Programme 2024


More details to follow

Friday meetings

SWAS meet on the 3rd Friday of the month at Katherine Semar School, Ross Close, Saffron Walden CB11 4DU.  The hall is open from 7pm. We start promptly at 7.30pm, finishing at 9.30pm. Entrance is £2 for members and guests are warmly welcomed, £5.  

We have a refreshment break, with tea or coffee provided.  There is an opportunity to see the artist’s work close up and to socialise with members and friends.  Members can also borrow books from the Saffron Walden Art Society library, available at Friday meetings.5

Click on the pictures below if you would like to see the artists website, if they have one.


Friday 15th March - Annual General Meeting, 7.30pm

It’s AGM time, we hope as many people as possible can make the evening. It’s an excellent way to find out what the society has done during the year, and thank people for their contribution/efforts throughout the year. No cost to attend.
A reminder, the working title for this years AGM Members Painting Challenge is Harbour Scene. Interpret as you wish, any size, any medium. There will be a prize for the winner and the winner will choose a theme for the following year.

Friday 19th April - Oil on Board, Pastoral Landscape, Graham Webber

Graham is a professional artist born in North East Essex and is an elected member of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) and the Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA). He currently serves on the Council of the ROI as Membership Secretary. His love of landscape oil painting stems from the adaptability and responsiveness of the medium as well as his family connections to the landscape. East Anglian painters such as Edward Seago, Harry Becker and John Constable are constant sources of inspiration. Most of Graham's paintings are influenced by changing atmospheres and appreciation of nature and the landscape itself whether at home in East Anglia or further afield.

Friday 21st June - Acrylic, Achieving depth, Paul Talbot-Greave

Paul’s work varies between three disciplines of watercolour, acrylic and oil, of which I have been labelled a master painter by fellow artists and professional bodies in the creative sector. My landscape work often reflects the rugged scenery of the Yorkshire hills where I live, drawing my inspiration from historical connections using layers of colour, texture, shapes and patterns applied with energy and feeling. “I aim to connect with my audience on an emotional level, often drawing attention to elements of a subject that go unnoticed”.

Friday 17th May - Watercolour, Street Scene, Ian McManus

Ian is well known for painting street scenes bustling with figures and the hubbub of everyday life but equally for exploring many genres such as coastal, pastoral, figures in landscape or interior settings and more. He strives to catch the energy and essence of a location through lively application of paint using direct brushwork, without overlays of washes normally associated with watercolour painting; he believes this gives each finished painting transparency and freedom of expression.

Friday 19th July - Acrylic, Cityscape, Hashim Akib

Known for his street scenes in acrylics. Akib see's his artwork as a time capsule capturing a particular moment in time, place and energy. For every composition he gathers his own source material, whether he paints street scenes, wildlife or landscapes he likes to visit a location. This way he feels more attached to the theme which is then translated through the painting. Working as an illustrator in the UK for over 15 years, Hashim gained valuable experience in developing a backbone of drawing, conceptual ideas and various painting techniques. His illustration client list varied from New Yorker magazine, newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Time magazine, ad campaigns for Smirnoff, Esso and a stamp for The Royal Mail. Throughout his career Hashim has won many awards; including in 2009 the SAA (Society of All Artists) Artist of the Year, having won the Professional title in 2005 and 2007.

Friday 16th August - Acrylic, Birds, Michele Parsons

Michelle is a practising fine artist with a degree in Fine Art; she specialises in oil paintings on canvas working with interior designers, restaurants and private clients worldwide. “Close-up organic forms create an abstracted expressive surface based on space, light, colour and texture. A sense of depth; blurred backgrounds and loose brushstrokes contrast with sharp detail and tighter representational mark-making. The longer I paint, the more I realise that my work is all about the composition as a whole.” My style has an adaptive reverence for the subject and yet does not rely on it; elevating the forms with bright use of colour and suggestive mark-making. The resulting pieces are proud declarations of colour and expression. Colour, depth, texture and contrast – does is matter if it looks like a lobster or a fish? Not really…

Friday 20th September - Mixed Media, Denise Allen

Denise loves to experiment and Acrylic pouring is a constant surprise. “I adore the embellished pours, which combines a bit of traditional painting with the excitement of the pours”. Denise has been working with Pebeo for many years, and have demonstrated for them on TV shopping channel Hochanda for a number of years. Most of the mixed media work is created using the Pebeo products. This not only includes great quality acrylics, but also resins, and the amazing collection of fantasy paints. Denise has been living and working on the Norfolk/Suffolk border for several years now and holds regular open studios.

Friday 18th October - Watercolour, Vibrant Fenland Sunset, Jamie Sugg

The Fens of East Cambridgeshire are Jamie’s constant inspiration – the vast never-ending skies, the interaction of light on the flat landscape and the movement of clouds across the sky combines with an endless search for mark-making and vibrancy to create works of bold colour, strong contrast and a sense of movement and emotion. Jamie uses brushes, palette knives, nails, credit cards and pencils to create marks on canvas and board, layering paint over these marks and working into thicker impasto paint to reveal the layers underneath.

Friday 15th November - Oils, People, Naomi Tomkys OBE

Naomi lives and works in Cambridgeshire. Her inspiration comes from the day-to-day moments that make her smile. Naomi’s work straddles realism and impressionism with changing looseness of brushstroke reflecting the tales being told. Naomi uses traditional oil painting techniques including chiaroscuro, imprimatura, mass tone and glazing to explore her subjects. A limited classical palette, primarily focussing on skin tones, results in a controlled, explorative and joyous body of work celebrating colour. Although her subject matter varies, a merging of past and present plays a significant part in all of Tomkys’ work acting as shorthand for our cultural familiarities. Each painting reflecting a cinematic approach to her own interests in dynamic composition, nostalgia, and storytelling. “My aim is to reflect a sense of personality in my paintings by collecting drawn people and inviting you to see what you will. I want my work to muster a familiar happiness, to laugh at the small things and feel a little warmer”.


Friday 17th January - Japanese Woodblock, Laura Boswell
ZOOM event, members only

Laura Boswell is a landscape printmaker working exclusively with linocut and traditional Japanese woodblock. She has trained in Japan, studying woodblock printmaking with master craftsmen, and her work is inspired by Japanese style and design. She is an elected member to the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. Japanese woodblock printing is a beautiful art that traces its roots back to the eighth century. It uses a unique system of registration, cutting and printing.

Friday 21st February - Critique, Sonia Villiers

Members are invited to bring an artwork for positive and constructive feedback. Sonia won the 2019 Mayor’s Choice Award at the inaugural Invitational Cambridge Art Awards. She has been exhibiting with Cambridge Open Studios for the past 20 years and Cambridge Drawing Society for 14 years, also working as a committee member for both. She was Chair of Cambridge Open Studios in 2021/22. Her work can be viewed in over 25 galleries and shops including Primavera, The Museum of Cambridge, Church Street Gallery, Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, Nantais Gallery in Linton and The Old School Gallery, Whittlesford.