LAST FEBRUARY saw Bingley Art Club’s secretary Joan Webb instigate the return of our joint exhibition at Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley.

The latest exhibition, due to run from January 24 to April 12, has been secured by Keighley Art Club’s ex-president and current exhibition secretary Tony Pratt.

Cliffe Castle’s Kirsty Gaskin is, however, to introduce an innovative scheme this time, which will be as much of a surprise to our members as anyone going to view the paintings.

All we know is that she arranged – outside the usual working hours – three separate sketching sessions of two hours each.

Bird-related displays from the museum archives were made available for any form of sketching preferred by both clubs, other pencil, watercolours, or pastels.

Each person then chose their own items to sketch, from a display of a golden heron, parasols with heron handles, or exquisite embroideries of birds, all of which had been obtained from the archives

Throughout the museum it became apparent that there is a historical theme of birds, which we have hopefully captured.

Some people were inspired by items in cabinets, others from the display, and another option was to use the printed sheets of birds displayed around the museum.

Examples are on ceramics and stoneware, a white feather with a hummingbird, a bird in a candelabra, a mummy, hens in a landscape, a pheasant on a teapot, and numerous others.

The method of hanging paintings will be the one started last year, where the pictures will be suspended on eye-hooks. Again, Kirsty Gaskin started the method, which is modern and effective.

Tony Pratt, our exhibition secretary, has organised and hung between three and four exhibitions at various venues in Keighley for the past four years.

He also runs Riddlesden Art Group on Thursday afternoons in St Mary’s Community Hall. Anyone interested can call 01535 603433.

Alternatively, people can contact Bingley Art Club by calling Joan Webb on 01535 663450, or contact Keighley Art Club by calling 01535 669914 in the evenings.

Tony previously lived in Cookridge, and was a member of Horsforth Art Club.

I’m hoping that my November theme of historic Keighley will produce some exhibits for one of our venues, as I was pleased with the quality of work that time. However, the individuals choose their own items for display, and normally no set theme is dictated.

In 2015 we are having a new approach, such as on January 7, which will be a member-led critique of each other’s work, with constructive feedback available.

On February 18 there will be self-directed painting, which sounds very interesting, and this is repeated on June 17.

On June 10 we will have a group discussion and painting session based on how to care for your brushes.

All of these are new approaches, and we hope they will provide useful prove useful and helpful to our members.

The return of professionals Cath Ingles, Paul Talbot Greaves, Bill Malachy and Anne Allen are also awaited, and demonstrations on wax resist and silk painting beckon.