Mother and Child by Marie Blake SGFA was featured in DRAW 12, the Society’s Annual Open Exhibition, as the prize for the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution (AGBI) fund raising raffle.
We thought Marie’s celebration of life was a fitting way to mark the beginning of a new year. Marie writes about the AGBI, and how she came to donate her work of art to the cause:
“Mother and Child is a little linocut of my daughter and grandchild.
“The ‘To Do’ List of the SGFA is constantly full and frequently frantic. Within this list there is a modest little item known as the AGBI.
“The Artists’ General Benevolent Institution is easily overlooked amongst all the pressing and glamorous items on our agenda, but when times are really hard the AGBI is our safety net.
“I am always willing to subscribe to this good cause, but have frequently been guilty of letting time slip by until the final reminder.
“Economic vulnerability for an artist is largely due to a responsibility for loved ones, and I have felt the need to express this in a tangible form; to this end I selected Mother and Child as a donation for the AGBI in DRAW 12.”
Printmaking is just one of Marie’s many areas of expertise. Marie qualified as an art teacher in 1959 at the Central College of London University, taught art in mainstream education, and together with her husband Charles Smith set up the Lyme Regis painting Workshops for residential students, which ran successfully for fifteen years. “My years of teaching,” she says, “have taught me to be versatile across all painting, drawing and printmaking media.”
Marie has written for the art magazines Leisure Painter and Artists and Illustrators, and her book You can Paint Pastels was published in London, New York, Paris, Moscow and Indonesia. She has exhibited regularly throughout the years with open exhibitions and in the galleries of her local area of Dorset, Somerset and Devon.
Marie was elected a full member of the Society in 2007, and served as Hon Sec for five years before retiring from the Council in 2012. To see more of Marie’s work, visit her web site at www.marieblake.com
“Drawing is of primary importance to me. It is the act that transposes thought into form and is the seed of inspiration.”
Editor’s note: The Artists’ General Benevolent Institution was founded by JMW Turner in 1814 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1842. It is one of the oldest charities in the United Kingdon. The AGBI helps professional artists who are in difficulty by virtue of loss of work, sickness and old age, and helps artists’ dependents by providing for the education of children up to the age of seventeen and later.
Each year the Society raises funds for the AGBI through the sale of raffle tickets during its Annual Open Exhibitions. Donations small or large may also be sent to the Society’s AGBI Steward for the current year, who will pass them on to the AGBI. www.agbi.co.uk