Helen Talbot was invited to our May meeting which was a critique of work, or “appraisal” as she prefers to call it, in advance of our summer exhibition at Red House Museum.

A plentiful and varied display of subjects and media, mainly paintings although one beautifully stitched work was included, was brought in by members. Some were ready framed for exhibition and some works in progress.

Helen gave each item a short appraisal. Using mount card corners for cropping she gave us ideas for different compositions to achieve interesting results. She explained that compositions work best for the viewer if different shape formats are used to position subjects and generally using the rule of thirds. Closing in on a portrait subject, rather than too much space around, gives a very different perspective.  A small group of flowers really need the larger one at the base to ground the work. Subjects such as boats are best if space is left in front (coming into the picture rather than going out).  A colour if duplicated elsewhere, particularly on a diagonal, gives a more balanced and pleasing effect. We talked of mounts, framing, perhaps a touch of highlighting, a splatter of colour, or darkening a small area, so many possibilities were covered.

Many thanks to Helen who, as always, gave the members an informative and enjoyable evening.