Annual Events Programme

Monthly programme of talks, lectures & demonstrations.
All meetings held at:

Putnoe Heights Church & Community Centre
Putnoe Heights, Bedford MK41 8EB
Doors open at 7.15 for 7.30 pm.
Members free - non-members £5

Please Note
30 March 2021

We started our new programme for this year back in September, everything being Zoomed. This has proved to be quite successful so far. We have had to change things as some of our speakers have had difficulties accessing their studios due to Covid for Zoom demos - we are having to play this as we go. We are sending a link out to members a day or two before the talk. All the demos that have had to be put on hold will be rebooked when we are allowed back in the hall for our meetings.

We are looking at the possibility of doing Zoom workshops and would welcome your views.

Keep your brushes clean and stay well.

BAS committee





Events Programme for 2020/2021

11th September 2020
Mark Warner Seascape in acrylics (Zoom)

Mark Warner - photo of the demo painting 2020
Brought up on the West Wales coast at Aberystwyth, he studied Fine Art in Newport and is now working from his studio on the Shropshire/Wales border.
Growing up on the coast has had a huge impact in the way Mark developed his particular approach to painting and how he views the landscape. He adores using colour while interpreting the light, weather conditions and a love for the materials. “I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes and photographs taken on location then worked back in the studio".
Sketching is at the heart of his work. This is integral to the development of a piece, many times forming part of the painting itself. His distinctive use of line and colour has aided his sweeping use of perspective and atmosphere. Swaths of clouds generate sweeping landscapes and seascapes producing a distinctive impression of how he views what is in front of him. Perspective and composition develop as the work progresses offering a real sense of a place. Working with oil, acrylic and charcoal on paper, canvas and panel. Mark uses oil, acrylic and charcoal sometimes in combination.


2nd October 2020
Dermot Cavanagh Landscape in watercolours. (Zoom)

Dermot Cavanagh is the artist, tutor and broadcaster. He has been a prolific painter all his life, he has had numerous exhibitions of his work and his paintings hang in collectors' homes around the world. He is regularly commissioned to create original pieces of work and particularly likes to focus on paintings depicting his native Irish landscape. Dermot demonstrates to art clubs and societies and holds painting courses throughout Britain. He also organises painting holidays to Ireland and abroad. Dermot is a published author and has produced many teaching videos. He has appeared on various television and radio programmes around the world and has won many awards and favourable reviews by critics for his work. He is also a regular contributor to Art magazines and publications.


6th November 2020
Ronney Ireland Take 6: Interiors (Zoom)

Born and educated in Glasgow Graduated in Drawing & Painting; Then an Honours Degree with The Open University majoring on 20th century Arts, History and Philosophy. I have exhibited in Scotland, Northern England and now mainly in the Home Counties, where I have lived for the past three years.
The main influences come from the Old Masters coupled with theatre, film and photography. I try to integrate these potent sources to make intriguing, often mysterious images that will provoke a reaction in the viewer. My own work is usually allegorical in nature whether featuring the Human figure (my main subject), Landscape or Still Life. It always leaves space for the viewer to enter into the picture, developing their own ideas with whatever narrative I have implied. It is mainly for private collectors, often commissioned for home or office to a theme which interests them.


4th December 2020
Vic Bearcroft Animals in pastels (Zoom)

Vic is a professional wildlife and pet portrait artist, who specialises in pastel on velour, but also works in pencil, watercolour, coloured pencil, charcoal, oil and acrylic media. Having spent part of his childhood in Kenya, Vic has been drawing animals since he could hold a pencil. Being passionate about wildlife in general - particularly wolves - enables Vic to work with a large number of animal welfare and conservation organisations worldwide, donating prints, merchandise and funds. Winning best in show at his first ever wildlife art exhibition, Vic has gone on to win further awards for his work, including the prestigious 'Endangered Species' category in the 2012 BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.
“While I consider myself to be a wildlife artist, I prefer to paint close up intimate portraits of animals as individuals, rather than in landscape settings. My aim is to capture not only the likeness of the subject in my painting, but also the life and soul in its eyes. To me, eyes are the most important aspect of a portrait – human or animal. People tell me they can see my paintings come to life through the eyes.”


8th January 2021
Paul Oakley paints a woodland scene in oils. (Zoom)

Mainly self-taught, Paul has developed his skills as an oil painter through attending Norfolk Painting School and, as well as exhibiting, enjoys sharing what he has learnt and continues to learn through running courses and giving demonstrations.


5th February 2021
Aine Divine paints a portrait in oils and acrylics. (Zoom)

Aine Divine paints a portrait in oils and acrylics 2, 2021
Aine is a portrait artist and art teacher. Originally from Co. Cork, graduated in 1991 from the Crawford College of Art and Design and in 1995 gained a Higher Diploma in art teaching. Now living in Roslin, Midlothian, teaches, paints, and is a mum to three wonderful girls.
Aine was shortlisted for the Irish National Portrait Award three years in a row and was an award winner in 1993. In 2005, painted Mo Mowlam for BBC 1's 'Star Portraits' and was delighted when she chose to keep the portrait. In 2007 she painted Olympic triple jumper, Jonathan Edwards, and has done commissioned portraits of footballers for the Hibernian Historical Society and winners of the British Open Golf Championship. She was a finalist in Sky Arts portrait artist of the year 2014, painting singer Neil Hannon in the first round, then a double portrait of Richard Dawkins and Sally Hitchner in the semi-final, RSC voice coach Cicely Berry, and Sir Ian McKellen in the final.
One of her self-portraits was selected for exhibition in the Royal Watercolour Society's annual contemporary art show at the Bankside Gallery in London in 2014 and won the Heatherley’s Studio Award. She has also won Winsor and Newton awards for a portrait of Matthew in the same show in 2013, and for 'Carolina in Gold' in 2015. She exhibits widely in Scotland and won the watermark award at the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour summer show last year for one of her many portraits of singer Lake Montgomery.


5th March 2021
Anna Conti gives a talk on stained glass. (Zoom)

Whilst studying a degree in Industrial Design, Anna's imagination was caught by contemporary stained glass. Without hesitation she moved to Chelsea School of Art to study it in more detail. Since then she's been working in both traditional and contemporary designs and takes on renovation work. 'It's the sheer beauty of light falling through coloured glass with its bubbles and imperfections that never ceases to amaze and fascinate me......I never get tired of my job!' Apart from commissions, Anna Conti also runs workshops teaching the craft on an individual basis or to groups of children and adults of all ages and abilities. She gives talks and has appeared as their stained glass expert on 'This Morning' TV show with Richard and Judy. Anna Conti Stained Glass designs can be found in Europe and America.


9th April 2021
Ian McManus paints a landscape with figures in watercolour.

Ian McManus watercolours, April 2021
I began painting with acrylics and then moved on to oils, but I was never happy with my efforts. I realised I needed to learn the art of painting from the beginning again and enrolled in an art course at the local college. However, the only course available was for watercolour, so I thought I’d give it a go! From there on I was hooked on watercolour and I now paint exclusively in that medium. My style is direct application of paint with no overlay of washes as I believe this gives the finished painting the transparency so desired by many watercolour artists. I believe that anyone who is passionate enough about painting can learn to paint. It’s a continual learning experience, but very rewarding when it all comes together and you finish up with a painting you’re happy with. I run a weekly watercolour class, and also do occasional day workshops for art groups. My subjects are taken from everyday life, from the UK to France, Spain, Greece – anywhere there’s a moment to be captured in watercolour.


7th May 2021
David Fletcher’s talk is entitled ‘A Few of My Favourite Things – with a Bedford Slant’.

This Bedford-based expert's love of antiques started with childhood visits to his grandmother’s treasure trove of a house. David started his professional career in Hertfordshire, selling livestock and poultry before moving on to antiques. David’s interest in the antiques trade was encouraged by watching the gentle and courteous style of Arthur Negus on the antiques quiz show Going for a Song. He was hooked and eventually wangled his way onto the rostrum in his firm’s antiques sale. For David it was a dream come true. When he’s not valuing antiques on Flog It!, David is a consultant auctioneer for an auction house in Bedford. Beyond the saleroom, he can frequently be found guiding 'behind the ropes' visits to country houses, art galleries and museums, getting to grips with the items and objects on display.


4th June 2021
Peter Keegan Alla Prima, wet in wet oil portrait.

Peter Keegan is a professional artist living and working in Buckinghamshire, specialising in portraiture. Trained at Cardiff School of Art and working in oils, Peter follows traditional techniques but uses them in a way to depict the people he meets in a modern and original style. His aim in portraiture is to always create a painting or drawing that reflects the subject's likeness and personality, as well as capturing those special elements which make the subject truly "them". Peter also paints and exhibits figure paintings, local landscape and still life paintings.


2nd July 2021
Caroline Furlong’s subject is Fieldlines – a landscape in mixed media.

Caroline loves painting, both indoors and out. It does not matter whether it is of flora, fauna or something not girlie like at all. If it captures her imagination or even originates entirely from it, then out come the brushes and she is away. Her favourite topics though are landscapes, street scenes and coastal areas. She is now running workshops for art groups, giving demonstrations to art societies, promoting products for companies and running events for shops as well as showing in galleries.


10th September 2021
To be confirmed