"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up".
Pablo Picasso


Barney Rowen
I loved Art at school, but real life took over and it wasn’t until my late 40s that I joined Sue Burn’s “Art for Absolute Beginners” at Trowbridge College.  I  spent two further years there, every Thursday morning, under her tuition before joining St. Mary’s Art Group.  I enjoy painting in a number of different mediums – but my present favourite is pastel and my subject choice is land and seascapes.  It is a very challenging hobby to have, but it certainly teaches you to persevere and there is always something new to learn.  Our group is amazing – there is so much talent and expertise,  and such a breadth of knowledge that there is always someone to turn to for advice.  

Elizabeth Butler
In my early years (pre-school) I always had some chalk and a blackboard. Later, I only ever wanted pencils and books. When I met Barney Rowen in later life, she encouraged me to go to Trowbridge College ne day a week. After this ended (5 years on), I joined the self-help group, St Mary’s Art, and remain here today. I used to love oil painting but now I have turned to mostly pastels.
 I enjoy painting portraits-especially of animals.

Norma Braine
I am a retired teacher and have been painting seriously for two years. As a child I always enjoyed drawing, spending hours making little illustrated books and painting pictures. I didn't take any art exams at school but opted to follow an art and craft course, as a subsidiary subject to biology, when I trained to be a teacher. This was very general and we dabbled in pottery, textiles, print-making and drawing and painting. My preferred medium these days is pen with watercolour. I enjoy producing landscapes and studies of animals and birds.


Anne Deven
Like so many others, I loved drawing as a child but subject choices at secondary school directed me elsewhere. It wasn’t until my own children had grown that I returned to Art by joining a local council leisure course in watercolour.  There I found my passion and have dipped in and out (as life’s commitments allow) ever since.
I moved to the village of Hilperton recently and it was while out walking the dog that I had the good fortune to bump into an old friend from the original watercolour class I had attended all those years ago.  We talked about painting and decided to take the plunge and join St Marys Art Group to get ourselves motivated again.  That was over a year ago and it worked.  We are thoroughly enjoying our time there.  The camaraderie and the encouragement works wonders, there is much to recommend joining your local Art Group.    

Francesca Cunningham
I loved drawing as a child. However at secondary school options' time, I could not choose both Art & Science so I went to a Saturday class for O Level Art. At A Level, Art clashed with Maths so I largely studied for A Level Art on my own. My career plus bringing up a family left little time for hobbies. My husband bought me a surprise residential Art holiday and I received Art materials from work colleagues when I retired. I joined St Mary's Art Group a few months later in 2011. Everyone was very helpful and made me very welcome.Watercolour is the medium I tend to go back to, but in the last year I have used charcoal, pastels, acrylics, oil and ink.

Carol Longmore
Like many others, when I retired from teaching in 1998 I signed up for two years with Sue Burns at Trowwbridge College. Then I joined St Mary's. I love it! I've dabbled with painting throughout my life but just for the sheer enjoyment of it-never very seriously. I use mainly acrylic as I can cover up my mistakes!! I learned long ago that I'm not careful enough for other media. Perhaps one day!


Teresa Ledger
I was at Oxford Art School studying Illustration for four years and left with a half success (or half failure, depends which way you look at it) and did nothing with it for thirty five years as children, work and life took precedence. When I was living in Wales a friend suggested I join a group led by a teacher that was nearby.  I became a member and began a temperamental love affair with watercolour, a medium I had not used before.  When I moved to Trowbridge, I was chatting to a woman at a U3A meeting about finding an Art Group and she belonged to the wonderful one that I go to now and have  since 2003.  Now I have discovered oils and find them a different sort of challenge in that mistakes are easily covered up and less forethought is needed but other problems arrise such as the need for it to dry before the next stage can be started. I have always particularly enjoyed pencil drawing and believe very strongly that the observational skills needed to draw well is at the centre of all good painting.

This group is the highlight of my week; we have cameraderie, friendship, criticism, support, encouragement and most of all a good laugh. It saves me from getting too serious about myself.  I love it and miss it tremendously whenever I go away.

Pauline Peters
I also joined St Mary's about two years ago after a previous art group decided to disband. I paint in watercolour but also enjoy line and wash. Apart from the pleasure of painting I have also made some very good friends through my art and would urge others interested in learning to paint to join a local group.

Sue Barratt
I started painting about twelve years ago after a lengthy illness. I found that when painting I could totally 'lose myself' for hours at a time and it was extremely therapeutic at that point in my life. At school I was forced to give up art at 14 years of age to study science but I had always enjoyed it very much and was disappointed to have to drop it so early in life. I paint with watercolours and ink mostly although I have dabbled with oils and would like to try them again in due course


Gill Metcalfe

For many years I studied counselling and looked enviously at the art students with their portfolios. Eventually I started to paint.  I paint for pleasure.  I like to paint beautiful things.  Art has helped me to see;  to notice lines and textures and beauty in all things.  I have very little formal training, but enjoy getting lost in a painting. I love colour especially watercolour wet on wet, and strive toward simplicity. St Mary’s Art group welcomed me as a newcomer to the district and I am thankful for the friendship and encouragement I find  there.

Helen Rae

Helen is one of St Mary's 'originals' having been attending since the group originally started. She paints mainly in acrylics and pastels producing some wonderful landscapes.

Janet Wallington

Born in 1960, I started my art 'career' in my teens, sketching and drawing as a release from the pressures of schoolwork. Despite encouragement from my art teacher, I didn't choose art when picking my exam options and continued sketching only as a hobby. It wasn't until pregnant with my second child that I decided to paint a full sized wall mural and became completely hooked. Five murals later and having run out of walls, I saw a Bob Ross oil painting demonstration and was fascinated by the wet-on-wet oil painting technique and decided to have a go. Pleased with the results I continued painting in oils for several years but became dissatisfied with the restrictions of oil paint and decided to try my hand at acrylics, immediately preferring the brightness and immediacy of the medium and have continued to use acrylics ever since, resulting in a lot of my paintings using bright and vibrant colours. In 2006 I was commissioned by a landscape designer to paint a backdrop for a coastal showgarden he was building at the National Amateur Garden Show. This won a gold medal.Another three commissions later I decided in 2007 to give up paid employment to concentrate on my painting full time. Subjects are varied and many although big influences are the coast, the sky, water, contrasts, texture and the play of light and shadows.

Lindy Eggleton

I finally took up art about five years ago as it was something I always wanted to do. I really enjoy painting and drawing and now I feel I am becoming really creative. I love trying out news methods and mediums so I am always experimenting and, to my surprise, I find I really do enjoy working with pastels, oils and especially collage. I hope you enjoying looking at my work as much as I do creating it.

Jane Stokes

Barbara Oram

I took up art as a hobby when I retired and moved to Southern Spain. The ambience there encouraged me to use my love of bright happy colours. After a while I found a contemporary art Tutor and I joined her small group once a week. She encouraged me to paint loosely and freely and use my love of vibrant colours. I have only painted for my own pleasure.

After 22 years in Spain I now find myself painting at St.Mary's Art Group in Hilperton and I enjoy the varied talents of all who paint there, and their company too.

Judy Meats

“I have been a hobby artist for many years, but I have never had much formal training. I learn mainly from Art Clubs and short courses, with a lot of trial and error. I enjoy using watercolour, ink and pastel and more recently (when I retired and had more time) I started playing with oil paints too. I was delighted to have a painting  accepted by the Artist and Leisure Painter Competition (2017), and even more pleased to be awarded one of the Batsford prizes”


Tricia Rigg

I remember early on trying to compete with my two older brothers with their drawings/paintings. It clearly seems I enjoyed this pursuit both at school and at home.I also entered two paintings at the L.S. Lowry's 70th Birthday Exhibition in my early teens which was great fun. Future employment in Art was certainly tinged with prejudice.After my children had left home I joined an Art Group where we held exhibitions of our work. After moving from the area and having a break for a couple of years I found St. Mary's Art Group and I'm certainly enjoying membership of it.