Report to NAAG members about Sketching - Summer 2021

The hardy band of sketchers have supported our trips out.  The weather has been kind and only one date has had to be shifted so far.

We were made very welcome at the Decoy Allotments and were glad of the shady trees because it was a hot day.  There were lots of interesting plants and gardening items to draw, a pond, sheds, chickens.  The wildlife garden they have created to encourage insects and pollination was delightful too.

We met next at the Passage House Inn and after sketching the riverside we had a chatty lunch in the pub which was very well socially distanced. 

Loveday very kindly hosted our next meet up in her garden which was full of vivid flowers and is arranged on interesting different levels.  We enjoyed our tea and coffee and biscuits, a treat! 

We then met at Ogwell Green which has spectacular views to Dartmoor on clear days and interesting old village houses close by too. 

The next venue was Denbury Village Green, where the pub and views across the summer fields were interesting  and the Market Cross was unique. 

The most recent visit was on Tuesday 10th August to the gardens at Buckfast Abbey.  There were people, plants and architecture so plenty of scope for all to try our hands at. 

The next sketching morning is planned for Tuesday 17th August in Baker’s Park adjacent to Bradley Manor, off the Totnes Road.  There is rather limited parking but it is walking distance from the town, depending on your liking for stretching your legs.  

We will meet in the car park at 10 a.m.

Hope to see you there.



Some from Loveday's Garden.




Above  from Deirdre: Sketch done at the Passage House Inn, happy days!

The first  four photos are "Sketching in Loveday's Garden".

Ogwell Green

Ogwell Green.


Denbury(all by Deirde  Stewart)




















From Denbury Green

Denbury Green

Denbury Green


The final 2020 sketching session planned for 25th September was postponed to the Spring.  Only Deirdre was available and the weather forecast was for strong winds and showers.  It was a pity after Jacquie’s help and organisation gaining permission for the art group.  Many thanks to her and the owner Esther, who is also an artist.  Deirdre hopes to take the sketchers there in the Spring and depending on the weather and COVID restrictions Deirdre plans to start the sketching group again in March.  A big thank you to all the people who supported the sketching groups this summer.

Meanwhile, there are a couple more camera walks planned with Sheena.  The one this week was beautiful with lovely weather.  I hope to see you on the next two.

Sketching at Steamer Quay Friday 18th Sept  



Deirdre, Ron, Sheena and Dinah met up on Steamer Quay on this sunny, breezy morning.  There was so much to sketch, bridges, boats, the river, buildings, autumnal trees, people.  We were spoilt for choice.  By the time we left at 12.30 the car park and cafe were packed.

Next Meeting: On Friday 25th September we are going to allotments in Staverton where Jacquie Thomson has very kindly arranged for us to gain access for the morning.  She will meet us at the gate and unlock it for us at 10.30.    Details below giving postcode etc.  Bring a stool or seat as there will not be anywhere to perch.  Deirdre will give you full details when you contact her: mtstewart@blueyonder.co.uk

Sketching at Oldway Mansions on Friday 11th

Keen sketchers Kathie, Margaret, Sheena and Deirdre gathered at the former home of the Singer family, beautiful Oldway Mansion in Paignton and were rewarded with another fine morning.  There is a lot of scope for drawing and painting there and we plan to return in the Spring if possible.  The outside with its exotic architecture, trees and gardens, which are being cared for by volunteers until the fate of this grand house is decided, make it a haven for artists.  The interior, glimpsed through windows, is crumbling and sadly in need of restoration. 

On Friday 18th September we are heading to Steamer Quay in Totnes with its views of the river Dart.  It is on the East Bank and we can park in the first car park known as Steamer Quay car park, almost opposite the Steam Packet Inn which is on the other side of the river.  Meet at 10.30.

The following week, 25th September, Jacquie Wilson is very kindly arranging for us to sketch at her allotment and says there is lots to draw there.  More details to follow but please put it in your diary.  It should a lovely morning and there are some facilities nearby so perhaps we can stay and sketch after lunch too.



Sketching in Courtney Park Tues 8th 

Report from the teddy bears picnic in Milbur woodland

Sheena, Dinah and Deirdre had a lovely morning exploring the woods and sketching here and there and the teddies seemed to enjoy themselves too. The weather was fine and there is a huge variety of trees and leaves, the light filtering through.   We had a picnic in a clearing.  When the trees change colour it will be well worth visiting again.  


St Michael’s Church, Kingsteignton, Friday the 28th August.

The next session is a Teddy Bears Picnic and sketching in the woods behind Sheena’s house on Friday 4th September, 10.30 and 10.45.  We plan to split into smaller groups if more than six want to come.  Details from Deirdre: mtstewart@blueyonder.co.uk and on the website. Deirdre’s mobile is 07919455278 if you are late.

Sketching on Friday 21st August in the grounds of Forde House

Five members of NAAG met in the grounds of beautiful Forde House on Friday 21st August.  The weather was very breezy and got stronger as the morning progressed and finally the rain arrived, but not before we had all had a chance to sketch various aspects of the house and gardens, socially distanced of course.  

These mornings are open to all members and it is very enjoyable to meet up and sketch in company, but under the current Covid 19 restrictions I have to limit it to six people as there are heavy fines for breaking these.   Just turning up on spec is not an option at the moment. 


Sketching in an idyllic garden 7th August 2020

The weather was perfect and Sheena welcomed us to her delightful garden which was ideal for sketching.  There was a fine view to Haytor and there were some most unusual plants.  There are also fairies at the bottom of her garden!  Many thanks to Sheena for her efforts to keep us COVID safe.  We had a lovely morning.


On this beautiful Wednesday morning, Dinah, Margaret, Kathie, Sheena and Virginia met at one of our favourite sketching places - The Passage House Inn on the river Teign at Kingsteignton.  Deirdre had contacted the Inn in advance so we were able to take advantage of their outside tables and benches, but we soon dispersed along the river bank.  As the tide came in, so did the geese and swans, plus a variety of canoes and kayaks coming up the river.  As pretty a picture as you would want with a scattering of sketchers hard at work as well.  A lovely day of art and chatter.
If you would like to come sketching with us look out for details of forthcoming sketching days, or contact Deirdre on mtstewart@blueyonder.co.uk

Sketching at Decoy Park on the 24th July

The weather was mostly fine on Friday morning and the five sketching artists observed social distancing as best they could.  The park was very busy, especially the playground.   We had a good time and enjoyed meeting up, but it was a reminder to bring a mackintosh as well as sunscreen and fly repellent!  We have posted photos on both our facebook page, so take a look.

The next session is by the Passage House Inn to sketch the marshes on Wednesday 29th July, starting at 10.30.  We plan to have coffee as we are using their car park, and perhaps lunch if we can find a table.  I have contacted the Inn and they are agreeable.

The following week, 7th August, a member has offered her garden so places are limited to six.  Please contact me for the address if you would like to join us.  You will need your own transport and there are a few steps.  Virginia Griem


Sketching day at The Orchid house at Burnham nurseries.

Seven members came to the sketching day at The Orchid house at Burnham nurseries. We had a lovely time and what a choice we had for our sketching. There was some very fine work produced with lots of different mediums used. We had lunch at the cafe and it was very nice also cake, coffee and tea were enjoyed. The staff at the cafe and nursery were so nice.


The above workshop was on the subject of Botanicals.  Everyone could choose which medium they wanted to use and most of the examples are in water colour or graphite.  Paul began by demonstrating how to draw flowers using quite a simple format and then fill in the details.  Paul brought along a selection of flowers and pot plants to choose from and then asked us to concentrate on
approx. three flower heads.  As we were all painting, Paul would helpfully go around talking to individuals about technique and colour to assist where necessary.  An enjoyable and informative day's painting.


Sketching At Ramm

We had a really great day at RAMM Exeter sketching. Lesley, Kathie, Margaret,Ron,Jan and Audrey.


Sketching at Torre Abbey

The weather was awful, very strong winds and rain on Tuesday 10th December.  Margaret Harris, Loveday Fergusson and co-ordination Deirdre Stewart gathered in the foyer, sketching tools at the ready.  However, due to the high winds the Palm Houses were out of bounds on health and safety grounds.  We were given the run of the Abbey and the staff were very helpful guiding us to suitable areas and providing chairs if needed.  It was still fun though the perspective work was challenging.  We went through the abbey to the cafe and had a very pleasant lunch at the end of the morning.  Warmest seasons greetings to all at NAAG and see you in the New Year.  Thanks to all our members who have supported the sketching days this year.  It has been great fun.

A beautiful morning at the Devon Sculpture Park, Mamhead.

The rain held off and Deirdre, Virginia, Sheena, Brian, Kathy and Lesley met in the car park at 10 am where the owner Philip gave them a detailed talk about the progress they are making with rewilding the 250 acres.  They are in phase two, each phase being ten years.  The Autumn colours were wonderful and there were a lot of birds singing.  Interesting sculptures are scattered around.  The first Monday of the month artists are welcomed free and they have lots of events going on.  You need stout boots as Deirdre found to her cost, wading through a puddle when her wellies sprung a leak.  Sheena is to be congratulated for coming along despite her bad ankle and producing some lovely work.  Everyone met for coffee and lunch in the Robert Adam Summerhouse cooked by Kara who makes delicious Brownies and tasty salads.  The views down the valley are beautiful and inspiring.  We plan to go again as a group in the Spring.




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