Monday, 13 November 2017

Canaletto at the Queen's Gallery

A group of Centrepieces artists and friends visited the Queen's Gallery in London on 6th November 2017 by invitation, to see the current exhibition of paintings by Italian artist Canaletto (1697-1768) and to take part in a drawing workshop led by Emma Finch, one of the gallery's artists.

We were given a quick talk about Canaletto, then we went into the exhibition to look at some of Canaletto's paintings of Venice and Rome. We were all asked to choose a painting that we liked, and to draw or sketch part of it ourselves.
 Fortified by royal tea and biscuits, we were shown how to trace our drawings and make them into a double image, then add other pictures and buildings alongside. Some brilliant pictures were produced.

Afterwards we had the opportunity to see the rest of the exhibition, or have fun with the Canaletto props. Many thanks to the Queen's Gallery and Emma for a very enjoyable afternoon.



Sunday, 7 May 2017

Centrepieces Visit to the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

Our trip to Margate's 'Turner Contemporary Gallery' to see the Textiles Exhibition 'Entangled' started on a beautiful sunny morning, which had evolved into a grey, cold, windy day by the time we had arrived at the Gallery's car park.  The crashing waves on the harbour just outside the gallery were awe inspiring, but we were all happy to enter the warmth of the Gallery.

For some of us, our first stop was the Gallery shop, usually something you do when you leave, but then again, for the rest of us, our first stop was in the cafe trying some of the lovely food they had on offer!
Margate harbour

Jean and Dawn (Pinkie) ready to get out of the cold wind!
John and Alex, quite happy out in the cold, like a couple of sea dogs.

A dramatic sea, well worth the cold to watch for a while!

Outside the Gallery, too cold to sit outside!
Denise one of our inspired Tutors, looking as if she always walks around with a dragon by her side.

Diana and I both liked this one, we wanted to make a coat out of it and wear it.

Like the sign said, this was an interactive installation, so we had fun interacting!

Jag looking beautiful in her installation hat.
Pinky looking like she's auditioning for a part as a hostage in a gangster film.
Alex looking like a seductive fisherman.

Karen looking totally Vogue!

No Fiona, it doesn't go with your bag!

There were many more wonderful exhibits that we were all inspired by, it was a great day that we all thoroughly enjoyed and we look forward to more visits to this superb gallery.
 Written by Christie Cassisa.
Photos by Christie Cassisa.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Centrepieces Painting Workshop by Christie Cassisa

This new year, Centrepieces has allocated Tuesdays for a series of three part workshops.  The first one, was a painting workshop, run by me.  We started our painting workshop on the 10th January, the second day back from our Christmas and New Year Holidays.

Our first lesson concentrated on very basic brush use and techniques.  In our first lesson, we learnt to prepare hardboard for acrylic painting.  (Hardboard is a very cheap and easy to find resource for painting, and can be cut to any size quite easily) I had also bought a selection of different canvasses and canvas board, as an example of the different choices there are to paint on.
  The first painting project was to choose a 'twilight' colour and to use only this one colour for the background.  We also painted a source of light, the favourite choice was the moon.

Once our background colour was dry, (with the help of the radiator in the room) we used marker pens to draw on our chosen silhouettes.  Marker pens are excellent for creating a fine line when drawing detail, or to have more control in your line drawings, then if you want to you can go over the ink with paint.

Here are some of the results after our first painting session. 


Denise Tarant

Karen Larkin

In our second lesson a week later, we moved onto graded colours for our background, using two or three colours to blend for a 'sky' background effect.  And again, once our background paintings were dry, we used the silhouette effect for our foreground images.

Here are some of the paintings from our second lesson.

Louise Sydawney Henderson

Duncan Wilson
Duncan Wilson

Paul Gadsdon

For our third and final lesson, we learned to use glazes among other techniques, and our theme was 'Outer Space'.  By this time, we had used all of the different sized and shaped brushes that Centrepieces had bought for the course.  Of course the one that gets the most flack about care of brushes is the teacher, when she forgets to practice what she preaches and leaves her brushes in the water, but at the end of our lessons, all of our brushes were lovingly cared for and stored away for our next painting workshop.

Here are some of the results for our last lesson in this course.
Paul Gadsdon
Duncan Wilson
Louise Sydawney Henderson

Duncan Wilson
Paul Gadsdon

After each lesson, I was delighted to see what our group's artists had created from what they had learnt during the week.  It seemed as if they had made huge leaps in their progress, and I was so inspired by their excitement and motivation.  Each one of them made the workshops a pleasure to teach, and carried on with that enthusiasm right through the week.  Here  are some of the paintings that the artists from this workshop have created since.  Many of which will be framed and some of which may be on sale at Centrepieces very soon!

Denise Tarant

Karen Larkin

Paul Gadsdon

Denise Tarant


Denise Tarant

Denise Tarant

Denise Tarant

Written by Christie Cassisa. Artist member and Tutor at Centrepieces.

To inquire about Centrepieces, the different ways you can support this charity, how to become a member and for all courses, our contact number is:  01322 554589  Our opening hours are 10am - 4pm weekdays except for Wednesdays when we are closed.

Centepieces, The Lodge, Hall Place, Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent, DA5 1PQ