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  • Writer's pictureJulie Leggett


I have just received this fabulous watercolour painting from Les Mooney, done on plein air visit to Stretton house....Les says thankyou for the mince pies and tea!!

Thelma Knowlson has sent in the fabulous watercolour and sketch that she did at Stretton House Plein air.....


Six members of the plein air group met at Stretton House, near Alfreton, on Thursday 15th October. It was a beautiful sunny day which gave dramatic contrasts in light and dark. It was just warm enough to sit outside and three of our number chose to draw or paint outside the front of the house. Three of us sat inside the warm and stylish conservatory and painted what we saw from the window or carried on with work in progress. Thelma joined us later when she got cold! We had had to bring our own drinks, but we all appreciated the delicious mince pies and lemon curd tarts, that Rob had brought for us. It was a lovely setting and we thoroughly enjoyed our session. (Linda Orchard 17/10/20)



Marilyn Micallef has just sent in her fabulous watercolour from the Tissington plein air meeting......

On September 22nd the plein airers met outside Tissington Hall in Tissington village. I couldn’t walk far from my car because of my pending hip operation, but I sat back in my folding chair and revelled in the idyllic scene and the beautiful sunshine. I did manage to do a small amount of drawing as well! We enjoyed meeting up, suitably distanced, outside the cafe for warm drinks and a chat. It was a glorious late summer day that we keep looking back on with pleasure.

Linda Orchard 12/10/20


BASLOW plein air

Our venue for the plein air on September 29th was Baslow. It was a very sunny day but there were fast moving clouds in the sky so the shadows kept changing. There was a group of six of us and we scattered around to find the spots we felt most inspired by. My inspiration was operating under tight constraints as I wasn’t able to walk far! My spot was near a bridge where I was looking down a slope and over to a solid clump of trees. I liked the dramatic contrasts in light the scene provided. I sat on a reasonably comfortable slab of rock which meant I didn’t have to go back to the car for my folding chair, but standing up again after an hour in one position was tricky! Takeaway drinks were available but I had limited car parking time so our chat session was cut short.

Linda 12/10/20


STONE CENTRE, Middleton/Wirksworth

A lovey sketch done on this plein air visit, I will add any more artwork as I get it......

The plein air group had decided that since the air temperature was dropping - it was October after all - and it was not likely to be comfortable sitting outside for any length of time, we would start a programme of ‘indoor plein air’ sessions (‘inside outers’?). We knew that suitable venues would be difficult to find, but there were some and we thought our first would be the Stone Centre, near Wirksworth. It had good parking, a big, Covid secure cafe and outside seating, lovely views and easily accessible walks along sections of the High Peak Trail. Five of us spent quite a long time in the cafe, generally catching up and then we split up, with some choosing to sit on the patio area and draw the view and others to explore the surroundings with its wide variety of native trees and plants.

Linda Orchard 12/10/20


EYAM HALL plein air visit

Marilyn sent in her finished watercolour from the Eyam plein air visit. Looks great.....

We made two visits to Eyam on 9th and 18th September, where we sat to draw or paint either inside Eyam Hall or in the nearby craft courtyard. Although dry, the weather was on the chilly side, but we were able to join up for warming drinks (and in some cases cake!) and we enjoyed looking at each other’s work and generally catching-up. (Linda Orchard)



A small group of 'plein air' artists i.e. Marilyn Micallef, Les Mooney and Linda Orchard experienced a 'first' when they were painting a tiny gravedigger's cottage just outside St Mary's churchyard in Wirksworth one Thursday in September. We would have liked to go inside the churchyard, but we were not able to because of nearby building works and health and safety restrictions.

We had just set up when the owner of the cottage, whose main residence was just opposite, came out to do some DIY. He told us the history of the building and then offered us all a warm drink! We were more than pleased and at the end of the session Les gave the owner his painting as a thank you. (account by Linda Orchard) 9th September 2020



During the lockdown and the disappearance of our usual meetings and workshops, plein air sessions in the society have become very important. Sessions are planned weekly around a great venue and a coffee shop - a very good combination. Members will send in their accounts of plein air events with pictures and stories for us to post here.

As soon as we get some information we will post and share with you....

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