Image of the Month: The Industrialists by Kevin Wells ASGFA

Kevin Wells ASGFA "The Industrialists"

Kevin Wells ASGFA “The Industrialists”, pencil on paper, 50 x 40 cm, 2015.


The Industrialists was unusual for me in the sense the idea came to my mind fully formed and was then drawn pretty much as it was imagined. Usually, I start a drawing with at best a vague idea, or, more often with no idea at all, just the desperate hope that something worthwhile will emerge from my scribbles. The inspiration probably came from a slight obsession with things Victorian, the experience of the polluted metropolis and the joy of drawing tall hats. At the time I made this drawing I had put my cartoony scrawls to one side to work on a series of more objective pencil drawings but could clearly feel the influence of my more natural tendencies beginning to seep through in the faces of these Victorian gentlemen.

Profile of the Artist: Kevin Wells ASGFA

A compulsive doodler drawing inspiration from the characters around him much of Kevin’s work is a development of his sketchbook drawings. These sketchbooks are crammed with rapidly rendered figures scratched from life, memory and imagination. Kevin studied fine art at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham (UCA), won the 2005 Winsor & Newton Watts Prize and was the first Artist in Residence at the Watts Gallery in Compton. “The Industrialists” won the Best Themed Work prize at the SGFA Annual Exhibition Draw 15. Kevin was elected an Associate member of the SGFA in 2015.

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Joining the SGFA and Call for Entries “Draw 16”


Draw 15, Menier Gallery, London

Each year the SGFA hold their Annual Open Exhibition at the Menier Gallery, London. There are numerous prizes to be won and submissions are open to all.

The deadline this year for paper based applications is July 15 and for email applications July 22, 2016.

Artists whose work is accepted via Open Submission are eligible to apply for Associate Membership with the Society of Graphic Fine Art.

Sally Friend ASGFA, ASWA, exhibited with the Society of Graphic Fine Art before becoming a member. She explains how she found out about the SGFA and how it has helped her professional development.

I first found out about The Society of Graphic Fine Art when I picked up a “Call For Entries” flyer at The Mall Galleries. It was for DRAW13.

I hadn’t been making Fine Art for long but was a Graphic Designer. Having work accepted for an exhibition at The Mall Galleries on my first attempt, had given me confidence, so I thought I would go for it!

I submitted one print, an etching called The Bathers. The Bathers was the second print I’d ever made, so I really wasn’t sure it was good enough.

I was very excited when it was accepted. I remember the “handing in” morning at The Menier Gallery and seeing all the work being handed in and thinking, “crumbs, the work is of an amazingly high standard. Hope they haven’t made a mistake”.

When I passed my print over to the smiley lady at the desk, she exclaimed “I loved this!” Her friendliness made me feel very encouraged and welcome. She turned out to be the gorgeous Harriet Brigdale SGFA, mother figure, encourager, Bulletin Editor and glue of SGFA. Now my lovely friend.


The Bulletin keeps SGFA members up to date with the latest exhibitions, news and gossip.

The night before the Opening of DRAW13, I was at home when the phone rang. It was the then President of the SGFA, Dr.Jo Hall PPSGFA, AOI. She told me that I’d won “The Award for a Highly Commended Print” for The Bathers and hoped I would be attending the Private View.

I was stunned, it was such a confidence booster. I remember feeling really nervous waiting for the London train on the evening of the opening.

Later that evening I was overheard by Harriet at The Menier Gallery saying “I’m not sure what a mezzotint is.” She immediately introduced me to the brilliant mezzotint expert, Clive Riggs SGFA. He had a gorgeous prize winning print of a hare in the exhibition. He explained the mezzotint process to me so enthusiastically, that I was inspired to buy a “ready rocked plate” the following week and have a go.

The atmosphere of the Exhibition Opening was very welcoming and friendly. It was lovely to be amongst fellow drawers who loved drawing as much as me. I was also very excited to sell two of my Bathers prints that evening!

I’d volunteered to do a couple of sessions of stewarding and found I was paired up with someone called “Fitzy” (Glenn Fitzy Fitzpatrick ASGFA). He was so sweet and friendly. He made me coffee and told me all about his time in the army and his passion for drawing. His drawings were fabulously loose and expressive.


The Private View at Bankside Gallery of “Drawn Together” a members only exhibition, 2015

A couple of SGFA members said you should try for membership. A tall kindly chap who’d created the most amazing Prize Winning drawing of a ships’ figurehead (a self portrait), who I now know to be our illustrious Honorary Treasurer, Barry Harrison SGFA- winked and said “We LOVE sketchbooks!”

The following spring I received an email from the SGFA encouraging me to consider applying for membership. I remembered what Barry had said about sketchbooks. I knew I had a shelf in my studio groaning under the weight of sketch books.

I entered some work for DRAW14 and applied for membership.

I remember feeling a rush of nerves as I handed in my portfolio to the Associate’s Representative at The Menier Gallery. It was Charlie Kirkham SGFA and she was so smiley and warm, I immediately felt better. She asked me if I’d done the drawing of a soldier in a trench, Despair. When I said yes, she said “I love that!”

I had to return at about 4pm for the verdict from the committee. My supportive husband had taken the day off and we went to Tate Modern for a few hours. I found it hard to concentrate and look at the work, I was becoming more and more nervous.

At 4pm I returned to The Menier a nervous wreck. Christine Hopkins, SGFA, our fabulous secretary at the time, was seated at the desk. She was very welcoming and told me the President Jackie Devereux PSGFA would be with me shortly. I began looking at the exhibition which calmed my nerves, while I waited for Jackie.

Jackie appeared and said, “Well, we enjoyed looking at your work – ” I was waiting to hear, but we don’t think you’re ready yet , like they say on X Factor – but she said – “and we’d like to welcome you onboard!!!!!” I was so thrilled I went to give her massive a hug! To my horror I saw that she had her arm in a sling and I thought “oh no – I’ve just hurt the President”. Another “Bridget Jones” moment.

Anyway Jackie assured me I hadn’t damaged her arm and told me to go downstairs to collect my portfolio. When I did, I saw my drawing Despair on the far wall, it looked like it had a note below it. Intrigued, I went to take a look, had it won a prize?

I left the Gallery in a daze to meet my husband. When I saw him I burst into tears and said “I’ve been made a member and I think I’ve won a prize!” I was in such a daze, I wasn’t sure if I’d imagined it.

Later, at the Private View, I went to check and I had won something. Andrew Marr presented me with the “The Award for Themed Work” for Despair. It had been selected by The Very Rev’d Andrew Nunn (Southwark Cathedral), who’d said “It had touched his heart”.
Later, Andrew Marr told me that “the drawing was very beautiful”. I was so thrilled and excited, I’ll never forget that evening.


Drawing Days are a great chance to meet like minded artists

Over the following year I went to the SGFA Drawing Days and began to meet the other members and make friends. I loved the companionship of drawing with a group and sharing each others sketch books. I was introduced to museums I hadn’t visited before, like the Horniman.

I am friends with SGFA members on Facebook and enjoy seeing their work and sharing mine. When I’m stuck with something or need technical help, I have a family of friends and colleagues that understand, with masses of experience to draw upon.

Finally, last October I had two works selected for DRAW15. A painting about my grandparents and an etching called Rapture. It won “The Arcadia Award for a Highly Commended Print”. It was selected by Martin Shortis, from The Royal Drawing School and presented by John Huddy, owner of The Illustration Cupboard, St.James, London.

Submitting work to the SGFA Open Exhibitions, followed by being elected as a member, has been incredibly positive for my development as an artist. It’s so much better to take part in exhibitions before deciding if you would like to be considered for membership. There is the opportunity to meet members and to discover if they are your type and if you are a comfortable fit.

The members are amongst the most friendly, professional and encouraging of all the major art societies. I urge any artist who believes in drawing excellence to submit their work to DRAW16.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you would like to find out more about submitting your work for Draw 16 details are available at:

Posted in Drawing in the Media, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Site and Symbol Exhibtion from Maz Jackson SGFA


Poppy and Maz Jackson warmly invite you to SITE & SYMBOL an Exhibition and Film Launch. Private view 6 – 9pm Wed 22nd June. Exhibition Open 12 – 9pm 23rd – 25th June. At THE HOUSE, 64 Briarwood Road, London, SW4 9PX

Poppy is an international performance artist and painter, Arts Council and British Council Supported, recipient of the Arts admin 2016-17 Bursary. She is a visiting lecturer and tutor at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths College. She has also lectured in New York and Chicago in connection with her solo performances in both cities.

Maz is an SGFA member of 27 years, winner awards for drawing and printmaking. She has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for 40 years and has won awards for her egg tempera paintings in international exhibitions. She is also a Short Course Tutor at West Dean, once or twice a year.

To Maz and Poppy Jackson drawing comes first. Always carrying a sketch book, they both note down anything that excites or inspires.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A friend once said to Poppy ” I haven’t anything to draw with.”
“no problem,” said Poppy, “Use a fag end, it will do just as well!”
“Never stop drawing” is a message from them both.

” It feeds your head, your heart and builds a library of images to build your practice, whichever form it takes.”

Posted in Drawing in the Media, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Image of the Month: Rebuilding the Unbuilt by Sumi Perera SGFA

"Rebuilding the Unbuilt [Y Block]" Sumi Perera SGFA

“Rebuilding the Unbuilt [Y Block]” Etching, aquatint and stitching, 46 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches. Edition of 3. Printed and published by the artist, SuPerPress Editions, Redhill, Surrey. Sum Perera SGFA

Rebuilding the Unbuilt [Y Block] forms part of a series of prints derived from Sumi Perera’s drawing of the unbuilt Expo Tower designed for Montreal’s Expo 67 by Archigram member Peter Cook. Cook’s Expo Tower was based on Kiyonori Kikutake’s visionary floating metropolis of 1958.

Perera builds a drawn world from borrowed objects and images. Her prints are based on mixed elements combining photography, collographs, etching and aquatints. Perera has won international acclaim for her contemporary production methods in printing and the way she combines traditional draughtsmanship with new assemblage.

Profile of the Artist: Sumi Perera RE SGFA FSDC

Dr. Sumi Perera RE SGFA

Dr. Sumi Perera RE SGFA

As a student in Sri Lanka, Perera decided on a career in medicine. This background in medicine and science as well as a love of architecture fed into her later artistic practice. Sumi studied at the Camberwell College of Arts

Perera has won countless prizes for her work and exhibits worldwide. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the Society of Designers Craftsman. Her international award-winning work is held in prominent public collections including Tate Britain, V&A Museum, Ashmolean Museum, Yale Centre for British Art, USA.


Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. For more information please see

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stepping into Another Dimension

By Jackie Devereux PSGFA


‘Out of the Box, floral’ 75x50cm 3D Watercolour

My work is constantly evolving I work mainly in watercolour on a large scale, but also use line & wash.  Whilst developing a new series  I am literally taking ideas for a walk into another dimension. My work has sometimes involved trimming, although I usually work to the entire sheet size as a sort of challenge. However, trimming does have its fun moments, for example when the paper curls automatically as the rotary blade splices along. This effect is maximized when the trim is very fine, the finer, the curlier!

I enjoy creating a drawing or painting and then  folding, scoring, tearing, rolling, trimming and embossing, re-arranging certain elements and turning it on its head or inside out. This is a whole other way of seeing. Challenging the conventions of composition and framing is an important part of the journey. Sometimes the starting point for a piece of work is actually the frame, setting the stage so to speak.

‘Venice reconstructed’ 50x50cm, 3D Indian ink & wash/collage

‘Venice reconstructed’ 50x50cm, 3D Indian ink & wash/collage

The direction an idea takes depends upon a number of  things. My library of sketchbooks  provides the backbone for my work.  The end result may be quite minimalist, although the exploration of an idea can be complex and can take quite some time. Imagination and experimenting with tools and materials are all vital. Sometimes there is no definitive plan, it is an organic process. The negative space is as important as the marks made and anything can change in the process.


‘After the Storm’ 50x50cm, 3D Indian ink & wash/collage

Originally ideas stemmed from a love of the paper itself its pliability, texture and tones. Feeling the need to move ‘out of the box’ away from the confines of cut mounts and borders, I developed some pieces titled “Out of the Box”. I threaded the paper through cuts in the backgrounds, and then had the frame’s glass cut so that gaps could be left for the paper to fall out of the frames.




Editor’s Note

Jackie Devereux President SGFA is a professional artist and experienced tutor. She was elected as President of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in 2015. Her work features in international collections and Jackie has travelled the globe sketchbook in hand creating work. Jackie regularly participates Waterperry House’s “Art in Action” which will be held over four days this year from the 16-19 July 2016.


For more information:


"The Artist", July 2016

“The Artist”, July 2016

This article is adapted from an article originally written for “The Artist” magazine, published in the July 2016 issue. 

Posted in Drawing in the Media, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Image of the Month: Doggie Friends by Lisa Graa Jensen

"Doggy Friends", 30x30cm, acrylic water inks, Lisa Graa Jensen

“Doggy Friends”, 30x30cm, acrylic water inks, Lisa Graa Jensen

         Everyday I start off rain or shine, with an hour of walking with our dogs on Wimbledon Common -a lovely open patch of nature on the edge of London – lots of life going on – horse riding and lots of different interesting dog varieties and friendly people. This 30cm square illustration “Doggie Friends” is painted with acrylic water inks which give light resistant intense colours, and which publish very well. This image has been published by Museums and Galleries and depicts my 2 dogs.

Also shown here is “Hide and Seek” which won the Dry Red Press award at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours last year and  also illustrates dog walkers in autumn on Wimbledon Common. The image “Dog Walker” is on show in the 2016 RI show at the Mall. “Daily Constitutional” is currently at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery London SE1.


Profile of the Artist: Lisa Graa Jensen SGFA

Lisa has worked as an Illustrator for over  40 years after attending Camberwell School of Art and Design. Her work is shown regularly at the Red Rag Gallery at Stowe in the Wold,  the Mall Galleries, London and Llewellyn Alexander Gallery London.

For more information see

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sketching on Stage with Oliver Lovley


The Pitman Painters by Lee Hall

In 1934 a group of Northumberland miners attended a WEA evening class in art appreciation. Struggling to understand the paintings they were presented with, they began to paint the everyday things they saw around them, producing some iconic artwork.

Lee Hall, writer of Billy Elliot, again champions that culture should be available to all and tells their story in this award winning play. Funny, emotive and entertaining, the play examines the lives of this group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things.

Oliver Lovley in character

Oliver Lovley as Robert Lyon in “The Pitman Painters”, photograph by Grace Eden.

Oliver Lovley ASGFA, played Robert Lyon, artist and teacher. The role merged artist Oliver’s own talents in theatre and visual art. Here he explains more about keeping a sketchbook of the project and how it helped.

Why is it important to keep a sketchbook?

It is important because in my opinion it is comparable to doing scales on a musical instrument. Observational drawing is a skill I use in many ways constantly and I need to maintain it. I am only as good as the practice I have done.

How do you find combining theatre and visual art?

I found combining theatre and visual art quite a roller coaster ride – it had elements of a live art show where I would be demonstrating my drawing, but I was not supposed to be myself. Also when I was drawing live onstage I had only two minutes to finish and I was speaking lines at the same time. And I was using my non-dominant hand to draw!

Oliver drawing on stage using his left hand

Oliver drawing actor Fraser Wanless on stage using his left hand, photograph by Grace Eden.

When drawing on stage is it the character drawing or you?

I found that drawing live stage whilst speaking lines helped me to get a better idea of the character, who incidentally was a real person – the artist and teacher Robert Lyon. His work I believe is in the Essex Town Hall. I usually feel that drawing live is a performance.

Did drawing as someone else effect your own drawing style?

I found in the play I didn’t have time between scene changes for it to affect my style! I was drawing what I saw in front of me (another actor) and then I had to get off!

What other projects can we expect to hear about in the future?

At the moment I am finishing a large wall mural at The Malt Cross Music Hall in Nottingham where for the last year I have been their resident artist.
Very soon I will be designing and building a small set for a play ‘The Dance of Death’ by August Strindberg at The Lace Market Theatre. I am also exhibiting this year at Focus Gallery, Nottingham and The Nottingham Society of Artists.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oliver Lovley interviewed by Charlie Kirkham SGFA. Charlie is the Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. For more information please see

Posted in Artist in Residence, Interviews, The Sketchbook Series | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Image of the Month: Spring Surf by Felicity Flutter ASGFA

"Spring Surf"

“Spring Surf”, watercolour and pencil on paper, Felicity Flutter ASGFA

My process for producing ‘Spring Surf’ began with a reference photo I took at Winchelsea Beach near Rye on a blustery day. I brightened the reference photo on my computer and looked at close ups to study the wave forms and colours more closely; I then interpreted this into what would work as a painting. I began creating the painting with a loose drawing to indicate areas of light and dark. This was followed by wet washes of watercolour over the entire paper. The next stage was to draw the details in, once the paint was dry, with a shading technique using a range of Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils from B to 9B. I recently discovered Cretacolor Nero Pencils which are perfect for the darkest tones as they do not have a reflective finish as with the softest Graphite. I then continued to apply layers of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolours until I had built up the range of tones and colours which I felt worked best. I could not erase any of my pencil marks or this would have removed some of the watercolour paint so I needed to get it right first time.

I had left some areas of white paper but the final stage involved adding the splashes of white foam. To achieve a random effect, I masked off some of the painting with scraps of paper before ‘flicking’ opaque white to get the finest blobs of spray.
I like to keep a rhythm while I am painting, continually readjusting colours and tones as I work. This paper is robust enough for me to both apply my pencil mark-making and to build up layers of watercolour and washes until I have achieved the balance I am trying to attain in my paintings.

A painting can be similar to a signature, I am told that my watercolour work is very recognisable. However I am eager to experiment with new subject matter, techniques and materials. I have recently begun combining my love of drawing with watercolours, this technique has been inspired by becoming an SGFA member.

This has meant that I needed to search for a paper which would suit both wet and dry mediums. I contacted Stillman & Birn and tested out free samples of different papers they had sent me, settling on their Beta paper (extra heavyweight, white, cold press) it was just what I had been looking for.


Felicity Flutter SGFA

Felicity Flutter ASGFA

Profile of the Artist: Felicity Flutter ASGFA

Felicity Flutter ASGFA began as a Graphic Designer. She has lived in South East England all her life and is inspired by the Kent and Sussex countryside. In 1992 Felicity began to concentrate on watercolour painting. Her landscapes have been exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Society of Women Artists as well as being shown in the Society of Graphic Fine Art shows. Alongside painting and drawing Felicity is a committee member for South East Open Studios and the Cranbrook Art Show.

Exhibitions this year include the South East Open Studios, “Florum”, Sevenoaks and regular slots at the Artichoke Gallery in Ticehurst, East Sussex.

For more information please see:

Twitter: @FlicFlutter

Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. For more information please see

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Image of the Month: The Runner’s Dilemma by Barry Harrison SGFA


“The Runner’s Dilemma” pencil on paper, 21 x 27.9 cm, Barry John Harrison SGFA

My crayons definitely decorated the walls when I was a child, but the trauma of chastisement is forgotten; all I know is that in my teens I started drawing and since then I have never stopped, slowed sometimes, but never stopped. In true artistic tradition I was the child with the sick note and managed to stay well away from most exercise. Then, oddly, in my mid 40s I tried long and then longer distance walking which led to running, then marathons and ultramarathons. So now I had two obsessive compulsive disorders (actually more, but I won’t bore you), drawing and running.

People I meet find this an odd combination, but mentally they are very similar, physically one is a little more perilous; yes I have cut myself sharpening a pencil, but the injury has never needed physiotherapy. A run and a drawing are difficult to start, the horror of the blank white page, dare you mar it; the thought of leaving a warm house and going out in the usually inclement weather. Then when you do start it’s mark after mark, or step after step. Sometimes brain and body enter a state where everything feels possible, at other times it is all frustration, but something keeps you going. And it is the keeping going that is the real pleasure. A marathon is a runners high, but it is the 30/40+ miles you run week after week that is the real thing. When your picture, in its neat frame, goes on the wall there is the feeling of achievement, but it’s the making of the marks that is important.

Further Information: Barry Harrison SGFA

The Society of Graphic Fine Art has a history of supporting the AGBI, Artists General Benevolent Institution. The charity is best known for being set up by J.M.W. Turner. Many artists are self-employed and work to a strange flow of commissions and projects. This can result in too much or too little work coming in, making financial planning difficult. The AGBI was set up to help artists who become ill or who die leaving young children with no financial support.

On the 24th of April this year Barry Harrison SGFA is running the London Marathon for the AGBI. If you would like to support Barry’s run you can send a pledge of a set amount or price per mile to

Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. For more information please see

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Image of the Month | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment