On 7th August, HACS members attended a painting and sketching day at Belmont Abbey, in Hereford. We received the kind permission of the Abbot to spend time in the private monastery gardens and in the church. The grounds of the Abbey offered creative opportunities ranging from rose gardens and fountain, to the graveyard, and lawns leading up to the church, as well as the church itself. You can read more about the history of the monastery HERE.
Our day began as we gathered under the large trees in front of Hedley Lodge. It was beautiful weather; the glare of the heatwave subdued to a bright and breezy summer day. 15 members attended with easels, sketchpads and a variety of media. We trooped off to the gardens and each found a nook, bench or comfortable spot under the trees, next to the fountain or by the rose bushes. The graveyard in particular was a popular spot.
At 1pm we broke for a delicious lunch in Hedley Lodge after which we gathered again to be taken to the abbey church. The church dates back to 1859. It used to be the Cathedral for the Diocese of Newport and Menevia which covered the whole of Wales and Herefordshire. The church itself is named after St Michael and All the Angels – something which is delightfully depicted inside the church by its 156 angels (statues, carvings and stained glass)!
The day was well-received by all members. Most people admitted they were out of practice at doing art en plein air and they welcomed the opportunity to do art outdoors in a quiet environment without being interrupted by curious passersby. We all agreed that it was an event worth doing again and that next time we would make it a longer day so that participants could focus on perhaps completing a full piece of work, instead of smaller pieces and sketches.
HACS hopes to repeat the Belmont Abbey Art Day next year due to the resoundingly positive feedback from members! Follow us on Facebook for updates on events and exhibitions. And click HERE if you would like to join the society for just £20 p/a.