Wiltshire artists have been brushing up their creative skills in readiness for an autumn exhibition.

The Guild of Wiltshire Artists is a prestigious art society that many artists aspire to join and only 40 places are allocated to maintain the very highest standards.

The Guild was formed in 1985 by three professional artists John Soar, James Trew and Frederick Cameron-street, who were granted permission to use the Bustard County emblem as the Guild logo.

Ann March, current member and publicity officer for the Guild, said: "The aim was to encourage mutual help among the members to facilitate serious progress in their art work. This initial group of experienced painters were willing to share their talents for the benefit of each other. Thus the ensuing monthly meetings held at the Wootton Bassett Civic Centre took the form of a demonstration of a painting method by one of the initial 13 Guild members.''

Today the Guild maintains the objectives of the original founding artists by meeting once a month in Hook Village Hall, where new techniques are shared, or a visiting artist gives a demonstration. Broad Town Village Hall plays host to a bi-monthly Guild open painting workshop, and all members hold their own exhibitions throughout the year, but a chance to have a painting on show in one of the Guild Exhibitions is always a sought after opportunity.

The autumn exhibition in the John Bowen Gallery at Malmesbury Town Hall runs from Friday, September 1 to Friday, September 22 from 10 am to 5pm. It is free entry.

The exhibition features Dog Rose a work by Ann herself, a self-portrait by David White who was a finalist in the Big Painting Challenge on BBC1 this year, and Terminus by Lloyd Washington who won first prize for the art work in the Oexmann Art Awards this year.

For more details of the Guild of Wiltshire of Artists visit www.guildofwiltshireartists.com. - Flicky Harrison