Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review and video of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition 2014

This is a video pan around the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition at the Mall Galleries courtesy of the new mini iPad which is not great quality because I forgot to switch on the HDV! I don't think the video likes to move too much - I need to stick to my more sophisticated equipment for "walking around exhibition" videos!

However if viewed with the images which you can see on the competition website you can get a much better sense of the work selected for the exhibition.

You can get an even better sense if you get down to the gallery - this is the last day of the exhibition!

This is the wall devoted to the Prizewinners as per my earlier blog post Catherine Davison wins £15,000 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014.  Her painting concludes the video above and is in the centre below.

The Prizewinners and Runners Up
(click for a larger image)

The catalogue has some advice for prospective entrants. Steve Pill, the Editor of Artists and Illustrators makes the following observation which is worth quoting (and I've bullet pointed the key points)
A few practical tips to finish. Each judging panel will be different but several common criticisms arose during the process that i think might benefit future potential entrants to (and other art prizes) in the future.
  • Firstly, consider each section of a composition before you begin and know what you want from every corner. Unresolved areas will quickly detract from an otherwise skilfully painted picture
  • Secondly, make sure your colour choices are equally purposeful and considered. bright hues will always draw the eye so use them sparingly for maximum impact.
  • And finally, avoid paying too close attention to the works that have been shortlisted for a competition in the past. The temptation is to submit paintings on a similar theme or subject to those that have been successful before, but as this year's exhibition demonstrates, there is always space on the walls for fresh ideas and new perspectives.

Things that I thought as I walked round:
  • I do wish the online exhibition a better sense of size as well as the dimensions - I was disappointed by the size of some works.  Others I thought better of having seen their size in real life.  Maybe an alternative view which factored in you were standing three feet in front of it?
  • There's fewer drawings this year compared to previous years - or am I imagining this? Maybe people don't put drawings in if they think it's a prize about paintings?
  • Instead what we seemed to be seeing was more drawing within paintings - including the prizewinner
The central section of The Craggs at Dawn (from Carlton Hill) by Catherine Davison
- showing drawing within painting and the many layered mark-making within her painting
winner of the First Prize in the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Competition 2014
oil on board, £3,500
(top) Amongst the plants at Kew Gardens by Kathryn Maple, watercolour £1,200
(bottom) Marylebone I by Debbie Ayles Watercolour and acrylic on paper £850
(last time I saw her work it was winning prizes at the Bankside Gallery)
  • Plus drawings which are very painterly such as Jeanette Barnes charcoal drawing of Grand Central Station (which will be appearing in my book) and Graham Flack's portrait using charcoal on canvas. 
Interior of Grand Central Station, New York by Jeanette Barnes
Charcoal, 118cm x 154cm, £3,600
  • There were some very impressive watercolour paintings - by Paul Banning, Gordon McDowell, Stuart Robertson and Robbie Wraith
(top) Richard's workshop by Paul Banning, watercolour £3,000
(bottom) Varanasi I by Stuart Robertson RWS, watercolour £2,950
  • As usual, I saw names I'm familiar with from art competitions but not so many artists I'm used to seeing in art society exhibitions. Honourable exceptions to the latter are artists like Paul Banning, Peter Brown, Patricia Cain, David Cobley, Patrick Cullen, Peter Kelley, Melissa Scott Miller, Robbie Wraith and Neale Worley. Is this a problem of supply - or demand?
  • That said NEAC did seem to have rather more represented than others!
  • The paintings I'd love to hang on my wall any day of the week are by an LPS regular - Eileen Hogan.  PS I had no idea until I came to write this post that I had yet again spotted the most expensive painting in the room.
UL328, FH172, and FR59 by Eileen Hogan, oil on panel £20,000
I love this quote on her website
Light and shade have always been important features of my work, particularly shadows and the geometry of shadow patterns. Shadows hide and reveal; they break up space and simultaneously make it understandable, yet elusive. Drawing and re-drawing patterns, leaving echoes of what was there before, creates an ambiguity. It’s clear that they are there, but hard to decide if they let you see more or less.— Eileen Hogan, The Water Colour Expert Cassell, 2004

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