20th April 2022

We’re delighted to announce the launch of the Friends of the Towans Art Club on Saturday 23rd April!

This exciting initiative is led by artist Hilary Jean Gibson, a tutor at St Ives School of Painting and a FOTT trustee. It will give artists of all abilities the chance to paint and draw in stunning locations around the Towans.

The very first sessions are taking place on the 23rd from 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm at Gwithian, and will be run by Hilary, with assistance and support from Andy Nelson, people engagement officer at Dynamic Dunescapes.

Hilary will herself be drawing during the day, but she will be regularly looking at what people are doing and available for help and feedback, if and when it is needed.

The number of participants for each session is limited to 15 people, so please book with Towans Ranger Martin Rule at martinrule@talk.talk.net or 07854 123877.

During the workshops – which are all en plein air – you will receive a sketchbook and a Friends of the Towans car sticker. You’ll also be able to use 2b pencils, water soluble pencils and a brush pen. But please do bring your own art materials if you wish, including a stool or something to sit on.

Not sure what else to bring? Hilary says: “I wear fingerless gloves to draw. A hat and layers are useful in case of cold winds as is a sun hat and sun cream.” And bring a snack, a drink/ flask and lunch if you’d like to stay all day.

The meeting place is Gwithian Chapel (between Gwithian Church and the Red River Inn), and there is space to park at Gwithian Green, which is only a couple of minutes’ walk away. Hilary hopes that, in time, the club will be able to hold occasional art exhibitions at the chapel.

“On other occasions we will meet at Mexico Towans under an elder tree (which has a bench for painting incorporated into its branches) and we will explore how ‘dunes are beautiful’,” she says. “Through observational drawing and painting, participants will have time to take in this unique setting, which has different habitat foregrounds with spectacular views of the sea.

“In the future, there will also be midweek evening sessions, hopefully to capture a sunset, and guided sketchbook walks, when Martin Rule will be offering his vast knowledge of Towans habitats – birds, bees, butterflies etc – and I’ll be providing the art instruction bit.”

Hilary regularly walks the Towans with her sketchbook and paints there. She has been an art tutor at the St Ives School of Painting since 1995, and her courses always have an element of en plein air drawing and painting on the beaches or clifftops. She delivers art workshops and talks at Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and has also run many workshops for Hayle Art Society and for Hayle U3A.

View her work at http://www.hilary-jean-gibson-illustrator.co.uk and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.