Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2008 and Exhibition

Lynn Painter-Stainers 2008 - prizewinners
L to R: Jennifer McRae, Melissa Scott-Miller, Wladslaw Mirecki
All Paintings Copyright the artists / All Photos Copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Representational painting is finished we were told, now that the camera can copy reality better and faster. Fortunately for painting, we were told wrong. What the voice of progress failed to mention was the fact - so clearly demonstrated in this exhibition - that copying reality is not what painting is about
Laura Gasgoigne - selector - introduction to the exhibition catalogue
The exhibition for The Lynn Painter Stainers Prize opened at Painters Hall in the City of London yesterday. I went along to see it and got permission to take some photos so you can also see something of what this exhibition is like too as part of this exhibition review.
Created in 2005 with the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and the Lynn Foundation with The Spectator as media sponsor. The purpose of the Prize is to encourage creative representational painting and promote the skill of draughtsmanship. This annual exhibition is open to all UK artists with prize money totalling £22,500 and an engraved gold medal for the winner.
Parker Harris website - Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize
The winner of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2008 is Islington Kids (oil, 102cm x 114cm) by Melissa Scott Miller (see top). She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and is a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Pianters and the New English Art Club. Her preference is for painting from life, particularly ordinary views of London - she exhibits with the Mark Jason Gallery and can be commissioned to do site specific work via the gallery. This is a painting of kids in an urban green area in spring. There are lots of nuances in the brickwork!

The Young Artist of the Year is Stefan Orlowski for his painting Portrait of my Father (oil, 122 x 170cm). he also had a second painting in the exhibition - The Mighty Haigh. Like Eloiza Mills, who was shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize, Stefan is a recent fine art graduate of School of Art at the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. It looks to me like the art school at Aberystwyth is a place which favours the artist who wants to paint in a representational way.

The Runners-Up were:
  • Communion (oil, 130 x 92cm) by Peter Clossick. Clossick studied at Camberwell and Goldsmiths and has exhibited extensively in a number of group and solo shows across the UK. He is the current Vice President of The London Group (formed by an amalgamation of the Camden Town group and the English Vorticists in 1913.) The oil in this painting is immensely thick (rather like Auerbach) and has almost been sculpted into a shape.
  • Bruno and Mrs Woods, Belle Vue (oil, 183 x 122 cm) by Jennifer McRae. McRae won this year's RWS/Sunday Times watercolour competition. She was also shortlisted last year for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and has featured as a selected and shortlisted artist in many other notable prizes. She works in both oils and watercolour - and she's one of my favourite figurative artists.
  • The culvert (watercolour 167 x 107cm) by Wladyslaw Mirecki. Mirecki is a self taught artist who often produces large watercolours. He won 3rd prize in the Singer & Freelander/Sunday times competition in 2007. His work is exhibited by the Chappell Galleries where he is one of the proprietors. It's so nice to see somebody doing really large watercolours and to see them also winning prizes also!
  • Brothers in arms with nephew (oil, 153 x 127cm) by Mick Rooney RA (right in photo). Rooney studied at the Royal College, won a Rome scholarship and numerous other awards and was elected as a member of the Royal Academy in 1991 and to the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers in 2001. A very striking painting.
  • Waiting (oil, 49 x 64cm) by Simon Turvey. Turvey was elected a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists in 1981 and exhibits annually at the SWLA. He's had paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition, the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition exhibition and portraits hung in the exhibitions of the BP Portrait Award and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. This was by far the smallest of the paintings.
Views include prizewinners
Rop: Simon Turvey's painting is top right; 

Bottom: Mick Rooney's painting is on the right

This year there are 64 paintings by 60 artists. Interestingly not all are paintings this year.

The exhibition includes two pencil drawings - both of which display the excellence in draughtsmanship that this Prize promotes:
  • one Study 1, a still life by Bonita Tandy (who was also selected last year and has two works selected this year) and
  • the other Study for Portrait 3 by Warren Baldwin (winner of the £6,000 2008 Jerwood Drawing Prize with a pencil portrait study (Study for Portrait V ) and the The Prince of Wales's Award for Portrait Drawing in 2003)
The medium favoured by most artists is oil and many of the paintings are very large - although by way of contrast some are very small as can be seen in the above photo!

You can see below a couple of views of the exhibition. I've also included the dimensions of the prizewinners in the listing above (plus see the note about the catalogue below).

You can read more about the artists in my post Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - selected artists announced - or rather those artists whose website and/or art career can be found on the internet.

You can also read:
One the things I particularly like about this exhibition is the way it mixes both media and genres - but stays faithful to representational painting and good draughtsmanship. There's certainly a lot to like in this exhibition and I recommend a visit. Entrance is free and Painters Hall is very near Mansion House Tube. The exhibition runs until 29 November 2008 and is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.

Exhibition Catalogue

Many thanks to Parker Harris for the catalogue. Not only do we get title and price - but we also get medium, dimensions and a small picture for every work in the exhibition! I highly recommend that anybody anticipating entering this exhibition should see if they can get hold of a catalogue (priced £3 excluding postage). Some ten per cent of the works had sold before the exhibition opened to the public yesterday.

Lynn Painter Stainer Master Classes

During the course of the exhibition, there are four Master Classes held at Painters Hall. Both the portrait workshops with Henry Gibbons Guy booked up very fast and there are no places left. However I'm going to be doing the Still Life workshop with Daniel Shadbolt (who won the Bulldog Bursary for 2008) next Tuesday!

LPS Master Classes 2008
During the exhibition a series of Master Classes have been organised on the art of still life and portrait drawing. All classes are free, but booking is essential. For further information please download LPS Leaflet
Parker Harris website


  1. wow. Thank you for letting me know about some of these artists. Your blog continues to be so informative and wonderful.

  2. I want to say thanks for this one, too. It offers some cogent things to say regarding contemporary realistic work.

    As someone who struggles between his abstract and his realist sides, I find it ever so hard to tune out the "chaff" of public opinion, and just do what I do...which is both!


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