Internationally-shown artist Léonie Hampton explores the power of the natural world at RAMM

Léonie’s commission will explore the place of the garden in modern society, and the impact of climate change. She is a photographer, and for this commission she is working with the metaphor and act of gardening and listening to the world of plants. In her own words:

A Language of Seeds’ is a photographic series about love, growth, family, death and the archaic wisdom of plants. Responding to the extraordinary seed collection at RAMM, I intend to challenge our tech-based, growth-obsessed society through the lens of taking care of a garden and its nourishing forms of growth”.

Léonie Hampton

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A Note from TAS President Heather Strong

I hope you’re all keeping well and reasonably sane in these extraordinary times!

As we have had to postpone the AGM I would like to say a very big thank you via the website to Stuart Fowle, Hilary Tosdevin and Wendy Vlasto who are all leaving the committee after many years of dedication and hard work. Stuart stepped up with some trepidation to take on the role of Chairman when we so suddenly and sadly lost Hazel-Anne, he has filled the role very successfully and can look back on a job really well done, thank you Stuart! Hilary and Wendy have also put in many, many hours on our behalf and have been an absolute boon to the Society….thank you so much to you both!

I’m delighted that Phil Belsham has come forward to be our new Chairman, very many thanks Phil….he will be Acting Chairman until we can properly vote him in, but I know that will happen in due course and the whole Society will support him, very best wishes Phil.

Wishing all of you all the best, and looking forward hopefully to easier times,


New media/medium or other creative activity

Now that some of us who are not key workers or have been furloughed, thought it would be interesting to see if our members had been taking up new creative activities during the Covid-19 lockdown (2020).

Ainslie, has been doing the usual of more gardening and working on the allotment, and finding time to pick up colour pencils again.

Robin in colour pencil by Ainslie Wilson.

Fay has been getting back to drawing and finding how to use pencils in pencil holders.

Fay Ewins dog portrait, work in progress.
Fay Ewings, dog portrait.

Another member, Linda, who is a chorister has been keeping her voice by walking around and doing voice warm ups. When not doing that, also rebuilding a rockery, picking up on old unfinished art works and some yoga.

Lola has been working on 3D art and produced these 2 wonderful Rabbit figures from paper mache.

Rabbit by Lola Gill.
Rabbit by Lola Gill.

Hilary, our current Vice-Chairman has been keeping busy…  At the moment with the weather being as it is I have not taken up a pencil, pen or paintbrush in anger!! I have however, tried to sit down at the piano for 20 mins or so a day to try and get back into playing.  I have a second hand drum kit in the summer house which I have tried out a couple of times, look forward to getting into learning that as well.

View from home art challenge

Need some inspiration to draw/paint? Then here is a little challenge for you. Without disclosing your actual address online! Do a sketch/drawing/painting of a view from your home.

Here is mine to get us started.

Sketch sent in by Hilary Johnson.
Sketch sent in by Michael Lowrie.
Sent in by Patricia Perkins.
Sketch sent in by Gillian Henson.
Painting by Jo Greenshields.

Using Social Media to stay in contact

With the current situation where we have to quarantine, self isolate and social distance, keeping social is obviously something we are finding hard to do.

This is where social media can help. I know quite a few people are suspicious of using social media, but I’m actually a big fan of it. You just need to be aware of what you are doing and posting to stay safe.

My own personal recommendations are, don’t post personal information or family information. Always take with a pinch of salt, posts from unknown sources. If you don’t like a post, block them or scroll on past. Don’t get drawn in to political or reglious “debates”, they are never debates, they just turn nasty! 

Heck, that all sounds very negative, but the positives are, keeping in touch with family from different parts of the country, finding new ideas, finding like minded people from around the world, being able to be inspired by others, show off your art to others, even sell if you want to.

TAS has had a Facebook page for quite some years, and has been mostly run by Karen de la Harpe (thank you Karen). The page is a great way of promoting TAS to the wider Facebook audience, and can be viewed and liked by anyone, which is good for TAS.

But to add to this, and for TAS members benefit, we have now created a TAS Group as part of the Facebook page, many thanks to Ali Cooper for suggesting it, and helping me set it up. The benefit of the group, is that we can control who joins, and that will only be TAS members. 

The idea of the group (and again this is all down to Ali), is that we have a place to share WIPs, completed work, catch up with each other, chat about art, chat about being creative etc, etc. I have put in place a few rules, which mirror my comments above, no politcal or relgious debates please.

I do urge you to consider joining Facebook and joing the group, it will be a great way of keeping in contact over the next few weeks/months.

Link to our Facebook page is:

Other Social Media you may like to use

Twitter: great for for following like minded people, but can get a bit intense with people sharing others comments. (

Instagram: Ideal for artists and creators, you can showcase your work and be inspired by others. Again, excellent if you are looking a for niche subject. (

Pinterest: Another excellent platform for visual artists and creators. Ok, not so much social interaction with this one, but fantastic for collecting visual ideas, references, and a showcase for your art/creations etc. (

YouTube: Fantastic for learning new skills and picking up ideas, and much much more, many an hour can be lost watching great inspiring content! (

For interest, I have 1 Twitter account (not art related, but aviation niche), 3 Instagram accounts (one for art/illustration, one for photography and one for a fun cute toy photos, don’t ask!) , 2 Pinterest accounts (one for collecting references and one to help promote my art/illustration/creative works) and 2 YouTube accounts (just starting to get in to video creation, as I have to do that as part of my full time job, so one is used for practice videos, and the other for creativity videos).

If you are selling your art/crafts, all of the above, including Facebook can be used to help market your work.

I hope this has been of some help.
Stay safe and keep well.

Additional sketching day – Friday 23 August

We have arranged an additional sketching opportunity for you on Friday 23 August. This will be at Coombeland EX16 7QP, a remote farmstead in the hills behind Knightshayes. Here there is an interesting farmhouse with outbuildings as well as country views. We have been kindly offered tea at 4pm by Charlotte the owner. As it is a little difficult to find, we suggest meeting as described below.
Directions: Leave Tiverton in the direction of Bampton with the Rugby Club on the left hand side. At the first roundabout turn right onto the A3126 and at the next roundabout take the first exit onto Lea Road in the direction of Moorhayes & Chevithorne.  After a short time, take the 3rd exit on the left off this road which is Bolham Lane. This becomes the road and bridge over the A361 Link Road. Meet on the bridge at 1.45pm to be guided to the venue. 
We look forward to seeing you on 23/8.
Best wishes
Sandy & Gillian

2019 TAS Sketching Days

Thursday 6 June – 2pm by the church in Witheridge EX16 8AF

Witheridge is 10 miles from Tiverton on the B3137. The church of St John the Baptist originates from 1450. We are also invited into the grounds of The Old Rectory for sketching.
Wednesday 19 June – 2pm Higher Burnhaies, Butterleigh EX15 1PG

We are invited to sketch in the garden of the home of our members Richard & Virginia who have been creating their glorious country garden on a 2.5 acre site since 1997. 
Directions: From Butterleigh village start to follow signs to Silverton. 100 yards after the entrance to Pound Farm (EX15 1PH) fork left. Car parking 150 yards on the left. 
Tuesday 16 July – 2pm meet by the church in Witheridge to car share to Plaz Metaxu (Coombe House)
We have obtained permission to visit for a second time this rarely open extraordinary garden created by Alasdair Forbes,. It is an architectural delight and has been described as one of the most original gardens created in modern day Britain. Set in 32 acres it has it all –  woodland, flowerbeds, a lake, a walled garden, a courtyard as well as unconventional sculptures and stone features dedicated to characters from Greek mythology. 
Wednesday 28 August – 2pm meet at the archway entrance to Holcombe Court, Holcombe Rogus TA21 0PA
The owner of this Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house has again agreed for us to visit and sketch in his 7 acre garden. The house was built in approx 1540 by Sir Roger Bluett. It has herbaceous borders, a walled garden and pond with duck house. It is located to the west of the village church. Parking is in the road outside the property.
We look forward to seeing you at all or some of these events.

Horse pencil sketch
Horse pencil sketch


The Annual Lympstone Art Exhibition will be held as usual during the May half term week. We will have a wide range of paintings,  as well as sculpture, ceramics and other 3D art on show .  Open from 11pm to 5pm in Lympstone Village Hall,  School Hill , Lympstone EX8 5BE. On the final day,  Sunday 2nd June , the Exhibition it will close at 2pm.

We have a secret auction for a wonderful watercolour of the  Estuary by the well know  artist James Tatum SWAc, who was nominated as Best Landscape Artist of the year by Devon Life .  Our raffle prize is a pen and ink drawing of Lympstone from the estuary by Neville Tarbath an accomplished  local artist and  draughtsman. 

During the Exhibition there will be a competition for children, (age 12 and under)  to produce a drawing on a postcard which can be collected  and produced at the Exhibition or taken home to complete.  The childrens’  work will be displayed on Saturday 1st June and the winner announced at 3pm. Prizes of vouchers for art materials will be given to the winner and the 2 next best.

Put the dates in your diary and  enjoy a visit – an opportunity to buy original art work at very reasonable prices. Entry £1, free for children under 12. Tea coffee and home made cakes available every day.

1st Sketching day for 2019 annouced.

We are kicking off our summer sketching schedule with an event on Thursday 9 May. Meet at 2pm at the entrance to Magnolia House, 17 St Peter’s Street, Tiverton EX16 6NU. We are invited to sketch/paint in this gardener’s garden on 3 levels with views over the river Exe. There is loads of interest for sketchers in this lovely garden along with exotic plants in a spacious conservatory. 
Pay-and-display parking nearby in Market Place or close to St Peter’s church.
Gillian will be offering tea and cake afterwards at around 4pm at 20 St Peter’s Street.
Other sketching dates will be advertised in due course.
We look forward to seeing you on 9 May.

Horse pencil sketch
Horse pencil sketch

TAS 2019 Spring Exhibition

The Tiverton Art Society Spring Exhibition was held at The Castle Primary School, Tiverton from April 11 to April 18.

Early indications are that is was one of our more successful exhibitions for some years. So maybe only having one exhibition over a shorter period created an environment for buyers to be more urgent in their purchases.

As with previous exhibitions, the quality, styles, media and variety was simply amazing. As a Society we are very blessed to have so many talented artists as members. 

We encourage all members to exhibit no matter where they are in their art journey. Being able to show your work in an exhibition helps to build an artists confidence, not matter what level they are currently at. All the better if you receive an award or sell an art work.

As a Society, we hope to build and learn from each exhibition, so that we make the next one even better.

Below is a the art works that received an award or certificate of merit. (Judging is done by professional artists who are not members of the Society).