November 2016

PAUL NICOLSON Statues of Bedford

At our October meeting at Putnoe Heights Church, we were treated to an illustrated talk about the statues and sculptures of Bedford by Paul Nicholson, a local guide who has become intrigued with his research into this topic.

Our members were treated to some very interesting information about these artists, who are mostly neglected when we look at the statues. Also it made us think about the placement of such works of art, which we take for granted as we walk around the town and which have become so familiar to us.

He also gave us insights into the other works of the sculptors, which spread across the globe and which connects Bedford to many places across the world. He told us of the modern sculpture which was in Bedford Park but which had to be removed because youngsters used it as a skate park. Another one is hidden from public gaze as it is in the University grounds. Yet another had to be removed from its original placement as it was discovered to be made of chicken wire and covered with light materials enabling it to be 'attacked'' by all and sundry, so it is now on a traffic island near the Police Station.

Some statues have caused controversy and heated debate as to appropriate siting or relevance and expense, while others have been praised for their design and sympathy.

It proved to be a most entertaining and informative evening.

Diane Bell

Jean Picton with five art classes continues

Week three we painted a flower stall, not very specific flowers or people or buildings...atmospheric.

Week four we moved into acrylics. Three colours only. Cadmium red, lemon yellow and ultramarine blue. First we made a brown base and let it dry after scratching in the objects. Then, when it was dry, we painted in the darkest areas and moved gradually to very light, even white. Keeping the light source constant and the shadows, too. The results were, we thought, rather good.

On the fifth week we used Golden Fluid Acrylics and we painted flowers. The acrylics - which we hadn't touched before - were very richly pigmented and needed just a little to produce vibrant colours. Again we used lemon yellow, ultramarine blue and cadmium red, together with purple. We painted with brushes and twigs and produced lively pictures. We were all chuffed.

We enjoyed Jean's classes and her enthusiasm. We all felt we'd learned a lot, not a minute wasted!

Pauline Brown