Coming up

Coming up: *** Thu 8th June: Frances Clarke: Art and wellbeing ***


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Spotlight - Connective reasons for making art, and Mandalas

This month, Spotlight shines on the meanings in mandalas and artistic wishes and ways to connect.
A mandala is a physical manifestation of gratitude
We are creators

Mandalas are usually thought of as patterns, drawings, multicoloured swirling geometric images. There are many forms. Now is a good time of year to make land mandalas: patterns on the land, on grass or soil or on rocks, made by placing colourful leaves, found petals, pieces of moss, stones.. pretty much anything natural. Placing them in patterns, typically circular patterns growing outwards as you go. It is basically like land art.

As with any art, creating a land mandala is an act of focus, and takes your mind from other things. It is this giving of yourself to the creation you are assembling and shaping, the object, and to the act, that is much of why it is a pleasure to make mandalas. A way to escape from what we may find tedious and uncreative in daily obligations and routines. Not an “escape from reality” but a shift into another reality: that of the work we are creating when we paint or sculpt or draw. And a shift into its meanings – whether we paint a sunset to convey a cosy warm feeling, or an activist piece to make viewers aware of politicians’ unfulfilled promises – or sketch about families, or sculpt about the environment.
Duck House Echos is a painting by Caroline Krieger Comings 

According to the mandala principle, a prominent feature of tantric Buddhism, all phenomena are part of one reality. Whether good or bad, happy or sad, clear or obscure, everything is interrelated and reflects a single totality.
It is particularly rewarding to make mandalas with other people – sharing that letting go, and sharing a creative process. Placing leaves or petals or stones, everyone does their thing for the collective whole. Like a social blending of different ages and wisdoms, or views and cultures. When we drop the burdens and worries, and the petty politics, and money worries or whatever it is that we think makes other people enemies…. Connectedness is stronger.
This is true in our art practice. Does anyone do art to take something away from someone else, or make them into enemies, or make them feel small? We do it for connectedness.
As with art, some people think it’s a waste of time, or an indulgent hobby. Many of us see its value. What it conveys, what it gives, and why people do it. What it shares.
Mandalas communicate less obviously. They still do. Their meanings are maybe a bit more obscure, generally. Like art, their meanings are very clear when you do them. Also like art, what a mandala means is up to you.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sale of Art Materials & Paintings by Diane Jennings

SALE OF THE CENTURY!!!  LOTS OF BARGAINS, PAINTINGS FROM JUST £5, ART MATERIALS, MAGAZINES, SLATE HEARTS WITH QUOTES ON, lots of new tubes of oil paint and loads and loads of new brushes--all at cheap prices....

COME AND SAY HELLO AND HAVE A BROWSE... at my home 52 Greenacres,Ludlow,Shropshire SY8 1LY from Friday 12th May until Sunday 28th May. Our Gala marquee will be full of bargains! I will be donating 25% of sales to the O'Connor Haematology/Cancer haematology Unit at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where my son is being treated. Some paintings are also available online - prices include P+P. Lots and lots of paintings will be sold at bargain prices. Call 01584 872013 for more details.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Silk Top Hat - New work by Lin Brown, Charles MacCarthy and others

New work by LIN BROWN, CHARLES MACCARTHY and MATTHEW WOOD on the middle floor : new exhibition as of 13th May 2017
Also the mixed work on the top floor has been transformed, featuring artists such as Bob Bates, Edward Bell, Mary Griffin, Lois Hopwood, Jenny Jones and David Stoves.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Two Exciting Art Workshops

We are proud to announce two exciting art workshops, by prominent local artists Brontë Woodruff and Rob Leckey. These are run by LAS in conjunction with Ludlow Fringe Festival, and are open to all, members and non-members alike. To book your place, please email or call 01584 873182.

Brontë Woodruff: Exploring Line and Wash with Vandyck Crystals
Tuesday 27th June, 1.30 to 4.30pm, Ludlow Women's Centre, Church St.
A lively session with painter Bronte Woodruff who will encourage you to experiment with colour and combinations of media, using her favourite van Dyck crystals as a starting point. Bring your widest brushes, a stick, plenty of colours ...  and your energy and enthusiasm! £20 (includes £5 for materials). Refreshments included.

Rob Leckey: Painting without Brushes

Wednesday 21st June 1.30 - 4.30pm, Ludlow Women's Centre, Church St.
A fun workshop with Rob Leckey ARBSA who will show how to paint in acrylics using rollers, shaped pieces of wood and old credit cards! Suitable for everyone from beginners upwards. £15 + small charge for materials on the day. Refreshments included.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Cheltenham Contemporary Art Fair

Billed as "an easy and exciting way to see forty-five of the best of Britain’s Galleries in one place, many of them rarely seen on the UK art fair circuit". Admission is free if you go tomorrow, Fri 11th May. It continues over the weekend and takes place at the racecourse.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Val Alexander & Rob Leckey at The Gateway

LAS Members Val Alexander and Rob Leckey are holding a joint exhibition of paintings at The Gateway in Shrewsbury. We wish them every success!

Dates: Tues 16 May – Fri 23 June
Venue: Gallery 3 at The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury SY1 1NB
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 am – 4.30pm
Admission: free

Here's one of Val's to whet your appetite:

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

£25 Day Course with Bronte Woodruff & Lois Hopwood

Ann Blockley Online Exhibition

Hugely admired artist Ann Blockley has launched an online exhibition and sale here. Surely art buying has never been easier. Maybe it's a concept that we should look at ourselves.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Spotlight - Revelations from a pinpoint perspective

This month, Spotlight closes one eye and takes a distorted mono-look at perspective.

In the proliferation of cameras that are so clever that you do not even need to leave the house to take pictures of cities and landscapes, the rise in the interest in capturing moments (or simply capturing the light they give) is becoming more diverse. Pinhole photography - a box with a tiny hole aperture, and photo-sensitive paper inside - captures exaggerated perspective with intriguing, monochromatic intensity.

As with philosophical perspectivism, the foreshortening in pinhole photography emphasises questions as to whether any way of seeing the world can be definitively, objectively true. Perspective...

Luz en la Piel, pinhole photography among prisoners project, 
Latin America. 

With pinhole photography, a long exposure is needed. 

With this long view, moving objects are barely captured, as if ghosts that do not exist, such as the evanescent figure near the tricycle - depending upon your personal perspective, perhaps.
Ben Peters

In a time when not much seems fixed, much seems transient and fleeting, and it is difficult to discern the marks made by those which come and go; when many people see things in black and white, and we may tend to see some things in exaggerated perspective, through viewing a small part of the world from a little box… consider the evident distortions of pinhole photography, and the ways we can capture telling images of the world around us.
Ennerdale, by Mark Tweedie

There is beauty in appreciating perspective. Our vision box does not have to be small. The pinhole light principle works with large enclosures, such as camera obscura, and can be done, as was this photograph, with travel luggage.
C.Freeman, suitcase portraits 

There are various kits to make a pinhole camera, as well as simple instructions on how to build one from household objects, such as this guide on how to make a camera from a matchbox It includes instructions on putting a small but sensitive piece of paper in a little box - instructions that may be helpful if you wish to give light a go.
Enjoy a sense of perspective, from the end of April showers, to our next blog at the end of May.
Diego López Calvín - Tower of London 

Pinhole photography also offers a perspective on the awareness of perspectives.
As a voting paper in a sealed ballot box captures one perspective, at one particular time, with starkly monochromatic results, and some stay in view while others drift off as ghosts, whatever result you get from pinhole photography is likely to be blurry. Like leadership contests, the result will foreshorten what you see in front of you. The vision you get will depict some aspects of the world as being bigger than they truly are, other aspects of our world may be covered up by those that are exaggerated, and some will fade into the distance, as a speck whose reconstruction may rely on memory and belief. 
With a pinhole camera, as with sensitive paper in a ballot box, what you get may not be what you expected. It will emphasise the effect of distortion, and that all images, in isolation, are a limited perspective. Photography can easily be taken for granted because we have such ready access to images, and look at them disposably, for just a moment. Which photograph, among those here, or just among a choice of three of them, would you frame and hang on your wall for a week? For 10 months? For at least four years? The empty jetty? The figure close to us under a tree? A prisoner's self portrait? 
Choose wisely. And remember that there is a bigger choice. What adorns your wall does not always have to be a perspective offered by others. We can make our own.

As for the joke about cameras so clever that you do not need to leave the house…

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

LAS Demonstration and Talk: Discussion "Beyond Teaching" by Minter-Kemp

LAS Demonstration and Talk: Discussion "Beyond Teaching" by Minter-Kemp
11May17, 7pm for 7:30 start, Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Bring your sketch pad.
(Claire) Minter-Kemp has been a professional artist for 20 years. She is unusually versatile and can turn her hand to sculpture and portrait painting as well as producing cards and associated products. There is an undercurrent of gentle humour running throughout her work, underscored by a technical excellence in drawing and draughtsmanship.

Calling all Artists: Church Stretton Arts Festival, open for registrations

It's that time of year again!
Registration forms for the Church Stretton Art, Crafts and Photography Exhibition 2017 are now available.  Follow this link to the information web page where you can enter online, sign up for stewarding or download the entry forms for printing and submission by post.
Paper copies are available at several outlets in Church Stretton, including Barbara's Framing, Scrappies and the Library, and at art galleries around Shropshire.
Please note...
As there is additional display space, the organisers have increased the number of craft exhibits which may be entered. Please check the entry forms and Conditions of Entry.
The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2017.

Diary Dates
Set up day: Saturday 29 July 2017 at Church Stretton School, Shrewsbury Road SY6 6EX, from 10am to 12 noon.
Opening night: Monday 31 July 2017, 7.30pm at Church Stretton School
Exhibition: Tuesday 1 August 2017 to Saturday 12 August 2017, 11am to 6pm at Church Stretton School. The opening time is extended to 7.15pm when there is an evening performance at the school.
Collection day: Sunday 13 August 2017 at Church Stretton School from 10am to 12 noon.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Melissa Hunt's Jewellery Making Courses

Jewellery maker Melissa Hunt is well known in the region, both for her jewellery design and also her teaching at Westhope College. Melissa has moved into her own, purpose-built studios in Brampton Bryan, from where she will be running a series of one- and two-day courses, as well as a weekly evening class. More details here and 2017 calendar here.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spring Exhibition Prizes and Favourites

The exhibition is over. Paintings are collected and display screens put to bed until next time.

Let's take this opportunity to thank all the artists for taking part, all the members whose hard work made it happen, the church of St.Laurence for their forbearance, and not least, Stephen Treasure of Treasure & Sons whose deft intervention saved us from a crisis.

Best in show choices and prizes were awarded as follows:

The President's choice: Mousehole Harbour by Wilfred Langford
The Mayor's choice: Chewing the Cud by Lesley Connolly (centre)
Ludlow Brewery prize: Medi Heights by Dave Tedham (left)
Castle Bookshop prize: Stokesay by Rob Leckey
Chang Thai prize: Vote Remain by Martin Dutton (right)

Apologies to Wilfred and Rob whose paintings I failed to photograph in time: if you can send me your own photos I'll add them in.

The best in show slips have all been counted and the ten most popular works are as follows:


31 George Y Loades RBSA BWS Dhustone Washing, Clee Hill watercolour
25 Wilfred Langford Mousehole Harbour pastel
19 Lesley Connolly Family Outing pastel
19 Larry Turner Laundry Room at Croft Castle watercolour
13 Margaret Oakes (Portrait) Girl in Snood conte crayon
12 Lesley Connolly Chewing the Cud pastel
12 John Willetts Plockton Highlands watercolour
11 Catherine Downes Eilean Donan Castle acrylic
11 Val Littlehales Golden Days pastel
10 Valerie Alexander RBSA BWS Boats at Dedham watercolour
10 Valerie Alexander RBSA BWS Farmhouse at Essenac watercolour
10 Wilfred Langford Rhosneigr, Anglesey pastel
10 Val Littlehales Drovers Road pastel

Congratulations to all, and thanks for helping make a successful exhibition.

Exhibition of Art by Hereford College of Arts 2nd Year Fine Art Students

Canwood Gallery is hosting an exhibition in collaboration with Hereford College of Arts featuring work by 2nd year students studying fine art. Full details available here:

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Some Pictures from Colin Ross Jack's Talk & Demo

Yes it was a week ago now! What a good talk it was by all accounts. I feel very cheated by having been unable to attend. Anne was kind enough to take some pictures though, so I'm posting those here so that anyone else who missed it can see what they missed. I understand one of the best things was Colin's great sense of humour; this always helps leave a lasting impression.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

LAS Spring Exhibition Now On at St. Laurence's, Ludlow

Well we made it! The exhibition screens are refurbished (most kindly, by Treasure & Co.) The church of St. Laurence is back to normal after parts were closed off following recent storm damage. And our exhibition is up and running, with a lovely collection of 126 original paintings and sculptures by 26 artists, plus three very full racks of original works (browsers), and of course loads of greetings cards.

The exhibition continues until 2pm on Monday 10th April, open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and ~11.30am to 5pm on Sunday. Already, 13 paintings have sold, so if you're thinking of buying anything, you should get there sooner rather than later. There are prices to suit all pockets, and credit cards can be used for purchases.

Below are some shots of the exhibition, which are no substitute for the real thing so come on down and see for yourself.

This wonderful painting, Laundry Room at Croft Castle, is by one of our newer members, Larry Turner. It's Larry's first exhibition with us, and what a good show! Let's hope there'll be more of this in the future. Sorry about the reflection of the church organ.

Animal pictures are always well represented, and sought by purchasers. This board has pictures by Lesley Connolly, Val Littlehales and Anne Priest.

Here, Catherine Downes and Samuel Bebb show off some great works.

Tom Crowe's sculpture makes a welcome variation from paintings. Do you make any three-dimensional works? Why not enter them into our next exhibition, in August?

George Loades' beatiful work Dhustone Washing, Clee Hill (top right) rightfully sold almost immediately. The others are by Rob Leckey and Val Littlehales.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Colin Ross Jack , Nocturne Pastel, a demo, Thursday from 7pm

Dear Art Society, and friends, followers and art lovers
Thursday evening brings Colin Ross Jack to give us a talk and demonstration in pastels. His subject will be a night-time scene, probably a coastal or harbour scene. If you'd like to know more about Colin, read about him here:
Colin is a talented artist with a strong following, so let's give him a good audience on Thursday. As usual, 7 for 7.30 start at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Bring a drink from the bar if you wish.
The programme about the monthly talks is here on the blog

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Spotlight - Polly Morgan, taxidermist

‘Receiver’, 2009
This month's Spotlight beams onto the feathery and furry world of Polly Morgan, taxidermist. Morgan poses animals in shapes and dioramas to make haiku-like scenes, juxtapositions, and expressions of frailty, and humour. Many of the works are emotionally akin to a cartoon, or a comic strip drawing.
Some of the works are about the struggle of life, or the lightness of being, or mortality. Others are more of a narrative about interpersonal connections, or strength, such as this regal Kingfisher lain in state.
The animals are donated, or bought. None are killed for the art. They are deceased pets, often, or animals found on roads or beaches...etc., and donated by people who find them and know of her work, and figure that she could use a dead badger or gannet or whatever it is they find after its living adventure. 
'Foundations, Remains' or 'Picking Process to Pieces'
'Foundations, Remains' is a scaffold-like architectural structure made from bones; the structural form inside animals (including us), and the part which lasts longest. The facial and fleshy parts, and the mind, that we pay attention to are shown to be like the active lifespan of a building that leaves traces, and has foundations.  We are temporary, and we are the important part around a structure made for our existence.
Morgan is based in Hackney, possibly the UK’s most vibrant area for modern art innovation.
A good introduction to her thoughts and creativity and craft is the BBC documentary in the “What do artists do all day” series:

The Independent interview, linked below, includes how she started, and her successful networking. Put very simply, Morgan was running a bar where artists networked, and she wanted a piece of taxidermy for her flat. A friend suggested she make one herself, so she got lessons, made taxidermy pieces, then got commissions with restaurants in London.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Ludlow Small Gardens Festival

This is exactly as the title implies and its focus is on gardens which are outside of the town centre, radiating around the Sandpits area. For 2017 it will be on Sunday 2nd July, for
one day only, and we are introducing a static art exhibition at Rockspring Community Centre. We invite local artists to be part of that exhibition. Traditionally, we also display sculpture in some of the open gardens so sculptors are particularly welcome. We hope to have 12 to 15 gardens open this year. There will be a 20% commission on sales. For more information please contact Diane Lyle at

Letterpress Open Day at Mostly Flat

Come and see the wonderful inky world of Mostly Flat! 
Open workshop doors, on Friday 7th April 10am - 2pm, as part of the BBC Get Creative weekend. There will be ink on the presses, with letterpress printing demos. "You might be allowed to print something if you're very nice. There may also be chocolate biscuits, if I haven't eaten them all. Take the opportunity to head on down and have a nosey and see what this letterpress printing lark is all about. If you've been considering signing up for one of my one-day workshops, here's your chance to get a free taster!"
Venue: Mostly Flat, Loudwater Studio, 16A Burway Trading Estate, Bromfield Road, Ludlow, SY8 1EN
LAS Blogger's enthusiastic recommendation on the LAS FB page:

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Art Trail - opportunity to participate

LUDLOW FRINGE is inviting artists to participate in its 2017 ART TRAIL, 17th June - 2nd July 2017. Now in its fifth year running. Artists are invited to exhibit and sell their work at a selection of venues across the beautiful and historic town of Ludlow during its lively two-week fringe festival. Artists wishing to take part are linked up with venues wishing to act as hosts. 
A map/brochure will be published showing all the locations with information about each artist involved. 3000 copies will be made widely available prior, and the event will be promoted nationally including via the main festival brochure. To find out more please email for an info pack:

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

LAS Spring Exhibition 1st to 10th April at St L's

The Exhibition poster is here.  
LAS Members are invited to the evening preview for the exhibition on Friday 31st March, 6.30 - 8.30. Do bring your friends. 
And alos, LAS members, this poster is in your email box ready to print and be displayed in windows or pinned to your coat.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Remembering JILL HOWORTH 1949 - 2016

1949 - 2016

A celebration of Jill's life
and achievements at
Ludlow Assembly Rooms
Sunday 12th March 2017
Please inform Ludlow Assembly Rooms if you wish to attend:
call the box office on 01584 878141
or email
The celebration will begin at
3.30pm Doors open
3.45pm Tributes led by David Howorth and Gareth Williams
4.45pm Tea and scones and a chance to share memories
5.45pm Screening of 'Cinema Paradiso' - a beautiful elegy to cinema, the town picture house and the love of film

There will be a further opportunity to contribute to the LAR fund in memory of Jill and plans for the fund will be announced.
The Silk Top Hat Gallery will be open from 11.00am - 3.00pm on the day, all are welcome to come and enjoy the Gallery and the latest exhibition of Simon Dorrell's work on the middle floor, while a mixed show continues on the top floor.

Exhibitions open Tuesday - Saturday 11.00 - 4.00pm
Silk Top Hat Gallery
Quality Square, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1AR
(01584 875363)

LAS Demonstration and Talk: Colin Jack, 'Nocturne in Soft Pastels'

A date for your calendar: Thursday 6th of April, 7pm.
Colin Jack will give the next LAS Demonstration and Talk, at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, 'Nocturne in Soft Pastels'
Colin Jack is a Scots born artist now living in Worcester. He paints in oils, acrylic and soft pastels, with a variety of subjects such as seascapes, landscapes, nocturnes, figures, abstracts, and more. This demo will be a nocturne in pastel, probably a harbour scene from his home town of Anstruther in Fife.

Monday, 6 March 2017

AGM photos

Margaret Oakes has been a loyal member of the society for many years, sales of her work in the exhibitions have sold well thus contributing to the funds.
She has become very fragile of late and the committee felt that she should be awarded with an honorary membership.
Next meeting is Colin Rose Jack - 'nocturne in soft pastels' a demo.