Exhibition : Artists and the Human Form – the Donderdag Collective

Opening  Saturday 20 May 2023

please join the artists between 11am and 2.30pm for drinks and nibbles

exhibition runs until 25 June

The Donderdag Collective was founded in 2011 by a group of artists in York. They meet at St. Olave’s Hall on Thursday evenings, to sketch or paint from a life model. The group comprise both professional artists and keen amateurs who want to hone their technique or explore new ideas by working freely with a life model. This exhibition is a celebration of the art of Life Drawing and an opportunity for the collective to show together the art that they make for pleasure or as a means of earning a living.

 

The following 13 members of the collective will be showing both Life Drawings that have been made during the Thursday evening sessions and other artworks that will be for sale.

JULIE MITCHELL

RORY BARKE

BERTT deBALDOCK

DIANE COBBOLD

CAROLYN COLES

LEON FRANCOIS DUMONT

JEANNE GODFREY

ANNA HARDING

ADELE KARMAZYN

MICHELLE GALLOWAY

ANDRIAN MELKA

KATE PETTITT

SWEA SAYERS

BARBARA SHAW

DONNA MARIA TAYLOR

 

JULIE MITCHELL

painting
still life with pomegreanate by Julie MItchell
painting
Still Life with Bottle, painting by Julie Mitchell
Life Drawing by Julie Mitchell

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RORY BARKE

Rory Barke in studio
Jug with Lemon with a Box in a Window, acrylic by Rory Barke
Wheldrake Woods, Oil painting by Rory Barke
Apple, acrylic by Rory Barke
Little Brown Jug, acrylic by Rory Barke

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CAROLYN COLES

Having studied art and illustration in the early nineties, Carolyn has exhibited artwork in York, London, Derby, Manchester, Hereford and Leeds, selling work internationally. Choosing seascapes as a primary subject matter, Carolyn likes to capture atmosphere, usually with a leaning towards dark and moody – and generally on a larger scale.
Carolyn’s love of the seaside and nature in general is reflected in her painting. Utilising a range of styles, her new collection is mostly impressionistic: “This allows the viewer to interpret their own story and pull their own memories back into play,” she says.
“I’m interested in recreating a feeling, an essence. I love being by the sea or in the hills. It’s a tonic. The noise, everything, just soaks into me. I like to be playful, bold and subtle in my work, which is mostly acrylic on stretched canvasses.”

Up and Away – painting by Carolyn Coles
Tides in 2 – painting by Carolyn Coles

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LEON DUMONT

Leon François Dumont is a York-based, self-taught artist. His portrait and figurative work is deeply influenced by a longstanding love of art history, in particular the colours and approach of the baroque period. Dumont’s paintings are developed through instinctive mark-making and simplified palettes. Through use of light and dark, and often high-chroma bold colour, he captures drama without losing sight of a realist aesthetic. Dumont’s intent is to capture character and atmosphere, in the context of the cultural or historical situation of the subject. In incorporating references to historical artworks and movements, he creates a sense of continuity between past and present, reflecting an influence on community and the shaping of identity, be that personal, local or communal.

The Artist in Wolfskin Coat – oil by Leon Dumont
painting of bull
oil painting William the Bull by Leon Dumont

William the Bull

Leon François Dumont

Oil on canvas

70.0 cm x 70.0 cm

Colin Newlove was a farmer from Bugthorpe (15 miles east of York, and the artist’s home from 2010-2018). In the early 1960s William was purchased as a breeding bull but had a demeanour tame enough to take to wearing a saddle and to be ridden alongside horses. William ultimately proved to be skilled at jumping and this skill took them all the way to the Great Yorkshire Show where this flaming ring spectacle took place.

William is shown mid-jump, using every ounce of might in lifting himself and Newlove through the perilous obstacle. To focus on the action, and illustrate the single-minded determination, the background is deliberately stripped to a solid golden hue taking influence from the artist’s childhood memory of George Stubbs’ masterpiece “Whistlejacket”.  The vibrancy of the flames, rendered in cadmium yellow and red, defines the highest chroma portion of the painting, reinforcing a heightened sense of danger and excitement.

Viewers may question the methods used to train William and other animals like him, though Newlove held the conviction “there’s no way I could force a bull to do something he didn’t want to”. The painting serves both as a celebration of an impressive historical feat, an enduring British eccentricity and a reminder of the ongoing need for the ethical treatment of animals.

Through a remarkable coincidence, the living family of Colin Newlove (who died in 2005) found out the painting was showing and came to meet the artist and see the piece. Colin’s granddaughters described the painting as “capturing grandpa so perfecting” and that it was “nice to see him live on through other people’s work. He was a sensational man, and I’m glad people are still able to see that”.

This Pathé news reel from 1962 brought the local spectacle to a wider audience, which led to several articles across the world:

 

use QR scanner on your mobile phone to link to newsreel about William the Bull

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ADELE KARMAZYN

Adele Karmazyn in studio

Statement:

Adele is a York based Digital Photomontage Artist. Her love of antiquities and oddities, old doors and weathered surfaces are the foundations of her work. Her ever growing collection of 19th century photographs is where she chooses her character and brings them back to full colour, intertwining them with creatures big and small, coupled with delicate foliage, she creates images both sophisticated and playful. Adele often uses idioms, metaphors and musical lyrics for inspiration and to add narrative to her work. It is ultimately the love of the Victorian era, costume and interiors that drives Adele to create the images she does, with the added freedom to insert an element of playful surprise. Her images are created using her digital camera, flat bed scanner and Photoshop. Bringing all the images together digitally, drawing on her experience with layering and affecting, she then prints the image on to Museum Heritage archival paper and continues to hand finish with inks, paint and sometimes gold leaf.

Lady on his Lapel, limited edition print by Adele Karmazyn

Biography

Adele studied for her B. A. (Hons) Degree in Textile Art at Winchester School of Art. After a short spell working for an interior magazine in London, travel and adventure were calling. From working in New Zealand, Chalet hosting in France, circling the world on cruise ships and living in Poland she finally settled down in the historic city of York. Working from her garden studio, a unique structure designed and built by her husband, Adele is mostly self-taught in the digital field although she has completed a course in Desk Top Publishing, Photoshop and also has a diploma in Children’s book illustration where she was awarded a distinction. It was after this that she turned to using her camera and Photoshop creatively.

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JEANNE GODFREY

Jeanne Godfrey

I like to draw, paint and complete pieces ‘in the moment’ – I paint my landscapes and flowers outdoors in the countryside or garden, and my nudes in our Donderdag life-drawing sessions. With life-drawing I try to capture the curve and landscape of the body with a line that is flowing, strong and authentic.

Life Drawing, pastels by Jeanne Godfrey
chalk and charcoal drawing by Jeanne Godfrey
chalk and charcoal drawing by Jeanne Godfrey

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ANNA HARDING

The Artist with Cats, print, by Anna Harding

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MICHELLE GALLOWAY

Enigmatic, ethereal paintings that reimagine architecture, the natural world, and man-made artefacts.

A large section of work is on large canvasses, painted with small brushes and with small strokes, building up colour in several layers. The variation of colour and tone achieved using this technique gives the painting its unique quality. Shapes and colours interact with one another in a way that makes each one’s essential characteristics stand out. The paintings’ uncluttered composition directs the viewer’s attention away from the extraneous detail and towards the subject matter’s beauty as seen from its vantage point. The work has been influenced by a passion for architecture, archaeology, and man-made structures. In terms of time and place, the paintings are ephemeral. They are inspired by the original subject matter and are not meant to be precise, accurate, or detailed representations.  The arrangement and fusing of images that are prominent and inconspicuous creates an ethereal effect. To further emphasise this, the titles frequently borrow words from well-known song lyrics.

Michelle Galloway in studio

My paintings develop from sketches and photographs taken on location, but they also contain a healthy dose of imagination. I work from a dedicated studio space at Arnup Studios in Holtby, where I have the space and light to work at larger sizes, on several pieces at once.  Visitors to my studio will see my back catalogue of work, my recent collection, works in progress on the easel, and a selection of giclee prints and art cards. I also teach art classes, both in my studio and for York Learning. I moved to York to study art. Here I developed a lasting interest in art history, archaeology and architecture.  My artwork took a backseat when I retrained as a teacher, but I continued to pass on my love for art through children’s workshops. When the opportunity for a temporary studio arose, I was able to rekindle my love for art and experimentation with different techniques. I have previously shown my work in solo exhibitions at the Village Gallery, York and Teggs Nose Country Park, as well as sharing a pop-up gallery in Gillygate with another artist. I have exhibited at Chester Art Fair and Art in the Pen, York Open Studios, group events at Arnup Studios, Blossom Street Gallery and Pyramid Gallery in York.

I Fought the Law and the Law Won, oil on canvas by Michelle Galloway
Like I’m Made of Glass, Like I’m Made of Paper – oil on canvas by Michelle Galloway
Gold, oil on canvas by Michelle Galloway

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ANDRIAN MELKA

Andrian Melka carving a lion in San Francisco

As a child growing up in Communist Albania, Andrian dreamt of becoming a painter. After he was accepted into art school however, he was told there were too many students on the painting course. To deal with this problem, the students were asked to draw straws to determine their future artistic careers. When Andrian drew one of the short straws, he had to transfer to the sculpture course.  His childhood dreams of being a painter were shattered. 

Fast forward forty years and it seems that drawing the short straw, and studying sculpture instead of painting, has turned out rather well. Andrian’s list of prestigious clients includes HRH The Prince of Wales (his relief of Laocoon can be seen in The Royal Gardens at Highgrove) lords and well-known entrepreneurs. Andrian’s public work can also be seen at St Mungo’s Church in Glasgow, Bamburgh Castle War Memorial and the gardens of Chiswick House where he worked with English Heritage. His first over-life-sized bronze figure, of Captain Sir Tom Moore, was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2022 to great acclaim and now welcomes visitors to Leeds Chapel Allerton Hospital.


Andrian Melka graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana and is best known for his figurative work in marble and stone and for his freestyle approach to carving. His skills were honed carving portraits and reliefs in a marble workshop in Albania where he also developed an interest in classical and Renaissance sculpture. Andrian prefers to work directly in stone, without the need for a full-sized model, in the same way Michelangelo would have done. He uses a drawing of the frontal view of the figure as a template, then, working by eye, finds his way into the stone. 

During the Albanian Civil War in 1997, Andrian moved to England with a Getty scholarship, and spent a year at the Building Crafts College in London where he was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence. Later, he moved to York to work as Head Sculptor for renowned carver Dick Reid, working on high-profile commissions including the Jubilee Fountain commemorating The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. In 2003 Andrian opened his own studio, taking on a range of commissions in the UK and America. He became a QEST scholar in 2008, winning the QEST Award for Excellence in 2020, and is a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors and the Art Workers’ Guild. 

Much of Andrian’s work, is inspired by classical depictions of the Gods and Goddesses in mythology, and with idealised versions of the human body. He has also created more abstract sculptures of the human form, particularly in the series of pieces entitled ‘Motherhood’. Andrian is drawn to interesting faces, and figures, striving to express his subject’s personality and movement, in addition to their likeness, to capture the essence of a person. His figurative sculptures and portraits seem to come to life, often provoking a deeply emotional response.

Since 2018, Andrian has returned to modelling in clay, creating bronze portraits, busts and over-life-sized statues and experimenting with patination techniques as well as with ceramic sculpture. 

Dancer, ceramic by Andrian Melka
Sophia Loren, ceramic by Andrian Melka
Soldier, ceramic by Andrian Melka
Nureyev, ceramic by Andrian Melka

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SWEA SAYERS

Spring, print 1/1 from an acrylic by Swea Sayers
Tilly’s Bedtime, illustration from a book, ink and watercolour

 

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DONNA MARIA TAYLOR

Donna has worked in the arts for over 25 years. In the theatre world she has designed shows, painted scenery and made props / costumes for many companies including, most recently, Leeds Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and Derby Theatre. She also teaches adults and is regularly involved in Community Art Projects in the city as well as running art / craft based workshops, classes and art holidays. Qualified with a B.A. (Hons), P.G.Dip, PGCE (PCET).

Blue Trees by Donna Marie Taylor
Yorkshire Dales, acrylic by Donna Marie Taylor
Mystery, painting by Donna Marie Taylor
Hole of Horcum, acrylic painting by Donna Marie Taylor

 

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KATE PETTITT

Kate Pettitt in her studio, photo by Olivia Brabbs

Kate Pettitt’s paintings and drawings explore the natural environment and the human form. They are instinctive, often textural and gestural, and she works in a variety of media – acrylic, oil, watercolour, and graphite, charcoal and chalk.

Her landscape painting process begins with plein air paintings, studies on paper, and sketches. She can spend many days exploring and studying an area with her ‘light’ plein air kit and binoculars, at all times of day and in different weather conditions, to understand its unique qualities. She sits quietly, tuning in to its sounds, smells and textures, allowing wildlife to relax in her presence. It is a solitary process and she works quickly to produce loose and immediate responses, usually on paper with charcoal pencil, chalk, acrylic and/or watercolour.

Back in her studio at Arnup Studios in Holtby, she uses her studies and sketchbooks to trigger memories and inspire larger works. On the easel, she can introduce heavy texture and imagined or abstracted elements to create an emotional impression of a place and time, rather than a direct representation. These studio paintings often incorporate the expressive marks and line work of the original studies.

Kate regularly paints and draws the human body and regards life drawing as an essential element of her practice – her ‘art gym’. She uses it to inform studio paintings and to develop observational skills, explore mark-making techniques and hone her ability to record visual information swiftly, editing out unnecessary detail.

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DIANE COBBOLD

Diane Cobbold in studio
Tranquility, chalk and charcoal by Diane Cobbold

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BERTT deBALDOCK

Pyramid Gallery proprietor Terry Brett uses the pen name Bertt deBaldock for his cartoon rabbits, which now appear in two volumes entitled Good Rabbits Gone I (Volume One in a Million) and Good Rabbits Gone 2 (Volume Two to Infinity) which are sold (actually given away) with voluntary donations going to charity

 

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