Workshops get off to a flying start

What an excellent way to start our 2024 Bruton Art Society’s workshops. 

On the 7th and 8th of March, 11 members of the society took part in Melanie Deegan’s “Sculpture in Wire and Resin” course at our familiar venue of Hadspen Village Hall.

Melanie is one of our regular tutors, much admired by those members who have had the pleasure of her calm and professional

approach. Her students always produce amazing work considering they only have two days to do it in, and this year was no exception. Some participants go on to do more sculpture in wire and resin in their own time having learnt about the materials and processes from Melanie and we are very grateful that she travels from the North Somerset coast each day where she has her studio at the Watchet “East Quay” contemporary Art Centre. 

The next workshop “Basic Oil Painting Skills” by Alex Cree is now fully booked, but there are still spaces available in the other workshops planned through the year. The number of places is always limited and once they’re booked they’re booked! So have a look at the 2024 Programme and if there’s anything you fancy participating in book it whilst you can.

Whats in store for 2024

As winter turns to spring so we see Bruton Art Society slowly coming to life. Very soon our first workshop of the year, “Sculpture in Wire and Resin”, will take place under the tutelage of Melanie Deegan. Altogether there are eight workshops planned for 2024 with the introduction of 2 taster days; one on gouache and one on pastel (oil and chalk).  We are also delighted to have James Lynch doing a 2 day workshop on egg tempera painting. 

The full programme is listed in the new ‘What’s On’ calendar which can be found under ‘2024 Programme’ in the menu. This is also where to book a workshop if you want to. (There is a quick link below.)

There are also eight ‘painting days’ planned. These are free to members and will be hosted at a variety of interesting local venues including Lovington Mill, a listed grade II mill probably dating from 1086 in a lovely setting with stream and weir, the ancient almshouses at Sexeys Hospital in Bruton and the Heritage railway at Cranmore near Shepton Mallet.

Our retiring chairman, Will Vaughan has arranged a wonderful lecture in April by Jill Dunkerton, a restorer at the National Gallery in London, on the science of investigating a Renaissance painting.

Full details of all the events planned can be perused in the ‘What’s On’ section of the website.

Recent Bruton Art Society workshops held in Hadspen Village hall.

“Still life in Fabric and Mixed media” Tutor: Imogen Bittner  Imogen showed the group how to make compositions using patterned and coloured fabrics to create ‘still life’ compositions from piles of wonderful textured, decorative and multicoloured materials which she supplied. Those  with sewing machines brought and used them expertly while the rest  used glue and hand stitching.  Imogen gave excellent guidance and the group were pleasantly surprised with their results. 

“ Mixed Media Landscapes” Tutor :Amanda Bee  This was a one day workshop where Amanda, who is a well known semi -abstract landscape painter in mixed media, gave the group a very structured day encouraging them to combine mixed media in their landscapes. She demonstrated some exciting approaches using mono printing, collagraphs, charcoal and acrylics, which resulted in some excellent and brave landscapes from the group. 

“Paint like a Cubist” Talk/Workshop  This was the last workshop of 2023, which included a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a few fun exercises to help understand what Cubism was all about.  In the afternoon, the group responded brilliantly when asked to paint a ‘still life’ composition in the ‘Synthetic’ Cubist style from real life objects they had been asked to bring in, based on the theme of “Kitchenware”. The results are very exciting and all so different.




A dazzling 70th Annual Exhibition comes to a close

As the dust settles on our 70th Annual Exhibition, we can all reflect on a job very well done. The show received almost unanimous praise, but of course none of it would have happened without the effort of a lot of people, from the high quality submissions of over 150 members to the crowd of volunteers who helped to hang and man the event. Thanks are also due to our loyal sponsors and to the entire committee for months of careful planning, but one person in particular should be mentioned for her unstinting efforts (for a second year) and that is Sally Ridout, our curator.

BAS 70th Annual Exhibition 2023, Pre-selection results

If you have submitted your work for inclusion in this years exhibition, you can now check to see whether you have been successful. Go to and login to see the results.

We will receive pre-selected work at the Hall on the 12th August and a time period in which to deliver your work will be emailed to you soon, together with a reminder of the regulations regarding framing and labelling .

Information about entering work for browsers and cards will also be included. 

70th Annual exhibition

Call to all members

Less than two weeks to submit your entries to this years Annual Exhibition which celebrates the society’s 70th anniversary. The deadline is Tuesday 20th June and all entries must be made online this year. This is a great opportunity to exhibit in one of the best shows in the region this summer. Open to all BAS members, but the good news is that if you’re not a member, it’s easy to join! You will find all you need to know here…

Blackmore Vale Art Trail, 9 – 17 September

Andrea Jenkins is offering this opportunity to BAS members. It applies to all those who live or work within the area on the map but as with other art trails if artists from outside the area can find a suitable venue they are very welcome, and she can advise on possibilities, but artists would need to negotiate terms themselves.

Commitment by payment by 9th May. Full details of cost and what an artist receives for that price by contacting Andrea Jenkins.

 ‘A practical approach to Portraits’ on Wednesday 12th April at Caryford Community Hall

James Budden will be giving a Live Painting Demonstration ‘A Practical Approach to Portraits’  at Caryford Community Hall, Ansford Park, Castle Cary, BA7 7JJ 

Members Free 

Guests £5 

2.30 – 4.30pm

James is returning for what promises to be a fascinating afternoon on Wednesday next week, and will talk us through the process of painting a portrait in oils, from colour mixing and the first markson the canvas to the emerging likeness.

There will be a chance to ask questions afterwards followed by tea and biscuits!