Art Appreciation

This group meets on the 3rd Monday each month from 10.30 am – 12.00 pm.   We hope to return to St Mary’s Lounge from October 2021.

New members are welcome. For more information contact Helen Baker tel. 01773 710743 or email

In September we plan to visit the Harley Gallery, Worksop.   As the gallery is closed on Mondays our visit will be on Tuesday 21st September.  Meet in Morrison’s Car Park ready to leave at 10.00 am prompt.

The list of topics we hope to cover in the next few months are:

  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • The Pitman Painters
  • Magritte
  • Clarisse Cliff
  • Celebrity artists
  • Banksy
  • Pointilism


Future Meetings:

Art Appreciation – Programme for 2021

18th January

Planning meeting


15th February Roy Lichtenstein
15th March Banks
19th April Native American Art
May review of Native American Art presentation
June Celebrity Art
July Colliers’ Wood – show and tell
August summer break
September visit to Harley Gallery, Worksop
October visit to Erewash Museum
November Clarice Cliff
December Christmas break

Visit our gallery

Past meetings and visits:

July 2021 – at Colliers’ Wood – show and tell

Eight of us met at Colliers Wood on a very warm morning in July for our first face-to-face meeting.

We shared items of interest that we have collected over the years; some related to our recent topics of study and others that we have picked up on our travels.  These included books of photographs of Native Americans and Banksy, Egyptian hieroglyphs on papyrus, an Italian terracotta plaque and a watercolour by local woman, Vera Hedderley.  All got us started on a wide-ranging conversation.

We planned the rest of our meetings for the year which may be subject to change depending on how the Covid situation develops.

In September we plan to visit the Harley gallery at Welbeck Abbey.  An exhibition of landscapes is being curated from the prestigious Jerwood Collection and will include paintings by Hockney and Lowry.  We hope October will be an indoor meeting to look at Edward Hopper and November will be about Clarice Cliff.

June 2021 – Celebrity Art
We looked at four celebrities who are artists:
Prince Charles – had some professional training and produced pleasant, scenic watercolours and one surprising one of Diana.
Billy Connelly – has published 6 collections of mainly black and white slightly surreal line drawings of male figures.
Derren Brown – caricature/surreal/unflattering portraits of famous people,  but very cleverly detailed and executed (imagines his subjects will not like them) Probably right!
Una Stubbs – simply executed watercolour portraits, two of which (of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) exhibited at RA.

May 2021
We reviewed April’s meeting with guest speaker Stuart Hancock and then discussed the options for opening up after lockdown: continuing on Zoom; meeting in St Mary’s Lounge; visits to local exhibitions.

Report – April/May:  The Art of the Native American
We were very pleased to be able to welcome a guest speaker to our Zoom meeting in April. Stuart Hancock gives
talks mainly on British and American art in all its forms, generally of the 20th and 21st centuries.
We chose to hear him speak on Native American art – and what an experience it was. He showed some historic
works as he briefly explained the history of the Native Americans, how their art reflected their beliefs and ways of
life, and then their treatment by successive generations of settlers and governments. This provided the background
to the modern pieces that showed influences from the past.
Stuart had obviously put a lot of time and effort into such a detailed presentation, and we were immensely moved.
Many of us had not appreciated how badly the Native Americans had been treated and were stunned by the
different view he gave us.

It is unusual for the group to be lost for words during a meeting. There was a lot to take in so we agreed that we
needed to take some during our May meeting to reflect on what we had seen and learned.

Many of us will be reading more on the subject.

March 2021
We had a very enjoyable presentation lead by Margaret on the enigma that is Banksy. We were all surprised both by how much work he has produced and by the diverse nature of it. He is well known as a graffiti artist but was also behind the ‘Dismaland’ installation at Weston super Mare, some years ago, and the ‘Walled Off Hotel’ on the West Bank, and there are several books and films too. We were not all aware of just how far around the world his works have been installed and he’s been seen in Nottingham of course with ‘Hula Hooping Girl’.
We looked at the breadth of his work from beginnings as a graffiti artist and designer of albumcovers for the Bristol music scene, through various exhibitions and some of his well-known and controversial pieces. He very cleverly highlights political and social issues with recurring themes such as war and poverty. He was voted Britain’s favourite artist in 2019.
He very often causes headlines as when the famous ‘Girl with Balloon’ shredded itself on being bought at auction for £1m+. The painting was not completely destroyed, and it could now be worth twice as much!
There is a lot more about him on the internet and his own website is Margaret had a tough time picking out what to show us in our limited meeting time and I’m sure we’ll all be exploring more about him.
Below: ‘Stop and Search’,’Flower Thrower’ and ‘Girl with Balloon’.

February 2021
There was a bumper turnout for our meeting this month, 13 out of 17 members.
David gave us a presentation on Roy Lichtenstein, starting with a brief outline of his early life and career. He showed a number of examples of different styles of his work which piqued our interest and gave rise to a variety of questions which give us all something to research further.
Lichtenstein was a leading figure in the pop art movement in America. He produced paintings parodying the comic strip and advertising, and even versions of other artists such as van Gogh.

January 2021
We discussed our plans for the year and then had a presentation on Alfred Wallis. He was a Cornish fisherman who turned to painting very late in life.  He was unable to afford the usual artist materials so used ship’s paint etc and often worked on scraps of wood and card, with a limited colour palette. He died in the workhouse not having been recognised for his talent in his lifetime.




September/October 2020 on Zoom

We have started meeting together via Zoom and our sessions are running pretty much as they were before.  One of us leads on a topic and others join in with observations, questions or extra information so it’s not like a lecture. It’s working very well and we are very pleased to have welcomed two new members.

Not all the group’s members join us but any presentations or notes are emailed out to all with a report of the meeting so we hope they don’t feel that they’re missing too much.  We have also been sending out links to online exhibitions and other happenings.We are missing going out to exhibitions which have been very enjoyable experiences.

In September, David introduced us to the Newlyn School and a particular favourite of his, Stanhope Forbes, a founding member of the movement.  He described how the artists painted from real life, using local models and illustrating local life, showing us lots of examples.

In October, Helen showed a presentation on Fauvism. This was a movement in France following Impressionism, foremost of whose artists was Matisse.  They were called ‘Les Fauvres’ or The Wild Beasts because of the impact ofthe aggressive nature of their painting and often strident use of colour.

November’s meeting is about Modern Architecture with a look at the Bauhaus School, Frank Lloyd Wright and Gaudi.

There will be no meeting in December and we will get together again in January to plan our next year of study.

Helen Baker, Group Contact.

March 2020 – Welbeck’s Harley Gallery

We went ahead with our planned visit (well 3 of us did) to see the Lego exhibition in the Harley Gallery just before Lockdown.  It was called Brick by Brick and included everything from sculpture to photography, not just bricks.

The exhibits were thought provoking, such as the guns reproduced in Lego by a Northern Ireland artist who was familiar with both as he was growing up, to the funny as in the use of Lego figures in comic-style images.
Here are just a few of our favourites:

Art Appreciation Archive 2017-19 | Eastwood and District u3a (

During Lockdown we are hoping to visit lots of museums and art galleries albeit virtually!

Further information

Here are some links to follow when in isolation.  They allow you to ‘visit’ some great museums worldwide:

Guggenheim Museum, New York – 3D tour

Musee d’Orsay, Paris

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – 3D tour

Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Uffizi Gallery, Florence – install Google Arts & Culture app to explore virtual reality tour

MASP, Sao Paulo – install Google Arts & Culture app to explore virtual reality tour

National Gallery of Art, Washington – install Google Arts & Culture app to explore virtual reality tour

Paris Museums – 100,000 images online for free viewing

Googles Art site – explore in 3D many places of interest

Most detailed ever photograph of The Night Watch goes online – Rijksmuseum