Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hilliard Society of Miniaturists - Annual Exhibition 2013

The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists kindly provided me with all I needed to write a review of the the 30th Annual Exhibition in advance of my surgery on Thursday.

Annual Exhibition 2013

The exhibition - which opened to the public today - is being held at the Town Hall, in Wells Somerset and is open from 10 am until last entry at 4pm each day and closing on Sunday 2nd June at 5pm.  Entrance is free.  This is a map of how to find the exhibition.  Being held in a public building there is good access for people with disabilities.  There is wheelchair access and a lift to the ballroom where the exhibition is held.

I'm unable to travel at the moment so won't be able to get to see the show.  However this doesn't stop me seeing the work that was selected for the exhibition.  That's because they have got a brilliant virtual exhibition online.

You can link the numbers in the photos to the catalogue of who is exhibiting - see Hilliard Society Exhibition Catalogue 2013

Hilliard Society - 2013 Award Winners

You can see all the awards from the 2013 and previous exhibitions on the website.

Winner of Sue Burton Memorial Best in Show Award
Sepia Series
 ( Acrylic) by Peter Sheppard
£375 each

SUE BURTON MEMORIAL AWARD FOR BEST IN SHOW - Sepia Series ( Acrylic) by Peter Sheppard (Peter Sheppard Art & Design - on Facebook)  Peter is a professional artist and the 1st Vice President of the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

I thought all three sepia paintings of the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago were very impressive and an absolute bargain!

Winner of President's Choice Award
Bocca Baciata ( Oil) by David Lawton

THE PRESIDENT’S CHOICE AWARD Bocca Baciata ( Oil) by David Lawton.  David Lawton paints immaculate portraits and has featured a number of times on this blog.  In 2007 he was the runner up and second prize winner in the BP Portrait Award.  As always, his portraits speak to me in a way quite unlike other portraits - there's something almost spiritual about them.

Winner of the Bell Award
Marjory (Oil on Polymin) by Rosemary Bentley
£NFS (similar size £800)

THE BELL AWARD Marjory (Oil on Polymin) by Rosemary Bentley.  This one had a pretty frame - but personally I would have preferred something a little less shiny as I thought it drew attention away from the fine portrait.

Winner of the Mary Scott-Kestin Award Animals and Wildlife
Two Lambs (Pencil) by Kathleen Nelson

Kathleen Nelson HSF RMS won two awards

  • THE MARY SCOTT-KESTIN AWARD ANIMALS AND WILDLIFE Two Lambs (Pencil) - a very fine, sensitive drawing
  • THE LLEWELLYN ALEXANDER GALLERY AWARD by Poultry in Winter (Watercolour on Lumitex) - which comes across as natural and unforced in terms of composition

Winner of the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery Award
Poultry in Winter (Watercolour on Lumitex) by Kathleen Nelson
Winner of the Sue Lee awardI've Got my Eye on You (Watercolour) by Claudia Haesen

SUE LEE AWARD  I've Got my Eye on You (Watercolour) by Claudia Haesen

Two more awards are to be announced later.

My personal favourites

For the essence of a good miniature painting or sculpture is one which would be great whatever size it was - but is all the more impressive when created in miniature.

My personal favourites included
  • the netsuke boxwood figures (11 - 13) by Pamela Stewart-Pearson HS RMS.  Netsuke is a form of miniature sculpture which developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years.
  • Bow Practice (watercolour on vellum) (47) by Michael W. Coe HS RMS.  Michael is a self-taught, full-time artist who started painting watercolor miniatures in 1991. He became a member of the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists in 1992, was elected a full member of the RMS in 1996 and is an invited member of the Miniature Artists of America, the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington D.C., and a member of the Miniature Arts Society of Florida.  He exhibits internationally and has won numerous top awards for his portraiture.
  • Robin (58) by Sara C. Lee HS NAPA 
  • the very sensitive portraits of children on enamel and silver (77 - 80) by Polish artist Ewa Buksa-Klinowska 
  • the landscape paintings (84, 85, 88, 89) of Rosalind Pierson PPHS RMS MAA MASF which always make my jaw drop no matter where I see them
  • You Looking at Me?  (oil) (165) by Pam Wilmot HS - I'm very fond of a decent painting of a llama!
  • the group of watercolour paintings of animals and nature (171 - 177) by Tracy Hall HS RMS Tracy is an elected signature member of the Hilliard Society, the Royal Miniature Society (RMS) and the Miniature Artists of America (MAA) 2013 and has been much followed by this blog!
  • the plumbago and graphite portrait drawings (179 - 183) of Jenny Brooks HS RMS Dip SBA(Dist). See MAKING A MARK: How to paint miniature portraits
  • the technique of miniature portrait painter Bill Mundy HS RMS MAA MASF SLm always impresses (188 - 191).  I particularly liked the portrait of Michael Eavis (188) - the founder and host of the Glastonbury Festival.  Fans of Bill's work should read the latest post on his blog - The ups and downs of life!
  • I love the gouache on calfskin vellum paintings (259 - 264) of Debby Faulkner-Stevens HS RMS SWA
  • the animal paintings (265-271) of Gina Morton HS RMS SLm exhibit a standard for naturalness which is worth studying if you like painting animals
Note: For those who'd like to know, my personal aversions are anything I regard as "twee" or contrived.

Sales of miniature artwork

In my experience miniature art sells really well.  There are a lot of collectors - and they're very keen on high quality artwork and excellent presentation.

You can buy art from the website from Tuesday 4th June 2013 until Tuesday 18th June 2013.  If you want to make a purchase you just have to contact the Hilliard Office - either telephone 01749 674472 or email hilliardsociety [at]

More about Miniature Art

If this has wetted your appetite or you are intrigued by some of the surfaces being used as supports for the miniature paintings you might like to visit my website Miniature Art - Resources for ArtistsThis site has resources covering:
  • the definition of miniature art - including mughal miniatures and netsuke
  • museum and private collections of miniature art - and tips for collectors
  • information about miniature art socities, exhibitions and competitions
  • information about contemporary miniature artists
  • resources for those wanting to learn how to paint miniature and/or needing speciliast art supplies


  1. There is some very excellent work here and a lot.

    I have wondered though what constitutes miniature.
    I looked at your post from earlier How to paint miniature portraits and their website but found no specs, just curious.
    Most look to be around 2"-3" or 5cm to 7cm, but some appear to be around 5" to 6" or12cm to15cm.
    There must be a maximum size.

    Does anybody know?

  2. You can find the definition under "How to join"

    * No subject larger than life, portrait head no larger than 2”.
    * Maximum image size: Rectangles 4.5” x 6”, Square 4.5”. Circle 4.5” diameter
    * Maximum external measurement (frame) 50 square inches.


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AGAIN due to very silly ignorant people who leave spam comments without realising they have no benefit for them.

Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there (but please note anonymous comments are not published and I block and report spammers to Google and on Facebook)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.