Visitors drawn to Swanage Painting Club’s latest exhibition

The joy of art keeps bringing visitors back to Swanage Painting Club’s annual exhibition, almost 50 years after it first started.

A week long display of art by some of Swanage’s most enthusiastic and talented amateur painters, first staged in 1974, has become a much anticipated fixture in the town’s annual calendar.


Scores of paintings from top local artists are on display at the Catholic Church hall in Swanage

The Painting Club summer exhibition runs until Sunday 6th August 2023 in Rempstone Road

The exhibition runs until 5pm on Sunday 6th August 2023 in Rempstone Road, Swanage

Part of the annual holiday experience

Held during Swanage Carnival week, visitors to the town are now making the exhibition a part of their holiday experience and frequently buy new pieces from their favourite artists.

Now Swanage Painting Club is once again back with its summer art exhibition, running at the Catholic Church hall in Rempstone Road from 10 am to 5 pm daily until and including Sunday 6th August 2023.

Entry to the exhibition is free, with paintings, prints and cards from the talented amateur artists on sale and already proving popular, while visitors to the exhibition are also being asked to vote for their favourite artwork.

Sunset at Anvil Point by Jane Wilby evokes a perfect Swanage summer

A Swanage Sunrise by Denise Horn in acrylic

A New Day in oils is one of several seascapes by Julie Hixson

Inspiration from the beauty of Purbeck

Much of the work on display takes inspiration from the beautiful Dorset surroundings, depicting the Swanage shoreline or the Purbeck countryside.

The annual competition for the Derek Charters Trophy was won this year by Linda Wallis for her painting Old Wall, Widecombe in the Moor, while the Highly Commended certificate was awarded to Jayne Brettell for her work Pebbles 2.

Guest judge was renowned local artist Cathy Veale, whose stunning seascapes have regularly been selected for exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy, the National Laing exhibition and at the Mall Galleries in London with the Royal Society of Marine Artists.

Linda Wallis won the annual Derek Charters Trophy for her painting Old Wall, Widecombe in the Moor

More of Linda’s artwork, along with the glass trophy she won

Jayne Brettell, left, collected the Highly Commended certificate from artist Sue Maclean

Jayne also has several other pieces of art on display in the exhibition

“Paintings are flying off the walls”

Club chair Linda Wallis said:

“We have done so well already, paintings are flying off the wall – sometimes we have quieter years, but this time it started with a bang on Saturday morning.

“We always hold our exhibition during carnival week and we like it that way, as it means that the holiday makers who come regularly to Swanage for carnival can look forward to coming in and they have their favourites amongst our regular exhibitors.

“Everyone’s style is different, but that’s what makes it so interesting – we have a bit of everything represented in our exhibition from watercolours to oils, pastels and even some mixed media, which is lovely.

“We have some new first-time artists who haven’t exhibited before and it is exciting for them, although a bit nerve wracking and daunting at the same time.”

One of the monthly challenges set was to paint an animal – Christine French painted this roarsome tiger

Ann Beesley captured a squirrel’s springtime scamper in acrylics

Artists set a monthly theme challenge

Swanage Painting Club has 28 paid up members with an average attendance of around 16 artists at the weekly meetings on Thursday mornings from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm at the Catholic Church Hall.

Artists are set a monthly theme challenge to interpret, whether animals, old Swanage in monochrome or waves, and use materials from watercolours and acrylics to oils and pastels.

Swanage Painting Club was founded in 1968 to give enthusiastic amateur artists a platform, as the only other art group at the time was the Purbeck Group of Artists which was less inclusive.

Artist Andy Palmer takes his inspiration from the Purbeck coastline

Two high fliers captured in mid jump by Ann Beesley

New members are always welcome

Local artist Elizabeth Armsden, who was the star pupil of Studland artist, A. H. Berens, helped to get the club established and it proved to be very popular, holding its first exhibition almost 50 years ago in 1974.

New members are always welcome, whether beginners or experienced painters and there is always help from established members happy to share their knowledge.

Oil paintings of coastal scenes by Julie Hixson

A study of fishing gear on the foreshore at Swanage by Julie Hixson

“There’s nothing nicer than painting”

Linda added:

“I’m not a tutor, but because I’ve been painting a long time I will help new members because I just think it’s so important that they get a good basis so that they are able to move on and develop their own style.

“A lot of people join us through word of mouth – as soon as people hear what you are doing they all want to join in and soon discover that there’s nothing nicer than painting.

“The day goes by and you don’t feel it’s wasted as you’ve produced a very satisfying product at the end of it, there’s a real sense of achievement and this exhibition is the culmination of that.”

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