Sea Mills Art Group with Anthony Pritchard
Article and photos by Kathryn Courtney
Sea Mills Art Group was founded by John Edgell in the early 1990’s and living in Sea Mills, the art group made their home at Sea Mills Community Centre.
It started out with three or four members having a mutual interest and gradually grew in numbers over the years. The group moved to Shirehampton Public Hall about five years ago and have twenty-nine members on their books with around eighteen to twenty people meeting up each week to share their passion in art every Thursday morning. Anthony Pritchard is Chairman of the Sea Mills Art Group.
I wouldn’t like to give anyone’s ages away he said laughing
but I would say the age range of the group is between 60 to 85 years. That can change during the school holidays when some of the members bring their grandchildren and that’s not a problem because they just sit in, do their own art work and join in the conversations. They also like to see what other people are doing and say oh that’s nice, that’s good, and make comments about other people’s work. Perhaps they do get inspired by others, I hope they do. said Anthony.
However Sea Mills Art Group isn’t an art class.
People can do their own thing. There is no formal instruction, no tutor, and no set programme to follow. Occasionally we have booked a professional artist who will come in and either do a demonstration or to do a workshop with us and that comes out of group funds.
It’s a very eclectic mix of art, no oils as they are difficult to transport and the same applies to acrylic, so it’s mostly water colour, pencil crayons, pastel and ordinary sketching ink. We have a little group of ladies who enjoy still life immensely. I started setting them up with a still life, mostly bits of bric-a-brac, glass and stuff. Vegetables, fruit, clocks or books, are good. One still life they did was a wine bottle and three wine glasses. Glass is not easy to portray. You can see through it and you can see something behind it. It gets distorted and changes colour. They value the fact that you’ve got to observe and record and to get things right. The ladies do appreciate looking and interpreting and obviously its drawing what you see or what you think you see in this case.
Other’s like landscape and flowers. Some like copying photographs from holidays and two or three of us like pastel work. We sometimes organise trips out when the hall is needed for another activity. We’ve been to Salisbury, Stonehenge, Wilton, Dunster, Buckfast Abbey and a couple Welsh Castles, so it is very much a social group said Anthony.