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Marilyn Allis, April 1st 2016


OVAS was delighted to welcome renowned artist Marilyn Allis to their meeting at the Institute on April 1st, where she gave a demonstration of her distinctive technique with watercolours.  Marilyn started painting in the late 1990’s and her talent was soon recognised when she was awarded the overall “Artist of the Year” title by the Society for all Artists in 1999.  She has since gone on to appear on television and has written and illustrated three books on the subject of her art.  She was born and brought up in Dorset, where she still lives near Dorchester, having a studio in Briantspuddle.


On the evening she chose as her first subject a watercolour study of a steam locomotive at the head of a train which conveniently posed for her photograph one day at Blue Anchor in Somerset.  Her steady hand and natural affinity with the medium of watercolour paints resulted in a lively rendition of the scene completed in just 45 minutes. Of particular interest was how the picture was brought to life with the use of a very limited range of colours.


After the interval, during which members of OVAS enjoyed discussing with Marilyn her techniques and the materials she uses, she then embarked on a second study, this time of a café scene in Covent Garden, complete with musicians.  Although time was tight, she again demonstrated her mastery of the medium, with the fascinated members and guests of the Society watching as the composition took on its evocative shapes, form and colour.


At the conclusion of the event, Mike Bird, in thanking Marilyn on behalf of the society, said that he has been known to feature trains in his own paintings so was pleased to see the subject matter used in such a deft display.  Turner, Monet, Cezanne and Magritte were also known to have had a go at it!  It was a particular pleasure though to see Marilyn apply her loose and impressionistic style to her craft of watercolour painting with such subtlety, economy and flair.

Otter Vale Art Society

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