Thursday, October 06, 2016

Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition 2016

This year it's the 50th anniversary of the royal status of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.


some stunning paintings of sea, waves, skies and vessels
this all includes three prizewinners
They've "pushed the boat out" - their annual exhibition can be found in all three galleries of the Mall Galleries (open 10am to 5pm and finishes 1pm on Saturday 8th October).

Below you can find images of the exhibition and a list of the prizewinners (and associated pic if I spotted it).

RSMA exhibition in the Threadneedle Gallery
There are over 400 works of art on display and there's a fair few large ones

One of the main walls in the West Gallery
as well as walls of smaller ones.

a wall of small works
small works are often by non-members
It looks good and, as per usual, there's an awful lot of sea, sand and boats. In fact I tend to think of this as "the boating exhibition"!


A corner of the Main Gallery

Another corner of the Main Gallery

RSMA in Threadneedle Gallery

In the North Gallery

I visited yesterday (after my extended birthday celebrations/"retirement"!) and saw some fabulous waves, rather a lot of Venice (which still seems to sell well) and an awful lot of the British coastline and associated vessels and people.

(Top) Beached Root £5,500
(bottom) Nets II £3,250
by Gareth Brown ARSMA
Works on display are predominantly oil and very often traditional in terms of representation - often with particular attention to detail.

However there are a few watercolours, gouaches, pastels, prints and sculptures.  Interestingly acrylic does not seem to be a medium of choice for those who paint marine life - or maybe those who buy tend to prefer to oil to acrylic?

The great thing about the exhibitions which focus on subject matter is this is where you see new ways in which artists work with new media

This time (for the first time) I saw works by two artists who used digital processes to produce their artwork. Abigail Lingford produced a hand drawn and digital illustration which was very different to other drawings on display. Abigail is a Scientific Illustrator who was a BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 finalist

Whale Fall (edition of 20) £250 by Abigail Lingford
I also saw some digital photomontage prints by Claire Gill which were very clever and very interesting. You can see more of her seascapes on her website.  They're some of the more interesting digital artwork I've seen in some time.
I combine, juxtapose and layer original digital photographic imagery to create completely new scenes.
Digital photomontage of marine subject matter by Claire Gill
Plus I very much admired the 3D wall sculpture of fish and crustaceans by Simon Connolly and Sally Wilson. I recognised Simon's work straight away as I own of his drawings which are also very fine.

3D wall sculpture
(left) stoneware by Simon Conolly and (centre and right) mixed media relief by Sally Wilson
Pricing of paintings was interesting - with some fairly expensive paintings on display - although sales seemed to be mainly in the under £1k segment.

However I understand sales have been very respectable.

Prizes and Awards


There are a number of prizes and awards and some very different paintings which won them.

The Charles Pears Award (£500) for an outstanding work in any medium by a non-member was awarded to Matthew Draper PS.

Nocturne with Reflections, Falmouth Harbour by Matthew Draper PS

I'm used to seeing very much larger works of sea and sky by Matthew so was somewhat surprised to only find smaller works in this show.

The RSMA 35 and under Award was presented to Natalia Avdeeva.  Her painting was most unusual and there is a detailed description in the catalogue and on her website of her approach to painting.
These large-scale, powerful paintings are created on a large format vacuum bed. Painting directly onto the silk screen, it is a fast paced, freestyle process, which at first glance appears to be frantic and chaotic belying the reality that each painting is the result of meticulous preparation.
Warm Sands by Natalia Avdeeva ROI
The Classic Boat Prize was awarded to ex-President Geoff Hunt PPRSMA for all works on display.

One of Geoff Hunt's paintings
The Derek Gardner "Sea and Sky" Award was given to Jenny Morgan RSMA (who signs her paintings "JF Morgan") for an atmospheric painting of what looks to my uneducated eye to be a trawler. Now I would have assumed that painting would have been painted by a chap - and it's a real pleasure to see a female painter painting big working vessels!

The Dawn Haul by JF Morgan RSMA
However I found an article by Jenny online which explains a bit more!
One of my favourite subjects is the now extinct old side-winding deep-waters trawlers of Grimsby and Hull, and depiction of these fine vessels in their element, especially in rough seas, have sold very well over the years and still attract clients since they make interesting and distinctive subjects, apart from recording realistically the most dangerous job in the world, in an industry long dimished. How do I know about it? Because I've long had an interest in that part of maritime history and have to hand research material, plus my late partner was a Grimsby trawler-skipper of some note, who was always on hand to make certain I got ship details right.

The Artist Magazine award went to James Bartholomew RSMA for all his works on display. This is for the most deserving work, as judged by the Magazine. The winner will be interviewed for a feature in The Artist magazine, print and digital edition.

One of James Bartholomew's paintings - in watercolour with pastel

The Sea Pictures Gallery Award was awarded to Brian Smith.

Fighting the Elements by Brian Smith

The Winsor and Newton Oil Prize
- For a notable oil painting. Charles Inge will be making a selection of £250 worth of Winsor & Newton materials. I liked this painting - there was something very ethereal about it. (ignore the reflections in the glass!)

Tethered Beach Hut (£900) by Charles Inge

The Russell and Chapple Canvas Prize (£100 worth of canvas supplies for an outstanding work in oils or acrylics) was awarded to Bruce Williams. When not exhibiting with the RSMA you can find Bruce in his small gallery in a hut on the beach at Whitstable - where you can see some very big skies.
Clouds under the Swale by Bruce Williams

The RK Burt Prize - for works on paper - was won by Wendy Borello RSMA whose watercolours included paintings of underwater. First this is not a subject which is often tackled and second they were impressive paintings!

One of Wendy Borello's paintings of under the water - in this case a coral reef
In addition, Haidee-Jo Summers won the Mall Galleries Greeting Card Award - which means the painting now becomes a card available from the Galleries.

The Fisherman's Shelter (£1,150) by Haidee-Jo Summers

Previous posts about the RSMA exhibitions

For those interested in submitting work via the open entry to future exhibitions of the RSMA, you might care to also take a look at past exhibitions.

The Call for Entries for the 2017 exhibition opens on 27 March 2017.
The subject matter must be essentially marine in nature, relating in some way to tidal waters of the world; topographical, historical, still life, and figure painting are all welcomed. Paintings of non-tidal rivers, inland lakes and waterways etc are not permissible. Most media are acceptable, including oils, watercolour, acrylics, pastels, drawings, original prints and sculpture.
2015: Review: 70th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Marine Artists
2014: Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists - Review (Part 1)
2013: Review: Royal Society of Marine Artists - 68th Annual Exhibition
2012: Review: 2012 Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
2011: Review: Royal Society of Marine Artists - Annual Exhibition 2011
2010: REVIEW: Royal Society of Marine Artists - 65th Annual Exhibition 2010
2007: Celebrating the sea with the Royal Society of Marine Artists

    1 comment:

    John Simlett said...

    As one of the few qualified indentured shipwright's among your many followers... I really enjoyed this post, thank you.

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