Whilst we still need to be careful and vigilant about our own health, we have been blessed enough to see the return of some deeply missed pastimes and the reincarnation of what we know as socialising. A new and welcoming art group has been set up by Oakley resident Peter Smith to encourage local residents to explore the world of art and painting.
CommunityAd caught up with Peter Smith to find out a little bit more about the man behind the plan, and the newly-formed group which had its first successful meet-up during August.
Peter, new to Oakley after only moving here a few months ago from New Brighton, has already started bringing the community together by organising this meet-up of painters and artists.
Now you might be wary of joining a group of painters because of a lack of skill or knowledge, but Peter reassured us this wouldn’t be a problem in the slightest: “I’ve only been painting for about 3 and a half years. I started after meeting an amazing artist named Laura Greenway. After meeting her and talking about art I thought, why not? Laura has been so positive and helpful with advice and information.”
What can readers expect if they were to attend?
“Well, not a lesson in art. It’s just for people to meet and paint. In fact, if someone reading this wants to come along and has never drawn or painted, that’s not a problem.
“I have easels, paints, everything a newbie needs. It’s not a competition or a class, in fact we’ve even decided to not even have a group name. We are people, we enjoy art. Good or bad, not a problem.”
What inspired you to create the group and how did the first meeting go?
“I fell in love with the area even before we moved in and felt so welcomed from day one. What I love about Oakley is the real feeling of community, the many groups and societies in and around the village. The beauty of the place with such easy access to countryside, plus it’s only ten minutes from Basingstoke.
“One day I decided to paint St Leonards Church; this was the first time I’d painted outdoors. I got to thinking how much fun it would be to do it with other people. Plus, there’s all the positive aspects of it in regards to mental health and getting to know new people.
“The first meeting went well; it was held at the church and including myself there was about 5 of us, which I was so pleased with.”