IN PICTURES: War centenary inspires art show

THE centenary of the start of the First World War has sparked numerous books, documentaries and events across the UK.

Amateur artist Bill Brown was moved by the special anniversary to capture images of lone soldiers in the Great War.

ANNIVERSARY ART ... Bill Brown with one of his paintings to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

ANNIVERSARY ART ... Bill Brown with one of his paintings to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Bill’s paintings are among the dozens on display at the Mid-Tyne Art Group’s show at the Veterans’ Club, at the entrance to West Park, in Park Road, Jarrow.

Group treasurer Mr Brown said: “Last year was the first time we staged our annual exhibition at the Veterans’ Club and it was a great success.

“We had very good weather during the show and this brought lots of people to West Park and to our display.

“Initially, we thought the park could be too isolated, but it was a success last year and hope it will be equally successful this time round.”

Apart from Mr Brown’s paintings of solitary First World War soldiers, less sombre works fill the Victorian club at the park entrance.

Christine Thompkins captured scenic St Mary’s Lighthouse, near Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, in a splash of colour.

Art club member Grace Chapman, who has several works in the exhibition, was moved to create a moody study of Ullswater in the Lake District.

Many South Tyneside scenes provide the starting points for works by members of the group, mostly made up of retired amateur artists, which has been going for more than 10 years and meets at Jarrow Community Centre, at 12.30pm each Monday.

Although tutors used to lead the 
group, rising costs mean members 
now draw on fellow artists for help and inspiration.

Mr Brown added: “The tutors tended to cost too much, so we all help each other now.

“Most of our members create their works in watercolour, acrylics or oils.

“We get our ideas from photographs, newspapers or whatever inspires us.”

Local scenes are heavily featured in this year’s exhibition, which includes a moody recreation of Cleadon water tower by Ray Beck.

Madge Weatherson, meanwhile, travels back in time for a study of the former Alfred Pit in Jarrow, supplementing this with a colourful painting of sunflowers.

Fellow art club member Norman Carr has two lively and highly colourful studies of the Monument area of Newcastle and York Minster at night.

Animals and the natural world are other sources of inspiration, including a painting of a daisy by Linda Werndly, one of poppies by June Burn and a bright flower study by Rose Connolly.

Most of the paintings on display are 
for sale and some arty bargains are 

The exhibition is open at the Veterans’ Club at West Park in Jarrow from tomorrow to July 26, between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, and from 10am until 2pm on Saturdays.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Twitter: terrykelly16