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April 4th 2014


Talk and Demonstration by Mike McDonell


On Friday 4/4/14, artist Mike McDonell gave a talk and demonstration on the work of the well known father and son artists, William and FJ Widgery, to the members of OVAS. He explained that William, the father was a self­taught Victorian artist, but that his son FJ was trained at Exeter Art School and then in London and Antwerp. They both lived and worked in Devon for most of their lives and loved the Devon countryside, particularly being attracted to the scenery of Dartmoor.


The work of FJ became very popular with people who had visited the area and he sold many of his paintings through London galleries in the early c20.


Mike then gave a demo of painting in the style of the Widgeries of a Dartmoor tor, using both traditional and modern methods and materials, such as acrylic gesso and AcquaFix, along with watercolour. He used a traditional palette of colours such as raw sienna, raw and burnt umber,cobalt blue, and French ultramarine and modern ones such as perylene red, pthalo green andindigo. He demonstrated the use of white gouache on the distant hills to achieve the mistiness that FJ was particularly well known for.


Mike’s talk and demo were well received by the members and several people were eagerlyanticipating attending the workshop on the Saturday to put what they had learned into practice.


Report and photos by Penny Lamb

Mike discusses his work with Neil Marshall

Otter Vale Art Society

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