Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Annual Exhibition 2014

Earlier this week I visited the 2014 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of  Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers at the Mall Galleries in London.  

The exhibition continues until Sunday 26th October 2014 in the North Gallery of the Mall Galleries. Admission is free.  There are also free daily demonstrations by members in the Gallery - see my listing for the remaining days below

A comprehensive catalogue for the exhibition which comes with a signed endorsement from the Prince of Wales who is a Patron of this Royal ArtSociety!

Annual Exhibition 2014 in the North Gallery

Magnifying glasses are available in the exhibition to view the art
As usual the standard of the exhibition is high with many excellent examples of miniature art as well as some stunning innovations. It's also good to see awards going to new exhibitors who are not members.

The standard of display is also excellent with special stands lined with black velvet onto which the paintings are pinned. Plus lots of magnifying glasses are available. These are essential equipment if you ever want to sell miniature art.

As usual this is an art society which understands well the needs of its collectors. It provides a special private view for those art collectors who have purchased work at previous exhibitions and this had been held earlier in the day. Several works already sported red spots - and more were purchased while I reviewed the exhibition.

Awards and Commendations

The Royal Society Of Miniature Painters Sculptors And Gravers Gold Memorial Bow
Mt Stokes, Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania 
Joan Humble RMS, MAA, MASF, MPSGS, ASMA (Tas)

Anita Emmerich Presentation Award
Douglas River by Joan Humble

Group of works by Joan Humble
( 5 x 10cm - oil on polymin - prices vary from £1,000 to £1,300)
CLICK IMAGE and open in a new tab to see larger image
The images by Joan Humble were all extremely good and it's no surprise to me that two won prizes - including the most prestigious prize of them all - the RMS Gold Memorial Bowl. Her works are painted in a panoramic format (50 x 100mm) in oil on Polymin. Joan Humble is an Australian artist who lives in Tasmania and her paintings are views of Tasmania.  This is an artist who obviously enjoys travelling around Tasmania - including circumnavigating it by sea - to develop reference material for her art. She is a founder member of the Australian Society of Miniature Artists - Tasmania and to date is the only Australian to have been accepted into membership of The Miniature Artists of America.

The Prince Of Wales Award For Outstanding Miniature Painting
Rosalind Pierson 
Watercolour landscape painting
This is the first year of Rosalind Pierson's Presidency and it was good to see her there wearing her medal of office on the first day of the exhibition. Rosalind is demonstrating next Wednesday.

I had a very interesting discussion with her regarding the technique of miniature art painting. I came up with the phrase that Miniature Art is the "Tai Chi of Painting" after Rosalind advised me that the quality of miniature artwork is determined by your ability to place a mark very slowly and accurately rather than by any ability to see and work in miniature.

Control over making your mark very slowly is the skill that needs to be mastered.

RMS Award for The Best Collection Of Five Or More Miniature Works (£500)Rosemary & Co. Award For First Time Exhibitor
Andrew Hutchinson
acrylic on board (priced between £230 and £270)
Andrew Hutchinson arrived as a first exhibitor - with a bang. He won one of the top prizes - for the best collection of five or more works and then also won the Rosemary & Co Award for the Best First Time Exhibitor - although I guess having won the first you must be pretty certain to win the second!

Andrew is a Yorkshire-born wildlife artist, best known for his highly detailed paintings and prints of birds, dogs, farm and wild animals. He describes himself first and foremost as a wildlife painter and a naturalist rather than a miniature artist - and he also paints larger works. However his paintings measuring 2-3 inches across are expertly painted and display an acute awareness of what is both characteristic and appealing in different animals.  Andrew works in acrylic on board

The President’s Special Commendation is given for two works

President’s Special Commendation - Miniature Work
Young Swallows by Tracy Hall

Watercolour on rag board 3.75" x 2", £400 (sold)
Tracy Hall is an excellent miniature artist (and ex Gold Bowl Winner) whose success with private and commercial commissions is due, in no small part, to her excellent website.  This is the website page devoted to her miniature art.

The President's Commendation for a Large Work went to Hanging By A Thread by John Good

The Bidder And Borne Sculptors And Gravers Award (£350)Skyfall by Paul Eaton VPRMS MAA HS MASF MPSGS
Bronze and sterling silver) £1,350
Vice President Paul Eaton has six bronze and sterling silver or sterling silver sculpture pieces in the show which are all very impressive.

Llewellyn Alexander Subject Miniature Award (£500)
The Arturi Phillips ‘Connoisseur’ Award

Murphy by Suzanne Bradley RMS
watercolour on ivorine, £240 (sold)
This painting of Murphy - who's a lurcher - includes some incredibly fine negative painting of dog hair - and won two awards!

Suzanne Bradley's tiny paintings of animals were proving very popular after she won two awards. Following the Buyer's Preview in the morning, she had sold four of the six on display by the middle of the first afternoon.

The way to buy a winner's work is to buy work and then get invited to the Buyer's Preview!

The Bonhams Portrait AwardJane by Oliver King ARMS
Height: 2.5" watercolour on vellum,  (£700)
The very small watercolour portrait by Oliver King was impressive when first viewed and even more impressive when viewed with a magnifying glass.  You can see even more miniatures and artwork by Oliver on his Tumblr website.  Click the link in the title above to see the 00 and 000 miniature brushes used for the painting.

I seem to have missed the The Mundy Sovereign Portrait Award which went to Michael Coe

The Elizabeth Meek Award
The Grand Canal, Venice by Erica Youngman
watercolour on paper, £995 (sold)
I think a lot of watercolour artists would have been rather pleased to have painted Erica's view of the Grand Canal in Venice - never mind painted it in the tiny format used for this painting.

Marion Winter ‘Joey’ AwardAn Existence Hanging By A Thread by Ray Winder
watercolour on boxwood, £2,500
Ray Winder is exhibiting some quite remarkable watercolour paintings on hand carved sculptures in boxwood.  He trained as a graphic designer and worked in illustration before becoming a sculptor. This probably explains some of the more unique aspects of his sculpture.

He's won two awards in this year's exhibition - see above and below. Below you can also see his suite of works.

Anthony J Lester Art Critic AwardThe Passage Of Time by Ray Winder
watercolour on boxwood (£2,150 - NFS)
Five works by Ray Winder (47-51)priced between £2,150 and £2,500

Marion Winter ‘Kunstler’ AwardReflection In A Regent Street WindowIain Gardiner RMS
oil on canvas, £3,000
Iain Gardiner's tour de force is to paint a painting within a painting by revealing reflections in shop windows

Peter Charles Booth Memorial AwardCarnival Preparation, Little Venice by Alison Griffin
acrylic on board, £450
Alison Griffin PVPRMS, SWA, SLm has been a miniature painter for over 30 years.


These are the demonstrations taking place during the exhibition

More information about Miniature Art

You can find out more about Miniature Art on my website - Miniature Art - Resources for Artists.

1 comment:

  1. Joan Humble is a great artist and teacher. We are very privileged to have someone of her standard in the Australian Society of Miniature Artists (Tasmania) Inc. Well done on her success in this exhibition!

    Thank you for your coverage, Katherine. Good to see.

    Ruth Bosveld


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