Cookham on Canvas Exhibition

17-19  May 2013

with thanks to Gail Dorrington 


The stunning setting of the new John Lewis Heritage Centre at the bottom of Odney Lane was the backdrop for  the Cookham on Canvas exhibition opening night on 16 May. Artists were to be found out and about Cookham painting furiously all  last weekend despite the very unkind weather and the result is a  display of over 30 works of art ranging from pencil drawings to oil paintings.


The  judging began in the morning to find one outstanding piece and the panel of Timmy Mallett, Ann Danks and Chrissy Rosenthall from the Spencer Gallery, Marie-Ann Leonard from Bovilles art shops and Gail Dorrington the event organiser had a very difficult task indeed.


She explains "Our main difficulty was that there were so many beautifully executed paintings, from experienced artists right through to complete beginners so we were not looking for the best painting but the painting that expressed most clearly the "Spirit of Stanley Spencer" " Chrissy Rosenthall explained this to the artists and their guests  before Timmy took the crowded room through every single painting  pointing out all the good bits and how the panel felt about the works during the judging process.


And so to the winners…

Prizes of art materials generously donated by Bovilles art shops were presented by Marie Ann Leonard to:

Junior prize in the youth category went to 13 year old John Conacher for his drawing of the war memorial. The detail in the drawing was fantastic and he had been observed over the weekend out there in the cold working all day on it.

Junior prize  for our younger artists went to 8 year old Mollie Thorne for her water colour pencil painting of the Cookham bridge and toll house. The judges loved  her use of colour which shows real promise for the future.

Over all winner was Stephanie Gay who miraculously managed to produce a silk painting  over  the weekend of the view from Winter Hill capturing the light over the reservoirs. You can see the weather rolling in across the sky- an outstanding piece of work and a unanimous decision by the panel.


Second place went to Michelle Jackson for a water colour pencil painting of Cookham Bridge.The panel picked this out because of the way the artists had chosen her viewpoint from an unusual angle. The details of the wrought iron work and the flower pots in the foreground were very much in step with the spirit of a Spencer.


Third prize awarded to Sarah Luton for her acrylic and oil painting of a view looking directly down Cookham High street. Sarah was to be found outside both days over the weekend under an umbrella to produce this painting which included the kinds of details Spencer would have painted; the bus stop, the cars and  people standing in their garden It is a  painting of a moment in the here and now.


Runners up prizes went to Nancy Ovstedal, a view for the end of Mill Lane in the gardens of Formosa Court and to Ruth Daniel for a water colour of a tree stump with a nest of moor hens.


Honourable mention also went to Valerie Ann Benham for a view of Holy Trinity churchyard.


The exhibition is open to the public as part of the Cookham Festival Open Studios Trail. 


Winner Stephanie Gay - View from Winter Hill Runner Up Nancy Ovstedal - Formosa Court
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