First Friday Past Programs



Friday, 2 Nov 2018

Talk:  My life as a micro Artist


Graham Short known as “the world’s smallest engraver” for his miniature masterpieces, Graham Short has spent over 50 years going to physical and mental extremes to produce the highest-quality engravings ever seen.

In 1974 Graham set up his one-man engraving business in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and immediately started supplying engraved stationery to Buckingham Palace, Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor Castle.

Appearing in news features internationally and the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary, Graham is now considered one of the most talented living artists in the world.

After several national newspapers highlighted Graham’s genius, the demand for his work began to soar. His first fine-art show was an instant sell-out. This was followed by a one-man exhibition in the prestigious Clarendon Gallery in London’s Mayfair, and later by an further exhibition at the Arthouse Galleries, Kelso – which sold out in just two minutes!

His most astonishing nine-month project, ‘Cutting Edge’, shows the words “Nothing is Impossible” engraved along the sharp edge of a Wilkinson Sword razor blade. As a result of this effort, Graham attracted much attention from the world’s media.

He works at midnight to avoid vibration from passing traffic. His right arm is strapped to the bench, allowing only his fingertips to move. He takes tablets throughout the night to lower his heart-rate to 30 beats per minute – then using a stethoscope he monitors his heart and begins to engrave with very fine needles – between heartbeats! Every few months he attends a clinic and undertakes a course of botox injections around his eyes to keep the muscles and nerves rigid. His extreme way of working never ceases to amaze people!

Graham regularly gives talks, accompanied by the most fascinating slide show, across the UK.



Fri, 5 Oct 2018

Practical: Greg D’Souza, chair, Critique of members’ works
Please bring one or two pieces of your work




Paul Simmons  – Friday, 7 Sept 2018

MC Escher – Lecture

I’m an English artist best known for my vibrant watercolour and oil paintings of landscapes, cityscapes, cafe and street scenes inspired by my love of light and colour.

I graduated from St Martin’s School of Art in London and have been a full time professional painter, illustrator and designer all of my life.



Friday 6 July 2018

Botanical, Water colours, Pencils

David Lewry and his family live in Bedford where he spends his time teaching and painting the beautiful countryside and villages of the Ouse valley. He is an experienced and sensitive teacher in watercolour painting and drawing, especially aware of the needs of adult beginners or those returning to art after many years. His classes are always great fun as well as providing plenty of practical demonstrations and individual help.

He was educated at Sevenoaks School in Kent and then at St Martin’s School of Art in London. As a mature student he completed a First Class Honours Degree in Humanities with the Open University and has a Diploma in Botanical Illustration awarded by the South West Society of Botanical Artists. He runs a number of very successful courses and specialist workshops in the Bedford area and is one of the resident tutors for Saga and Spirit of Adventure Cruises, travelling all over the world teaching watercolour and drawing techniques. He has also taught the demanding skills needed for Botanical Illustration to Diploma Students on the SWSBA course at the Eden Project in Cornwall and Dartington College in Devon. He is now running and tutoring his own Diploma Course in Botanical Illustration in Bedford.

In 2009 he exhibited at a Royal Horticultural Society London Show and was awarded the Society’s silver medal. His exhibit consisted of twelve paintings on a related theme that represented the diverse range of fruit and vegetables found in Bedford markets, including dragon fruit, pomegranates and coconuts! Each study is highly detailed and can take up to 40 hours to complete. He has contributed to the award winning book Contemporary Botanical Illustration with the Eden Project, written by Rosie Martin and Meriel Thurstan that was voted Practical Art Book of the Year in 2008. He is also featured in their third book Natural History Illustration with the Eden Project.

David’s reputation is rapidly growing as a talented demonstrator as he visits Art Societies and painting groups around the country. Part of his appeal is his easy going style and the use of advanced technology that enables his practical demonstrations to be projected and seen by the entire group.

He is a registered Professional Artist with the SAA and is on the panel of demonstrators representing Derwent Pencils.