art groups

Leicester Market, relief, Glen Heath

I sometimes talk about the small group of graduate friends who I meet up with once a month for critiques, art talk and to arrange group exhibitions. I thought I'd show some work by one very talented member, Glen Heath. Some of you will know her work through the sketch book exchanges.

The image above is a relief in plaster, about 2 ft square and full of the bustle and noise of the market. Glen uses these limited colours really well to enhance the sense of space and place.

Below are plein air pastels done in a local deer park - the ancient home of Lady Jane Grey, beheaded when her family tried to claim the throne for her. The park was left to the city years ago and is a lovely area to walk, with hills, ancient oak trees, the ruins of her house, rocks, bracken and deer.

Just look at those anthropomorphic trees With Glen's larger paintings, the more you look the more faces and animals and creatures you find. She says she never does it deliberately - they just appear in whatever she does.

Below is a poster from a past exhibition showing a glimpse of some of the other members work.

It's so good to have this support network. After finishing the degree it's easy to lose touch with friends and a critical eye on work in progress and finished pieces can be incredibly helpful. It's good too to have people to work on projects with, sketch plein air with, go to exhibitions, on weekend paintaways ......

I belong to several larger groups and value them but its the informality of this one, the conversations and instant feedback that's so good. There are only 8 of us (one less than on the poster) so no formality. Mary is our secretary, Ros is our treasurer and I'm the publicist. Others take responsibility for organising nibbles and drinks for private views or boards for hanging work - we make a good team.

our group website is The Association of Leicestershire Artists (we'd change the name 'cos it's rather long winded, but we've built up a good reputation with it so we are dubious about a change)

Do you have a similar group?


It is so nice to see glen's work again. I have so much respect for her, she is such a talented artist. I 've been thinking about starting a critic group for a long time, not a working toghether group, but critic and discussion. A friend of mine in Oregon belonged to one and she thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it.I would appreciate some pointers and tips from you?
dinahmow said…
Curious - just yesterday I read (somewhere) that it's important for women to have a support network. The article went on to suggest that it's the all-girls-together aspect that is the strength.
Well, I had a mixed group years ago which worked in the same way.
I think the link, the binding thread, is the shared learning process; probably a lot more, but I do know what you mean.The easy transition from colleague to friend
Anonymous said…
Some of us who studied art together at The Learning Connexion in New Zealand continue to support each other. It's good because we all talk the same art language, studied the same artists and processes, knew the same tutors. Some of us have exhibited togther. And we're not afraid to say "hey, hang on". That's so very valuable...
vivien said…
She is talented isn't she Ronell. Our group is very informal - we meet at each others houses once a month. The group works because it's small.

People just take along anything they want to show and get feedback on and we are totally honest about anything that we think isn't working. Total honesty is essential or it doesn't work - clappies are nice but not unless they are truly meant. Because we all survived the crits at uni we arent' intimidated or threatened by them and value each others input. Fragile egos are something to be careful of! the person who says 'tell me straight' and then is upset if people do!

The crit is always constructive, considering ways of resolving problems, talking about the strong points as well as anything weak of course.

We are all girls together Dinah and the dynamics do work well because of it - but it wasn't a deliberate policy.

Cath exactly - the honesty and open mindedness is crucial - prima donna's or hyper fragile ego's don't work !
Robyn said…
That's a wonderful relief of Glen's, she's so versatile. I so love the Old Master quality of this work and the sketches I was gifted in our sketchbook exchange.

Your group must be inspiring, Vivien. I feel one needs to have eye contact when one asks 'What do you really think?' Well I guess I can't have everything.
vivien said…
I'll pass on to Glen your comments Robyn and Ronell - she's not been very well so it will cheer her up :>)

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