Wednesday, March 25, 2015

203rd Annual Exhibition of Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours #1 - Prizewinners and Events

This year I'm doing two posts about the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours  (RI) at the Mall Galleries.
  • this one is about the prizewinners (links in the artists' names are to their websites) and 
  • the events in the gallery - which focus on members who are going to be demonstrating, showing their sketchbooks, giving tours of the exhibition or just answering any queries people may have. All events are free with admission to the exhibition
  • and, if you're interested in exhibiting with the RI you can find links to my reviews of previous exhibitions at the end.

Four and half hours into The Private View yesterday and it's still busy!

The exhibition is, as usual, a very good standard. More importantly, this is very clearly an art society which likes exhibiting paintings which look like they were painted with the use of water! While there are some works in acrylic, most are painted using proper watercolour paint and a few also use gouache.  I'm a big fan of watercolour paintings and I like this exhibition!

You can read the e-catalogue and seee some of the paintings on Issuu

The bonus for those coming to London to see the exhibition is that they can see two exhibitions by watercolour art societies at the same time as the Spring Exhibition by members of the Royal Watercolour Society opens on Friday

The RI exhibition at the Mall Galleries is the larger of the two. If your first love is watercolour and you plan to visit both, I definitely recommend you start with the RI exhibition as the RWS exhibition is more a "works done by RWS members - including other media" than a watercolour show per se.

The exhibition opened to the public today (25 March) and continues until 11th April and is open from 10am to 5pm daily. The price of admission is £3.00; £2.50 concessions, (Free to Friends of Mall Galleries, National Art Pass holders and under 18s).


This is an art society which doesn't award all its prizes to members. A number of artists whose work was selected via the open entry were also selected to receive an award.

President Andy Wood presenting Turner Medal to Deborah Walker RI 2015
President Andy Wood PRI presenting Turner Medal to Deborah Walker RI 
Photo courtesy Ted Sepple
Deborah Walker RI won three prizes - including the Turner Medal at the Awards Ceremony yesterday. Her large painting 'Detail' was responsible for all these prizes and is currently enjoying pride of place in the middle of the end wall of the West Gallery. It took a long time to get this photo because of the number of people studying it - inscribed into the painting are lots of notes which are partially readable.

Detail by Deborah Walker 
Her three prizes were:
  • The Turner Medal (a medal, in honour of Turner, awarded to a member of the RI and the RWS on an annual basis)
In 1856 J. M. W. Turner bequeathed the sum of £20,000 pounds for a gold medal for landscape painting. From 1859 until 2008 the Royal Academy awarded the Turner Medal every two years at their Summer Exhibition. Since then the award of this much prized Medal is an annual event jointly organised by the two senior royal watercolour societies; one is given to a member of the RI and the other to the RWS. Only two medals are struck (from bronze) each year and are engraved with the year of their making. 
  • The Escoda Barcelona Award (A set of Escoda Brushes for an outstanding landscape painting) and 
  • the Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award (an outstanding artwork chosen by the art critic and broadcaster)

Deborah's background is she was awarded a first class honours degree in Fine Art from De Montfort University in 1985 and was in April 2011 was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. You can follow her on Twitter @DebWalkerRI

Other Award Winners

You can see the individual paintings in the online virtual exhibition of artwork (scroll down the page and then click individual paintings to find out more).

Good news for young watercolour painters - there's a new award worth £500 for artists aged 30 and under.

The Leathersellers' Award
(£500 awarded to a artist aged 30 years or under)
'Barren Room' by Tim Patrick
The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award
£500 for the most outstanding use of light and colour in a watercolour
 'Misato' by Matthew Phinn 
watercolour (£690)
The Debra Manifold Memorial Award
for the most innovative work in the exhibition
Come Helen, Come Bring Me My Soul Again by J Richard Plincke RI
The Winsor & Newton / RI Award
£250 for the group of paintings by a member which is judged to be 
the most outstanding contribution to the exhibition
All paintings by Delia Cardnell RI
The John Purcell Paper Prize
Paper to the value of £100 for an outstanding work
Mario Night by Filipe Miguel das Dores
The Schminke Award
a Schminke watercolour set

Entrance Natural History Museum by Varsha Bhatia
Varsha specialises in architectural paintings and her work she has had her work selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition for eleven years.

The Neal Meacher Sketching Prize was won by Moira Huntly RI - but I forgot to take any photographs of the sketchbooks!

The Frank Herring Easel Award 
an easel presented for an outstanding work in the exhibition
Puss in Souk by Christopher Forsey RI

The Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Prize
an award of £250 to encourage innovation and experimentation in contemporary watermedia
Victim by Xi Guo

The Wicked Watercolours Award
A set of personalised handmade brushes awarded for work that shows exceptional drawing skills
Winter by Jan Munro
The Dry Red Press Award
Winning work to be published as a greeting card
Hide & Seek by Lisa Graa Jensen RI  
I never quite understand the greeting card prizes. Does the artist earn a royalty for use of their image?

203rd Exhibition: Events and Demonstrations

by RI members at the Mall Galleries

The RI is one of the best art societies I know at getting a high level of involvement of its members with activities and events taking place in the gallery during the exhibition. There's lots to choose from if you like watching demonstrations.

Thursday 26 March
  • Jean Noble - Painting from her own sketches 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Bob Rudd - Painting in the gallery

Friday 27 March
  • Andy Wood PRI - President's Tour of the exhibition 11.30am & 3.00pm

Saturday 28 March - I'm guessing the Art Societies will be descending 'en masse' for what is usually a very busy day in the gallery
  • Shirley Trevena - Demonstrating in the gallery 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • David Parfitt - Showing sketchbooks and iPad drawings 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • Pauline Fazakerley - Painting in the gallery
  • David Poxon - Showing sketches and photographs 11:45am to 4:00pm
  • Rosa Sepple - Talking to visitors
  • Jean Robinson - Answering questions about the RI

Sunday 29 March
  • Tony Hunt - Guided tour of the Exhibition at 11:30am and 2:30pm
  • Julia Sorrell - Painting in the gallery

Monday 30 March
  • Chris Forsey - Demonstrating landscape painting 11:00am – 1:00pm & 2:30 – 4:30pm

Tuesday 31 March
  • Robin Hazlewood - Guided tour of the Exhibition at 11:30am and 2:30pm

Wednesday 1 April
  • Ian Sidaway - Showing a selection of sketch books 11:00am – 3:00pm

Thursday 2 April
  • Jean Noble - Showing a selection of sketchbooks and photos and critiques of visitors' paintings
  • Colin Allbrook - Painting in the gallery 12:30 – 4:30pm
  • John Yardley - Painting in the gallery 10:30 – 3:00pm (an ever popular artist, you'll need to get there early to get a seat to watch)

Saturday 4 April
  • Paul Banning - Painting in the gallery 10:30am – 4:00pm
  • David Parfitt - Showing sketchbooks and iPad drawings 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • David Poxon - Showing sketchbooks and discussing working methods 11:45am - 4:00pm
  • Rosa Sepple - Talking to visitors and answering questions
  • Jean Robinson - Talking to visitors about the RI

Tuesday 7 April
  • Chris Forsey - Demonstrating landscape painting 11:00am – 1:00pm & 2:30 – 4:30pm
  • Ann McCormack - Painting in the gallery

Wednesday 8 April
  • Ian Sidaway - Showing a selection of sketchbooks 11am – 3:00pm

Thursday 9 April
  • Tony Hunt - Guided tour of the Exhibition at 11:30am and 2:30pm

Saturday 11 April
  • Sandra Walker - In the gallery all day talking to visitors and answering questions

Reviews of Previous Exhibitions

2014:  Video: Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours - Annual Exhibition
2013: Review: Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour - Annual Exhibition
2012: 200th Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and, to mark their 200th anniversary, a post about The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
2011: Review: 199th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour

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