u3a - Paint or Draw

Send in pictures of your original artwork on a monthly theme to feature in our online gallery. No prizes, just prestige!

  • Are you a dab hand with a paintbrush or pencil?
  • Do you want to develop your skills or are you simply interested in the world around you and how to capture it in a piece of artwork? 

We are running a monthly challenge to encourage people to paint or draw a piece of artwork, then take a photo of their work and submit their pictures via our online form. We are going to be posting a different theme each month and inviting u3a members to submit photos of their creations on that topic.

This is not a competition and it is not about your artistic ability  – what we want from you are interesting pictures, possibly different perspectives on everyday scenes or objects, anything which has inspired you to paint or draw. Peter Akers, a member of the paint or draw network, has shared his helpful tips on Starting out in pastels, Sandra Foster has some tips on Acrylics and David Wrigley, another member, has shared some thoughts on Watercolours. We will be extending this network of members so please do contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to find out more. 

At the end of every month, we will choose and publish up to 15 photos of artwork on an online gallery for each theme to share the pictures with all of our members. Just upload your photo using the form below (you will receive an acknowledgement once submitted). Follow the links at the bottom of the page to view previous galleries. 

Please only submit one photo per person. Your photo of your artwork should also not include any recognisable people.

The theme "New Beginnings" is now closed. Thank you to all those who submitted photos of their artwork on this theme. This is just a selection of the fantastic pictures that were sent in. It was very difficult to choose as they were all brilliant and much appreciated. 

The theme for this month is: "Gardens"

Deadline for submissions: 23rd February 2022

Submit your photos by clicking here

'Janus' by Lyn Morris, Buxton u3a.

'Janus' by Lyn Morris, Buxton u3a.

This is Janus, sketched in pencil from an 18th century statue of the roman god of gateways and new beginnings, after whom January is named.  I wrote a story for u3a Creative Writing about him, set in the temple of Vesta in Rome.  I wanted the illustration to be coloured but not themed, hence the random doodles.  The two headed god looks back into the past and towards the future, perfect for this month’s theme I thought.

'Maori Koru' by Carole Mindham, Hale & District u3a

'Maori Koru' by Carole Mindham, Hale & District u3a

This is a Maori Koru, the symbol is inspired by unfurling fern fronds.
It represents new beginnings, new life, personal growth, peace and tranquility and positive change. Most appropriate for a new year.
The picture is made using shells from a New Zealand beach.

'Take a deep breath' by by Wendy Watson, Sherburn & Villages u3a

'Take a deep breath' by by Wendy Watson, Sherburn & Villages u3a

Every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again. - Buddha Painted in mixed media and collage.

'Stormy day' by Salim Quraishy, u3a Harrow

'Stormy day' by Salim Quraishy, u3a Harrow

The beginning of a stormy day. 

'Chicken or egg?' by Jen Russell, Thanet u3a

'Chicken or egg?' by Jen Russell, Thanet u3a

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

'The Dream Routine' by Nicholas Hanison, Hampstead Gardewn Suburb u3a

'The Dream Routine' by Nicholas Hanison, Hampstead Gardewn Suburb u3a

Since i started painting a couple of years ago I have only ever painted plants or landscapes. As a new beginning I have set brush to canvas to produce a abstract titled “The dream routine”.

'A new shoe' by Shirley Mountain, Chesterfield u3a

'A new shoe' by Shirley Mountain, Chesterfield u3a

New Beginnings - A New Shoe - Graphite and charcoal.

'Penguin' by Patricia Swift, Thanet u3a

'Penguin' by Patricia Swift, Thanet u3a

I do love painting birds. My penguin is in acrylic. 

'Tadpoles' by Jacky Fatom, Marple u3a

'Tadpoles' by Jacky Fatom, Marple u3a

'Sparrows' by Pam Cooke, High Lane u3a

'Sparrows' by Pam Cooke, High Lane u3a

Just a quick watercolour showing young sparrows waiting to be fed in the hedgerow - a new beginning for them and new life indicating spring something we are all looking forward to on these cold, dark winter days.

'Bumble bees' by Liisa Brown, Stroud u3a

'Bumble bees' by Liisa Brown, Stroud u3a

Looking forward of seeing the first bumble bees waking up in the garden; hence this acrylic/multimedia painting.

'Nice cuppa' by Gabrielle Summerhays, Farnham u3a

'Nice cuppa' by Gabrielle Summerhays, Farnham u3a

New Year, new beginnings … Beginning to plan a warm summer break away but somewhere with a nice cuppa, of course! In pen, influenced by Zentangle designs.

'Dandelion' by Evelyn Richardson, Norwich u3a.

'Dandelion' by Evelyn Richardson, Norwich u3a.

Dandelion seed head. 

'Mischevious eyes' by Susan Nobel, Bridlington u3a

'Mischevious eyes' by Susan Nobel, Bridlington u3a

This watercolour I did of my friend's newly acquired puppy expresses my idea of new beginnings as a new life lies ahead for them both.  You can see it in those mischievous eyes. 

'Seed drilling near Ormskirk' by Anne Pearson, Hale & District u3a

'Seed drilling near Ormskirk' by Anne Pearson, Hale & District u3a

A hopeful reminder that the cycle of ploughing, sowing and reaping continues, regardless of pandemic.


View our selections from previous themes: