Featured Creative: Sara Ana Mejias Pinilla – SAM Art

Medway has a new artist in town and her beautiful paintings of pets will warm your heart! Recently having moved to Rochester, Sara loves painting animals and has an amazing way of making them present personality. I wanted to get to know more about Sara, so I asked some questions about her and her beautiful work!

How long have you been painting for?

I’ve been painting for almost 9 years, I was studying my third year at university when I started to paint dog portraits to raise money for a dog’s shelter.

Why do you love painting pets?

Because I love pets! I think when you are working, it’s really important to love what you are doing. I try to capture the essence of the pet and the magical expression in their eyes.

All the pets are really extraordinary, they give you everything, they make you laugh, help you with sad moments of your life…

I think they deserve to be remembered and with a portrait, you can freeze time and it gives you a memory for a lifetime.

Commissions for artworks of pets are notoriously hard and many artists turn them down, how do you manage customer expectations?

Well, when a person decides to work as a painter, he usually chooses a theme to specialise. Some of them work with landscapes, some of them with portraits of people and I chose animals. My customers always understand my style of painting. I usually show them some of the work I have created already so they can have a real expectations about the pet’s portrait I’m going to do.

What do you love most about Rochester?

Rochester has something special, I love getting lost in its streets and listening to the sound of the wind and nature.

I love its parks and gardens, they have beautiful flowers and they are very quiet so you can relax and enjoy.

I love walking near the Medway River and watching the sunset

Do you think you will stay or are there other places you want to travel to?

I don’t really know, I love living here but I would like to travel to other places to see more of this beautiful country. Time will tell what adventure I am going to live!

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be to be a freelancer and be able to work painting murals and teaching painting in a studio or academy. I was a painting and art teacher in Seville so I miss teaching.

Whose work and music do you love?

I currently follow many great artists. Some of them are:

Javid Tabatabaei, an Iranian-Canadian water-colourist who paints magical landscapes.

Casey Baugh is an extraordinary painter from New York who makes charcoal portraits out of the ordinary and paintings of the city at night with women as the main character of the scene.

Ruben Belloso is a Spanish wonderful  pastel painter, born in Seville. He paint beautiful and emotional portraits.

About music, I listen to different musical genres. I like to paint with soundtracks, jazz, post rock, grunge, puck, indie, alternative rock …

Antilopez, Polyphia, Mogwai are great music bands and Jeff Buckley, Billie Holiday or El Kanka are great musicians!

Thank you for speaking to Creatabot Sara!

You can see more of Sara’s work on her Facebook page.

Residents invited to join virtual bookclub to mark 150th anniversary of Dickens’ last novel – May to October 2020 – Medway

Medway Council is inviting residents to take part in an online book club to discuss Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Dickens’ death, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Mystery of Edwin Drood, the council is encouraging residents to download a copy of the eBook from Medway’s library service and join them in reading the mystery in monthly instalments, the same way the original readers would have enjoyed the novel.

The central mystery, the disappearance of Edwin Drood, plays out in a thinly-disguised gothic Rochester.

Can you solve the mystery? Download the eBook and join in discussions about the novel on the Reading Drood blog each month from May to October. If you’re not already a member of Medway libraries you can join online and borrow eBooks immediately. In recent weeks more than 15,500 eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers have been accessed by residents.

Chapters one to five will be read in May, six to nine in June, 10 to 12 in July, 11 to 16 in August, 17 to 20 in September and finally chapters 21 to 23 in October.

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased we are launching a virtual book club to discuss Dickens’ last novel, it is one of the ways in which we are adapting services in these unusual times. I would encourage residents to sign up for an online library account as there are thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines on offer for them to read, as well as The Mystery of Edwin Drood and I hope as many people as possible join in with the online discussions. We look forward to welcoming you all back into Medway’s libraries and community hubs as soon as we can.” 

To sign up for a library account visit www.medway.gov.uk/libraries

Swale Film Festival – 20th to 22nd September 2019 – Sittingbourne

Swale Film Festival is running from Friday 20th September – Sunday 22nd September at the Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne.

Across 3 days they will be showing three feature length movies, a selection of short films about Swale and hosting a Movie Quiz!

The theme of the Swale Film Festival is LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE, which is why all of the films have links to the local area.

To see the programme visit www.visitkent.co.uk/events/swale-film-society-presents-swale-film-festival-2019-at-the-avenue-theatre-52684/ and www.avenuetheatre.co.uk/home/ to book.

They welcome everyone to all events (subject to age restrictions of course!), with special discounts for Swale Film Society members. If you’d like to, you can sign up for membership for £6 for the rest of 2019, which will also get you discounts for the rest of our films this year.

The Swale Film Society shows one film on the last Friday of each month at the Avenue Theatre.

This year’s Swale Film Festival kicks off on Friday night with the 1944 classic movie A Canterbury Tale, showing at 7:45pm at the Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne. 
There is also a very exciting Movie Quiz taking place on Saturday night, 6:30pm – 8pm, where participants can win big film related prizes such as free cinemas tickets, popcorn and drinks – a mega movie bundle at its best! The quiz will be followed by the multi-award winning British feature film Jellyfish, another film that has links to the local area as this movie was made in Margate. 

Sunday sees the final screenings of the festival. At 2pm there will be FREE FILMS about Swale, such as the very retro yet fascinating short film ‘Swale Ready for the 90s’, which takes a look at how our borough was gearing up for big changes in business, leisure and tourism. Our final screening is Juliet, Naked, a comedy starring some very familiar faces (Chris O’Dowd, Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne), which was also filmed very close by in Broadstairs! A resident of Sittingbourne will coming along to share their personal experience of working on this big budget as an extra, so lots of first hand behind the scenes highlights will be shared! 

The Swale Film Society is a volunteer community cinema group, and we hope many of you will come along and enjoy the wonderful festival that we have put together for the residents of Swale. 

Medway Open Studios –  Saturday 6th to Sunday 14th July 2019


The wonderful Medway Open Studios returns for it’s eight year (I know we can’t believe it either!) during Saturday 6th to Sunday 14th July 2019, with many different venues to visit and a wide variety of work on show by local artists.

Visitors are welcomed to explore the hidden creative work spaces and secret studios of Medway, take part in activities and events at local arts venues, view exhibitions, talk to artists, buy art and crafts, and see first hand the array of artistic talent and opportunities in this impressively creative area of Kent.

You can find a PDF version of the guide here and full website at www.medwayopenstudios.org

Medway Print Festival – 7th to 23rd June 2019


Medway Print Festival is now in its fourth year! Created by Allison Young and Matt Bray to celebrate printmaking and fine art in Medway. Running for two weeks across multiple sites, the festival includes a wide variety of events and activities to showcase some of the best printmaking being created today as well as highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium. The festival includes activities in 12 venues, welcoming back some regular participants as well as some new organisations for this year. 

Download the 2019 Festival Guide here

See events listings here : http://medwayprintfestival.com/events/

Strand Pool Mural Workshops – 16th and 23rd June 2019 – Rainham Riverside Park

Join artist Natasha Steer in designing artwork and stencils for a new mural on the side of The Strand Pool, Gillingham, which will be situated in the Commodores Hard slipway area (see photo).

This free session will involve sketching estuary plants and marine wildlife as well as helping to design stencils for use in creating the mural. All materials and inspiration will be provided and the workshop will take place in the Education Room in the visitor centre.

Suitable for adults and also children over the age of 5, should families wish to attend.

The mural is being created in collaboration with Medway Council and the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership.

Book your place at