From the Editors Desk
I think summer is now officially over as we had a frost last night! We have been lucky to have flowers blooming and plenty of leaves still on the trees until now, although there are still a few things blooming in my garden that missed the frost.
May I thank the ladies who took time and trouble to make poppies for the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. We were able to send them 75 to add to their collection
Next month will be the Christmas party. Please note that you will not be allowed in unless you have a ticket, even if you are not eating .
Recently I have had several dents made in the side of my car, at least one of them when parked at the Memorial Hall. Please be careful when you open the door in a restricted area.
We are wondering how many people might be interested in a Health Group, where we invite speakers from the many organisations that you know little about, such as Age UK, The Deaf Society etc.,
Are you interested in dancing? The afternoon Tea Dance Group are short of Dancers- particularly men. They meet on 2nd and 4th Friday of the month between 2 and 4.30 in the Memorial Hall, Harnham. Organised by Eileen Forder (01722 3330405)
If you would like to learn to dance Chris Benton (Salisbury U3A) holds classes at St Georges Hall from 2,30 until 4pm on 1st and 3rd Fridays
Thanks too for the items to include in the Newsletter. Much appreciated. Keep them coming please. Many Thanks.
Zelah Bysouth 01722 330307 email@example.com
Welcome to New Members Mr Jim Dawson, Mrs Kathleen Dawson, Mr Robert Death, Mrs June Death, Mr Derek Nixon, Mrs Sheila Nixon
Drawing as a Language.
The “Drawing Tuition” group has been going now since March and U3A members may be interested to hear what we are up to. It is different from the usual drawing group in both aims and procedure. The usual thing is to all draw some subject: still life, portrait, landscape, whatever, and the tutor goes round to advise and praise, but of course it is dangerous to correct anyone because they will feel belittled and lose enthusiasm. As a result, little progress is made and competitive jealousy can make for a tense atmosphere.
Our system is different - and I think it is working, because enthusiasm has grown – so how, exactly? The basic concept is, to treat drawing as a language, and teach it in that way. The paper you about to draw on is your opportunity, the same as Rembrandt and Leonardo had. Since you are not Leonardo or Rembrandt, you don’t need to think of doing a museum quality drawing, or even a good one: you are doing a practical experiment to see what you can learn.
The first thing is your paper, its size and shape. Then your pencil (or whatever). Then the marks. The marks are the words of your new language, and the first mark makes this already your work and not Rembrandt’s. What are these marks going to say? Where are they on the paper? How large or long or thick? What colour – and other qualities? A second mark brings new meaning because it relates to the first as well as to the paper. There is so much to explore. Two lines converging, for example, easily suggest space and distance, therefore giving the flat paper depth already – with just two lines.
We do do some drawing of objects, and generally have a choice. But the aim is not for beautiful results to show off competitively, the point is to experiment: how can the model be described with marks. We look at each other’s work, not for aesthetic quality (though that’s nice when it happens), but to consider whether the marks are doing their job, whether some are superfluous, or some addition would make a difference.
After all, a drawing is a translation of part of this huge, confused, polychrome world that we inhabit in 3 dimensions into a scattering of marks on flat paper.
Since it is impossible to represent it all – as the camera does in a different way, the
power of drawing lies in selecting only what is necessary to the statement, and leaving out everything that it is not necessary to say.
Now, what is necessary depends on the intention of the artist. We have a number of members of the group and the intention of each may be different, so their drawings ought to be different. Difference is therefore not a mistake; it’s not a deviation from some perfect drawing that they should have produced: it’s their authentic statement. Suppose instead of drawing such and such an object, they were to describe it in French. Their French might be faulty, or halting, but if they found the words, and put them together well enough that the meaning was conveyed, that is the main thing. From there, clarity and accuracy of expression can be worked on, but always in the individual voice.
The individualism is important. Anyone of advanced years who has the motivation to join a drawing class is sure to have done quite a bit some time I the past. So the group members are not at the same stage. They come with some good techniques and some bad habits, and each with their own idea of what the really want from drawing. So looking at each other’s work and also at pictures in books and newspapers can lead to wonderful enjoyable discussions.
November SUDOKU Medium
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Soldier Poet at Fovant
The signpost at Fovant past which the soldiers would have marched to Dinton Station to entrain for the trip to Southampton then to France.
As part of the WW1 Commemorations at Fovant we had an evening of poetry, pictures and biographical details of some of the soldiers in the Military Camp at Fovant who wrote poems. They were intermingled with WW1 songs sung by the Village Choir. Here is one of the poems:
|I stand aside at the old signpost And watch the troops go by,
Rank after rank of an endless host Whose footsteps reach to the sky.
The light of youth on many a face The trace of a frown on some,
But they all march by with an even pace To the beat of the rolling drum.
And one laughs out, a boy as yet And he gaily smiles at me
But one looks stern and his face is set For he knows what his eyes will see.
One only hears on the lilting tune The spirit of great romance
The other knows that it leads him soon To the battlefields of France.
One forward looks for a star to grasp The height of a boyish dream
The other looks for a hand to clasp In a home by a quiet stream
And so they go and the sound of a drum Comes faint from a distant hill,
They have passed from sight and the future holds Their measure of good and ill.
D.D.C Fovant 1918.
Don Clarkson came from Western Australia, a third generation Aussie. He left behind a wife and 2 sons, a 3rd on the way. He had to spend some months in Fovant after a severe bout of mumps so was able to write letters and poems while here.
In November 1918 as armistice talk were going on, he was killed in action so never saw his youngest son, Grisham, who has collected his letters and poems and published them in a book ‘A Very Man’.
His grandson Sandy visited me in 2009 to see where his grandfather had lived and trained.
yoU3A Photography Competition
New photography competition yoU3A which invites U3As to submit a photographs which will communicate the essence of U3A. When we were putting together our new range of publicity materials we really struggled to find photographs of U3A members engaging in a wide range of activities so we really hope you will take this project on. (poster now on Notice Board)
or web site http://www.u3a.org.uk/latest-news/354-you3a-photography-competition.html
A survey on the everyday language used in connection with mental health is part of a 3 year research project at Swansea University and we have been approached to see if U3A members would help by completing a 20 minute survey online by visiting www.JustSpeakYourMind.co.uk
Institute of Advanced Motorists
The IAM has over 200 volunteer groups around the country and is offering free half hour introductory driving assessments which could be arranged for a U3A. In addition speakers can also be provided on road safety and driving topics. To make contact with your nearest IAM group visit www.iam.org.uk/iam-groups/iam-groups-directory and enter your postcode or alternatively contact Paul Woozley, membership manager on 020 8996 9656 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Group Entry to English Heritage and its equivalent organisations.
U3A is included in the list of learning groups entitled to free group visits providing you apply in advance. You cannot just turn up with a membership card and demand free entry. Go to
the offers for members section in the national website for links to the relevant sites.