Autumn Term 2016

September 29th 2016

Pete Monaghan - Mixed Media Demonstration

(credit for text: “Jewel Glass” via CAS Facebook Page)

After a long summer break, CAS meetings resumed this evening with an excellent mixed media demonstration by widely exhibited and highly acclaimed artist, Pete Monaghan. 

Room 9 was bursting at the seams, with both members and visitors, all eager to see Pete in action.

Over the course of the evening he worked on several collage pieces, three featuring his favoured subject of buildings, but with 
the fourth, he was persuaded by the audience to step outside his comfort zone and tackle a seaside scene complete with boat: Caffe Nero wouldbe delighted to see one of their humble coffee cups doubling as the vessel!

It was fascinating to see Pete's pictures take shape, with thoughtful application of colour and simple materials like corrugated card - and tea! As he said himself, he was not after a 'chocolate box' representation of the buildings he had sketched on location, but wanted to portray them as having 'grown' out of the landscape.

What was especially reassuring for the amateur artists present was to hear a professional say that he was not at all sure where some of his work was going, and that often pieces have to be left until the dilemma of where to take them is resolved. This brings hope to us all!

Our thanks go to Pete for such an enjoyable evening and for getting the society's new programme off to such a great start.

       Here are some of the works in progress:



October 6th 2016

Brian Shambler - Ink demonstration and Workshop

Brian Shambler treated CAS members to an interesting line and wash demonstration. Despite comprehensive instructions from Brian prior to the event, there were a few attendees who had omitted to bring some of the required items. Nevertheless, there was ample time to make alternative arrangements as Brian spent the first part of the evening demonstrating the basic techique of applying ink using his own customised drawing tool;

Brian has devised his own novel 'pen' from a sharpened matchstick inserted into a bamboo stick which when dipped in ink, can be used to obtain lines of differing thicknesses. He then progressed to appying washes of watercolour. This effective technique could be seen in the finished sketches he brought along.


After the mid evening interval, members tried their hand at using the bamboo pen to outline a thatched Merthyr Mawr cottage, mostly with great success. The more advanced among us then went on to apply the first sections of watercolour wash to their drawing (even though one or two needed help in the use of a "Stanley" names, but they know who they are!).

October 13th

Sheila Bryant - Portraiture in Charcoal


Once again another excellent attendance for a Thursday evening meeting: Members and guests welcomed Sheila Bryant who had travelled from Cheltenham especially for this event.

Sheila explained that she has been an artist since childhood, even before her formal degree training. Sheila gave a demonstration of portrature using charcoal, although being more accustomed to working with smaller groups in workshops, or on individual pieces in her studio, Sheila admitted to being rather apprehensive initially.

David kindly volunteered as the model for the evening, and Sheila began to work in what seemed to be nothing more than vague clouds of light and dark. Gradually and quietly, features began to emerge from the shadows on the paper, and the portrait took on some form. For the majority of the time, Sheila rubbed and worked the compressed charcoal (£2.99 per pack from the Range….) onto the cartiridge paper without using any linear marks at all. Areas requiring lightening were created using either paper tissues or a hard plastic rubber.


As the work evolved further, the model’s character really appeared. The audience had been held spellbound for the duration of the evening, but unfortunately time ran out and we had to vacate the room in order for the Old Hall to be closed for the night. Many in the audience felt they had had one of the most enjoyable evenings ever. Sheila said that she was not satisfied with the completion of the portrait, but the audience were nevertheless thoroughly impressed with the outcome. David, who had of course been unable to watch the work in progress, was lucky enough to be presented with his protrait. No doubt he and his family will enjoy it for years to come.


Several members present asked Sheila if she would return to Cowbridge to run a workshop. Discussions took place with Sheila after the meeting, and it is highly likely that we will see Sheila Bryant return to Cowbridge by popular demand in the future….watch this space! (or rather the "News" section...)

October 20th 2016

Graham Hadlow -

Demonstration in Watercolour

A full audience attended the return of Graham Hadlow to Cowbridge, back by popular demand as one of Cowbridge Art Society's regular guests. Once again, he delighted the audience with a masterclass of watercolour painting.

Graham took us from the basic preparation he undertakes for his work, through the equipment and materials used; He extolled the virtues of Arches (NOT) paper and brushes by Rosemary & Co. as he demonstrated his artistry.

We watched Graham paint a scene of Tenby Harbour (already sketched and masked), using photographs as a reference. He skilfully applied washes, wet-in-wet, and dry brush painting, as well a few other methods (giving tips as he went along).




At the end of the session, Graham felt that there was still some work to be done, and has promised that we shall see the result shortly after some studio work. From the painting seen already, most of the audience couldn't imagine what Graham can do to improve this piece, but we look forward to seeing the outcome.


The completed work: "The Harbour Wall, Tenby" by Graham Hadlow.

November 3rd 2016

Alison Fennell - Demonstration in Watercolour (Floral Painting)


Alison Fennell, having already given a well-received demonstration earlier this year, kindly stepped with short notice in response to the last minute withdrawal of the scheduled demonstrator. Despite the timescale, she was fully prepared for the evening, and gave an enthralling and masterly display of watercolour techniques in painting flowers.

Another fan of Arches paper (stretched on board), Alison began with a lightly pencilled drawing of gladioli, then applied a light wash using wet-in-wet technique. Once dry, she used a controlled wet-in-wet method of completing the individual petals using just two colours (a red and a violet), and with deft flourishes of a "thirsty" flat brush, the floral highlights were brought to life. Although it looked very easy and simple, as any watercolour painter will know it takes great skill to create such realistic and natural forms in such vibrant colour.


November 10th 2016

Roger Pinkham - Illustrated Presentation "British Surrealists"

Roger Pinkham, formerly Curator at the V&A museum, came to educate us on the topic of British Surrealists. Whilst most of us were aware of the Surrealist movement, few present had much previous knowledge of British exponents of Surrealist art. The informative lecture covered painters and sculptures beginning with a discussion of works by the British Surrealist Group who held the international Surrealist exhibition in London in 1936. Many of Roger's slides depicted works that are no longer available, and he elaborated on the principles of Freudian ideas and pursuit of sub-concious ideas that drove the Surrealists to their individual and expressive works.

For an example of one highlighted work by Ceri Richards (not published here for reasons of copyright), follow this link.

December 1st 2016

Frank Collict - Demonstration of Palette Knife Techniques in Oil Painting

Hardy CAS members braved last night's fog to watch Frank Collict's absorbing palette knife with oils demonstration.

Frank began his career as a wildlife illustrator where meticulous detail was required; latterly however he has moved towards a much freer way of working, using the palette knife to apply thick layers of paint.

Starting with a roughed out outline of his landscape composition painted onto primed hardboard, Frank applied the oils from the sky down in a bold but purposeful way, explaining as he went along each stage of the work.? He stressed the importance of colour mixing on his palette before applying the paint to ensure the correct shade was achieved, but he also was happy on occasions to blend colours on the canvas and embrace any 'happy accidents' which occurred.? Once the base layer of paint has been applied, Frank used a smaller knife to add details such as trees, hedges and some sheep to the landscape. Close up, he explained that the painting was almost abstract in sections and it is only by moving back from the work that the eye and brain put the details together to form the overall image.?

Members who attended thoroughly enjoyed the evening, learning much from what they had seen. Our especial thanks go to Frank for stepping in to demonstrate at such short notice, and we hope to welcome him back in the future.




December 8th 2016

Richard O'Connell - Life Drawing Workshop and Presentation

Richard made a welcome return for this popular session. On this occasion he overcame initial technical challenges from his IT support, and a novice model who really enjoyed the evening and excelled at the suggested poses.

Richard commenced proceedings with an introduction, using some of his own work and examples from published works, followed by a demonstration of drawing from life, with emphasis in capturing posture using a vertical "centre" line. A series of short poses allowed the class to "warm up", before a longer pose after the break. He concluded the evening with a slideshow of classical and contemporary works relevant to the theme of the evening.