Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Royal Society of Marine Artists - 68th Annual Exhibition

RSMA Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries - West Gallery
The 68th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists opened earlier this week at the Mall Galleries and is open every day until 1pm on Sunday 27 October 2013.  It's an exhibition for those who like the sea and all things marine.  The standard of work is excellent and paintings are figurative rather than abstract.

If you are thinking of entering their work for next year's exhibition you might like to take a look at:
The RSMA is one of the smaller societies affiliated to the Federation of British Artists at the Mall but it regularly features as one of the top 3 selling exhibitions in the Mall Galleries.Making A Mark - Which art society exhibition sells the most works of art?
RSMA Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries - Threadneedle Space
The centre piece is  Nautilus (stoneware ceramic) by Hilary Simm 
The aim of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) is to represent and encourage the very best in contemporary marine painting, drawing, sculpture and print-making.

This isn't just a show about painting boats or the sea!  However it limits its subject matter to matters relating to tidal waters
Exhibits must be essentially marine in character. The main interest must be the sea or tidal waters or some object essentially connected with these themes. Portraits must be of persons connected with the sea.
It includes an awful lot of very good painting in technical terms - whatever the medium you need to be submitting your best work to get selected for this show. The subject matter and style leans towards realism but with a painterly style by some. Very many artists succeed in producing a painting which does NOT look like it's a copy of a photograph!

RSMA Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries - Threadneedle Space
I particularly liked the oil paintings of Winched Nets (£4,350) and Sea Flora III (£4,350) by Gareth Brown (left and right of the left hand wall above). It was nice to see aspects of marine life which don't often get painted and/or selected for this show.

This year I was very impressed with the quality of the sculpture in this show. In particular, the two Nautilus pieces and the Sea Spray bowl by Hilary Simms represent an impressive and innovative interpretation of marine life.

Rockpool (ceramic raku) and Eye of Nautilus (ceramic raku) by Hilary Simm
I also liked the fine art prints - particularly those by Austin Cole - who repeatedly impresses me with his work in various shows at the Mall Galleries (I'm a big fan) - but would have liked to see a lot more prints by different artists.  Maybe there's a supply issue?

This is Cole's Blustery Day, Stackpole Head (ed. of 12, 5 available) Etching, 4 x 37, £345 (£305 u/f)

Blustery Day, Stackpole Head by Austin Cole


The various prizes were awarded as follows.

The Arts Club Charitable Trust Award in association with The Arts Club
Burton Bradstock No. 6 by Michael Sole
(large painting - top centre on wall)
The Charles Pears Award
North Easterly; Farne Islands by Deborah Walker RI
The Classic Boat Prize
Shamrock powering to windward by Brian J Jones
The Conway Maritime Press Award
Rain and barges, Pin Mill by David Howell PRSMA
The R K Burt Canson & Arches Award
Sunny day on The Zattere by David Allen RSMA (middle picture above)
The Russell & Chapple Prize 
Leaving Scarborough by Douglas Gray ARSMA
The Sea Pictures Gallery Award
Maritime festival, Mousehole by Tim Hall
The Winsor & Newton Oil Prize
Gurnard Cardinal Mark (287)  by Rowena Wright RSMA
The Derek Gardner “Sea and Sky” Award
Passing the Needles, Monday August 8th 1927 by Martin Swan RSMA

Haidee Jo Summers (Haidee-Jo Summers Artist) has a painting in the exhibition and this is her blog post about the exhibition.

Previous 'Making A Mark' Reviews of the annual exhibition of the RSMA

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