area that you think will interest the other members please send me an email to