The Hurstbourne Tarrant Development Trust is raising funds for a new community centre in the village, and, as part of its fund raising activity, the Trustees invited resident artist Tom Coates to do a master class in portrait painting at Hurstbourne Tarrant school.
Tom Coates is a former President of the Royal Society of British Artists, and studied at the Bournville College of Art from 1956 to 1959. He subsequently attended the Royal Academy Schools when Sir Henry Rushbury was Keeper and has been awarded several prizes and scholarships during his studentship. More recently, he was President of the Pastel Society in 1997, and was awarded the Minto Prize in 2004.
The local MP, George Young, was the sitter, and the lesson lasted 2 hours, with a half hour break in the middle. "It was an honour to sit for Tom Coates, whose most recent portrait was of the actor David Suchet, and who is one of the best known artists in the county. It was generous of him to give up his time to help raise funds for the new community centre, and all those who were present for the evening were fascinated by his technique, and amused by the stories he told about those he had painted."
The community centre is being constructed, after securing a grant from Hampshire County Council. However, more funds are needed in order to furnish and equip the building.
(I am grateful to Richard South for the action picture)