Belper Art Group

These sub pages contain pictures of artworks exhibited at our summer exhibitions and our annual competition evenings. Just use the links below to bring up the page of interest.


Below is the list, in reverse order, of demos we have had at the club over the last few years and all have been interesting and educational. I never thought I would sit and watch someone else paint with interest but I have now have on a number of occasions and I have learnt something every time.

Steph Coley is not your convectional portrait painter and if you think of her that way you are doing her a great disservice, amongst other things she can also draw buildings with a great sense of what is their regardless of the state of the building. Please go have a look at her web site at if you don't believe me.

On Thursday evening Steph seemed to wave he charcoal pencil vaguely in the direction of the board and this likeness just leapt onto the paper. I'm sure that's not how she saw it but to us watching it just happened. This is over a few random scrapes of colour with a pallet knife. She said the white of the bare paper is difficult to approach and I definitely get that.

From there on she developed the portrait leaving the original colours of the under-painting where they made sense to her and over-painting them where they did not work. The photo above was taken about one hour into the two hour session and hopefully we will see the finished picture when it goes up on her social media, it's a cracker.

Pete Gill (Peter H Gill) is a very interesting person who has quite a small footprint on the web, in fact he is positively difficult to pin down. However, he has some very interesting things to say about his art. He is quite obsessive about edges and talks in a very good way about using found items to form a basis for a painting. He spent two hours with us last Thursday, Dec 1st 2022, and I lost all track of time.

He is also very interested in the Millstone Grit Edges of Derbyshire and is painting a series of very interesting picture based on our uplands. He is pictured beside one of these almost complete pictures and it is very very interesting.

After a break of a couple of years caused by COVID demos are back and our first is a revisit from a favourite. Steven Coates who is shown here mid-flow during his demonstration on the Science of Watercolours, now you would think that might be a bit boring but I can assure you it was not. Going from very simple principles to quite complex science in a few minutes without leaving anybody behind, is quite a feat. But to do it in an entertaining way is an achievement, especially whilst painting.

The picture above was painted in under an hour using a pallet of five colours whilst giving a running commentary. There quite a few amongst us who would like to be able to produce such a picture in four or five hours in peace and quiet. All I can say is if you paint watercolours and get the chance to go see one of his demos you won't regret it.

Kelly Herrick is quite a gal, she had us all listening and looking for two hours as she went through her way of painting, just like her it's quick and full of life. She painted on this occasion with a mixture of watercolours and acrylic inks and I am sure she will not complain if I describe her picture as quick however it was complete, full of movement and delightful.

It's not the first time I have wondered at the picture someone has produced in watercolours with the water running down the page because the paper should be much flatter. In Kelly's case she boldly added the very strong colours of acrylic inks where don't blink or you have a permanent mark that cannot be changed in the middle of your picture right or wrong!

Definitely one of the better demo's, what can I say: Kelly come again I need more time to soak in your approach. Go look at Kelly's web site it is full interesting paintings full of bright colours and very contemporary.

Saturday 5th October

So in a complete break with tradition we had a demo and workshop on a Saturday and although I don't do Oils I would have liked to see the demo. There is always something new to learn and I missed this learning experience.

However from what I have been told Saturday was well worth attending. Colin Halliday I gather paints with bold expressive strokes of his pallet knife.

The picture to the left has me really interested because he is clearly using small pick-nick table as a pallet, I'm intreaged!

The above animation was produced from a series of photographs taken at club on 18th July this year when Stephen Coates did a demo for us. I have to say that despite it being a demo he has done many times it was very interesting and probably the quickest demo I have ever seen. Still despite all that many of us would be delighted to produce such a picture in a short time.

I'll be honest I didn't know Richards Hollands work apart from one oil painting before the demo and it left me cold, so it came as a surprise to watch this painting appear. The speed and clarity of his way of working was interesting and educational. Familiarity with both the subject and the way of work clearly makes an enormous difference to the final result. Thanks Richard I will try to emulate some of your methods.

I have never sat and watched someone paint with Oils before, it's different. Something you thought was set in stone suddenly moves, smears, transforms. Susan Issac is a quiet spoken, I suspect modest, person who lit up the room with her demo. The painting although not finished is vibrant and full of interest, from a slightly run of the mill photograph to a wonderful painting in two hours.

She works from the idea, through sketches to a monochrome under painting, in what seemed like a few moments. Yes, she did cheat in this case, for the sake of the demo but wouldn't you. The sketches and the ideas were already there but the process is fluid and from her own words, periodically she does things differently. So no fixed pattern here and then into the paint. A limited pallet but lots of paint going from a course outline blocked in with bold pallet knife strokes to finer and finer detail. Still with the pallet knife until finally the deepest detail is added with the pallet knife or brush as best suits the picture.

I'm not sure I will ever paint with oils but one thing for sure I will not look on with suspicion from now on.

Continuing the series of demostrations this week was Paul Talbot-Greaves who had us all rapt as you can see by the picture above. He painted for approaching two hours and produced a finished picture, from scratch. He always starts with a new picture for every demo and sees where it goes. The picture...

the bit we all want to see is as he acknowledges different from those painted by most, with a strong feature of the wall in the foreground running into the picture. We all watched with great interest as until the very late stage it was not clear how the two halves of the picture left and right of the post would merge. However, once the shadows went in the two parts became one and the picture was complete.

Periodically, we have an artist come in and give us a demonstration the latest of these was Jenny Aitken. Jenny demoed two pictures in Acrylics in under two hours. Enthusiastic, entertaining, enlightening are all accolades I could apply to Jenny but I think the best I can say is the two pictures looked as if they glowed with the light she talks about.

I don't normally work quite this quickly she relied, with a smile that was as quick to arrive as the brushstrokes, when asked about the speed with which she produced the pictures. Having watched I'll bet it's not a lot slower, I loved it, go have a look at her pictures.

Catherine Inglis Fine Artist definite deserves that accolade. Within a few moments of starting she had a likeness for the Hare down and was starting to tell us all about how she works. By the end of the two hours we were all laughing and full of admiration for a great artist. I can only describe her as down to earth and wonderful.

Dave Woolass came in a little while ago and gave us a fascinating demonstration of “Watercolours”. Interestingly his definition of watercolour is any paint that can be worked in the same way as watercolours with water. So it would include the transparent Acrylic Inks and Paints.

Considering the way he works with thin layers and lots of water it is remarkable that produced the dolphin picture in about two hours. He also said despite the fact that he often paints the same pictrue again this was the first time he had done this painting. A very interesting man and demonstration.

Periodically, we have an artist come in and give us a demonstration and a recent visitor was Les Darlow who came in and gave us a fascinating demonstration of Pastels. Personally I don't get on with pastels however to see someone produce such vibrant and instantly lovable pictures with a few deft strokes was a revelation, I shall have to try again!

Finnally, thanks to all our members old and new who have consented to let us publish there pictures here, warts and all, so that you can get an idea of the open way we operate.

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