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Articles from the society relating to art events and

news, past and present...

Get creative in January

with our

...January Sketching challenge...

Let’s start January off with an inspirational bang! … We would Love you to join us for our January Sketching challenge ...

Sketching can be inspiring, helpful, confidence building, empowering, relaxing & just plain fun. Drawing is also a great way to reconnect with your inner creative spark. We do so hope that this little challenge will be a lovely creative light to help guide your artistic spirit.

The idea is behind the challenge is to sketch daily (or how ever often you are able) in order to feed and nurture our creative mojos. This challenge is simply doodling with no pressure. There are no masterpieces, no right or wrong & certainly no rules!. Our sketches are for us & for practices. Let’s enjoy sketching.

So what do we sketch? …

We have put together a list of daily prompts for you (attached) to inspire our days doodle. Sketch whatever comes to mind. Your sketch can be simple or complicated and take minutes or hours! You can play with ideas, composition, tonal values, negative space, techniques & so much more. It’s up to you …Anything goes!.

There are no rules to this challenge ... Create however you feel you want to ... pencil, ink, colour, big or small ... It really doesn’t matter!... The most important thing is to to set a little time aside each day (even if its just 10 minutes) and have a go! This challenge isn't about creating masterpieces, its about dusting off those art supplies, having fun and responding to your inner voice ...No matter how crazy it is!!!! Remember you're unique and you have your individual own voice .. Thats what's so amazing about each and everyone of us. You can use ink, pens, pencils, charcoal, paint - or any materials that you enjoy using or want to practice or play with. To sketch, all you need is something to draw on .. so if you are out having a coffee and have a minute then why not use your napkin.

Doodling can be quite a solitary thing … so if you feel comfortable, we invite you to share your daily sketches with our small supportive online private Facebook group. The group is super friendly and only invited Members of the EAG & SSA will be able to see and comment on your posts. You will also be able to everyone else’s sketches too. Whether you choose to share your work or not is totally up to you ... There is no pressure ... If you would rather just doodle for yourself ... thats cool too! The most important thing is that you are having a go.

If you would like to join in, contact Cherry at


I will send you an invite to access the Group. Alternatively feel free just to use the prompts for your own pleasure.

So what you waiting for .. Why not dust down your pens, pull out your sketchbooks, be inspired & enjoy.

Cherry & Mel

SSA & EAG Inky Doodlers Sketchbook Challenge

January Sketchy Doodlers 2023 SSA & EAG.jpg

What a Fantastic Christmassy Afternoon with

Rebecca de Mendonca

What a fabulous and inspirational afternoon we all had with the super talented Rebecca de Mendonca on our winter Zoom Programme. Rebecca got us all in the festive mood by painting a set of beautiful sparkly baubles in pastels.


It was so magical watching them appear in all their resplendent sparkly jewel like colours before our very eyes.


Rebecca was a brilliant teacher... She began by explaining her mark making techniques using Unison Pastels and then went on to explain her methods of painting from from dark to light, and how she builds up layers of pastel to create rich colours, shine and atmosphere. Members were encouraged to paint along side her with whatever colours they had at hand. Rebecca suggested a few dark rich colours, a good rich light creamy colour, and a really dark one (Rebecca uses her black Conte Crayon as her darkest dark) is always a great starting point.

Rebecca also recommended (if able) to invest in good quality soft pastels to begin with as they offer a richer more pigmented colour and you will get better results (a little goes a long way). So if your budget is tight, opting to have a smaller range colours but of good quality will be always beneficial in the long run. You can always build up your colours gradually over time.

A super big thanks once again to Rebecca .. It was a fabulous afternoon xx

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Rebecca's Reference Image

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Christmas Bauble in Pastel

The Queens Memorial Gallery Now Live

on the SAA Website

Thank you to everyone who submitted paintings for the Queens Memorial Gallery, these have now been uploaded and shared along with many other works of art from other Artists around the country.

Why not click the link and head over to the SAA website for a look through the gallery of pictures...

The Queen.jpg

The Queens Celebration Gallery

Along with the rest of the nation, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For over 70 years, she dedicated her life to the service of our country, and offered stability in times of change.

In celebration of our late Queen we are excited to collaborate with the ‘Society for All Artists’ (SAA) and are inviting you to paint a picture to commemorate her wonderful life. All pictures entered will be sent to their archival online gallery which will join thousands of other paintings from artists from all over the world.

This celebratory gallery is intended to be a permanent future fixture allowing the nation to view and be inspired by yours and all other contributing artists artworks of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for years to come. We also hope to make a slideshow of your entries too!

How to Enter

– Paint your picture in memoriam of Queen Elizabeth II (It could be a portrait or something inspired by the queen or her life)
– Add a few words of what Queen meant to you (your words will be uploaded with your entry)

-Send a clear photo of your work to ‘Cherry & Sarah’ at

(if you need help with this let us know)

All your pictures will then be checked & uploaded by Cherry & Sarah to the permanent online memorial Gallery for the Queen held by the SAA

-All Entires must be in by Dec 1st


Entries must be your own work. If you have used another artists’ painting, tuition or photograph as your inspiration, please be sure to credit them accordingly – for example ‘after a painting by…’ or ‘from a photograph of…’

- Please include your name, title of the painting, medium and approximate size of your paintings

We look forward to seeing your contributions

Wishing you all the best …

Cherry & Sarah (Exhibitions & Events)

The Queen.jpg

Our October article in the Sidmouth Herald...


SSA Herald Article 10-22.jpg

Mark Warner Workshop Enjoyed By All


What fantastic weekend workshop for the members of the SSA that attended Mark Warners fabulous weekend workshop at Kennaway House, Sidmouth.

Members were encouraged to paint along with Mark over the weekend and the results spoke for themselves. Everyone took home two wonderful paintings, a dynamic seascape and a beautiful landscape.

Mark Warner was brought up on the West Wales coast at Aberystwyth and studied Fine Art in Newport. . Growing up on the coast has had a huge impact in the way Mark developed his particular approach to painting and how he views the landscape.

Mark adores using colour while interpreting the light, weather conditions and a love for the materials. “I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes and photographs taken on location, then worked back in the studio.

Mark is a wonderful, warm and encouraging tutor. If you get the chance to paint alongside him, go! You'll have an amazing time! ....

For more of Marks work and events check out

Mark and his Painting.jpg

Mark Warner with his demo Seascape

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Mark's Workshop Students with their Pictures completed over the weekend

SSA Honorary Member Alan Cotton

Announces his forthcoming London Exhibition

at the David Messum Gallery


We are excited to announce one of our Honorary members, Alan Cotton, has just completed fifty new paintings for his forthcoming London Exhibition at the David Messum Gallery in St James.


It includes work from many of the places he has visited over the years, including paintings from Provence, Piemonte, Tuscany, Morocco, Tibet, Venice, West Coast of Ireland, and closer to home, on the River Sid near Sidbury and at Hartland in North Devon.

The Exhibition opens on 7th September and runs until the 30th. All the work can be seen on

line at and for further information visit the gallery at 12 Bury Street,

St. James's, London SW1Y 6AB or call on 02072874448.

All are welcome to the Opening Day, when Alan, will be there, or during the run of the show.

Alan Cotton.jpg

An Amazing Art packed Summer Show hugely enjoyed

by all those who joined us at the 2022

Festival of Art - Annual Summer Exhibition


What an amazing turnout we had for this years SSA Festival of Art event held at Kennaway house, with lots of very happy art lovers joining us for a look around our wonderful and ecclectic collection of work.


So many of our visitors commented on the range and diversity of styles that was on display and were amazed at the amount of local talent we have on our doorstep. It was so lovely to see friends, family and members of the public enjoying walking round and discussing all the different paintings,  creations and 3D art pieces.... Many of them making purchases to be treasured and loved in their homes.

A big thankyou for the super talented 'David Norman' who came to the preview evening and selected his best in show for the Marion Ovens award and also selected four 'highly commended' paintings. Its always so interesting to see what people pick.

But mostly .... A massive well done to all those involved behind the scenes ( you know who you are) and a super big Thank You to all the Stewards, Hanging Team & general helpers ... Your time and effort makes all the magic happen ... without you all we simply could not do it! Your all stars!


Well ... Time for a feet up, wee summer tipple and a few moments in the sun for us all... Well Done all ... See you next year!

2022 Marion Ovens Award Winner.jpg

Roger Marks & David Norman with the

2022 Marion Ovens Award Winning Painting

While the Sun Shines Bright we go

'Back to Basics'

In a Fantastic Zoomy afternoon of Art

with Vic Bearcroft...


What an inspirational, fun & informal afternoon of art and chat in the company of internationally renowned artist Vic Bearcroft via Zoom on Tuesday 14th June at 2pm. Thank you to all those that turned up and super well done for keeping up and sharing your amazing creations with us at the end of the demo.

Vic is a fabulous freelance artist, author, ambassador for the ‘Society of All Artists’ (SAA) and illustrator. He has been drawing and painting all his life and has a love for painting wildlife.

Vic took us all back to basics and returned to his love of sketching & illustration by using line, observation, and simple shapes to build up form and tone to create both a shoebill and Indian elephant in two very different styles of sketching using just paper, pencil and a smile. His relaxed approach and friendly manner encouraged us all to work along side him.

He showed us how to break down complex images from reference photographs into simple shapes and lines. By using observational techniques and a dash of confidence, it wasn’t long before a fabulous Shoebill was taking shape on the page. We then moved on to using fast, carefree gestural scribble drawing (a super fun way to sketch) to create a fabulous Indian elephant too!

Vic was very encouraging and such a fabulous tutor. We all had a wonderful afternoon …. I’m sure those sketch books are going to get dusted down and used a bit more over the next few months … thanks Vic

To view more of Vic’s wonderful art check out ....


Vics Sketches from the Afternoon

Zoom International with Randy Hale

What a wonderful international afternoon of art, chat & paint we had in the wonderful company of renowned Colorado based artist Randy Hale directly from the USA via Zoom. Such a celebration of colour, techniques and all things watercolour! To add even more flavour ... the SSA & EAG invited along ten international students from all over the world to join us! How fabulous .. here's a few words from Ellen one of those students ... 'Thank you all for allowing me to be part of your time today with Randy Hale. Here in California we started at 8:00 a.m. What a great start to the day. I was delighted to see the talented paintings displayed as well. It was a great learning experience'.

During the event, Randy demonstrated his loose, colourful, bold and dynamic watercolour techniques based on a theme he called ‘Ancient Relics’. The idea came about after photographing some old boats whilst out on one of his walks. He encouraged all the participants to join in and paint along with him creating a stimulating international online workshop for everyone with lots of tips and tricks. You had to be quick though! In Randy's words ..." Ya gotta get in, then out ... then leave it well alone!'

Randy believes that watercolour is best served in splashy, spontaneous strokes as it yearns to be transparent and luminous. Fluidity is the hallmark of all of his work. But of equal importance, he loves the dramatic use of light and shadow which provides definition and brings form to life thus creating an understated rhythm between the real and imagined. Above all, Randy likes to leave some things undefined, just enough for the viewer to bring their own experience into what they see as they interpret his work

Randy works in a number of considered layers, ramping up those tonal values and supporting them with juicy colour. The results are super expressive and very atmospheric. He suggests that western art can be many things, but the soul of his work is born of those intuitive sensibilities that assure us anything-is-possible. It certainly felt that way during the afternoon. Looking at the amazing painting produced by attendees at the end of the session it was clear that Randy had inspired and touched a chord with everyone that joined us and it will be an afternoon that we will remember for a very long time!. Thank you Randy ... and thanks to everyone that came together to make the event so special...

To view more of Randys wonderful art check out .…

Randy Final Pic Ref.jpg

Randy Hale - 'Ancient Relics' in Watercolour

A Fab Afternoon of Colourful Abstract Flowerscapes with 'Angie Seaway'

What a wonderful afternoon we spent in the company of the amazing and super inspiring Angie Seaway (Angie Greenhalgh) painting an abstract flowerscape in Acrylics. Angie has a fabulous loose and relaxed approach to painting and invited everyone to jump in with both feet and have a go. The results were amazing!

During the afternoon Angie also chatted to us about her current super exciting one woman endeavour ... 'Painting the East Devon Coast' - '28 Paintings, 3 talks, 1 book and an Exhibition'.


Angie’s paintings are a wonderful celebration of Britain’s obsession with the weather. She lives just minutes from the East Devon coastline and the influence of the ever changing elements on the Devon landscape guide her work. Her painting reflects the dual impact of the weather on the landscape she is portraying and her emotional and expressive reaction to it. Angie always works in a dynamic, responsive way and enjoys to paint out in the environment when ever she can.

Thanks again Angie! ... We had a wonderful time ... and Thanks to all you lovely SSA & EAG members for making it such a smiley and enjoyable afternoon ...

Angie Seaway - Abstract Flowerscape in Acrylic and Mixed Media.jpg

Angie Seaway - Abstract Flowerscape in Acrylic and Mixed Media

An inspirational afternoon of colour, excitement and pastels with the amazing 'Les Darlow'

What an inspirational afternoon of colour, excitement and pastels with the amazing 'Les Darlow' & our arty EAG friends from over the valley.


Les was a fabulous, warm and super talented host, who painted not one ... but two incredible paintings in just 2 short hours! He used a mixed media approach to paint a two wonderful landscape scenes using his trademark Panpastels and layering techniques. The paintings seemed to simply materialise before our very eyes .. it was fabulous!.

Les started with no particular reference as he is inspired by the moment and reacts spontaneously... Even he doesn't know what he is doing till the painting begins (how exciting!!). He says it adds to the drama and energy of the painting.


Here's a few words more words from Les ...' I have a love and passion for weather and landscapes and most of my paintings are subjects that have that connection for me.. I think that one can paint the same scene over and over again as light and weather change the subject continuously. My journey is continuously creative, exciting and inspirational as I travel the world developing new skills and introducing new techniques'

Well!... after such an inspirational afternoon and judging by peoples comments ... I think there is going to be a local surge in Panpastel and Canson paper sales lol! ... Thanks once again for such a fabulous arty afternoon Les and we look forward to the next ...

For more of Les's work check out -

Les Darlow.jpg

A great write up this week in the Sidmouth Herald reporting on Mike Skidmore & Hester Berry

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A huge Thank You to Ann, Roger and Terry for making it happen...

Check out our Facebook Page for a full report

Mike Skidmore's Zoom talk is a huge success, fantastic, inspirational and enjoyed by all...

Wow ! What a wonderful inspirational afternoon we had hosting the fabulous and very talented MIKE SKIDMORE via zoom with our friendly neighbours over at EAG. Mike was a warm, approachable and versatile artist in the classical tradition, specialising in portraits and stunning contemporary still life work in oils. He was generous in explaining his process and giving tips on all manor of arty goodness including layering, glazing, colour mixing and photography

He says “I love evocative shadow and light, portraits with character, and sometimes a narrative running through the picture. I also enjoy adding a little humour or trompe l’oeil into my still life artworks.”....

Well he certainly made us all smile and left us all feeling inspired and motivated to try something new .. Thanks Mike

Mike Profile Pic.jpg

If you would like to see more of Mike’s stunning work check out

A Huge thank you to Phil Creek from all at SSA

for his November Live Demonstration held at Kennaway House

We would like to thank Phil Creek for stepping in and giving us such an engaging and enjoyable Live Demo in November. Phil treated us to a Seascape of Salcombe Hill and the beach below created Masterfully in Acrylics, the audience was fully engaged with stories along with detailed answers to their questions, a great afternoon was had by all.

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Phil Creek with his Salcombe Seascape

SSA Live Demonstration held at Kennaway House

The society managed to get back to our first live demonstration for nearly 18 months!


Here's a few words from Roger Marks about the event ....

'Sidmouth Society of Artists’ most recent painting demonstration at Kennaway House featured Gloucestershire artist Christine Russell.

Christine, who is self-taught, specialises in still life using soft pastel as a medium. It is composed of pure pigments, which she prefers as they bring her pictures to life with their vibrancy and strength of colour.

In the two hours available to her, she was able to produce a very fine representation of a pair of red high-heeled shoes against the backing of a black feather boa. Her mastery of textures and light and shade were evident to the enrapt gathering of artists in attendance.

Christine has commissions in the Middle East and regularly exhibits at home and abroad. She showed that soft pastels, so often used in an abstract and loosely defined way can, in the right hands, be precise and arresting.

Interestingly, the fixative she recommends for the pastel is not sold at any art shop but, being in fact ladies’ hairspray, is easily obtained somewhere like Boots. I just hope there won’t be too many funny looks when I pop in for a can!

Roger M

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Christine Russell with her painting at the demonstration

'Simply Sidmouth' Draw Winner Announced

The winner of the latest SSA Paintbox Challenge draw 'Simply Sidmouth' was

'Sue Williams' who created this fabulous painting

Well done me lovely... it's a great painting. Your art vouchers will be heading at ya shortly...

Sue Williams Pics for Simply Sidmouth.jpg

Our Arty Afternoon with Catherine Beale

goes swimmingly...

What a wonderful and fascinating afternoon we spent with Catherine Beale during our recent Zoom demonstration with the SSA and EAG, learning about her unique style of water colour painting.

Catherine Beale is an internationally renowned artist, currently living near Bath. She specialises in light filled watercolours and her techniques are uniquely suited to capturing the atmospheric British weather and landscapes.

Catherine Beale’s artistic practice began in Singapore in the 1990s where her first solo exhibition was hosted at the British High Commissioner’s Residence. Her vibrant oils were influenced by the colours of multi-cultural South East Asia and she painted the eclectic heritage architecture and commissions - even creating a mural for an elephant sanctuary! She returned to the UK in 2006 where she was taken by the misty countryside around her Bath studio begging to be captured in watercolours. She now specialties in the medium, creating family portraits, whilst her landscapes allow her to experiment with her unusual “gravity painted” watercolours which she enjoys explaining as an SAA registered tutor.

She says:

“ I really want to convey the quality of light with the excitement of “fast and loose" watercolours. New pigments are like ink in their intensity and can be applied onto all sorts of surfaces. By dropping running paint into water, I mingle hues together naturally, with surprising results. Minerals such as Hematite channel across the surface like rivers.”

Catherine is an elected member of the Society of Women Artists whose online exhibition runs 21September – 31 December 2021. She has also exhibited with the Royal Watercolour Society and Institute of Painters in Watercolours, as well as the Holburne Portrait Prize, Royal West of England Academy and regularly with the Bath Society of Artists.

During the demo she demonstrated her unique technique on a beautiful wave painting inspired by a recent trip to Cornwall with her family. Using a wet-in-wet watercolour technique to build up initial forms, with large flat brush she produces pools of paint which merges together to create loose, luminous shapes. Catherine worked on artboard rather than regular watercolour paper. Artboard has a firm surface to withstand the high saturation of water and colour pigment that she applies in direct layers, optically mixing on the surface to produce cascading pigments and granulating effects which she names “gravity painting”

She showed us how to construct a painting from the initial light pencil sketch to building up wet on wet layers of dripping pigment. She went on to demonstrate how she pulls the painting together. Using a technique of blurring and blotting out of high contrasting areas which creates luminosity and allows parts of the painting to recede whilst bringing other areas into sharp focus.


For more of Catherines work check out

Catherine Beale Watercolour.jpg

SSA & EAG Ink'tober Challenge

All Month During October...

Ink'tober challenge 1st-31st Oct (its all month - facebook dates will only allow for 2 weeks ... doh!)

The SSA & EAG have been collaborating again to bring you an amazing opportunity to join us during the whole month of October for a wonderful month of arty activities. This year we have excitedly teamed up with the Ink’tober guys to bring you a whole month of sketchy goodness….

Hmmmm! So what is Ink'tober you maybe thinking? Well .....Ink'tober is a month long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker back in 2009 as a way to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavour with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year…. And the good thing is …. ANYONE CAN DO IT!!! (including you )


Ink’tober is a world wide initiative to get people (adults and chidren alike) to haul their arty materials out of the cupboards and have a go. Its focused on improving drawing skill, confidence and developing positive drawing habits. Every day for the month of October anyone participating in the Inktober challenge creates an ink drawing in their sketch book (or wherever) based on the prompt/theme for that day ... its simple ... 31 days.. 31 doodles (or as many as you feel able) ...and (if you want to) post it online. The prompt list will be made available for anyone taking part in later this month.


Ink'tober is not about creating masterpieces (so don't put pressure on yourself)... It's about having fun, enjoying the process and improving your drawing skills. There are no real rules! ... Drawings are traditionally done directly in ink in your sketchbook but they can be done in pencil if you prefer. Use colour if you like too .... It's really up to you. Some artists have a sketchbook especially for Inktober and others prefer to doodle away on scraps of paper ... It really doesn't matter what you use ... the most important thing is to simply have fun, relax and join in.


And … the fun doesn't stop there … during October we have not one but two! sketchbook based 'Zoom workshops', which are replacing our traditional Zoom demo, to help inspire you and offer you new techniques and approaches to drawing and sketching to keep you going. One early in the month by the super awesome Liz Chadderton and another later in the month by the super friendly and talented Alison Mayston. On top of all of that!… we have created for you a ‘private’ Facebook group especially for our ‘Ink’tober doodlers’ so that we can come together, share, encourage and support each other throughout the event. We can assure you that this is a ‘private group’ with invite only and so no one outside of the group can see anything you post! You do not however have to join the group to take part in Ink’tober … its just another added dimension should you wish to join us.

So what are you waiting for …. gather your favourite art supplies, dust off that sketch book, let us know you’re onboard by Sunday 26th Sept and buckle up for a month of arty fun and adventure …. Cherry & Mel xx


SSA Members contact Cherry at ‘
EAG Members contact Mel at ‘'

Vic Bearcroft creates a 'Howling wolf'

in front of our eyes on Zoom...

We had an amazing afternoon working with our arty EAG friends from over the valley. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to join together again for afternoon of art and chat in the wonderful company of internationally renowned artist Vic Bearcroft via Zoom last week (Wed 18th August).

Vic is a fabulous freelance artist, author, ambassador for the ‘Society of All Artists’ (SAA) and illustrator. He has been drawing and painting all his life and has a love for painting wildlife. His subject for us was ‘A Howling Wolf in Pastels’. He used the attached photograph for the starting point of his painting and entertained us for 2 hours non-stop by offering hints and tips along the way as he demonstrated his unique considered approach, changing the background to suit the mood of the painting.

Vic started with his signature velour paper in a dark grey, lightly sketching the wolf by building the shape up using cones and circles. Once the sketch was established he then explained how he layered pastels shading both negative and postive shapes in the direction of the fur to create form and depth, blending between layers. It was magical watching the wolf appear before our very eyes! The event was suitable both for beginners and advanced artists and some people even tried painting along with him (feel free to add a photo of your work to this post should you like to).

For more of Vics amazing work head over to

Thanks to all Members who joined us for the event and a massive big thanks to Vic for such a fabulous and inspiring demonstration. Our next joint Zoom demo will be Catherine Beale on 14th Sept (2-4) who will be demo'ing 'Waves off Lamora' in Watercolours

wolf paintng.jpg

Sidmouth Society of Artists Summer Show

'The Festival of Art'

Summer Festival Exhibition a Great Success

What a wonderful 'Celebration of Art' we've all had here at the SSA during our Summer Festival Exhibition. Lots of wonderful paintings finding their ways to new homes, new friends met and comfort and camaraderie from those we hold dear.

Such a relief and blessing after the strange and uncertain

times we are living in at the moment.

An enourmous well done to the award winners & guests...

As well as a speciel thank you to every single one of you

who got involved...

It was a super special show which was enjoyed by everyone.

2021 Marion Ovens Award Winner.jpg

This Years Marion Ovens

Award Winning Painting chosen by guest judge David Norman

Sidmouth Society of Artists Summer Show

'The Festival of Art'

Exhibition of Artworks & Sids Big Paint

July 2nd- 14th

The SSA's highly anticipated Summer Show - 'The Festival of Art' is here and we are all so excited and looking forward to welcoming you

Come along and see your local artists original art work, paintings and 3D sculptures in the heart of Sidmouth at Kennaway House.

This year it will be extra special with the unveiling of Sid's Big Paint - A community mosaic art work created by 32 artists with the support of local businesses and completed during lockdown of Sidmouth Airday. Its over 2 meters long! and each artist has hidden a little something special for you to find.

Find those hidden gems and enter the free prize draw to be in with a chance to win a unique one off canvas print of this beautiful snapshot of local social history.

summer poster top copy.jpg

Also, we invite you to browse the exhibition and place your vote in the 'People's Choice' box (made by Sidmouth College) ... what will you choose? Its super exciting and there's something for everyone ...      so do come on down and join us ...      Entry to the event is just £1 on the door

The Next Paintbox Challenge is here again...

SSA Paintbox Challenge Session 3

The next prompt for the challenge is

'Simply Sidmouth'

what will you paint?

Starts on 1st July - 31st August


The SSA ‘Paintbox Challenge’ is an exciting quarterly art initiative to get your paintbrushes dancing.
All SSA Members are invited to create a ‘NEW’ piece of work in any medium inspired by a prompt.
This sessions prompt will be ‘Memories Are Made of This’. Your painting can be anything that the prompt inspires you to paint .. grandma, loved one, event, holiday, old school friend, special occasion ... it could be anything!!!!!

The closing date for submitting this sessions entries is the 31st August (midnight).

To enter simply take a good photo of your work and email it to

or send it via messenger to 'Cherry' or ‘Sid Art’ by the 31st August.

Remember to include your name, medium and the artworks title with your entry, and let us know if the art work is for sale too.

Any one who has submitted their work to us by the close date will have their work collated and showcased on a dynamic slide show which will be published on Facebook, Youtube and on our Webpage in September. All entries will also go forward to a draw for £15 of lovely vouchers to spend at ‘South West Art’ in Sidmouth.
The draw will hopefully take place at a meeting if things continue to improve, if not .... the draw will be hosted at an online event and the winner notified.

Here we go again... Get your Paint Boxes out, thinking caps on and paintbrushes dancing ......good luck everyone!

Nick Watton brings

an English Country Garden to Zoom...

Held on Tuesday 15th June

What a wonderful sunny arty afternoon in the company of the SSA & EAG with Nick Watton. Nick gave us a wealth of hints and tips as he painted a beautiful spring-time garden in oils, inspired by his own reference photo.

Such a lovely painting, great chat and a really interesting cohesive palette of colours ... I'm sure there will be a number of our zoom artists inspired to dust down their oil paints from the back of the draw and give it a go

Thanks for all the advice and the demonstration Nick and thanks to everyone who joined us ...

Final pic.jpg

Nick's Finished Painting of the Spring Garden

Paintbox Challenge Session 2
'Memories are Made of This'


All artwork is now submitted and can be seen in the slide show video below...

Again we had a wonderful selection of paintings for the second session of the SSA Paintbox Challenge... bringing yet more smiles for us all...

This time paintings were based on the prompt 'Memories are Made of This' painted by Members of the SSA.

You have excelled yourselves with the entries this session, they are all fabulous and colourful with amazing stories... thank you so much to all of you who entered a piece of Artwork and shared the memories that inspired them...

Each artist who took part will be placed in a draw to win some scrummy art vouchers to spend at 'South West Art'

Kari McGowan Brings the Sunshine into her Watercolour Zoom Demonstration

Held on Tuesday 18th May

What a fabulous afternoon spent Zooming with our Exmouth Art Group friends in the company of the super talented Kari McGowan.

Kari is a watercolour artist based in West Devon, where the rugged, brooding landscape of Dartmoor is the inspiration for much of her work, however for this session she shared with us the beauty and magic of painting an atmospheric scene based on a Bluebell woodland bathed in glorious spring sunlight.

The facility of watercolour allows Kari an expression of light that is both intense and subtly modulated, sensitive to atmosphere and character; She believes it is a magical medium – Water carrying pigment to paper, transmitting light through its transparency and then having accomplished its work, it evaporates leaving its image for all to see.

Kari also experiments with the portrayal of the subtleties of light through pastel, mixed media, drawing and printmaking. She feels her subjects find and haunt her, dictating her choice of medium; a particular light at a particular time – trees, blossom, sheep, landscapes. The effect can be dreamlike, even spiritual, capturing a fleeting, very special moment of grace that remains fixed in posterity.

We watched her conjure leaves and foliage before our very eyes with her fabulous brushwork and unique style which allowed the watercolour to 'breathe' and come to life. Thank you Kari for such a spell binding afternoon, and thanks to everyone who joined us for your wonderful smiley arty company.

Kari McGowan Finished Picture.jpg

Kari's Finished Painting - Bluebell Woods

The Next Paintbox Challenge is here...

SSA Paintbox Challenge Session 2 - Spring

'Memories are Made of This'

Close date 31st May


The SSA ‘Paintbox Challenge’ is an exciting quarterly art initiative to get your paintbrushes dancing.
All SSA Members are invited to create a ‘NEW’ piece of work in any medium inspired by a prompt.
This sessions prompt will be ‘Memories Are Made of This’. Your painting can be anything that the prompt inspires you to paint .. grandma, loved one, event, holiday, old school friend, special occasion ... it could be anything!!!!!

The closing date for submitting entries is the 31st May (midnight).

To enter simply take a good photo of your work and email it to

or send it via messenger to 'Cherry' or ‘Sid Art’ by the 31st May.

Remember to include your name, medium and the artworks title with your entry, and let us know if the art work is for sale too.

Any one who has submitted their work to us by the close date will have their work collated and showcased on a dynamic slide show which will be published on Facebook, Youtube and on our new Webpage in June. All entries will also go forward to a draw for £15 of lovely vouchers to spend at ‘South West Art’ in Sidmouth.
If we manage to have a physical demo in June the draw will take place at the meeting, if not .... the draw will be hosted at an online event and the winner notified.

The next ‘PaintBox Challenge’ (Session 3) will start on July 1st … so get your Paint Boxes out, thinking caps on and paintbrushes dancing ......good luck everyone!

Global Artist Zooms

Sidmouth Society of Artists & Exmouth Art Group


What an exciting collaborative zoom venture between the SSA & EAG we had whilst hosting the super talented and renowned artist Hashim Akib and his lovely partner Marie.

Hashim shared with us his exciting vibrant contemporary approach to portrait painting by completing not just one, but two amazing pieces of work within two hours! His infectious energy shone out of the screen as he explained his unusual direct approach to create beautiful paintings full of life, atmosphere and colour using large skyflow brushes. The result was phenomenal ... the figures appeared out of the paint before our very eyes! Truly magical!

A massive thanks to you both for all the tips and company from all that attended .....

If you live in East Devon area you're in luck - Hashim is returning to Sidmouth to host a two day workshop with the East Devon Art Academy on 4th & 5th September 2021 called 'Positive Painting with Acrylics', where you will be exploring and learning painting techniques is just part of fulfilling your potential as an artist, the other is to nurture confidence and positive thinking. This workshop will cover the fundamentals of painting with acrylics including ways of improving your mindset when tackling different themes. You will learn direct painting with large flat brushes, the stages of blocking in, defining and finishing without fussing. There will be lots of tips on using tones and colour mixing. If you are interested contact Cathy at

For more of Hashim's work head over to


and for Hashim's online tuition head over to


SSA Paintbox Challenge

'Sea's The Day Draw'

A Massive Thanks to the fab guys over at 'South West Art' for taking part in our first draw for the 'SSA Paintbox Challenge' - Session 1

The High Street will never be the same again!!!!

Super well done to the Prize winner ... your goodies are on the way.

View the draw taking place on Sidmouth High Street with the

South West Art Shop in the video below...

Paintbox Challenge Session 1 - Sea's The Day


All artwork is now submitted and can be seen in the slide show video below...


What a wonderful selection of paintings we had for the first session of the SSA Paintbox Challenge... they really made us smile

All paintings were based on the prompt 'Sea's the day' and are painted by Members of the SSA. It doesn't matter where you are on your art journey the 'Paintbox Challenge' is an initiative to bring artists together, to have fun and to celebrate art.

We love that the entries are all so individual and inspirational ...thanks guys! All artists that took part will be placed in a draw to win some scrummy art vouchers to spend at 'South West Art'

Check out the next 'Paintbox Challenge' starting April 1st (Memories are Made of This), keep those paintbrushes dancing and good luck.

Please Note the Mark Warner article below was written prior to the event

The demonstration has now taken place...

Mark Warner Zoom Demo

Seascape in Acrylic- 11th March 2pm


The Exmouth Art Group & Sidmouth Society of Artists have collaborated to bring you an exciting afternoon of art with the fabulous artist Mark Warner. This is a free event for all Members.

Mark will be taking us step by step through a beautiful seascape in acrylics and sharing with us secrets of his unique style. He enjoys using colour to interpret the light, weather conditions and a love for the materials. Sketching is at the heart of all his work and his distinctive use of line and colour is aided by his sweeping use of perspective and atmosphere. Swaths of clouds are often used to generate his sweeping landscapes and seascapes offering a real sense of a place.

“I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes and photographs taken on location then worked back in the studio".

Mark is an accomplished painting tutor often seen demonstrating for Art Societies up and down the country and has been tutoring on painting holidays in France and Italy for many years. For more of his work check out -

If you are a SSA member and would like to attend then let us know. Email us '' so we can pop you on the invitations list ... If you are already on our list you will be automatically sent this invite. We look forward to seeing you there.

 Liz Flies High Hosting Her Online Workshop...


What a wonderful, informative and inspirational afternoon the SSA & EAG had in the company of Liz Chaderton.

Liz is a professional artist based in Berkshire. Her passion is painting animals. She writes for The Leisure Painter magazine and her second book 'Painting Animals in Watercolour' has just been published by The Crowood Press.

Liz showed us how easy it is to make a super cool 'cola pen' and then explore the exciting mark making possibilities ... such cool and edgy marks!!

Cola pens, are an ink dip pen made from an old drink can, coke cans or similar can be used. Calligraphers use them to produce edgy graffiti, but these simple pens can also be used by artists to inject character and energy into their drawings.

Liz then went on to demo how to draw a kestrel in flight using waterproof black Indian Ink, her cola pen and a beautiful photo by Nidge Nilsen for inspiration. After a short break to let her wonderful dramatic sketch dry, Liz applied washes of watercolour to bring it to life. It was fabulous! and such a lovely way to pass a grey soggy afternoon

Liz Chaderton  ink.jpg

SSA Goes Global with New Zealand Artist...

Richard Robinson Live Online Workshop


 What a wonderful way to spend a lockdown evening! A group of local artists from 'Sidmouth Society of Artists', 'Exmouth Art Group' and 'Otter Vale Art Society' all joined together on a social platform and connected with other international artists and the super talented Richard Robinson in New Zealand for a wonderful few hours of art and chat.
Richard had arranged to get up super early in the morning to connect with us in the UK, so whilst some of us were drinking wine huddled around a computer, he was just waking up with a cup of strong coffee. However, he was relaxed, entertaining and humorous, offering a wealth of tips, advice and encouragement to all in attendance.
Richard took us through his fresh dynamic approach which he used to paint a local rickety old shed which is just up the road from him. He painted the scene in oils, although he encouraged those painting along with him to use acrylics if they preferred. The workshop lasted for just over two hours and Richard painted with confidence and ease, explaining each step as he went along. Super well done to the people who managed to keep up!. For those that decided just to watch, the meeting was recorded so that they can paint along at their leisure.
And the fun didn't stop there! Towards the end of the workshop he asked us if we remembered what his favourite colour was? .... after a flurry of answers, 'golden brown' was guessed and he very kindly offered that person his painting. He further went on to offer everyone four more of his online lessons which he called his 'lockdown package gift' to help us stay creative and focused through the pandemic. What a lovely night it was....



Final Image.jpg

Rustic Barn - Richard Robinson

Grab your Paint Brushes & be part of a New Challenge for a New Year

Starting in January 2021

Sidmouth Society of Artists invite you to join us for the

' The Paint Box Challenge '



The SSA ‘Paintbox Challenge’ is a new and exciting quarterly art initiative to get your paintbrushes dancing.


All SSA Members are invited to create a ‘new’ piece of work in any medium inspired by a prompt. January’s prompt will be ‘Sea’s the Day’ (think anything sea or beach related, seascapes, nautical themed, the underwater realm, or simply whatever the prompt inspires you to paint) . The close date for submitting entries is the 28th Feb.


Any one who has submitted a 'new' piece of work to us by the 28th Feb (close date) will have their work collated and showcased on a dynamic slide show which will be published on Facebook, Youtube and on our Webpage in March. All entries will also go forward to a draw for £15 of lovely vouchers to spend at ‘South West Art’ in Sidmouth.

To enter...

Simply take a good photo of your work and email it to

or send it via messenger to 'Cherry' or ‘Sid Art’ by the 28th Feb.

Remember to include your name, medium and the artworks title with your entry, and let us know if the art work is for sale too.


If we manage have a physical demo in March the draw will take place at the meeting, if not .... the draw will be hosted at an online event and the winner notified.


The next Spring ‘Paintbox Challenge’ will start on April 1st

Congratulations to Two of our Members...

A massive well done to two of our lovely members

Margot Cornish & Lee MacManus.


Both are among those selected, from over 600 entries, for the Sketch for Survival Shortlist.

How exciting, both pieces of Artwork can be seen below...


Sketch for Survival is a global art initiative.

The aim is to highlight the plight of elephants and other iconic species; to raise awareness about threats to habitats and to raise funds through the sale of affordable artwork for nominated frontline projects.

Margot entered a wonderful loose watercolour painting in her fabulous vibrant style & Lee McManus entered a pyrography artwork to the charity of a beautiful Orangutan portrait.

Lee says -'I'm Really pleased as my picture has been selected from over 600 entries. The top 100 selected are to be shown in OXO art gallery in London as part of the SFS exhibition. Artworks will then be auctioned off and the money goes towards the Explorer's Against Extinction campaign'.

Lee McManus - Old man of the Woods

Pyrography with Mixed Media

Lee McManus - Old man of the Woods - Pyr

Margot Cornish - Bumble Bee


Margot Cornish-Bumble bee-Watercolours.j

Welcome to the SSA


Dedicated to the

Artwork created by our Members


The SSA 'Sunflower Art Project' is an art initiative to encourage people – artists and non-artists alike – to draw or paint a sunflower in memoriam of friends and family lost or effected by the Covid 19 virus, and links in with the 'Society of All Artists' national campaign. All artworks will be used to create an international lasting memorial website - here are some of the local contributions ....



This is a short video to say a small thank

you to all of the local Artists who were

able to complete Sunflowers for the

'SSA Sunflower Art Project'

Colourful Wishes to you all...


Closing date - 1st Sept 2020

To encourage and inspire you all to pick up your paint brushes we’re inviting all you lovely SSA members to take part in a wonderful campaign run by the Society for All Artists (SAA) called the ‘Sunflower Covid Art Project’

The project is an art based memorial to show how every person who has lost their life or has been affected during covid 19 pandemic is not a number but is a special individual ... and to bring light and sunshine back into the lives of those left behind; thus creating a lasting world memorial to the families of those who have been affected and those that have passed.

So what do you do?

All Artists are invited to paint a sunflower of any composition (ie within a painting, botanical, closeup, etc) any size, any medium.

If you know of anyone that has been affected or taken by CV19 in a personal nature you are welcome to add a short story, name and picture (if you’d like to) of the person you are remembering to go with your painting that will act as a national archive to record the social history of the crisis through art.
As all the artwork, stories and photos are all uploaded to the gallery your painting (and photo/ short note if your including them) needs to be handed in to us for photography by 1 Sept 2020.

Your art work will also be added to our Facebook gallery and a special dedicated page will be created on our website too. You will get your artwork back at a later date if it’s not required by the SAA. So do get painting and let’s bring some sunshine back.

So - In short - paint a sunflower and hand it in to either Cherry or Rebecca for photographing, UNFRAMED by the 1st Sept.

We're looking forward to seeing your artworks ...

And to get you in the mood, here's one already painted by Irene Hirons.

Irene Hirons - Mellow Yellow - Mixed Med
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