Chichester Art Society will be key event for Festival of Chichester
Chichester artist Sharon Dean is delighted to be emerging from the pandemic to join Chichester Art Society’s exhibition at the city’s Oxmarket Gallery from June 15-27 (10am-4.30pm, closed Monday, June 21).
The exhibition forms part of this year’s Festival of Chichester
Sharon took up painting nine years ago, working mainly in oils and sometimes watercolour across very diverse subjects from landscapes to still life.
“My pandemic experience has been mixed,” she says. “The first lockdown I found easier as the weather was good and I was able to spend a lot of time in the garden and walking in the countryside.”
However she really missed seeing her children and grandchildren during the last lockdown.
“Having art to focus on has been a real lifeline. It has given me a purpose every day and I’ve taken part in several art workshops via Zoom.
“In addition to this I’ve kept in touch with my art friends on email which has enabled us to share our latest works, giving each other the encouragement and inspiration we need.
“During the summer months when the lockdown restrictions were lifted we regularly met up outdoors at different locations, including the Trundle and Dell Quay for sketching and painting sessions; it was lovely to get together and it really boosted our morale.
“I think that going through the pandemic has helped me to appreciate even more the natural world and the simple things of life and this has definitely influenced my art and the subjects I choose to paint.
“For me knowing our annual exhibition is going ahead gives me the confidence to believe that at least some aspects of our lives that we knew before the pandemic will return.”
Roger Matthews, from Bedhampton, also joins the exhibition.
“For several years I have painted watercolour landscapes usually in the open air rather than at home or in a studio.
“I greatly admire and have been taught by some contemporary Australian watercolourists who paint with bold and loose techniques.
“Lockdown has encouraged me to branch out from watercolour and experiment with acrylic paint inspired by Hashim Akib in his book Vibrant Acrylics.
“ In the brief interlude between lockdowns I managed to attend one of his all-day acrylic workshops accompanied – at a safe distance – by my eldest granddaughter.
“Because I’m retired, coping with the pandemic has been far less difficult for me than it has been for many people and with painting as a hobby there’s always lots to do and try.
“With lockdowns, tiers and lockdown again it’s not been clear whether or not outdoor painting was a permitted pursuit so for a while our garden became the best painting venue.
“During the first lockdown I was missing demonstrations and workshops with the Art Society, so I worked through a book called Turner’s Apprentice – A Watercolour Masterclass by Tony Swibert which has really helped me to understand some of the techniques used by JMW Turner.
“I’m really looking forward to the Society’s exhibition this year as it’s going to be a great opportunity to be with some fellow artists again and find out what we’ve all be doing.”