Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Kathryn Maple wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014

Winner of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014Fatboys Diner by Kathryn Maple88cm x 64cm (dimensions from her website)
Kathryn Maple, age 25, has won the £10,000 first prize in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014

The best view you can get of Kathryn Maple's winning entry - "Fatboys Diner" - is if you click on the image on the STWC Facebook Page - because then you get a really big image which shows you all the calligraphy and mark-making in this painting

This is what Louise Wise, Critic & Writer at The Sunday Times and one of the judges. had to say about the winner
"Maple’s astonishing work looks as if it was conceived in the Deep South, but Fat Boy’s is, in fact, a cafe right by where she works, in Trinity Buoy Wharf, far out in east London. She even has lunch there sometimes. Maple, from Maidstone, Kent, is fond of the “odd and out of place in life”, and this slice of Americana in E14 fits the bill. The work is large enough (116cm x 86cm), but small by her standards; she builds each painting up by layering over time and, as this picture shows, is happy to use watercolours in a variety of ways."
I have to say this varied use of watercolour in different ways is one of the things which I identified when producing the list of selected artists - and their associated websites (see Selected Artists - Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014).

Her particular way of painting reminds me of two prominent and well regarded artists - both of which I like.
I think - but can't tell yet - that there's a certain amount of printing with watercolour in the painting.  The reverse of frottage but I can't remember the term.

To me, it also looks very like a sketchbook painting which has been removed from the sketchbook - because there's something a crease down the middle.  There again it might be two pieces of watercolour paper joined together.  However the same image on her website certainly suggests the former. If true, I think that's splendid, because it very much legitimises the watercolour artist who observes from life and paints plein air and then submits their work for assessment via an art competition such as this one.

The runner up and winner of the £6,000 second prize was Danny Markey

Second prizewinner, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
Rear View Mirror and Blue Ship by Danny Markey
In an article in Sunday Times Culture 24 August 2014, Louise Wise comments that Danny Markey.
"knows every facet of this competition. An established artist based in Wales, with work in several collections (including the British Museum), he was a finalist — second place again — in 2009 and a judge last year. We knew none of this, though, when picking out his gorgeous view of Falmouth, which measures only 17.5cm x 25.5cm. It’s one of two paintings by him in this year’s exhibition. Generally, Markey paints en plein air, but this view is particularly arresting because it is painted from inside — inside a car interior, that is. This extra frame, complete with the inevitable air freshener, only adds to the picture’s charm and mystery." 
I like the innovative way of framing the view of Falmouth and recognise that he is an artist who appeals to many judges - however I still don't "get" why Markey's work appeals so much more than some other artists who also paint in watercolour.  I dare say somebody will explain it to me one day.  This, for me, sums up his approach to his work
I do try to avoid the picturesque and look at the un-regarded yet common aspects of the world around me.

Paul Newland has won the £1,500 Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize . 

The Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize - Paul Newland
Paul Newland is an artist who I regard as a superb watercolourist and landscape painter. His paintings are always a joy to look at and many are ones on which I could happily gaze for many hours.

Newland has also won the Turner Watercolour Award (the "Turner Medal") in the past and is the current Vice President of the Royal Watercolour Society.
"The Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize gifts £1,500 to a painter who has done something superlative with the urban landscape. Paul Newland has lived and worked in the suburbs of northwest London, which provide the inspiration for his prize-winning work. A mix of watercolour and gouache, it is also a mishmash of observation and memory, a fantasia riffing on the capital’s outer zones. Newland is another established watercolourist who is currently vice-president of the Royal Watercolour Society."
Louis Wise, Sunday Times Culture 24 August 2014.
This is an Artists & Illustrators' article by Paul Newland on "How to sketch in watercolour". The first watercolour and gouache painting in the article is the one which won him the winner of The Turner Watercolour Award 2008 and Turner Medal. You may note some similarities with the practices of the painters who won the big money prizes. The thing is Paul Newland brings his plein air sketches back to the studio and works them up into bigger and even more interesting paintings - in watercolour.  I like them - a lot.

Exhibition at the Mall Galleries

The Sunday Times Watercolour  "competition celebrates all works produced in water-based mediums, whether abstract or figurative, contemporary or traditional."

You can see all the work selected for the exhibition at the Mall Galleries between 15th and 20th September 2014 - that's just six days to see this important show! Entry is free and the exhibition is open between 10am and 5pm.

It's particularly worth making a visit this year as the Derwent Art Prize is showing its exhibition at the same time so you get two major art competitions for one visit!

More posts about the Sunday Times Watercolour competition

Posts relating to this year's competition:
For those wanting to see what the competition was like last year..........
Use the search button (near the top of the right hand column) to find all the other blog posts I've written about this competition.

1 comment:

  1. Just for a bit more info on Mr Markey... He paints the most ordinary of ordinary, the kind of things that most people don't even knoticed he paints with the most uncompromising honesty, beautiful mark making ( especially visible in his oils) his work is very simple and also quite complex, he is, in my opinion, a true artist. I have known hin since he was 12 and I also represent him, I own two of his works, so I suppose I might not be that objective!


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