January 30th MARIAN DELYTH Photography
Friday 30th January 2015
Our guest speaker this evening was Marian Delyth, fine art photographer and graphic designer. It was a delight to welcome Marian to speak to the group, and she was clearly pleased to be there to be able to share her work with us. Marian gave us a little potted history of her life: she was born and educated in Aberystwyth and of particular note was the fact that her art teacher was Hywel Harris, whose name of course, is well known to the Society. Marian went away to Cardiff and Birmingham to college and has been working freelance since 1982. In 2000 she decided to cut back a little on her paid work and concentrate more on the things she enjoyed, such as photography. She has exhibited widely and in the last year has had three exhibitions: the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, Bala and the National Assembly buildings in Cardiff.
The talk this evening was based around her prestigious exhibition at the National Library of Wales. This exhibition was put together by Marian to celebrate her 60th birthday last year and was a retrospective of her work over those years. Marian was influenced by her father’s interest in photography and has fond memories of seeing her first photograph developing in the dark room. From there, Marian took us on a journey through her photographs which have recorded different projects and periods in her life. Some were local to us in Aberystwyth, some from other parts of Wales and others from a time when she lived and worked in Swaziland helping young children record what was important to them. The talk given by Marian this evening demonstrated 40 years of her photography and with this she was able to tell a story of the past and present having documented people, places and events over those years.
Thank you Marian! A very interesting evening.
February 27th PETER CONDRON Artist
Our guest speaker this evening was Peter Condron – a local artist and gardener who enjoys life drawing. Pete gave us a potted history of how he came to be an artist, and although he wanted to do art at school, it wasn’t until sometime after the school years that he studied art at Coleg Ceredigion and later at the School of Art to obtain an honours degree in Fine Art.
Pete then started his talk about life drawing with a quote from Michelangelo (1475-1564) – “Let whoever may have attained so much as to have the power of drawing that he (she) holds a great treasure”.
Pete took us through a whistle-stop journey of the different movements of art and their relation to life drawing beginning with art predating the written language with cave art, hill carvings, storytelling etc. He then moved onto Greek philosophy and the way the Greeks studied the human body using models to create sculptures. The advent of Christianity led to the destruction of some of these classical sculptures, but the Renaissance returned once again to the human form. Here we had Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer.
From around 1550 paper became more widely available (something we take for granted today) and art academies began to be formed to teach students to draw.
Pete then went on to demonstrate what life drawing means to him. He talked about being able to capture the sense of the model in the moment, trying to capture the space and time of the model. He felt that it helps to have empathy with the model, to put oneself into that pose, albeit briefly to have an idea of how the body behaves.
Pete went on to show the various things to take into account when drawing from life, such as environment, hard and soft edges, lighting, negative spaces, perspective, composition, angles, movement and shadows. He showed us many of his drawings, and later paintings, demonstrating the principles above.
If you would like to have a go at life drawing Pete runs a life drawing class in the Church Hall in Taliesin on Monday mornings from 10 - 12.30 cost £7.00. Just turn up or you can email Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 27th DR LYN PARR Artist & Writer - Thinking outside the box - mixed media
April 24th NIGEL PUGH Twelve Stations of the Cross
The Society welcomed Nigel Pugh a Ceredigion Artist to the Monthly meeting on 24th April. The theme of Nigel’s talk was the Stations of the Cross. The paintings follow the broadly treated narrative through fourteen stations each of which is painted on 16” x 16” in beautiful bright colours on canvas, intended to be viewed in series or an assembled panel. They are painted in oil over an acrylic under painting with various mixed media added at stages throughout the process. Each Station corresponds to a particular incident on the journey of Christ to his death on the Cross. Nigel’s talk was warmly appreciated by all present. Nigel welcomed questions and discussion. Nigel was thanked by Robert Hughes (Chairman)
May 29th AG CAIN People, Posters & Places
It was a delight to be able to welcome Ag Cain back to speak to the Ceredigion Art Society. Ag is a local artist and calls himself a prolific painter. He spent many years working in the 60s, 70s and 80s as a freelance graphics and lettering artist in the film industry and this evening’s talk was based around his experiences over this time. He has travelled widely with his work and has been involved in major film sets – some of these he shared with us and include “Duet for One”, “Candleshoe”, “Yanks”, “Firefox”, “Maddison Avenue” and “Cutthroat Island”. Some clips of Ag’s artwork from these films can be found on Youtube. Ag shared some of the techniques used in film sets which were designed to deceive the viewer, and the viewer could never tell! He also recounted amusing anecdotes relating to household names that he has worked with.
Thanks Ag for a fascinating glimpse into the world of the film industry.
You can find more about Ag’s work at http://www.agcain.com
June 26th Critics Night TBA
September 25th VALERIANE LE BLOND Artist Painting on Wood
Ceredigion Art Society, Friday 25th September 2015Valériane Leblond entertained us with stories of her life and history as a French artist living in Wales. She speaks French, Welsh and English and uses this ability to promote her work to a wider audience. Her father is Canadian from Quebec but she lived in the Loire valley where her mother came from. She moved to wales with her Welsh partner in 2007 and was charmed by the landscapes and architecture of her new home. She mainly paints on wooden panels, as each piece is different, and unique, and has its own character. She has a large studio with plenty of space for storing the wood. When she starts a new painting, she choses a panel of wood by observing the grain, the knots and the shape to decide what to paint on it. She works mostly with acrylics and oil paints, pens and tiny brushes and needles. Her work is influenced by the green hills and sea of Cardigan Bay, its cliffs and beaches and the small whitewashed cottages with their slate roofs. She often goes for walks to provide new ideas for her work. One day she found a small piece of driftwood which had just the shape of a house with a roo fand decided to paint it. She was very happy with the result, so asked a friend to make more little cottages. These are very popular with her customers and she sells them in groups of five. She does limited print editions of her paintings in batches of only 25. All prints are professionally printed and are titled, signed and numbered. Also, each year she produces a Welsh calendar which proves to be very popular. She sells them through galleries and her online shop. Jen Jones of the Welsh quilt Centre in Lampeter saw a picture that Valériane painted featuring quilts for an exhibition in Aberystwyth, and they started to work together. Jen has an amazing collection of quilts, and she understands perfectly what Valériane is trying to do. Valériane was very generous in sharing her methods and experiences and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. She can be contacted at http://www.valeriane-leblond.eu/home.html
October 30th AISLIN KNIGHT CANCELLED - new speaker to be confirmed
November 27th Annual General Meeting and Mystery Speaker
The AGM this evening was followed by our Mystery Guest Speaker, Steve Wilson, an artist from Pembrokeshire. Steve graduated from Canterbury University and has been a self-employed artist, designer, illustrator, animator and lecturer since 1990. We were very lucky that Steve travelled on this horrible wet, windy night! The topic of Steve’s talk this evening was Cave Art in France. Steve has spent much time studying the art in various caves in France and was able to show us pictures from the Palaeolithic Age (around 12000 years before present). He encouraged us to try to imagine what it was like in the caves at that time, and to imagine walking on rough terrain in the pitch black with just an oil lamp, and the possibility of encountering other humans or animals living in the caves. There would have been no flowing air, and a pretty static temperature below ground – the caves sometimes go as far in as 2 km into the hillsides.
The most common paintings were of bison, horses, lions, but there were also woolly rhinoceros and even a stoat or weasel. It is not clear why these paintings are there, but they are highly accomplished works of art created in a time before art, created in the dark with a flickering oil lamp, to give the impression of movement. These paintings need to be seen in that light today in order to be able to appreciate them fully. It may be thought that the people of that time induced trance with hallucinogenic materials and then painted what they saw in their visions. It may be though that this is not art for art’s sake, but created for a particular reason. Was this a way of the people harnessing power? This period of art certainly endured for a long time – many thousands of years.
Steve showed photos of several pieces of cave art in different caves in France and managed to weave a story into each one, thereby bringing the paintings to life.
For more detail on Cave Art, Steve brought a section of books – listed below:
The Mind in the Cave – David Lewis-Williams
Cave Art – Jean Clottes
Cave Art – A guide to the decorated ice age caves of Europe – Paul G Bahn