John Connoly


For our last demonstration of 2017 and on a cold November evening the club extended a warm welcome to John Connoly an acclaimed artist who lives in Nottinghamshire close to Sherwood Forest. In an exciting evening John gave us a magnificent presentation that captured a woodland scene and a sea-scape using his favoured medium, acrylics. This was very much a tutoring session which showed us both the thrills and the spills of this quick-drying medium.

The demonstration began with a woodland scene in the New Forest. John started on the background using a Cobalt blue and magenta mix applied with a flat half inch brush to create hints of saplings and mature trees through ‘stippling’, which allowed wet paint to cascade down from an inverted position.

While the work dried off John applied Cadmium Yellow to the foreground, again using the ‘flicking’ technique, to suggest the leaves and dense foliage in a picture that morphed and changed by the minute to illustrate different aspects of painting woodland scenes. John then tamped down the picture using a cloth to smudge some areas before the paints dried.

After the break attention turned to painting a sea-scape. Using similar techniques as before John divided up the picture into ‘thirds’ (sky, sea and foreshore) and painted the sky in blue . He then layered-in the sea to create perspective using ultramarine and cobalt blue and applying white using a credit card to show breakers, and as luck had it an upturned bucket to give the evening an exciting finish.

Throughout the evening John chatted incessantly describing how he used his trade mark techniques to create many stunning landscapes for customers around the country especially those in the South of England. Thanks John for a memorable evening!

Demonstration with John Pooler


On October 24th in a change to programme John Pooler stepped in for Steve McLoughlin with a fabulous Venetian theme which captivated the imagination and left us saying ‘Wow, how did he do that!’. Amazingly John created three paintings in two hours – the Franchesi in Rome; Gondolas near St Peter’s square and a scene reminiscent of the Bridge of Sighs.

John who lives in Nottingham and has been an artist since the age of 18. He paints loosely in blocks of water colours using a Windsor and Newton colours, in this case Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber on 400 gsm non-stretched rough paper. Having first sketched out his subjects in pencil from photographs, John started with a Sable Rosemary no 12 brush blocks of colour wash using what he described as ‘unusual technique’.

Through the evening John applied vast amounts of high-pigment wet colour to create his own mixes on the paper itself all applied with flair and confidence and with no reference to symetry. John is a natural artist and irrespective of his subjects – scenes of Venice, Churches and even people’s houses – he paints with an enthusiasm that inspired everyone on this evening.

Thanks John for an outstanding evening – and do come back soon!