........................................SUNDAY OUTINGS ...........................................
It has been suggested that many of our newer members don't join in the outings because they are apprehensive and don't know what to expect.
First of all you have to get your kit together - what to take??
Absolute essentials are: Waterproof, warm sweater/fleece, (irrespective of the weather forecast!!) drinking water, a hat and money. If the forecast is really bad an umbrella is a good idea. Sunblock is important if there is any prospect of prolonged sunshine.
(? What about paints? - not essential some members just bring a camera .)
Following the essentials I would suggest a light portable seat - the tripod type is my favourite but whatever you bring make sure it isn't going to give you a sore back and is easily carried.
Most folk take a packed lunch whilst some prefer to take a break and visit the local hostelry. It is very unlikely that food of some sort will not be available.
With regard to "art" equipment it depends on what you are comfortable with. Many members take a simple sketch pad and pencil. A majority take watercolours and a few take acrylics. A very few take oils as they tend to get on everything from your clothes to the local kids. Easels are the exception rather than the rule.
Having decided what to take the next decision is what to put it in. I believe in a rucksack as it leaves both hands free. A shopping trolley is even better as you have little weight to carry. Everybody has their own ideas but do make sure you can easily carry what you bring - the best "subject" could be some distance from the bus.
Get yourself and your kit to the Club bus in plenty of time say 9.50. The driver will stow any bags in the luggage compartment. There is usually plenty of room on the bus so if you want you can sit on your own but, I would recommend sitting beside someone - that way you make new friends. The bus leaves promptly at 10.0 so don't be late! On arrival the bus parks up for the day and the "Outings Organiser" will tell everyone what time they have to be back by - usually 5.0 pm. The bus will stay put all day and you can leave unwanted kit on board. In really bad weather it is always possible to shelter on the bus and some acceptable watercolours have been executed from within!
From this point onwards the day is yours to do with as you like. Many members head straight for the nearest café! The majority will then spend some time exploring the place and looking for a suitable subject. The "loners" will head of on their own whilst others tend to congregate around the most popular areas - the harbour, castle, etc It is well worth spending time on setting yourself up where you will be comfortable with a good unblockable view of what you want sketch or paint. A wall behind you discourages onlookers and can act as a windbreak. Remember that cars and boats come and go as of course does the tide!
Many of us do several quick sketches and talk to other members as we walk between locations. It's pleasant to eat your lunch in the company of others while enjoying a break. It is also useful to see how others are tackling the subject you have chosen and to compare their style/approach with yours. Discussing mutual problems helps.
Half an hour before the bus departs it is prudent to make your way back in good time.
We often have a show of the days work with the sketches/paintings propped up along the nearest wall. There is absolutely no obligation on you to put your own efforts on display but nearly everyone does and it is an interesting end to the day to see how well/badly others have managed. The journey back is usually spent contemplating the days work and perhaps discussing things with your neighbour. Before setting off the "Outings Organiser" does a head count to make sure no one is left behind and, on the way home collects the £12 due.