Thursday, November 24, 2022

Review: Semi Finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022

This is all about the semi-finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (Series 9) which was broadcast last night. It covers various observations about the Semi-Final (the reality and the programme) including:

  • The Semi Finalists
  • The Wild Card
  • The Heat Paintings
  • The Sitter setup and setting
  • Decision-making
  • The Finalists

Episode 8 - The Semi-Finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022

The Semi Finalists

I listed and profiles all the semi finalists in my previous post Portrait Artist of the Year - The Semi-Finalists - with my view of how well they would do. They are - in Episode order:

Plus a wildcard!

The artists in the PAOTY Semi Finals


The Wild Card

In my last post I wondered if the Judges would bring back a wildcard - somebody who deserved a place in the semi-finals even if they didn't win their heat - and they did! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2022 & Events

This week the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters opens to the public at the Mall Galleries on Thursday, 24th November 2022. 

I haven't been to one since 2019 - so am really looking forward to going this year. This is after the ROI experienced the worst luck possible of having both its 2020 and 2021 exhibitions clobbered by you know what - plus I was avoiding exhibitions pre-surgery last year.

That said, I'm still not attending Private Views (I'm still averse to large crowds indoors), so I'm not going to be visiting until Friday at the earliest so thought I'd take the opportunity today to highlight below

  • the Online Exhibition - which you can view now
  • the many Events - including painting with the ROI members - being held during the Exhibition

ROI Annual Exhibition 2022

Venue: Mall Galleries
Dates: 24 November 2022 to 10 December 2022
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Admission: £5, Free for Friends of Mall Galleries, ROI Friends, under 25s. Concessions available. No booking required.

ROI Online Exhibition



You can view the ROI Online Exhibition of all the artwork selected for the exhibition in 2022 on the Mall Galleries website.

You can also view the ROI Catalogue on ISSUU. This includes images of artwork by members and the complete listing of all the artworks and artists - with media and prices - in the exhibition

Landscape paintings by members of the ROI in the Exhibition Catalogue 2022
(Left clockwise: Andrew King, Julia Hawkins, Tom Stevenson; Right: Nicholas Verrall)

It was very sad to see from the catalogue that the ROI has lost five members in the last year - in alphabetical order

ROI Events at the Annual Exhibition 2022


Some of these events involve painting and hence require some planning ahead of time - so best to highlight BEFORE the exhibition!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Portrait Artist of the Year - The Semi-Finalists

 Do you think you know who is going to win Portrait Artist of the Year this year? Can you work out - in advance of the Semi-Final on Wednesday 23rd November - who will make the Final?

Why not have a go after reviewing this year's semi finalists - SEE BELOW - for Portrait Artist of the Year?

Don't forget the challenge for the eventual winner - who has to paint a £10,000 commissioned portrait of Sir Lenny Henry for the National Portrait Gallery. 

  • He's a big man and a big personality 
  • So, in my book, that means the artist has got to be somebody who has demonstrated at some stage the capability of "going big".

BELOW are listed 

  • all the Heat Winners alongside their self-portrait and heat painting. Links to websites are embedded in their names and other social media sites are listed if identified.
  • PLUS MY REVIEW of what I think - including who I think will make the Final.

Episode 1 - Morag Caister

Morag Caister - (Facebook | Instagram) BA. Painting, University of Brighton (2019). Brighton Metropolitan College, Foundation, Art & Design (2014). Heat winner and PAOTY semi-finalist in 2020. Has exhibited her art internationally. Has her work in Brighton Beach House, Soho House, 2022 (i.e. known to Kate Bryan)

Morag Caister: Self Portrait and Heat Painting

Morag Caister with her heat painting

My view: She's always been a very strong contender for me and I'd be very surprised if she doesn't make the Final
  • I was pretty confident she was going to win the heat 
  • she's been selected again after participating in a previous PAOTY in 2020 - and making it to the semi-final in 2020. 
  • She paints big (most of the person on large canvases); has got a strong consistent contemporary style and doesn't faff around with backgrounds - which saves a lot of time. 
  • Her Instagram also demonstrates that she has previously painted people of colour.

Episode 2 - Noah Rush

Noah Rush (Instagram) is the youngest participant aged 19. He's an art student at Goldsmith's College in London. (his self portrait)


My view: I was somewhat surprised he was chosen as the winner in the heat and I'd be even more surprised if he makes it to the semi-finals.

While not doubting his potential career as an artist, I'm not sure he's demonstrated enough so far to persuade me he'll progress beyond the semi-finals e.g. so far he's not gone beyond head and head and shoulders. I'm not seeing much on his Instagram which suggests he can go beyond this.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Review: Episode 7 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (Series 9)

I'm so long this week in posting this review that I'm going to use a pic from when the one of the shortlisted artists was announced as the introduction!

the winner of Episode 7 is announced

This is my review of Episode 7 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (series 9). You can find my reviews of previous episodes of the current series at the end of this post.

Below you can find
  • brief profiles of the nine artists competing for a place in the semi-final
  • names of the three sitters - one for each segment of the set-up above
  • themes I identified in this episode
  • what the judges liked a lot and what they were less impressed by who was shortlisted - and Judges comments on each
  • who won this heat

The Artists


The artists in Episode 7


Artists in Episode 7 are listed below in alphabetical order. I provide some detail which got left out of some of the bios on television. Links to websites are embedded in names.
  • Alexandra Beteeva (Instagram) - from Russia and is now an art student currently studying painting and printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art 
  • Jeannie Kinsler (Instagram) - born in 1963 in England, Jeannie was raised and schooled in Zimbabwe and then South Africa. She studied Graphic Design at the then Natal Technikon. She has had two portraits accepted for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition.
  • Richard Kitson - he paints, draws and makes etchings in his studio in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. He also previously participated in PAOTY 2018 when he painted Kadeena Cox. He's had a portrait accepted for the annual Royal Society of Portrait Painters open exhibition at the Mall Galleries. 
  • Jodhie McCourt (Instagram) - an accountant from Norwich, whose self portrait was an oil in board
  • Thompson Osim - a research technician at University College, London
  • Lee Turbill - a charity worker from Northampton.
  • Simon Turvey - an award-winning professional artist who who lives in Orpington and paints animals for a living and whose art has been sold at Christies! He's a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and is its past Secretary. Once I looked at his wildlife art on line I knew exactly who he was - but didn't connect the artwork to the face! He spent two years at Ravensbourne College of Art and became a professional painter at the age of 20. He's also a portrait artist and his work was included in 500 Portraits (National Portrait Gallery Publications)He did his self portrait - which had three views of Simon - in 10 days. 
  • Jude Wainwright - a fine art graduate who works in creative branding and lives and works in Manchester. Her self portrait was very small.
  • Lucie Wake (Instagram) - a professional artist from York
If often wonder how they decide how to allocate artists to each heat - other than the obvious make a point of having a mic of professional and amateur artists. This week we seem to have rather more from the end of the alphabet - which one might assume means this was the last heat - except when you know that the order of the episodes bears absolutely no relation to the order of the Heats!

The Sitters


The sitters for this heat were
  • Lemar - an English singer, songwriter and record producer who emerged from Fame Academy and has had considerable chart success with his music
  • Candice Carty-Williams - a British writer, best known for her 2019 debut novel, Queenie - which won 'Book of the Year'
  • Henning Wehn - a German stand-up comedian based in London.

Size and Content of Self Portrait Submissions

[No decent view of the self portraits lined up this episode - which is a pity]

Every week I look at how the self portraits can be analysed in terms of format, size and content.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Images from ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2022 plus Prizes

I viewed the six different displays of small artworks selected by six different selectors for the ING Discerning Eye 2022 Exhibition at the Mall Galleries yesterday. 

My general impression was that much of the content was better than in previous years - while some still had me wondering about "what is taste?" in art and even "what is art?"!


The Different Displays

I've done two things after getting home

The link in the name is to my Facebook albums

The second link to the number of artworks is to the website gallery version on the ING Discerning Eye website. You can then compare the digital image version with what it looks like on the wall.

One of the things you may find interesting as you look at the artwork is to see which artworks have sold - bearing in mind that the exhibition had been open for a week - since 11 November - when I saw it on 18 November. Keen collectors tend to buy online or early on in an exhibition.

I saw quite a few sales. I also saw quite a really silly prices. In future, I think some artists need to remember that we are now in a recession and won't be coming out of it for quite a long time.

Never ever forget 'Affordable Art' sells well! Small works are a great opportunity to create affordable art.


Prizes and Awards

Interestingly on the IMG Discerning Eye website the awards are not matched up with images of the awards. However if you click the link that takes you to the dedicated page for that artwork.