Since March 2020 we have tried to run a programme with a range of activities which members can join depending on their interests and circumstances paying careful attention to safe practice. We try to keep this website up to date but events can change at short notice.

During lockdown all our activities except those on Zoom and the new monthly theme have had to be suspended. We will endeavour to reinstate them, as and if regulations permit later this year.

Keeping in touch

As events and regulations change rapidly, the society will email members when activities will resume or change. Please read your emails.

Winter Programme (September 2020 onwards)

As the Village Hall was closed, we met in the Glebelands Centre on Thursday afternoons, 2pm to 4pm, during September and October. The guidelines meant we were restricted to a maximum of 6 members at each session. Members who wished to attend were contacted on a rolling basis which allows attendance every 3-4 weeks. We hoped to hold a trial session in December in Ferring Village Hall. But this did not prove possible.

We will resume indoor sessions when premises and regulations permit. Safety has been and will remain the societey's highest priority.

The society ran a monthly competitions for members. Entry was restricted to members of the society. There were token prizes.

Every year the society has a series of monthly themes that run though out the year. See the table below, members are still invited to follow them.

To replace the indoor sessions the Society is now running twice monthly Zoom sessions open to members. There is an activity, a chance to share work and ideas, and simply a chance to chat, albeit one at a time. January's activities are member's portraits and a still life. Members have been asked to create art based on the title "on the beach" and submit to the website. It will be curated and displayed in February. Sorry, this is members only, and they will be kept updated by email.

Date Subject
September 1: Self-portrait/portrait, hands, feet. Hands in different positions, make study sheet. Pastel/pen and ink
2: Weaving and platting, instructional drawings. Black and white plus one colour
October 1: Pots and vases, Composition, shadows. Imagine a family with characters. Acrylic, pastel, wax crayon (and resist)
2: Wooden mannequins, dolls, soft toys. Design action setting. Thick and thin lines to create depth.
November 1: Shells, driftwood, netting. Fill the page/close ups magnified
2: Interior with person (mirror if alone). Clear light source, shadows
December 1: Fruit/veg against dark/black ground. Highlights, sheen etc.
January 1: Washing up/washing, still-life. Several designs before final one.
2: Leaded window design with fabulous animals and heraldry.
February 1: View of the garden through window. Especially snow/weather.
2: Vintage camera(s), or old machine, typewriter etc. Pencil/pastel
March 1: Winter trees. Preferably from life sketches.
2: Scare crows/masks composition. Saturated colours.
April 1: Blossom time. Different approach. Let it run & splash and enjoy, just a little detail where it counts.
2: Copy rich ornamental fabrics. Wet in wet/splatter/dry brush/pen + coloured inks, any mixed media.

Work out still life in your own style first, then for a challenge, in the style of inspiring artist, Paul Cezanne, George Braque, Henry Matisse, Gris Juan and others of choice.

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Outdoor Programme

This ran Wednesday mornings, with information on locations provided by our organiser, Jenny, to all those members wishing to attend. Social distancing rules, of course, applied.

Jenny maintained the programme until the end of October - weather permitting - and members could attend either/both outdoor and indoor events.

We hope to restart again some time towards the end of Spring 2021. This will depend on the climate and the state of the Nation's health, and a fair degree of optimism.

See above for our current indoor programme!

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Demonstration Meetings (all on Zoom) 2020 and 2021

Demos are free for members and we welcome non-members for a suggested contribution of £5


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Our latest demonstration

Portrait in Oils with Rob Wareing, 27 March 2021 (Zoom)

Rob and his wife Elaine were self-isolating, so a “virtual” model had to be used. Meet The Pensioner, a portrait Rob had painted previously from a live model:

As we were limited to 2 hours, Rob intended to paint a head and shoulders version. He had prepared a stretched canvas by priming it with acrylic primer and a little orange and blue acrylic paint added to produce an off-white surface to work on. He started by using a Nitram Charcoal pencil to complete a careful sketch. He took around 20 minutes being careful to establish the angles. The face was divided into thirds and the focus was on big bold shapes. Rob said he pays a lot of attention to eyes and the nose, particularly the length of the nose.

Once satisfied with the sketch, Rob started to block in colour, starting with a dark, mixed from French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. He deliberately used a brush that was “a little too big” because it made his painting looser. At this stage the paint was thinned with a little white spirit. We were warned the painting would initially look quite messy. Other colours were created by introducing white, more burnt sienna,as well as a touch of alizarin crimson. Rob stressed that at this stage the important thing was the tonal value, rather than the exact colour. He had two lots of white on the palette to ensure there was always a clean white available.

Approaching the break, after approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, Rob started to work on the highlights adding cadmium yellow pale to the white and a touch of alizarin crimson if he wanted to make it cooler. Using a smaller/softer brush he returned to his original dark mix to recover some of the drawing. However, he stressed that it was important to avoid too much detail, always looking for tones.

After the break Rob started to use paint without any thinners. In his words he tried to make every brush stroke count. He stood back from the painting a great deal, deciding which area needed attention next. It was apparent that Rob was still looking very carefully at the model and measuring distances and angles as he worked.

He shared with us that when working with a live model he makes many sketches in a variety of poses, until settling on the final pose to use. In his words “the model gives you so many ideas”.

He often uses a hand-held mirror to look at a reflection of the painting to help decide what needs more attention. The final tip he shared with us was the use of a wooden walking stick to rest your hand on when working over wet areas of the painting. It is easy to hook over the canvas, and much harder to loose track of in the studio.

Despite the rather unusual circumstances the lack of a live model was not really noticeable. Elaine did an excellent job of changing the camera angle and viewpoint to make sure we could see what was going on.

Click here to see some of our previous demonstrations!

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Location of Ferring Village Hall

Address: Ferring Street, Ferring, West Sussex, BN12 5JP


Click here to see this on Google Maps!

Map to Ferring Village Hall

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