PIRBRIGHT ART CLUB was started in 1999 by art tutor Maggie Read, as a way of continuing art sessions for her students during the long breaks between Adult Education terms. Since then, it has developed into a thriving and successful club with a reputation for excellence in the presentation and quality of work on show at its exhibitions. Some of the founder members are still with us but we also have had many new members attracted by our website, through Maggie's classes or by word of mouth, joining us over the years. We now have four groups - each meeting once a month for drawing and painting sessions.

Tuesday Group currently has some spaces. All other groups are full. Anyone interested in joining, please contact Maggie Read by email.

Club News

New date for the "Railings' Exhibition"! We've decided to change the date for the summer outdoor exhibition to June 15th, to coincide with the Pirbright Village Dragon Fair! The special "theme" for our members is - of course - dragons! The best dragon photo will win a prize!

 

Tuesday and Thursday Watercolour Plus! groups are currently re-enrolling and there may be one or two places available on each - members of other Pirbright Art Club groups will be given first option on these!

 

An updated list of Club Meetings for Summer 2019, as well as other important Club dates, can be viewed here.

 

New member, Louise Rowe, currently has one of her exquisite watercolours exhibited at the Mall Galleries! View her painting, and details of the exhibition, via this link. The exhibition finishes on 18th April, so only one more week to see the exhibition!

Louise is going to join our Thursday Watercolour Plus! group from May and we welcome her back to Pirbright Art Club after a few years' break. She used to attend one of Maggie's regular watercolour classes at Woking Adult Learning centre and has also exhibited with Woking Art Society, where she won the Public Vote last year at the Lightbox.

 

Member David Harmer is running a solo watercolour exhibition at the Guildford Institute from April 23rd until May 11th. See further information via this link.

 

The Pirbright Art Club Christmas Social was held on Thursday 31st January, 2019 at The Fox, Fox Corner. Despite the weather (snow and sleet!) there was a great turn-out of members and an excellent time was had by all. During the evening, Maggie Read presented the Trophy for the Hilary Blakey award for Artist of the Year to Nina Klein. In presenting the Trophy, Maggie said that "Nina had a painting accepted for the Royal Society of British Artists' Exhibition at The Mall Galleries, in the Spring, had taken part in Surrey Artists Open Studios in June, and had considerable success with selling her art at Woking Art Society as well as at Pirbright Art Club exhibitions. Nina has a unique style and has more than deserved to win our trophy for 2018! She also came second in our Public Vote for Favourite Picture, in our Annual Exhibition, with her painting "Square Trees" Nina is shown below receiving the Trophy from Maggie Read. 

Maggie also announced that the winner of the public vote for Favourite Picture during last December's Exhibition was Margaret McQuillan for her pastel painting "The Wolf". Margaret is show below with her winning painting.

 


The 2018 Annual Exhibition took place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December at Lord Pirbright's Hall. The weekend was a very successful one for the Club, attracting many visitors and resulting in some healthy sales figures. Many framed pictures, unframed folios and cards were sold over the weekend - despite reports of low sales at other local art exhibitions in 2018. The Craft Fair and Cafe, in the adjacent Clubroom, also did well. The photos below show different aspects of the Exhibition, including the Craft Fair.

We are now the proud owners of over 20 exhibition screens which were used for the first time at our 2018 Annual Exhibition. These screens were previously owned by another Art Society and we had sufficient funds to buy them. Our exhibition is renowned for its professionalism and these screens certainly further enhanced our displays.

Despite a successful exhibition, there is always the opportunity to improve future exhibitions. Some of the suggestions from members (see below) were discussed at our recent Exhibition Volunteers Committee meeting and we have made some changes for the 2019 Annual Exhibition to make sure this event continues to thrive :

Suggestion Action Decided
An earlier date for the Exhibition, e.g. late November Unfortunately the Hall is booked up well in advance so the earliest dates we could reserve were 30th November / December 1st
Reducing the length of time of the Private View The Exhibition should be open to the public from 10:30am on Saturday, to maximise sales, so perhaps the first half-hour could be for invited guests only (from 10:00am) and we could incorporate a "Meet the Artists" hour into the morning, with mince-pies and mulled wine from 11:00. The event could be opened by a local celebrity or by someone from the Parish Council
Doing away with the Private View morning, so that the public can enter earlier on the Saturday See above
Changing the Craft Fair, e.g. having a children's card-making table and stalls for art and craft, e.g. sculpture, ceramics, framing, etc. The Good-as-New Art Materials stall is a real success but we are considering changing the Craft Fair this year and having a Black Friday event in the Clubroom so that members can sell their unsold paintings from previous years at lower prices or even to the highest bidders (with reserve prices in place, of course)! We could have a childrens' craft area too, perhaps ...

 

Many of our members also belong to Woking Art Society, which runs a programme of demonstrations by professional artists on the first Saturday of each month. Woking's website says that they are "a friendly society for everyone who's interested in art". Further information can be found here.

One of our members, Ingrid Skoglund is now also Exhibitions Secretary for Guildford Art Society. Ingrid has made some great progress with this role and has just run the first Spring Exhibition at the new venue - Guildford Cricket Pavilion. Congratulations to her and all who sold at this great new location.

 

In July, Maggie was one of around 50 artists who took part in the Landscape Artist of the Year competition at Inverary, on Loch Fyne. Although this great opportunity was not one to be missed and was enjoyed by all the artists - Maggie says : "After a week of glorious weather, the day we painted was wet and misty - there was almost an entire white-out over the Loch and continuous rain made painting a real challenge!" Fortunately she had been in the area for a few days already and had made sketches and taken photos of the beautiful scenery : "I decided to paint what I had seen of the reflections in the Loch and the wonderful colours of the mountains, which I had been seeing for the previous few days!" This episode was screened on Tuesday October 30th and repeated on Wednesday 31st (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.


Dates of Maggie Read's next Cornwall holiday at Bodrugan Barton - 19th to 26th July, 2019 - places now available.

 

Maggie Read ran a number of Painting Days last Summer. They included a lovely private house in Woking, Brookwood Cemetry and Pyrford Lock.

 

We had one of the best displays yet of members' work at last year's Railings Exhibition on Saturday July 28th. Despite blustery winds - the day stayed dry and many visitors came to see our exhibition, which is traditionally held in conjunction with the Pirbright Flower Show. Sales weren't great but that is not the only point to organising and staging an art exhibition - as one member put it "it gives club members a focus for the Summer". Thanks to everyone who took part and to our visitors.

Members David Drury, Ingrid Skoglund and Maggie Read exhibited with the Guildford Art Society in their Autumn Exhibition during November at the Guildford House Gallery. Maggie, Ingrid and David also exhibited at Denbies Wine Estate Gallery as part of the Village Artists from 10th to 23rd December. 

Maggie Read and Stephen Jones exhibited at the QuExhibition event held at Quex Park, Birchington in Kent during December. The paintings on display were 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.

Pirbright Art Club had a busy stall at last year's Village Duck Fair - the latest name for Pirbright's annual Summer fete - on Saturday June 16th. Members' original paintings, framed and unframed, plus prints were for sale, and several members sold cards. This was our first exhibition of 2018. For further, see our Exhibitions page.

In March, member Nina Klein had one of her paintings accepted by the Royal Society of British Artists for their Annual Exhibition at the Mall Gallery held during March 2018. The painting, shown right, is titled "Dark, Dark Wood" and is in Watercolour and Acrylic Inks. Further details of the selection process which Nina had to undergo and her comments on the process can be found in the Members' News section.

Nina Klein also had great success in Woking Art Club's outdoor Summer exhibition in Wolsey Walk, Woking selling many of her small framed originals.

A new Pirbright Art Club group opened in May 2018! Called "Thursday Watercolour Plus! Group", it meets monthly on the 2nd Thursday of each month (except August and December). With a maximum of 26 members, the emphasis is on watercolour media and techniques but this does not rule out other media and members may work on their own projects if they prefer. Membership numbers have now reached almost 90, across the 4 Art Club groups. 


The Hilary Blakey Artist of the Year Award 2017 was won by Ingrid
Skoglund. The new trophy was  presented to Ingrid at a reception held at The Fox pub in Worplesdon. Hilary was a local resident and former art club member who passed away in early 2016 and her partner Steve gave the award, after a touching introductory speech. Neighbours, as well as Pirbright Art Club members, were there to see the presentation. Ingrid was a very deserving winner of this new award, as she has  really pushed the boundaries of her talents this past year, experimenting with new techniques which combine acrylics with oil and other media. She has also exhibited widely and won the prize for the Best Contemporary Painting at Guildford Art Society's Autumn exhibition.

During February 2017, a special workshop took place at Lord Pirbright's Hall led by the artist Jim Power (full member of the Society of Equestrian Artists since 2001). Jim gave us an informative demonstration about the proportions of the horse with lots of practical advice and tips. This was followed by a  successful practical session on drawing horses, both standing still and in action! There were 27 members present and they all enjoyed trying Jim's techniques. Below are some examples of Jim's lovely paintings. Members drawings from the workshop are featured under Members News.