The Big Picture

The Big Picture Art Challenge & Exhibition Opportunity

We have an exciting opportunity for local artists of ALL ages and abilities to collaborate and see YOUR picture displayed at The Elgiva this summer!


The Big Picture is a collaborative art and storytelling event taking place from 22nd July 2021, featuring multiple creative challenges, workshops and events.

Our first activity is a giant group canvas project, organised and designed by local artist, Emily Brown (, in collaboration with The Elgiva, JPS Stationers and Chesham Museum.

The Big Picture group canvas will feature a portrait of a real-life heroine from Chesham’s rich history. The piece has been designed as a polyptych – multiple stretched canvas panels, primed with a coloured ground and a pre-sketched scene outlined in black by the designer across all the canvases, leaving gaps for participants to fill in with paint or mixed media. We were absolutely delighted that all the canvases sold out!

Join us in the foyer of The Elgiva on 22nd July to see the canvases assembled to reveal a big, secret picture. The canvas collaboration will be on display at The Elgiva until 22nd August.




Art & Storytelling with Stevyn Colgan

When? 11AM-1PM Thurs 22nd July
Where? Chesham Library Booking required. please email Stevyn directly on

£10 per person

Stevyn Colgan (local artist, author, ex policeman, QI script writer & the man behind that celebrated nearby ‘Monster zoo’ community art project) will lead a live event where children create a story and the artwork is created live while offering advice on storytelling. It will explain the important points of story structure and inspire children to have a go at storytelling and illustrating.

Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Land Art with Stevyn Colgan

When? 2pm – 4pm Thurs 22nd July
Where? Lowndes Park – Meet at the Bandstand by the Pond

Booking required, please email Stevyn directly on
£10 pp or £25 for a family up to 4

Collaborate outdoors on some eco-friendly art!

Stevyn Colgan (local artist, author, ex policeman, QI script writer & the man behind that celebrated nearby ‘Monster zoo’ community art project) will lead an outdoor workshop, where whole families can join in to create art made out of natural, scavenged materials, such as rocks, twigs and leaves. It’s an outdoor event, so please remember to dress for the weather!

Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Using Narrative in Landscape Painting with Emily Brown

When? 10am – 2pm, Sunday 25th July
Where? Lowndes park, Chesham (Look for the easels & picnic blankets!)

Booking required via:
Free to all participants.

Landscape painting ‘en plein air’ (outdoor) workshop and picnic

Local artists of all abilities are invited to join us at an outdoor, group art session in the famous and historic park at Chesham where we will enjoy a leisurely, pressure-free painting / drawing session plus picnic. Local artist, Emily, will be on hand to offer tips and advice. Any art produced you can take home and, if you like, you can upload and tag your work to the project insta with #thebigpicturechesham

Please bring your own art materials, tools, a chair or blanket plus optional picnic. If you require advice regarding suitable materials, contact Emily via or JPS Stationers, Chesham, in advance.

Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Narrative in Life Drawing and Portraiture with Shevon Burrows

When? 25th July, 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Where? Upstairs at The George & Dragon Pub, Chesham

£10 per person, booking required via email:
Adults only 18+

Join a group class and have a go at drawing painting the human form
Get creative and have fun at our quirky narrative life drawing class. Grab a drink from the bar and get arty as our accessorised model explores the story of the 4 B’s of Chesham and more!
Learn new drawing techniques and the art of storyboarding with poses ranging from 2 – 20 minutes.

Materials included, beginners very welcome.

This event is hosted by Shevon Burrows, winner of C4’s ‘Drawers Off’ and founder of ‘Outside the Box Drawing’.



Shop Window Takeover – Chesham’s Mad Hatter

When? 22nd – 29th July
Where? Chesham High Street

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Roger Crab – Chesham’s very own, real-life ‘mad hatter’. He led an extraordinary life, and a group of 9 local artists and writers have come together to tell his fascinating story across multiple shop windows on Chesham’s High Street. Get your copy of the ‘hidden art’ map from JPS Stationers, follow the trail and find out if he really was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter.

‘Hidden Art’ Map of Chesham, illustrated by Mark Cowie

When? 22nd – 25th July
Where? Maps available at JPS Stationers, The Elgiva and other participating shops. 

Get your Illustrated art map – a great day out in Chesham!
Grab your copy of our beautiful, illustrated art trail map, created by local cartographer & illustrator Mark Cowie, and follow the trail to discover hidden art around Chesham. The map highlights both existing art that you may have missed and the stories behind these works, as well as newly created art, plus fascinating trivia and mini art challenges along the way.

The Big Picture: Pop-Up Gallery (TBC)

When? 22nd July – 4th August 2021
Where: Chesham Library

Local Artists & Writers are hoping to exhibit creative work inside a joint, pop up art gallery, housed inside Chesham Library. The theme of the work will be storytelling. The artists have a range of backgrounds, abilities and disciplines, from oil painters, portrait artists, and landscapes, to collage, photography, ceramics, glass, textiles and crafts. Passers-by can enter the gallery and browse, and there will be original work, art prints and crafts for sale at the nearby Craft Market, on Chesham Market – look for the ‘Rather Nice Art’ stall.