Wellington Art Club Newsletter January-February 2009

Newsletter Editor: Phil Dickson


THE year has begun with outdoor sketching in January as in past years. The outings were all blessed with sunshine, even if with the wind as well. The Working groups are back in place as well, but for Monday's Life Class. Those of you who attended last year's Life Class will be aware that on some evenings, attendance dropped off so that it was not economic. Keen to continue the class are Jeff Collings and the regular life drawing artists, together with the Class model Andrea. In order to ensure the class is viable therefore, enrolling for an eight week term is now required. Given the need to pay the model, the course fee of just $80 is cheap! So the class will start when there are sufficient members committed to it; hopefully towards the end of Februrary.

Next month is the Club's Annual General Meeting. A notice of the meeting is attached to the newsletter along with a nomination form for new committee and office holders. Give some thought to this as not everyone on the outgoing committee will be standing for election. Also attached to this newsletter is a subscription renewal notice. It's that time of year again when subs are due and this year they remain at $45, reducible to $40 if paid by 31 March. It really is great value!


SUNDAY 4 January saw a keen band of enthusiasts gather at Wahine Park on the South Coast in bright sunny weather. The following Sunday 11 January the group took up easels and sketch pads at the southern end of Alexander Drive just above the crest of the hill top of Crawford Road and Constable Street. This was the only day where the weather threatened to rain. With southerlies blowing the weather was cool but stayed dry with interesting patches of sun and cloud. Both Sunday 18 and 25 were bright and sunny but very windy, especially on the 18th where nestled into the hill at Gordon Point just beyond Scorching Bay was one of the few places mostly sheltered from the near gale. The location for Sunday 25 was at the top of Wexford Road where interesting views of both industrial and semi rural mixed with the International Airport and the Miramar Golf Course.


ISLAND BAY'S annual Festival is all primed to go. Set for the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 February, the show will be staged at the Island Bay Community Centre. As in the past, Art Club President, Jeff Collings is very much in demand and involved in its running. Featuring at the exhibition will be the local Arts and Crafts group, local photographers and the work of local children whose art will be judged and for which Jeff has prepared certificates of merit to be awarded on Sunday morning. Do get along to see the show.


TIME and time again I've stressed the values of observing the real world directly and painting it on the spot. Indeed that's what our Sundays out in January are all about. Continual reference back to the source of inspiration marks the difference between a painting handled purely academically, and one capturing the essence of the impressions from the real world.

During the age of enlightenment, writers and artists such as Rousseau and Constable turned their attention to the real, and the ordinary everyday world to seek the truth. During the 1820s Constable studied the landscape and skies and reproduced them in a series of quick small paintings done at speed to capture the changing light. A whole fresh approach to seeing the world was born, unconstrained by the burden of exact structure and linear purity. Impressionism as we've come to understand the word came from a movement of French artists who gathered together some decades later from about the 1860s.

The word "impressionniste" was printed for the first time in the Charivari on the 25 April 1874 by Louis Leroy, after Claude Monet's landscape entitled Impressions: soleil levant [Impressions]. The others in the group composed of Pissarro, Sisley, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Guillaumin and Berthe Morisot.

This founding group were animated by the will to break with the official art of such institutions as the Royal Society and the Salon. Monet in particular was facinated by the play of light and spent his whole life capturing it, often painting the same subject throughout the day at different times. Impressionism is as much a state of the mind as it is a technique; thus artists other than painters also qualified as impressionists.

So much of what most of us admire about today's competent landcape artists' paintings is the product of impressionism, even if we don't always use the word. Its quality comes from the practice of getting down the impressions of the subject quickly. And so much of that is to do with light!

So with all that in mind, you wont want to miss the new exhibition at Te Papa, Monet and the Impressionists. It features over 50 paintings and is on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Te Papa, Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4

Exhibition season: Saturday 14 February until Sunday 17 May. Open daily 10am until 6pm and until 9pm on Thursdays. Entry charges apply.


December 2008 Christmas Party

ANOTHER great evening at the Club Rooms. Chris Andersen and his friend Keith provided live music. Lots of people attended and enjoyed the conviviality. Jeff had prepared song sheets and so to end the evening singing and dancing went on quite late!

February 2009 – The art of holidays

THE first Sunday Club meeting of the year saw a good attendance on February 1 when everyone was invited to bring the art done over the Christmas New Year break. Although disappointingly not everyone who had joined in on the January sketching Sundays was at the meeting, a good selection of pictures, complete or incomplete was shown by each artist. The works represented a range of places and times executed since late last year on various occasions including Watercolour New Zealand outings. An enjoyable afternoon was had to start 2009 and everyone participated.


Life Class

IF you have enjoyed the life drawing from last year's class on Monday evenings, or would like to try it, please enroll now. The Life Class is likely to start in late February and only needs 6 members to ensure it can proceed. However if more enroll, so much the better.

Enroll now by contacting Jeff Collings 383 7338 for an 8 week course. Only $80.

Holiday painting – quite an undertaking

JANUARY last year Club President Jeff Collings was out and about painting while holidaying in Foxton. Finding an interesting old colonial style house, he painted a picture featuring one side of the house. Its owner discovered him and liked the picture enough to buy it on the spot! Last month Jeff was back in Foxton and decided to paint a picture featuring the front of the same house. Low and behold; the owner liked it and bought it on the spot! Not only have the sales paid for Jeff's holiday, but the owner of the house, used as a business, has commissioned him to paint pictures to furnish the reception foyer! The owner is the local undertaker and the house is his funeral parlour!

Paintings for Galleria on Guthrie

CONGRATULATIONS to all who have sold paintings at the Galleria on Guthrie. Unsold paintings currently at the Galleria at Waiwhetu will be returning to the Art Club very soon. Jeff Collings will contact all artists whose pictures have been on display. If you have fresh paintings you'd like to display for sale at the Gallery, please phone Jeff 383 7338. Arrangements can then be made to take them out to Lower Hutt.

Miramar Gallery

SALES have picked up recently at the Gallery in Capitol Court, Miramar; a good sign indeed. Paintings that have been on display there since before Christmas are due for change. If you want to exhibit fresh pictures or exhibit for the first time at the Gallery, please contact Elaine Kermode 380 8315 or Linda Smith 934 1795.

“La Belle Vie” (The Good Life Exhibition)

Featuring work By Shirley Sutton & Dana Jackson plus others happily inspired by Europe.

Kapiti Gallery 192 Matai Road, Raumati Beach.

Open to the public from 11 February, 10am to 4pm – Wednesday to Sunday until 1 March.

For more information: dana.jackson@paradise.net.nz

www.sasutton.co.nz www.artydana.co.nz

Denis Hayman in hospital

CLUB member, Denis Hayman is currently seriously ill in hospital. Denis has been an active member of the committee in recent years and is a regular member of the Friday Portrait Group.

We all wish him a speedy recovery.


Your subscription for 2009 fell due on 1 January.

Only full financial members' works are accepted for Club exhibitions.
Only financial members have voting rights at the Annual General Meeting.
The following are the options in the preferred order of use:
* Drop them into the drop box at the Art club
* Pay them direct to bank account 0305780903273.00 mentioning "Fees 2009" and your name
* Post them to:
Wellington Art Club
27 Chelsea St
Wellington 6022
Please make all cheques "Not transferable"


Club Days:

1st Sunday each month, 2pm February to May and July to November.

2nd Sunday of June. Christmas Party 1st Saturday of December.6pm.

Club Days and other Club events

Sun 1 March 2009 2pm
Annual General Meeting followed by art video

Please ensure you use the nomination form attached for any positions and for committee members before the meeting and forward them to the Secretary.

Other Exhibitions

New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Academy Galleries Queens Wharf Daily 10am-5pm

Summer 2009 `Bringing The Outside In' 14 Mar-5 Apr

Te Papa 10am-6pm, Fri to Wed, 10am-9pm Thurs

Monet and the Impressionists (Admission charge applies) 14 Feb-17 May

Kapiti Gallery 192 Matai Road, Raumati Beach

`La Belle Vie' Paintings by Shirley Sutton and Dana Jackson 11 Feb-1 Mar

Your Newsletter

THANK YOU to all of you who have provided written or illustrative material for your newsletter over recent years. Without it, it wouldn't be your newsletter. But of course there could always be more! Contributions on any matter that would be of interest to members are always welcome. Your Editor cannot keep up with all things that might be of interest to many in the Club; it's up to you to help the process and forward copy to the Editor on forthcoming events, relevant shows etc. Please provide all details of time, place, who etc. Just verbally telling the Editor is rarely adequate. Emailing your copy is the best way, but if you can't email, then typed or hand written material is just as acceptable.

Phil Dickson (Outgoing Editor)

Situation vacant: NEWSLETTER EDITOR

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an Art Club member who would like an exciting position in the executive team.

The successful applicant should be:
  • Articulate and a good communicator
  • A stickler for plain English
  • Able to format and edit publishable copy
  • A good team player
  • Full of good humour

If you've got what it takes to make a difference to clear, timely information to the members please apply to:
Wellington Art Club Secretary Elaine Kermode 380 8315 or Linda Smith 934 1795.

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