PIRBRIGHT ART CLUB is 20 years old! Many of our founder members are still taking an active part in the club meetings, events and exhibitions. Started in 1999, by art tutor Maggie Read, as a way of continuing art sessions during the long breaks between Adult Education terms, it has become a thriving and successful club. We have a reputation for excellence for the quality and presentation of the work on show at our annual exhibitions.

We attract a wide range of artists, from beginners to professionals, through our website, via Maggie's art classes, workshops and demonstrations and by word-of-mouth. There are now four separate groups in the club, each meeting for drawing and painting sessions once a month. Members of all groups come together at our exhibitions, outdoor summer painting days and social events.


Pirbright Art Club will re-open for meetings in September (following latest government guidelines) with certain restrictions in place. This means some significant changes for all groups. See Meetings page for further details.


During lockdown, members could still be actively involved with the club and follow the themes for each month from home. Maggie was always available to advise or critique work via WhatsApp or by email. Members were encouraged to post their own work on our Facebook page. From May, members could access YouTube videos specially created for their own group. Each group was sent an ID code. These short films were mainly to give inspiration to members to keep going with their art. Maggie's finished demonstration pieces were sent to members as an attached jpg as well as appearing on the website later.

Maggie's Friday Morning Class, which is normally held at St. Mark's, Mayford has been running 'virtually' via WhatsApp and email. The class members post images of their latest artwork (following the week's theme) at various stages of completion, for Maggie's advice and comments. Some examples of Friday Class students' lockdown work on the themes of "Still-life" and "Portrait" in the style of the Scottish Colourists and, more recently, "garden scenes" and "shadows", are shown here (right and below). Further examples can be viewed on Maggie's website, www.maggieread.co.uk

Monthly demonstrations for each Club Group are now available on YouTube and the link for viewing these has been sent to members at or around the dates when they would normally have a meeting.


The April theme for three of our groups was "Early Morning Light". Maggie produced a series of demonstration pastel paintings based on this theme. The theme for Thursday Watercolour Plus! Group's April session was "An Interior Scene in Half-light". Maggie produced a series of demonstration paintings based on this theme. For details of both demonstrations, see Club Meetings page.

Maggie says : "We need to keep our members feeling connected and part of our artists' community - there are lots of ways we can do this until we meet up again."



Surrey Artists Open Studios, scheduled to begin the first weekend in June, has been cancelled. The organisers are hoping to reschedule the event in the Autumn.

Guildford Art Society's Spring Exhibition at Guildford Cricket Pavilion has been cancelled.

Garden Painting in Pirbright, coinciding with Pirbright Church's Plant Sale and various Pirbright village Open Gardens has been cancelled.


See member DAVID HARMER's news about his recent online sales in our Members' News section.



Pirbright Art Club produces three newsletters each year, each suitably styled by its whimsical editor, Stephen Jones. The latest edition can be downloaded here.

A special lockdown edition of the Club's Newsletter was produced by Stephen for these extraordinary times. That edition can be downloaded here. Member Carol Norris was impressed - she said, "What an excellent Newsletter and how very appropriate to title it Art in Adversity. I have to say it was a very enjoyable read and excellently produced by Stephen. Ironically the Renoir picture on page 9 is the very same picture that is hanging in our bedroom .... sadly not the original of course. Renoir has always been a favourite of mine and again it is very apt that it reminds us that dark times will pass eventually. The print has now taken on a new meaning."



Various of our Artists are exhibiting over the next few weeks and months, including Maggie Read, Nina Klein, Stephen Jones, David Drury and Ingrid Skoglund. For further information on their various exhibitions, see the Members' News page on this website.



Pirbright Art Club now has its own newly created Instagram site, managed by Ingrid Skoglund. Make sure you follow us!



Maggie Read was "Artist of the Month" for Guildford Art Society for January. See her work on GAS Instagram.



See new work from members Colin Wood (winner of the Public Vote for Favourite Picture at our Annual Exhibition) and David Hardcastle (Artist of the Year 2019) in the Members' Gallery. David Harmer has also refreshed his work on display in the Gallery.



The Club held a hugely successful 20th Annual Exhibition over the first weekend of December, 2019. This included a once-off "Black Friday" sale of unsold, previously exhibited, artwork. The exhibition was formally opened on the Saturday morning by Steve Fidgett - chairman of Pirbright Parish Council and a regular visitor to our annual exhibitions.

Our exhibition was bigger and better than ever and many new artists were exhibiting in the main display for the first time. Our entries included everything from exquisite watercolour and oil paintings but also enamels, linocuts and wonderful felt paintings and sculptures of animals.

Many sales were made both from the main exhibition (see a selection below) and the Black Friday sale, as well as numerous printed cards, prints of current paintings and unframed, mounted work. The cafe and the raffles, held on both days, were, as usual, well received by all visitors. All-in-all a very successful weekend.




Our 20th Anniversary Christmas Social, held at the Worplesdon Golf Club, in mid-December, 2019, was well attended by over 50 members and friends. The golf club did us proud with an excellent venue, superb food and first-class service.

During the event we were entertained by magician, Chris Scade, and then singer / guitarist, Dean Dyson, who serenaded us during and after our meal - a few people even ended up dancing. Everyone agreed that the Social was a great way to end our 20th Anniversary year.



David Harmer's painting (below) was painted almost a decade ago, alongside two other similar pieces. Both of the other pieces, one of Pirbright Pond and the other of Pirbright Church sold, but this painting of the Cricketers Pub never found its buyer. Nevertheless this professionally framed work was offered for sale as part of the Club's Black Friday extravaganza and sold! David says that had it not sold he was considering donating it to Woking Hospice shop, as pressure on his storage space was becoming serious!




The Club visited the Lightbox, Woking to see the latest exhibition, "Burning Bright : The Scottish Colourists". Click here to see details of this exhibition (on until Janyuary 12th) and other exhibitions at the Lightbox.



August saw the start of our "plein air" painting season - the first one taking place on the very day when severe weather warnings were put in place for the whole country - a storm was heading our way! Somehow, though, we managed to avoid any bad weather for the whole session (a light rain shower at lunchtime soon cleared away) and in fact it was still and calm with warm sunshine in our corner of Pirbright .... Older Cottage, Mill Lane. As soon as we had finished at 3 o'clock and reached home, the storm hit and it raged through the whole evening and that night!

The same wasn't true of the second of our outdoor days - at Farnham Castle on Monday 12th August. We had a nice few hours drawing and painting in the grounds until about midday, by which time the clouds had rolled over and the rain started. We quickly put up two gazebos and huddled underneath for the demonstration and struggled through till around 2pm, by which time everyone had started feeling a bit damp and chilly! We called it a day and hoped for better luck next time! More outdoor sessions are still to come before the end of August and photos will follow!

The remaining two painting days at Shere and Elm Farm were lovely and warm and all-in-all the outdoor days were enjoyed by all who took part.


Some of our members joined Maggie for a week's painting holiday in Cornwall in mid-2019. We returned to our special location near Mevagissey - Bodrugan Barton - and visited some of our old haunts as well as some stunning new painting locations. We had a fine week with no rain and some lovely sunshine, although Surrey was sweltering in 37C heat whilst we had temperatures at least 10C lower ........ much more comfortable for outdoor painting! Some scenes from the Cornwall holiday are shown below.



This year our Summer exhibition was held outside the Lord Pirbright's Hall, in conjunction with Pirbright Village Dragon Fair. The weather was "changeable" with rain showers and sunny periods meaning that we had to cover and uncover our paintings on a frequent basis. Nevertheless it was a very successful day for the Club.

Maggie Read described the "Railings" day as follows .... "We had an amazing display of dragon paintings on the outside of the railings and some very impressive paintings of other subjects hung on the inner railings. We had many visitors and sold five framed paintings altogether - not a bad result for a village fair! Congratulations to Lynn Willis, who sold two of the five - one being her lovely dragon painting! Well done, too, to Steve Wells, whose oil painting of the White Hart, Pirbright, sold to a buyer who has also commissioned another painting from him. Nina Klein sold one of her charming little paintings - congrats to her - and I sold my Lily Pond painting, so was pleased about that!". Further pictures from the exhibition are shown below

Member Teri Berry, a textile artist, kindly entered her wonderful dragon masks into the Dragon Trail, to represent our club. As shown in the below photos, they were on display at the Church during the Dragon Fair day.


See member David Hardcastle's write-up of his involvement with the East Coast Painting group and their recent holiday week in Suffolk, in our Members' News section.

In July 2018, Maggie Read took part in Sky Art  Landscape Artist of the Year competition at Inverary, on Loch Fyne, as one of the Wildcard Artists - see photos below

Maggie's painting, entitled "Loch Fyne in Mist" was sold at the Village Artist's exhibition, held at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, just before Christmas.


Maggie Read and Stephen Jones exhibited at the QuExhibition event held at Quex Park, Birchington in Kent during December. The paintings on display are all done "en plein air" at art-in-the-park days held at Quex House (home of the Powell-Cotton Museum). These days take place throughout the Summer. Further details can be found on the Quex website.