John searches for models to join Lord Tebbit on line-up

BURY: Artist John Astle is calling for models for portrait group Picture Mark Westley
BURY: Artist John Astle is calling for models for portrait group Picture Mark Westley

A group of artists is seeking volunteer models to give up a few hours of their time in return for receiving a portrait of themselves.

The weekly portrait drawing group, which meets at Oakes Barn, in St Andrew’s Street South, in Bury St Edmunds, was launched nine weeks ago.

Now founder John Astle, who has run similar groups in Dorset and Spain, is appealing for models of all ages to sit for the group.

“Pretty much anyone can model,” said John. “We’ve had women and men so far, but for some reason men are less keen to volunteer. We do like to ask models to do consecutive two weeks if possible, as we seem to produce better pictures of the same face the second week.”

John has already asked Lord Tebbit to volunteer and he will be sitting later this month.

“When I told the members about that their jaws dropped,” said John.

Artists taking part each pay £2 to Oakes Barn – which supplies the room for free – or coffee and £2 to the model, while models also receive the portrait of their choice at the end. Sessions run 10.30am-1pm, with a 30-minute break.

Anyone interested should contact John on 01284 702463 or email john@astle.eu