Sunday, 20 December 2015

Merry Christmas from York Art Society

Merry Christmas and a happy & prosperous 2016 to all members and friends of York Art Society

Call of the Light
Julie Lightburn

Once again thanks to Julie Lightburn for providing this year's Christmas picture - a stunning international urban landscape.

Julie also provided a short commentary on the creative process behind the image

"I used the “Paint my Photograph” website to look for inspiration for my 2015 Christmas card. I found a striking photograph of an avenue of trees by Moscow photographer Viacheslav and immediately wanted to paint it ... with a few additions.  The distant ‘Cathedral’ is in fact the chapel at the National Trust property, Clumber Park, while the street lights are a local touch – Catherine’s lamp, at Holy Trinity Church, Stockton-on-the-Forest."

Self Help Group Meetings 2016

Although there's still Christmas and Hogmanay to get through as I write, we're already looking forward to next year with dates for the first Self Help Group meetings.

As announced at the December demo, these will be held at St Andrew's Church Hall, Bishopsthorpe on the following dates

Saturday 23rd January      10.00 AM to 4.00 PM

Saturday 19th March   10.00 AM to 4.00 PM   

A small charge of £6 is made to cover hire of the premises.  Please bring along your preferred materials and a packed lunch (unless you're on a post-Christmas diet)

If you've not been to a session previously, you can read about previous Self help events elsewhere on this blog.  (Try typing "Self Help" in the search box at the top left of your screen.)

St Leonard's Exhibition 2016

We're pleased to announce that we'll be holding a short exhibition at the St Leonard's Hospice shop in Heworth during January 2016.  This is the third time we've exhibited at this venue in January and hopefully it will prove as successful and enjoyable as the previous two.

All members are welcome to participate.  Not many rules to observe - but please read the following carefully and adhere to the instructions for handing in and collecting your work
  • The Exhibition will run from Friday 15th January to Saturday 30th January
  • Handing in will be on Friday 15th January between 3:00 pm & 5:00 pm only
  • The preview is Friday evening between 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm
  • Unsold pictures can be collected on Sat 30th Jan between 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm only.
We suggest members bring along 2 pictures each.  We will do our best to hang as many as we can,but there is limited space.  You may also bring a few prints or unframed work but please note that cards cannot be sold at this event.

You can find the shop at 
1 Heworth Village
YO31 1AE

Opening hours  Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

20% of the sale will be donated to the charity.  

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care and support for local people with life threatening illnesses.  Their assistance is free of charge to patients and their families but not free to provide, and the charity relies heavily on the generosity of the public to help raise the £4.5 million it costs each year to run St Leonard’s Hospice.  

St Leonard’s Hospice currently has 11 shops situated in and around the area served by St Leonard's Hospice. These are staffed by a paid manager and a team of volunteers.  All money raised from the shops goes directly to the care of patients and their families.

You can read about the Hospice and the care they provide here.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Gillygate Pop-Up Gallery

The Four-Six Art Live exhibition continues at Gillygate until next Thursday, 3rd December. The Gallery is next door to Cafe No.8, Gillygate (just round the corner from the City Art Gallery).

Shop front of the pop-up gallery, Gillygate
(next to Cafe No 8)

This weekend Julie Lightburn will be painting in the gallery from 10am - 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Walking to Holy Trinity, August 2015

Julie in the pop-up Gallery

Forest Fields, August 2015
Pat Thompson with oil painting

Opening times next week are 11am - 3pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Caroline Lewis will be working in the gallery each of those afternoons.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Self Help Group in December

The last Self Help Meeting of this year takes place on Saturday 5th. December.

This is at the usual venue of St. Andrews Church Hall, Bishopthorpe

Cost for the day is £6 to cover hire of the venue.  Tea & coffee will be provided but think about bringing a packed lunch.

Four-Six Art Live

YAS artists Caroline Lewis, Pat Thompson and Julie Lightburn will be exhibiting their work in the Gillygate Pop-Up Gallery from 21st November to 3rd December. The shop will be open from 11am to 3pm – longer at weekends (and during the week if enough people visit!) but closed on Wednesdays.

They’re being joined by Fiona Calder and Dave Atkin. Fiona is a floral artist who creates stunning prints by combining intricate illustrations of flowers and foliage against digital art backdrops. And as a complete contrast, Dave is a green wood craftsman and wood carver, creating mythical green men carvings, bespoke carved boxes and fettled spoons.

Yesterday was their first day in the Gallery and seemed to go well with a steady trickle of visitors on a bright but freezing cold Saturday.

Dave spoon whittling
Dave Atkin was in the Gallery whittling spoons and Caroline Lewis was working on her pastel commission. 

Commission in progress
We all love Fiona Calder’s stunning flower pictures!

Fiona and her stunning flowers

Julie's corner of the Gallery
Pat Thompson will be in Gallery during the coming week.  Pat will be doing an oil painting demo from 1 – 2pm on Mon,Tue, Thur and Friday.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

War Is Over (If You Want It)

97 years ago today, the guns fell silent in France.

But not for long.

Each succeeding generation has had to face their own struggles and sacrifice.

Today even the act of remembrance is frequently marred by political point scoring from career politicians and extremists on each end of the political spectrum.

On this Remembrance Day, let's simply be thankful for peace (such as it is) and freedom (of a sort) and be mindful of the cost that was paid by millions down across the centuries.

(illustrations are taken from Charlie's War by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun, published by Titan Books)

Monday, 9 November 2015

The Guild of Railway Artists

As York is historically a railway town, hopefully some of our members found time to pop into the recently concluded exhibition by The Guild of Railway Artists at the National Rail Museum on Leeman Road.

If that caught your eye, you may be interested to check out their own site at for more fine examples of industrial art.

They've also got a thriving FaceBook page at this link The-Guild-of-Railway-Artists

November Demonstration

This month's practical demonstration is a portrait in oils by artist Mike Skidmore.

Although pursuing a varied career, Mike has had a lifelong interest in art. His influences and interest range from the classical masters through the Pre-Rhapaelites to Hopper and Freud. He's now based in the Cotswolds where he takes commissions and offers workshops in traditional oil techniques.

You can read more about Mike and see samples of his work at his own site. mikeskidmoreonline

The demonstration starts at the usual time of 2:00pm at Christ Church Hall on Stockton Lane.   Entry is free for all members.  Guests are welcome for a £5 cover charge.

Sunday, 8 November 2015


Just two weeks from today, Planet South Bank presents Craft-y-Crawl on Sunday 22nd November 11am - 3 pm in the South Bank area of York.  Take a leisurely stroll around houses in the area which will be displaying and selling all sorts of interesting handmade art and craft.

If you wish to participate as a maker, contact Pie 07761 642160 or Leah 07536 030550.  The  deadline to sign up is 12th November (this coming Thursday)

Maps will be available from Sunday 15th November These can be picked up at Sainsbury's on the corner of Bishopthorpe and Scarcroft Road, or directly from Pie or Leah.

You can also follow the event on FaceBook at this link:

York Makers Christmas Fairs

As we enter (another) festive season, there are a number of arts and crafts themed events scheduled for the city and surrounding areas.

Lin Taylor has drawn our attention to two that are coming up toward the end of the month.

Lin will be displaying her own work, including her popular range of birds painted on feathers at the  Dec 5th show at Clements Hall.

Pop over to for more news on both events.

Wrapping Up the 202nd

This year's Autumn exhibition at the DeGrey Rooms came to a close last Sunday.

Once again the week long event seemed to be popular with members and we had a steady stream of visitors, despite the first signs of Winter deterring footfall for a few days.

Although the volume of sales was lower than in previous years, the average value of the art sold rose significantly.  We've noticed a continual trade-off between volume and value over the years - all aesthetics aside, the price of art in York seems truly elastic.

Congratulations to Susan Holliday for winning Selector's Choice with 'Hint of Blue' - which she could have sold several times over.

We'd like to extend our appreciations to Phil Reynolds for his sterling performance as selector.  We're also extremely grateful to Jonathan Cowap of Radio York for opening our Preview Night in fine style. And thank you again to our gracious hosts at the De Grey Rooms.   

The Committee is immensely appreciative of everyone who came along and supported, particularly those members who served as stewards or helped to assemble and disassemble the boards.  And as always a huge thank you to Shannon Morgan for organising the week and making it look easy (when it's actually anything but!)  

One dark cloud over this event was the theft of a painting towards the end of the week. Unfortunately this is an ever present threat at public events and we would regretfully remind all members that their work is exhibited at their own risk.  The committee is looking into ways to improve security but any additional measures would inevitably bring an increased cost to the staging of the event which would have to be borne by the members. Contrary to popular belief, shoplifting is not a victimless crime.

The last week has been spent dealing with the post-exhibition admin.  Any members who sold paintings, prints or cards at the show should have received their payment by now.  If anyone thinks they are still owed something, please contact a member of the committee in the first instance and we will investigate.

A reminder that the York At Society bags that were on sale at the  show will also be available at the upcoming demonstrations at Christ Church Hall. 

A bargain at only £5  (wine not included)
The committee is still considering plans for our 2016 exhibitions.  News will be posted here and on the  website closer to the time.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

202nd Exhibition

A reminder (as if you really need one) that our autumn exhibition opens next week at the DeGrey Rooms in the heart of York.

The official opening and preview is between 7:00 pm and  9:00 pm on the evening of Monday 26th October.  All members and their guests are welcome.

The exhibition is open to the public daily from 10:00 am on Tuesday 27th October and continues through to Sunday 1st November.

Work should be handed in on Monday 26th October between 9:00 am and 11:00 am.  The exhibition will then be assembled in time for the Preview night.  Unsold pieces must be collected between 4:00pm and 5:00pm on Sunday 1st November.

All members are reminded that these times must be strictly adhered to and it is their responsibility to make arrangements with a friend or colleague to cover if they cannot attend in person during these slots.

Alongside the original works for sale in the main exhibition, there will be the usual selection of unframed art, prints and greetings cards.

Also new for this year are these official York Art Society bags.

The exhibition runs all week and depends on the support of all our members for it's success. So please spread the word to your friends and colleagues and drop in while you're in town.

Landscape Exhibition - now open.

A couple of week's ago we told you about the Landscape exhibition at Middletons Hotel in Skeldergate.  This features the contrasting work of 5 local artists  - Julie Lightburn, Simon Palmour, Suzanne Dekker, Adi French and Robin Grover-Jaques

Julie has now sent us some photographs from last night's preview evening.

(left to right) Julie, Simon, Suzanne, Adi & Robin 

The show has already had some nice coverage by The Press.  If you missed that edition you can catch up at this link.

The Landscape Exhibition continues until 1st November.  Open daily from 10:00am (11:00am on Sundays).  Read more about it on FaceBook

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Artists in York Open Studios 2016

You may recall that a few days ago we congratulated June Hardy and Bernadette Oliver on their selection for York Open Studios 2016.  We're now pleased to announce that Shannon Morgan, Jelena Lunge, Glynis Learmonth and Julie Lightburn will also be participating in next year's event.

Here's some recent work from Julie that was used in her YOS application.  Forest Fields will be at the upcoming Landscape Exhibition.  You can hopefully catch the other two pieces at our own 202nd Autumn Exhibition from October 26th onwards.

Daisies by the Lake III

Forest Fields
Julie Lightburn

Hidden Treasures
Julie Lightburn

Landscape - exhibition in Skeldergate

Just under three weeks to the launch of a new exhibition in Skeldergate.  Thanks to Julie Lightburn for bringing us news of this.

Landscape is a collaboration of five York based artists showcasing individual approaches to the depiction of landscape.

Venue: The Organ Factory Gallery, Middletons Hotel, Skeldergate, York, YO1 6DS

Private preview (press) evening - Friday 23rd October 2015 7-9pm
General public – Saturday 24th Oct to Sunday 1st Nov

Mon-Sat 10am to 6.30pm / Sun 11am - 4pm

Entry - free

The owner of Middleton’s Hotel, Henny Clark, has a background in art and textiles and is keen to develop a gallery space at the hotel in Skeldergate, supporting local artists. 

Our Landscape exhibition will be the first major exhibition to be held in the Organ Factory Room –we’re very excited to have been given this opportunity. 

The exhibition promises to present visitors with a stunning array of landscape art created across a range of media; painting, photography and reclaimed glass pieces; giving you the opportunity to experience landscape from a variety of artistic viewpoints.  

As well as original artwork by Suzanne Dekker, Adrienne French, Robin Grover-Jacques, Julie Lightburn and Simon Palmour, there will also be prints and greetings cards.

                                                                                 -      Julie Lightburn

Middleton's Hotel, situated close to Skeldergate Bridge

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Getting Ready for the 202nd Exhibition

Our Autumn exhibition is now less than three weeks away.

If you are intending to exhibit work, your entry form must be returned to Shannon by Wednesday 21st October.   Should you still need an entry form to complete, you can download one from here , where you can also obtain a copy of the exhibition guidelines and the latest posters and fliers.

Also a reminder that Steve Garnett will be attending the October demonstration on Saturday 10th at Christ Church Hall with a selection of frames and mounts to sell.  So if you're still putting the finishing touches to your entries, here's an opportunity to snap up some supplies.  Steve's own web site is located at this link.

The Big Draw 2015

October sees the return of The Big Draw.  There's a range of activities across the city, and indeed across the country, but here's news from June Whittaker of an event of particular interest to our members.

Once again, York Minster is pleased to host a week of Big Draw activity during the Autumn half term break (Monday October 26th – Friday October 30th inclusive).

This year’s Big Draw theme – Every Drawing Tells a Story – could hardly be more appropriate in a building whose wealth of medieval carving, stained glass and people have been telling stories for centuries!

The daily sessions will run from 10.00 until 16.00, with the last issue of materials at 15.30.

The drawing station will be in the North transept, below the Five Sisters’ Window, but participants will be free to work throughout the cathedral. There is no charge for materials or to take part, but normal admissions apply.

These sessions are open to anyone of whatever age or experience, and participants may take their drawings away with them our leave them for possible inclusion in the accompanying exhibition.

More details on the Minster's own site  York Minster Big Draw

Or check out the official site for the 2015 Big Draw.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

October Demonstration.

Our autumn demonstration schedule is now well under way.  The next presentation comes from local artist Chris Wormald and takes place next Saturday October 10th from 2:00pm.

Chris works in charcoal, pencils and mixed media, and has been a sculptor for 25 years.  Some samples of his work can be found over on art profile. Chris Wormald

Life Study
(c) Chris Wormald
Horse Sculture
(c) Chris Wormald
Saturday's demo is at the usual venue, Christ Church Hall, Stockton Lane, York.  Entry is free for members and guests are welcome for a £5 cover charge.

Easingwold and District Art Society 2015 Exhibition.

Easingwold & District Art Society are about to hold their Autumn Art Exhibition.

The Exhibition will he held over Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th October, at the Galtres Centre, Easingwold.

Further information can be found on their web site

York Open Studios 2016

Congratulations to members Bernadette Oliver and June Hardy who have both been selected as participants in next year's York Open Studios.

York Open Studios 2016 runs over the weekends of 15th, 16th & 17th and 23rd & 24th April 2016. More details of this (and previous years) can be found on their web page at the link below:

Any other members exhibiting in the 2026 event?

YAWA October Meeting

The next York Art Workers Association meeting is on Monday 5th October at 7.30 at Jacobs Well, Trinity Lane, off Micklegate in York.

Helen Walsh, Curator of ceramics for the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) at the newly refurbished York Art Gallery will be the speaker for this meeting. York Art Gallery holds one of the world's most extensive and representative collection of British studio ceramics with more than 5000 works - more information can be found at

Non members are very welcome & admission is £5.

For more details about YAWA please see

Thanks to Judith Pollock for bringing this to our attention.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Richmond Rotary Club - Third Charities Exhibition 2015

Sadie Ashton has drawn our attention to a forthcoming charity exhibition organised by Richmond Rotary Club.  This takes place between between 30th October and 25th November 2015.

Artists are invited to submit up to three works, valued in the range £50 to £400.  Space is limited this year so please be mindful of size of canvas.   Entry fee is £5 per work and a Commission of 35% will be taken.

The 35% taken from the sale price will be shared between the chosen charities.  This year the event is supporting Air Ambulance, St Teresa’s Hospice, St John’s Centre and other local charities. If any artist would like to donate a work free of charge, that would be most appreciated.

This is not a York Art Society event so please contact Richmond Rotary Club directly with any questions.  More details can be obtained by contacting Dr Norton on