Friday, 30 August 2013

Watercolours at 9000 Feet

Lin Taylor
Here's a new watercolour painted by Lin Taylor while she and Ron were hiking through France, Switzerland and Italy on the Mont Blanc Circuit.  Complete with persistently curious ibex that pursued them for a few days.
Lin's now back home and busy with the upcoming two day exhibition at St Michael le Belfrey.  Check that out here if you haven't already signed up for it.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Announcing the 198th York Art Society Autumn Exhibition

The York Art Society is delighted to announce that this year’s autumn exhibition will be held at the York Theatre Royal De Grey Rooms. The exhibition will showcase the work of Society members, and will reflect a broad range of work produced across many styles and media. 
Ambitious plans are being put in place for a “Meet the Artists” day on Saturday 19th October.  Professional members of the group along with talented amateurs will be showcasing their work.  It will encourage visitors to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the talent York has to offer and encourage budding artists of all ages to pick up a brush or pencil and have a go themselves.
Membership of the York Art Society will be available at the exhibition with a display about the societies activities and history.
Teas, coffees and cake will also be available on Saturday 19th October.
With support from the Theatre Royal, we are working together to create a unique offering for visitors.  York Art Gallery, just across the road from the De Grey Rooms, is being sorely missed during its temporary closure for major refurbishment.  The York Art Society will be filling this cultural void in the heart of the city, if only for a week!
Most of the artwork will be on sale, along with a large selection of prints and cards.
The exhibition will run from Monday the 14th of October up to and including Sunday the 20th of October. Opening hours will be Tuesday thru Saturday 09:00 to 17:00 and Sunday 10:00 to 16:00.
Please contact the Society if you would like to attend the preview evening on Monday 14th October.
Entry is FREE at all times.

York Theatre Royal De Grey rooms are situated in the heart of York, in the shadow of York Minster. A fine example of early Victorian architecture, the De Grey Rooms are built to a neo-classical design.  Originally used as an officer’s mess for the social events and meetings of the Yorkshire Hussars; the Rooms are named after Thomas Philip de Grey, who was the 2nd Earl de Grey and colonel-commandant of the Yorkshire Hussar Regiment. Later on, the Rooms became a venue for social entertainments of the non-military sort: balls, concerts and parties.  During the Second World War dances were held, providing a little relief for the people of York more familiar with air-raids and ration books. 
The York Art Society exhibition coincides with the Theatre Royal production of Blood & Chocolate; a promenade performance around York starting from York Theatre Royal. Audiences will have a unique experience as they follow the story through the streets of York, watching the events unfold in and around some of York’s landmark buildings, including the De Grey Rooms.
York Railway station is just a 10 minute walk away with excellent connections to the rest of the UK.

A number of local bus services stop directly outside the theatre including numbers 1, 5, 6, 19B, 29, 30, 30X, 31, 31X, 40, 58 and M15. For information on bus routes and times, please visit the FirstGroup website (
There are also a number of car parks close to the venue – more information on car parking can be found on the York council website (
The society extends a warm welcome with FREE admission.
There is disabled access for those who require it.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Getting Sinister with Dexter !

If you think back to college days or any other structured art classes you've attended, you'll probably have memories of various frustrating warm up exercises at the start of each session. 
These may have included drawing without looking at the paper, 5 second life studies, drawing without lifting your pencil to give a continuous line, capturing an image in 10 lines or less ...... or my own bĂȘte noir, drawing with the non-dominant hand. This activity always saw me reverting to an infant state, hardly able to hold the crayon with my left hand, let alone produce a finished image.
But these activities are not just a sadistic exercise by the tutor - they can be incredibly liberating and force you to re-evaluate how you work and break ingrained habits.  They all strengthen hand to eye co-ordination and make you draw what you see rather than falling back on what you already know.
Regular contributor Judith Pollock has recently had no choice but to embrace a radical new approach to her art.  Here's her story ........
This summer I've been mostly drawing left handed....
After injuring my right arm & hand back in May my life changed somewhat.  I struggled to cope with many tasks and felt pretty cheesed off and sorry for myself.  Trying to use my non dominant left hand was very frustrating but I persevered and developed a slow childlike writing style and learnt to use a computer mouse with my left hand. 
While on holiday in Italy I did a little drawing with my left hand and when I got home I signed up for summer art classes with Karen Winship and have been having a brilliant time.  Not being able to draw 'normally' has being incredibly freeing and has allowed me to engage with each week's project not worried about the outcome in a way that I've never done in the past. Others in the class have also tried using their non dominant hand and really enjoyed it.  My right hand is improving slowly but I'll be continuing my artistic practice with both hands from now on!

The great tomato above was created by Judith in week two of her summer classes, demonstrating the progress that can be made in a short time by persevering.  Use of the non-dominant hand is a great tool to add to your skills and a reliable way of breaking through artistic block and the tyranny of the white page. 

There's plenty of theory and research on technique and left brain / right brain activity to be found on line -  but frankly the best approach is to pick up a pencil with your "wrong" hand and see what develops.

Mark Fieldsend at Mermaid and Miller

Mark Fieldsend is currently exhibiting at Mermaid & Miller, 24 Swinegate, York.  His new work explores the exchange between architecture and landscape.

Mark has very generously offered members of York Art Society a 15% discount off any of his original paintings and cards. To claim the discount just mention that you are a member of the York Art Society and present your current membership card.

Please note this offer only applies to Mark's work.  The exhibition continues until August 31st.

You can see more of Mark's work here

George Stubbs 1724 to 1806

Happy 289th birthday to George Stubbs, born this day in 1724.

Born in Liverpool, Stubbs was very briefly apprenticed to a Lancashire painter but was largely self taught.  While supporting himself as a portrait painter he also studied human anatomy at York County Hospital between 1745 and 1751.   His earliest surviving work, an illustrated guide to midwifery, was published during this period (containing illustrations that are probably not safe for FaceBook).

Stubbs was most famous for his paintings of horses, including his masterpiece Whistlejacket, which is too well known to need reproducing here.  Go and Google it if it's not already imprinted in your memory.  In lieu of that, did you know he also painted Kangaroos ? 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Exhibition at St Michel le Belfrey

St Michael le Belfrey, the little church that stands gamely in the shadow of York Minster, will be hosting an Art and Pottery Exhibition on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October 2013 in support of the Never Give Up Group.

Applications are invited from artists and potters who are able to attend on both days.  The cost of entry is only £40 and there will be no commission charged on any sales made.

The event will be raising funds for the Never Give Up Group which strives to tackle the problem of homelessness within our city.
  • The exhibition runs from 10:00am to 5:00pm each day. 
  • Exhibitors will be expected to attend on both days, stay with their work and provide their own hooks and wrapping. 
  • Choose either a 4ft x 8ft board OR a 6ft table. 
  • Storage is available within the church. Paintings may be left on boards overnight, but this is at the artist's own risk.
  • Limited car access to the front of the church between 7:30am and 9:00am for offloading only.
  • The flat charge for the two days is £40.  There are no further fees or commission to pay.
  • Places are  limited to 12 artists and 10 potters. Entry is first come, first served.
  • Closing date for entries is 9th September 2013
 Applications for entry or requests for more information should be directed to Lin Taylor at

It would be good to see a strong turnout from the Society over the two days, whether as exhibitors or simply lending support to this important local cause.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Outdoor Painting in George Smith's Garden

Last weekend saw George Smith once again generously inviting members of YAS into his wonderful garden for inspiration and some al fresco painting.  Here's some photographs of the day from Luisa Holden.

As in previous years, this was a great day and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. 

The Society expresses it's heartfelt thanks to George for extending his hospitality and to Lynda Baker for her sterling efforts on the catering once again