HUDDERSFIELD Art Society’s annual exhibition seems to get stronger each year, and whereas some years back the accent was usually on local landscapes, variety and diversity are now the elements to look for.
This time, especially, there is much in the way of quality portraiture, with oils like J MacFarlan’s freely painted and characterful Kizzy, portrait of a teenage girl, and Jack, portrait of a teenage boy. These descriptive works also have well-handled backgrounds.
Olwen and her coat of many colours is a fine portrait of society president Olwen Kitson by C Pearcy, while there’s a touch of glamour with the bare back in April Matthews’ A Frivolous Distinction (mixed media).
There’s a typical hint of mystery in Ralph Shephard’s Sojourn in the Woods, an immaculately painted acrylic, with its lonely house and figure, and Jill Moynan contributes both a delightful portrait of Georgia (acrylic) and a well-formed nude (pastel on acrylic ground).
Some strong animal portraits feature in the exhibition too – Trevor Ferguson’s prancing horse, for instance in White Thunder (oil) and D B Shearing’s Say Cheese, with his Denby Dale Alpacas staring directly at you.
Among some imaginative landscapes, Linda Down’s Destroyed by Earthquake (mixed media) contrasts with the serenity of Jill Moynan’s semi-figurative Abstract Study (mixed media).
Chris Fallowfield’s Jos Lane, Shepley, is a dark and atmospheric oil, as in Kin Lee’s well-detailed Huddersfield from Ashenhurst (oil). J MacFarlan’s Fishing Boats at Sunset is a large oil, bursting with the energy of the waves, while Beryl Conroy’s quieter, serene summer painting of Holy Island, Tide’s Out, has lovely acrylic colours.
Winter, too, has many attractions for artists, realistically caught by Jeff Beaumont in his watercolour Wrap Up and Go and Chris Fallowfield’s Winter’s Intimacy (oil).
A welcome should be given to some of the more unusual contributions, like Trevor Ferguson’s daring female nude, Behind Glass Tiles (oil) and Linda Downs stylised and finely coloured The Model Sleeps (mixed media).
Then there’s E Robertshaw’s semi-abstract Windows (watercolour) with its interesting colour choices and David Whiting’s beautifully painted acrylic of three female figures, Apsaras in Cambodia. Janet Grainger’s tiny but effective Provence is in paint and stitch.
Keith Harris has won the Eleanor Sykes Award for best in show with his neatly-styled Loading Cargo, Malaga.
Andrew Jenkin takes a break from his usual style with an impressionistic watercolour of Huddersfield Railway Station, while Barbara Goodall pleases with her encaustic wax pieces.
Is Barbara Priest’s Bathroom (oil) representing the Kitchen Sink School?
Among the flower paintings, I think I should pick Betty Thornton’s Pink Iris (mixed media) for the honours.
The exhibition runs until November 6.