Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Call for Entries - 5th Derwent Art Prize 2020

This is an overview of the Derwent Art Prize and how to enter this international art competition which
  • focuses on those who create artworks created in pencil or coloured pencils, pastel, graphite and/or charcoal
  • has £12.5k in prizes
  • PLUS two exhibitions of selected artworks in London and Paris.

Below are SUMMARY details of
  • the history of the Derwent Art Prize (and the brand name)
  • the exhibition details, prizes and selectors for the Derwent Art Prize 2020
  • how to enter - what you need to know and do to enter - the most important one of which is that entries must be received by 17th February 2020
In addition, all artists entering the Derwent Art Prize 2020 will be eligible to a 15% discount on all Derwent products(shipping not included).
  • This code will be sent to all applicants once the competition deadline has closed on 17 February 2020 
  • It will be valid from 18 February to 31 March 2020.  Please refer to website (www.derwentart.com) for products and our Terms & Conditions and for delivery information.

The History of the Derwent Art Prize

Derwent Art Prize at the Mall Galleries in 2018

The Derwent Art Prize was conceived in 2012.
The Derwent Art Prize aims to reward excellence by showcasing the very best 2D & 3D artworks created in pencil or coloured pencil as well as water soluble, pastel, graphite and charcoal by British and International artists.
BELOW are my blog posts covering the Derwent Art Prize in its first four outings. You can see the sort of work that was submitted and got selected in both the posts about the selected artists and those reviewing the exhibition.

4th Derwent Art Prize 2018

1278 artists from 64 different countries submitted a total of 3,299 artworks and 57 were selected for the exhibition.

3rd Derwent Art Prize 2016

2nd Derwent Art Prize 2014

1st Derwent Art Prize 2013

About Derwent and the Cumberland Pencil Company

The Art Prize carries the "Derwent" brand name of the Cumberland Pencil Company who in turn are part of ACCO (formerly Rexel).
  • The Cumberland Pencil Company was created in 1916 
  • The first Derwent colour pencil was introduced in 1938.
  • In 2008, the Cumberland Pencil Company left the old pencil factory in Keswick and moved to its new Pencil Factory on a site at Lillyhall, Workington.
  • The Derwent Pencil Museum maintains a presence in Keswick, where pencils first started being made in 1832 - after graphite was found in Borrowdale in the 1500s.
Derwent is very active in relation to other exhibitions besides this prize. It

Derwent Art Prize Exhibition and Prizes and Selectors

Artworks in the Derwent Art Prize Exhibition in 2018

The Exhibition

This year for the first time, selected works will also be displayed in France. Around 80 selected artworks will be on display at the following venues and dates

The Prizes

Prizes valued at £12,500 will be awarded to entries selected for the exhibition at the Private View at Gallery@OXO, London.

This year there are two Young Artist Prizes for entrants under 25.

The prizes are as follows:
  • First Prize £4,000 plus a year’s supply of Derwent products (Up to a monthly value of £50 - including postage)
  • Second Prize £2,000
  • Young Artist First Prize (For artists under 25 years) £4,000 *
  • Young Artist Second Prize (For artists under 25 years) £2,000
  • People’s Choice Award £500
In addition, all the First and Second prize winners will receive a special box of Derwent Lightfast Pencils. These pencils are resistant to prolonged colour change ensuring artwork will not fade for up to 100 years under museum conditions.

The Selectors

This year’s entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of selectors comprising of an artist, a critic and a curator

Artworks in the Derwent Art Prize Exhibition in 2018

How to Enter

Who can enter

  • Entries are invited from international artists

What can you enter

  • Artists may only enter once, with a maximum of 6 images.

How to enter

Information about the Derwent Art Prize
These are the links to:
The Derwent Art Prize has a

Online Entry

The Submission

Artists are required to submit the following:
  • The completed online entry form
  • Images of up to 6 recent works, in digital format (jpg, max. 2MB file size)
  • A non-refundable application fee

Entry fees

  • The entry fee is £15 for the first work and £5 for each additional work - which is very reasonable!
  • Artists under 25 years of age will pay £5 per work.


  • Monday 17 February 2020 (5pm GMT) - Deadline for entry
  • Monday 2 March  - Artists notified of selectors' decision
  • 6 - 17 April - Delivery of work (to Art Moves of Chelsea)
  • Friday 17 April - Delivery of work (in person to Art Moves of Chelsea, 10am-5pm GMT)
  • 22 April - 4 May 2020 - Exhibition opens to public at the Gallery@OXO in London
  • 12 - 17 May 2020 - Exhibition open in 20 rue Saint Claude in Paris, France

Monday, January 20, 2020

Hockney on Van Gogh and The Joy of Nature

I came across this video of David Hockney talking about Van Gogh and the pleasure of landscape painting. 

It was made by the Van Gogh Museum for an exhibition they had last year called Hockney - Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature
From 1 March (2019), the colossal works of David Hockney will be on display in the Netherlands. For the first time, this spectacular exhibition offers an extensive and colourful exploration of the common ground between the work of Vincent van Gogh and David Hockney.
So sad that nobody thought it might be a good idea to repeat it in the UK!

This is an essay about the two painters Hockney - Van Gogh Two Painters, One Love. The juxtapositions of two paintings - one by each of them - as you work your way through is fascinating.

compare and contrast paintings of landscapes by Van Gogh and Hockney

BELOW is a video of Hockney commenting on the works and words of Van Gogh - and his own work.
He's the first great colourist
He saw more than other people. He saw space very clearly

Do read this review of the exhibition Hockney-Van Gogh exhibition is ‘a tame, though colourful, bit of fluff’ for an example of art critic who needs a stern talking to. Turns out he's held some pretty influential positions - but not in relation to anything like the paintings produced by Van Gogh or Hockney! [UPDATE: Turns out he's journalist who now adds a middle initial T into his articles because he's not the same man as the one with had all the positions with galleries!]

There's a much better one published in the New York Times David Hockney Loves Van Gogh. This Exhibition Shows Why which draws some interesting comparisons in terms of the way they have both worked.

This is MY Review: David Hockney RA - A Bigger Picture - about the humongous exhibition of landscape drawings and paintings and film that Hockney had at the Royal Academy in 2012

Sunday, January 19, 2020

J.M.W Turner and The Vaughan Bequest

Every January you can see watercolour paintings by JMW Turner for free at:
  • the Scottish National Gallery - Turner in January 1-31 January 2020
  • Print Gallery, The National Gallery of Ireland - Turner the Visionary 1-31 January 2020 - 31 watercolours and drawings by J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851)

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), The Doge's Palace and Piazzetta, Venice, c.1840.
Image © National Gallery of Ireland

This is due to The Vaughan Bequest. The paintings and sketches were bequeathed to the Galleries in 1900 by an English collector Henry Vaughan (1809–99) - see below
The Vaughan Bequest at the National Gallery of Ireland is a representative collection of Turner’s work on paper. Highly finished works, engraved for various print series, hang alongside evocative sketches from his annual tours of Switzerland and Italy. This collection, tracing the artist’s development, reveals his experimental style and enthusiasm for landscape.
Two paintings by Turner of Edinburgh
(left) Joseph Mallord William Turner Edinburgh from Calton Hill about 1819
(right) Joseph Mallord William Turner Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh about 1819

In this video, Charlotte Topsfield, Senior Curator of British Drawings and Prints at the Scottish National Gallery, discusses the work of JMW Turner and his connections to Scotland.

The Vaughan Bequest 

Most people think that most of JMW Turner's artwork forms part of the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain. This at the time (and since) was was the largest ever donation of works of art to the National Gallery. It includes around 30,000 sketches and watercolours, including 300 sketchbooks.

However a considerable number of watercolours also reside at the National Galleries in Scotland and Ireland due to Henry Vaughan (1809-1899) a bachelor and generous Victorian collector of art.

Vaughan's father has carried on a successful business as a hat manufacturer in Southwark and in due course made a fortune. This allowed Vaughan to indulge his love of watercolours. He met Turner in the 1840s and over time he developed a large collection of watercolour drawings, sketches and paintings by Turner which covered his entire career as an artist. When Vaughan died in 1899 he split the collection of Turner Watercolours in his collection and left them to the National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland and a number of other museums and galleries across Britain.

The reason why the exhibition are held in January is because Vaughan was aware of the need to protect watercolours from the damage which can be caused to both paint and paper by too much exposure to light.

Hence his will stipulated that the watercolours be ‘exhibited to the public all at one time free of charge during the month of January’.  At all other times the watercolours are to be kept accessible to viewers.

SEE AND READ MORE about Turner's Watercolours 

Where you can see Turner's artwork

The Turner Society maintains a list of all the larger collections in public museums and galleries throughout the world

In Tate Britain a selection of Turner watercolours is always on view but it must be stressed that other galleries do not usually have their Turner watercolours and prints on display. Appointments to see them should always be made in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
In the UK, these include:
  • The British Museum in London 
  • Tate Britain in London (which houses almost all the Turner Bequest: including over 20,000 watercolours and drawings - many of the latter contained in the 300 or so sketchbooks)
  • The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin (36 watercolours and drawings)
  • The National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh (
  • The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff (17 watercolours)
  • The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (c. 100 Turner watercolours and drawings - mainly from the Ruskin Bequest) - the Ashmolean has only recently started to digitize its collection and the quality of the digital images is excellent.

Examples of Turner Watercolours in the Ashmolean's Online Collection
Examples of Turner Watercolours in the Whitworth Gallery's Online Catalogue

In the USA, these include:
  • Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut (a large number of watercolours)
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (the second largest collection in the USA of Turner watercolours, drawings and prints, - mostly from the collection of Kurt Pantzer (1892–1979). 

Articles about The Vaughan Bequest collections