The Society of Graphic Fine Art is a professional society founded with the declared aim of fostering good drawing skills. Membership is open to any artist who works within the criteria of the Society but members are elected solely on the quality of work submitted to the Council. Previous members of the Society have included Sir Frank Brangwyn (an early President), John Piper and Dame Laura Knight.
"Graphic" as a term is now commonly used to refer to commercial art, advertising and design. However according to the website, in 1919, when the society started, the term "graphic" was used to mean any artwork, by whatever method, which was mainly linear in content and character.
The Society aims to stay true to the original definition and to retain all that is good in traditional work while at the same time expanding it to the most creative and artistic use of new materials and methods. In summary, this means:
- Fine Artwork accepted can be in colour or mononchrome with media ranging from pencil, pen and wash and watercolour drawings to book illustration; engravings; lithography; woodcuts; etchings and silk screen prints. Subjects covered range from still-life to figurative and non-figurative landscapes, abstracts, figure drawings and botanical and animal studies.
- work excluded from consideration covers oil paintings and layouts or designs for advertisements or packaging.
The "application for admission as an associate member" process is very simple in process terms but requires the submission of more artwork than a lot of societies which invite applications for membership via acceptance into exhibitions. I had to submit a portfolio of work - four completed pieces in mats and 12 additional drawings or a sketchbook plus a short resume of my art training and career. I then had to turn up yesterday morning to deliver my portfolio at 11.30am for consideration by the Council and then again at 3.00pm to collect it - and hear the result of my application there and then! A very simple, fast and somewhat nerve-wracking process - but with a very pleasing result!
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