Saturday, April 02, 2011

Review: 199th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour

The 199th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours is currently on display at the Mall Galleries in London.  The exhibition continues until Sunday 10th April and I highly recommend a visit if you are a lover of traditional watercolour.  This post is a review of the exhibition and it highlights artists who won awards and other artists whose work I liked.

You can preview some of the members' images in the exhibition on the RI website.

RI 199th Annual Open Exhibition - West Gallery

I went to the Private View with my blogging friend and soon to be painting buddie on holiday Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes).  Her painting of a London Garden was hung in one of "the" places in the gallery - in line with the view through to the North gallery which always seems to be used for really strong paintings which can carry across a room. I have to say having seen Sarah's painting I am persuaded that bigger is better - so long as it's also good!

London Garden by Sarah Wimperis

Awards to Artists

The Awards Ceremony was presided over by Ronald Maddox PRI Hon RWS Hon RBA Hon PS FCSD, the President of the RI since 1989.

Three cheers for an art society which has got its awards on to its website very fast and during the course of the exhibition!  You can see images by the artists who won awards on the RI website

Awards to Artists are as follows:
  • The Turner Watercolour Award (£2,500 plus a medal) was awarded to Paul Banning RI RSMA AROI.  Paul is a watercolour painter I've long admired and I'm very pleased that he's won this prestigious award.  I love looking at his website!
Paul Banning (right) is presented with the 2011 Turner Award (RI)
by Mike Chaplin (left) winner of the 2011 Turner Award (RWS)
(Ronald Maddox, President of the RI in the background)
Works by Paul Banning
  • The Stoke-Roberts Bursary Award of £1,000 (artists under 30) went to George Butler
  • The Winsor and Newton/RI Award (£750) for a group of paintings by a member of the RI which make the most outstanding contribution to the exhibition was awarded to Ann McCormack RI SWA for her wonderful paintings of figures and the studio sink.  She also won the Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award.  I loved her paintings of her studio sink - they are completely luminous.  Her figures are very simple and direct but most effective.  Ann paints in very washy acrylic on what looks like very thin board and then float mounts her work.  If you check out her website you can see the original sketches for her paintings.
Paintings by Ann McCormack
  • The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award (£500)for the watercolour which shows the most outstanding use of light and colour has been awarded to Brian Smith for Pilgrims, Kerela
  • The Donald Blake Award (£250) for an outstanding innovative watercolour  went to Chris Robinson The Thames Valley
  • The St Cuthberts Paper Mill (£100 watercolour paper) for an outstanding watercolour was awarded to Mat Barber Kennedy RI FRSA (Mat Barber Kennedy) for Between Palazzos (the image on the left below).  I've really loved Mat's work for a very long time and, very fortuitously was stood next to him when the awards was announced.  So we talked afterwards and it turns out he's a fan of this blog too!  So I've arranged to do a blog interview with Mat and that will hopefully occur soonish.
Mat Barber Kennedy with three of his painting
  • The Arts Club Award (free membership for one year) went to Membership Secretary Terry McKilvrigan who is one of my favourite painters.  I've always got my nose up close looking at his work once I've found it as the surface is always so interesting.  It's also work which "travels" across a gallery very well. 
Paintings by Terry McKilvrigan
  • The Debra Manifold award (presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery) for an outstanding watercolour was awarded to Robin Hazelwood
  • The Rowland Hilder Award (presented by the Lincoln Joyce Gallery) for an outstanding traditional watercolour went to The Baptistry by David Walker
  • The Donald Blake Award (presented by the Lincoln Joyce Gallery) for an outstanding innovative watercolour was won by Chris Robinson
  • The Ranelagh Press Award (1,000 postcards) for an outstanding watercolour went to In the Round by Chris Myers RI RBA
In the Round by Chris Myers RI
  • The Frank Herring Award (an easel) for an outstanding watercolour was awarded to Peronel Barnes.  This was an impressive and apparently simple painting and I can well understand why it got a prize.  
Shropshire snow, rosy glow by Peronel Barnes
  • The Young Artists Award (artists under 30) went to Sophie Edkins Blackett who is the Weekend Gallery Manager and Front of House at the Mall Galleries.
There's a new award in 2011 in memory of Neal Meacher RI, who was one of the members of the RI who have died in the last year.
Neil Meacher, elected a member of the RI in 1980, has died. Born in 1934 in Sandwich, Kent he studied at Canterbury College of Art & Design and at the Royal College of Art. From 1986 onwards he taught at various art schools and from 1969 to 1986 he was Director of Foundation Studies in Art and Design at Ealing Polytechnic. From 1986 until 1990 he was Visiting Professor of Illustration at New University, High Wycombe. Neil lived in East Sussex
Neil Meacher RI ARCA (1934-2010)
The first person to win The Neal Meacher RI Sketchbook Award  is Chris Forsey (do take a look ar his watercolour landscapes on his website).  I'm extremely pleased to see that awards are now being awarded for sketchbooks

Sketchbook by Chris Forsey RI
Of the candidates for admission to the RI - whose paintings are all hung together at the entrance level - I liked Jonathan Taylor's work the best.  he captured the light of the snow on different days perfectly.

Two paintings of snow at the alloments by Jonathan Taylor
Update:  I couldn't find my piece of paper on which I'd jotted down the names of all the people whose work I liked!  That and slicing my finger with a sharp knife means it's taken a little time to do this update.

I've expanded on painters I like above.  Others who caught my eye included:
  • Andy Wood RI RBA's paintings of snow.  From a distance they look photographic but get up close and they are very clearly paintings.  Immaculate handling of tonalities and subtle colour changes and terrific attention to the colour of "cold".  You can see a couple of them on the home page of his website.
  • Claire Winteringham's large painting of proteas.  Her work has an intense pigmentation and saturation.  I think I'm correct in saying her painting is the original of this print.
  • Cathy Veale's seascapes and her treatment of currents, ripples and colours in the sea off Swanage had me intrigued.  I asked Sarah whether or not she thought masking had been used to create it.  Sarah's view is that it was very careful, well planned painting.  Take a look at her website gallery and see what you think.  Very impressive!

The RI is always incredibly well organised in getting artists to both demonstrate and demonstrate properly!  All the art societies will have been visiting today and seeing  Terry McKivragan, Paul Banning, Bill Toop in action

Artists are demonstrating during the course of the exhibition - these are the ones demonstrating on the remaining days of the exhibition
  • Monday 4 April - Robin Hazlewood, Chris Forsey 
  • Tuesday 5 April - Terry McKivragan, Colin Allbrook 
  • Wednesday 6 April - Delia Cardnell, Roger Dellar 
  • Thursday 7 April - Bob Rudd 
  • Friday 8 April - Julia Sorrell 
  • Saturday 9 April - Chris Forsey, Tony Hunt
I shall be popping over to see Bob Rudd at work before or after I go to my work in the Society of Botanical Artists PV next Thursday!   I think his work is ansolutely wonderful.  Great colours, great composition and painted by a professional - and very difficult to photograph!

Works by Bob Rudd RI
    Next year its' their 200th anniversary!

    • RI 199th Exhibition is at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1Y 5BD - 30th March to 10th April 2011 (Open every day 10am - 5pm)
    • RI website - exhibition

    1 comment:

    1. Great exhibition and great review Katherine, a good day!


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