All posts by Bruton Art Society

The first workshops of the year

We have had three very enjoyable workshops recently, two in April and one in May. 

Alex Cree, painter and teacher, took us through ‘Basic Oil painting skills’ over two days on the 11th and 12th April, which revitalised some of us who are familiar with the medium and inspired those who are total beginners. We went right back to basic colour mixing, tints and tones and the effects on the eye of juxtaposed colours and among other interesting oil painting techniques, we learnt about “scumbling” from William Turner (1775 – 1851) and “tonking” from Henry Tonks (1862 – 1937) 

The artist Sarah Ball inspired us to “Play, Explore and Create in Acrylics” the following week on the 18th and 19th April. We were encouraged to interpret the landscape around us in abstracted lines and shapes and to let go of what is expected of us in our art practice and find self fulfilment and happiness in what we enjoy doing most. Sarah demonstrated many different tools to work with using in acrylics such as credit cards, sponges, rags etc and showed us how versatile acrylics can be. It was very refreshing and enlightening. I know some people were inspired to continue working on their pieces over the weekend.

The workshop on the 10th May ” Landscape painting with earth Pigments” was with Amanda Bee, a landscape painter who has recently been combining earth pigments with acrylic binder in her landscape paintings and has researched the origins and places where they are found . The ochre colours are the main earth colours ranging from yellow to orange, red and brown and we learnt that ochre has been found in archaeological sites in Africa dating back 300,000 years and in Australia back 50,000 years. We were also given the thrill of using a pigment called ‘Green Earth’ which was found to have been used by the Romans on wall paintings in Pompeii. 

Are you ready for the Annual Exhibition 2024?

With just over 3 months to go until our 71st Annual Art Exhibition at the Memorial Hall, King’s Bruton, the Committee is pleased to announce that the “Call to Artists” will open on 1st May, with the deadline of midnight, 21st June.  Members are invited to submit up to five works for this years exhibition.

You will find more information and a link to the OESS entry system in the ‘Exhibitions’ section above.

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…