Image of the Month: Borough Market by Les Williams SGFA

Borough Market

“Borough Market”, pen and ink on paper, Les Williams SGFA


‘ I sat on a bright sunny, Saturday morning in September with colleagues Stuart Stanley and Lyndsey Smith from SGFA looking out over a very busy Borough Market, bustling with tourists. Through the queues for the Monmouth Coffee shop, and the beer drinkers at the Market Porter, I can see the spires of Southwark Cathedral in the distance. A great place to come sketching’

Les finds inspiration in the life and buildings of the City of London, having worked there for many years.

Photograph showing the top of Southwark Cathedral, by Les Williams SGFA

Photograph showing the top of Southwark Cathedral, by Les Williams SGFA

‘It is impossible not to be impressed by the way buildings and areas rapidly change, providing the opportunity to record history in the making’.


Profile of the Artist: Les Williams SGFA

Les Williams and colleagues enjoying a coffee at the Southwark Cathedral Refectory.

Les Williams and colleagues enjoying a coffee at the Southwark Cathedral Refectory.

Les Williams SGFA works in pen and wash and he loves painting on location. He has trained at the Royal Drawing School and under the tutorage of some of the leading watercolourists in the United Kingdom. Over the last few years he has exhibited on many occasions in London, including The Barbican, Menier Gallery, Lloyd’s, Bankside Gallery, St Martins in the Fields and Southwark Cathedral.’

Upcoming exhibitions in 2016 include  the Barbican Center, London 2nd – 24th Feb, University College Hospital Gallery 3rd March – 24th April part of Drawing London Group, and Norfolk Open Studios in June.

Les is exhibiting this picture as part of “Drawing on Location”, a show featuring images created by SGFA members on a drawing day around Southwark Cathedral. The exhibition 16 January – 11 March 2016

For more information:

Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie is based in Birmingham, for more information please see

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Image of the Month: Mask by Harriet Brigdale SGFA

"Mask 2", Harriet Brigdale SGFA

“Mask 1”, Harriet Brigdale SGFA

I have always been interested in masks and very interested in signs and symbols and their meanings.  Also I am so interested in the reasons for wearing a mask, a place to hide or is it the pretend you are someone else, a God or a devil ?  The masks are also stunning without the wearer, hinting at past events, and forever locked behind glass in an museum.

I have used a 19th century Ngil mask from Gabon as the basis of the first image and I used a pattern from a Pongo Barkcloth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a lot of symbols that float about in my head , I loved some of the images of the Ice Age exhibition in the British Museum a few years ago, all filed away for future use.

"Mask 2", Harriet Brigdale SGFA

“Mask 2”, Harriet Brigdale SGFA

Drawing the second mask I used lots of different face shapes and symbols and created my own mask, again I used ink, gold pigment which I mixed with Nori glue, Sumi paper and silver felt tip pens.
I use Arches Not paper, it’s a high sized paper I love drawing lines with a pen and Senellier  black ink, this ink is water soluble when wet, but becomes waterproof within a few minutes.

Profile of the Artist: Harriet Brigdale SGFA

IMG_0528Harriet Brigdale was born in Holland where she attended a Steiner school in The Hague.  She moved to England to attend the Chelsea School of and and London College of Printing. For the past 29 years Harriet has been a full time artist printmaker and teacher, producing card designs for Aries Design, Gordon Fraser, Two Bad Mice and others. Her previous exhibitions have been include the Gallery Graffiti, Business Art at the Royal Academy and Amalgem in Barnes. Harriet’s interests centre on drawing, printmaking, mixed media, quilting, watercolours, oils and pastels. Her etchings have been sold in galleries in the UK, US, Japan and Australia.


avitarCharlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie’s studio is based in London where she draws and paints. For more information please see

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Lyndsey Smith ASGFA is a Christmas Bestseller!

Lyndsey Smith’s Eastbourne themed Christmas card has become a local bestseller. Depicting the local beach with residents enjoying a wintery swim, Lyndsey’s illustration has captured the imagination of Christmas card buyers. Alongside illustrating scenes local to Eastbourne Lyndsey has also produced a set of cards themed around London’s Westminster Abbey.

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Image of the Month “Snow Orchard” by Ruth Baron Ezra SGFA


“Snow Orchard”, 187 x 132mm, Ruth Baron Ezra SGFA.

The graphic qualities of snow-covered landscapes have always fascinated me. Clarity and detail appear sharpened when tonal polarities of intense whiteness and darkness sit side by side.

When I was studying at Wall Hall College I would often take a walk in the college grounds, clear my head, ready to tackle another essay perhaps. During all of the seasons the scenery around the college was incredibly varied. I would sketch and take photographs throughout the year in the orchards, the woodlands, open fields or Italian Garden. Like a number of teacher training campuses at that time in the 1970s, Wall Hall College had been built and expanded around a former country house in Hertfordshire, along with the estate’s wonderful gardens and surroundings.

Many years later, looking through old photos I came across some rather dog-eared images of the orchards blanketed in snow, and one immaculately dark and light image with not a footprint to be seen anywhere – on the day that I took the photo, I had definitely got there first! Looking at that photo once again, even in its forlorn state, it seemed a classic image and one that would lend itself beautifully to a black and white drawing – I was surprised I hadn’t used it years ago.

In the pencil drawing you see above, the density of tiny branches in the upper part has been deliberately filled out to the top in order to give greater contrast between the whiteness of the snow in the foreground and the almost total darkness of the trees above. In between lies the random spread of spidery, snow laden branches. I tried to give a sense of depth, as if the orchard just carries on endlessly into the distance.

Many other snowy and frosty subjects have caught my eye over the years – a snow covered pile of logs in the garden, icicles hanging from the edge of a thatched roof, different types of tracks left in the snow, hoar frost clinging to a tree and so white and crisp it looks like snow.

Perhaps this winter will make for some great snowy or frosty scenes…… who knows?




Profile of the Artist: Ruth Baron Ezra SGFA

RuthBaronEzraRuth lives and works in Test Valley in Hampshire. She creates finely worked graphite drawings, many of them reminiscent of etchings and illustrations. She loves to get into the detail of myriad subjects from nature, and natural forms. She enjoys exploring the shapes, contours and textures but most of all the tonal ranges in those subjects, highlighting the striking qualities of dark pitched against light. Sometimes the material is rendered in her own stylised way, resulting in strong elements of pattern and design.

More recently, Ruth’s art has been inspired by tropical plants and visits to botanic gardens during a number of trips abroad to Australia, Singapore, Israel and Peru. Closer to home she has enjoyed the wonderful attractions at Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, Cornwall, and oddly enough a local lavender garden with tropical plants. What appeals to her are the boldness and solidity of tropical plant shapes and masses, and the strong contours. Again, she particularly enjoys the contrasts made by intense sunlight, and darker, more shadowy areas, not forgetting those areas that reveal more subtle, intermediate tones.

Ruth studied Art and Design for a B.Ed (Hons) at Wall Hall College, Hertfordshire in the 1970s specialising in drawing and painting. During the 1980s she had a number of teaching jobs in the London area, always using art widely in her teaching. In the early 1990s Ruth gained an MA in Art History of the Modern Period from Goldsmith’s College, University of London. She taught history of Art during the 1990s, running a variety of courses for Artscope and at Adult Learning Centres in Kent. She has also written on art, and helped in setting up the Turner Centre project, now Turner Contemporary in Margate,  where she provided the initial research on Turner’s connections with Margate.

For the last twelve years, Ruth has returned to her distinctive and intricate style of drawing that she first crafted back in the 1970s.

Ruth has exhibited in venues and galleries across the South of England, including the Oxmarket Chichester, Southampton City Art Gallery, Salisbury Playhouse, Project Workshops Quarley, the Allen Gallery Alton, Weyhill Gallery, Hackwood Arts Festival, and Sir Harold Hilliers Gardens, Hampshire. A number of Ruth’s works are held in the Hampshire County Museums Fine Art collection.

For the last ten years she has exhibited with 4Seasons Artists for all of the Spring season at the Five Arrows Gallery, sited within Exbury Gardens, Hampshire, and famous for the Rothschild collection of azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and rare trees.

Ruth was elected to the SGFA in May 2011 and has exhibited with them at Ilminster Arts Centre, R K Burt, Barbican, Menier and Bankside galleries, London.

avitarCharlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie’s studio is based in London where she draws and paints. For more information please see

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Austin Cole selected for ING Discerning Eye 2015

The 2015  Discerning Eye Exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1, and will be open to the public daily from Thursday 12 November until Sunday 22 November. Entrance will be free and all works will be for sale.

The SGFA is delighted that Austin Cole RBA, ASGFA has had two piece selected for the show.

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The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. Work is selected from open submission and from artists invited by the individual selectors. Each selector’s section is hung separately giving the impression of six small exhibitions within the whole. The 2015 selectors are Emma Bridge­water, Nicole Farhi CBE, Larry Lamb, Stephen Snoddy, Stephen Doherty and Steve Pill.

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Katya by Svetlana Cameron ASGFA

“Katya”, charcoal and conte on paper, 45x35 cm, 2015, Svetlana Camera ASGFA.

“Katya”, charcoal and conte on paper, 45×35 cm, 2015, Svetlana Camera ASGFA.


“Katya” is the first in the set of three portraits that Svetlana is creating for the girls’ family.

“Most people believe that the hardest thing about working with children is to make them sit still. OK, that can be tricky, but is not as impossible as people think. The real challenge is to reveal the character of my young sitter and create a portrait that will make people see beyond the cute little face and feel that there is a deep inner world behind it. I feel I’ve managed to achieve my goal in this work”.

At the beginning of 2015 the portrait “Katya” became a finalist in the ARC International Salon, one of the most prestigious international competitions for realist artists.

In her drawings Svetlana Cameron uses the so-called “three-colour technique”, a combination of charcoal and red and white conte on toned paper, with occasional use of pastel for colour accents. The images are slowly and meticulously built up in layers of semi-translucent veils of colour, which allows the artist to create delicate life-like skin tones and achieve a very high degree of realism in her work.

Profile of the Artist: Svetlana Cameron ASGFA

Svetlana Cameron ASGFA at work in her studio.

Svetlana Cameron ASGFA at work in her studio.

Svetlana Cameron (b.1978) is a Russian-born British portrait artist. Trained in the methods of Old Masters, Cameron specialises in traditional portraiture in the style of classical realism. She is based in the Isle of Man where she works out of her studio in Braddan. A sought-after portrait painter, she travels internationally to exhibit and meet her sitters.

Svetlana’s works hang in many private and public collections. Her portraits of Speakers of the Isle of Man Parliament are now part of the UK National Collection of Oil Paintings and are featured on the BBC Your Paintings website.

Svetlana Cameron was elected associate member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in 2013.

In September 2015 Cameron’s  “Daniel” portrait won the Strokes of Genius drawing competition. Along with the other winning artworks “Daniel” will be published in the 8th volume of “Strokes of Genius”, a prestigious series of books featuring finest examples of contemporary drawing. It is Svetlana’s second successful participation in this annual competition: in 2013 her work “Girl with the Pearl Earring” stood out from thousands of worldwide submissions and was featured in the 6th volume of “Strokes of Genius”.

“Stroke of Genius” is organised by the North Light Books publishing house in the USA. It is an annual art competition open to living artists from around the world. Each year around 100 works are selected to represent the best in contemporary drawing.

Svetlana exhibited “Manx Folk Dancer” with the SGFA at Bankside in 2015, we are delighted to note that it is now a finalist in the International Artist Magazine “People and Figures” competition and will be published alongside an article on Svetlana’s drawing in early 2016.

You can see more of Svetlana’s work here

avitarCharlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie’s studio is based in London where she draws and paints. For more information please see

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Image of the Month: Beyond Repair by Abbie Phillips ASGFA

beyond repair small


Beyond Repair, 2014, collage, cotton, and netting on paper

In experiencing a sense of distance and lack of control over life, this work was inspired and the sensation fuelled the choice and use of medium. There is no direct mark making involved, only frozen photographic evidence of it, which is pieced together in a reanimated fractured collage. Thread and pins hold the puzzle together to maintain order and prevent the material work and the illusion on its surface from falling apart.
Drawing is a sensibility and action through which I analyse the internal realm and process the external world. A drawing tool is an extension of the fingers, of the body, its movements of which is responsive to one’s state of being. As a form of expression, drawing has an immediacy where marks can suggest sensitivity, boldness, obsession and much more. In understanding oneself, one’s own mind and emotions, it is made possible to empathise and communicate with others. Society consists of individuals experiencing individual psychological and emotional processes, yet we are able to connect like a network which allows society to function.

Ones’ state of being is a reaction to the conditions of one’s personal life, which is affected by the opportunities, restrictions and morals of society, which above all is influenced by cultural issues and political decisions. Although not openly political, this ripple effect triggers a personal response, which in turn inspires the work I create. The drawings are intuitive, are explorations of biological/psychological/philosophical ideas, as well as records of the journey through my existence.

Cultivating this primary resource often leads to drawings that resemble maps, cosmic realms, banks of data, and unidentified organisms. The drawings are often complex, sometimes existing as a history of mark making language which constructs and evolves over time. The working process of application and erasure, of layering and penetration, can lead to a battle between intimate concentrated moments of focus and overall pictorial space.

Profile of the Artist: Abbie Phillips ASGFA

Abbie Philips

Abbie Phillips ASGFA

Born in Gloucester in 1992, Abbie currently lives and works in London. Abbie graduated from the University Of Gloucestershire in 2014 with a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art Painting and Drawing. She was encouraged to submit to the Society after members saw her joint show with Ira Hoffecker at the Menier Gallery, London. Abbie was elected as an Associate SGFA in 2015.


avitarCharlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. Charlie’s studio is based in London where she draws and paints. For more information please see

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