Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Selected artists - Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2015

This post highlights the names - and the websites - of the 80 artists who have been selected for the 2015 Exhibition of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. Plus some of the images which have been selected for display.

Ellis Nadler, Anemone Hats
It's great to see somebody using their imagination while painting!
The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition provides an opportunity for artists across the UK to redefine and celebrate the beauty and diversity of watercolour and water-based media, whether through abstract or figurative, contemporary or traditional painting.


The Winners of the First Prize of £10,000, Second Prize of £6,000, and the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize of £1,500 will be announced in the Sunday Times during August, and awarded at a private ceremony during the exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

Some statistics

Over 1,200 works were entered and 90 works by 80 artists were selected. The ratio of selected to entered artwork is 7.5% which is considerably better than artists can expect in some other national art competitions.

The Selection Panel

This year's panel of selectors were
  • Sarah Dudman Artist - age 50, she was selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Prize Exhibition in 2013 and 2014.
  • Desmond Shawe-Taylor LVO Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures
  • Josh Spero Editor, Spear’s Magazine (that's the one for people with high net worth individuals) and Art Critic, Tatler.
  • Lucy Willis Artist - a very popular watercolour painter. Uses traditional watercolours in a traditional way - and everybody loves them!
  • Louis Wise Critic & Writer, The Sunday Times
You can see photos of scenes from the Judging Day in Behind the Scenes
“The final exhibition aims to reflect the scope of what artists are doing with water-based media today, and each selected work has been chosen on individual merit as being an outstanding example in its field. In the most successful cases, the artists' mastery and understanding of the potential of the media and technique completely resonated with their intent or subject, creating works which truly are greater than the sum of their parts.

As we worked through the selection stages, the decision became increasingly difficult. Decisions were debated, works were fought for, and at all times, the final choices were agreed against shared criteria, which essentially came down to the strength of the work as a whole. Had the artist used the unique and essential characteristics of water-based media to effectively convey their intentions at a very high level? The answer for all the selected entries is a clear 'yes'.”

Sarah Dudman
This does not augur well. It sounds like it's going the route of RWS competition of "water-based media" as opposed to watercolour painting in the sense that everybody and everybody's art shop understand the term.

One of the things that I've always liked about the Sunday Times Watercolour competition is that it had excellent examples of "proper" watercolour paintings i.e. those that were created using media which says watercolour paint!

Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 2015 - Selected Artists

Below you can find a list of the names of the selected artists

Those who have websites have their names in bold have links to their websites embedded in their names - where these could be found. Any errors please let me know (see side column for how to contact me).  I'd like to thank all those artists who have generated a decent website; got it onto the first page of Google - and provided easy to find details about the artist!

Selected images included in the exhibition have been provided courtesy of Parker Harris and found on in the ST Watercolour Competition Twitter feed.

Roger Allen - Wolfscote Dale from Gipsy Bank

  • Roger Allen - a professional artist working in oil and watercolour and based in Derbyshire. The Peak District (and the North of England) inspire his landscape paintings.
  • Anthony Anderson (no website)
  • Margie Andrew-Reichelt - Margie has lived all over the world but is now based in her studio in the garden in Nottinghamshire. Previously selected for both the Derwent Art Prize and the Threadneedle Prize.
  • Rue Asher - selected for this competition in 2002 and the RWS Watercolour competition in 2004, 2013 and 2014. 
  • Lucy Austin - based in Bristol. Also selected for the 2015 RWA 163rd Annual Open Exhibition
Rue Asher, Maybe, Maybe Never

  • Julie Ball - contemporary artist lives and works in Ruislip Middlesex and a Member of Hillingdon Artists. Selected for RWS Watercolour Competition in 2015. Interestingly Julie's website highlights my review of that exhibition - maybe because I picked out her work as interesting?
A debatable review but interesting.
  • John Batty - usually paints Venice - but the work selected for the exhibition is fish from the Tokyo Fish Market!
John Batty, Red Bream Tokyo Fish Market
  • Sarah Jane Bellwood - lives and works in the Northwest. She's been painting small still lives involving dead bumblebees.
  • Juliet Benini - I think she's an Intern at Marlborough Contemporary - I note she also features in Tatler Magazine.
  • Akash Bhatt RBA - Won third prize in this competition in 2002. An artist who paints urban landscapes. He also won London Lives 1st Prize Network Rail/Cass Arts/Bankside Gallery
  • Antonia Black (Gallery website) A professional watercolour painter who has won third prize in this competition in 2001 and 2006 and second prize in 2003.  Also teaches art at West Dean College
  • Adrienne Blake - regularly selected for the RA Summer Exhibition; also exhibited in this competition in 2007
I understand myself and recognize my limitations; I find working the way I do now is the hardest way to paint. To let go of techniques learnt over many years are habits. I have to constantly remind myself these techniques are not mine but a learnt way of seeing.Adrienne Blake
  • Alison Boult
  • Karen Bowers - a landscape artist who lives in Gloucestershire and often paints from life in watercolour - although not a lot of evidence of this on her website. 
  • Day Bowman - an installation artist
  • Patricia Bray  - a Scottish artist who paints in acrylic
  • Julian Bray

  • John Cahill - paints stylised realistic landscapes in acrylic and gouache selected for this exhibition in 2011 and 2014. Very good control of colour and tone. Below you can see his two paintings being scrutinised by the judges.

  • Steve Caldwell - UK based artist (realism) and portrait painter. He works in acrylics and currently has a painting in the BP Portrait Award 2015. Selected for this exhibition in 2012 and 2014.
  • Frances Chapman - no bio, seems to do very interesting portraits in watercolour
  • Barry Cooper -  paints on silk and in watercolour; a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen
  • Julie D Cooper - Abstract artist with images derived from the landscape around St Ives. Successfully elected as an Associate member of the RWS this year
  • Rupert Cordeux ARBSA - Won the Channel 4 programme Watercolour Challenge in 2000 - after which he started to paint professionally. I'm not a fan of his website.




  • Diane Gerrard
  • Daphne Gradidge - some fascinating paintings very real and abstract at the same time


  • Barry Idris Jackson - freelance artist and musician, formerly art teacher within higher education
  • Martin Jacobs
  • James Judge

  • Melissa Kime - currently a student at the Royal Drawing School
  • Yolka Klos - selected for this exhibition in 2013
  • Keith Knight
  • Charlotte Knox - specializes in watercolour paintings of foods, plants, cityscapes and landscapes from around the world

Michael Middleton, Downham
Sarah Nabarro, Veiled Apparition

  • Sarah Nabarro - based in London and heavily influenced by a background in art therapy
  • Ellis Nadler - interested in playing with allegories, metaphors and parables. His painting is at the top of this post
  • James Newman Gray - Illustrator (LinkedIn )
James Newman Gray, Sheffield from Park Hill
Presumably a candidate for the L andscape Prize

  • Gavin O’keefe
  • Roy Osborne - works in acrylic and focuses on colour

  • Gideon Pain - previous selected for this exhibition in 2007
  • David A Parfitt RI - landscape painter based in the West Country. Elected a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Water colours in 2011

  • Jenny Ross - artist, writer, baker and vet whose art is inspired by the Scottish countryside and her own imaginings
  • Catherine Ross (Facebook- Born in Yellowknife, Canada, but raised in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Graduated from Painting, Gray’s School of Art, 2014 The Royal Scottish Academy selected her work for The William Littlejohn Award for Excellence and Innovation in Water-based Media 2015
  • Dennis Roxby Bott RWS - paints architecture in watercolour. Elected an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1981 and a full member in 1983
Dennis Roxby-Bott, New College Lane, Oxford 

  • Graham Sendall - creates acrylic paintings often inspired by the landscape and architecture of Sussex
  • Annabelle Shelton - apologies to Annabelle - now correctly listed with the right surname and a link to her blog
  • Ian Sidaway RI - elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2010. Well known author and writer of articles about art techniques
  • Jonathan Silverman Lives and works in London
  • David Souter
  • Jayne Stokes - Long listed for John Moores Painting Prize in 2011 and 2014
Annabelle Shelton, Beach Escape


  • Paul Talbot-Greaves - a professional landscape painter working in watercolour and acrylic who teaches and demonstrates
  • Stephanie Tuckwell - I've seen her work a number of times recently - the imagery stays with you


Deborah Walker, Reveal 
  • Deborah Walker RI - Winner of the Turner Medal in 2014
  • Kim Whitby - Also a Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize Finalist in 2015
  • Michael Williams - unclear which Michael Williams
  • Mandy Worster 

The Exhibition

The exhibition will be on display at two venues on the following dates:

Making A Mark posts about the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition

I've been covering this competition for some years. For those wanting to see what the competition was like in previous years..........

The 2016 competition will open for entries in Spring 2016.








  1. Great summary of all the shortlisted artists. Catharine Davison does have a website, it's at

    All good wishes

  2. I think Catherine needs to sort her website out so that people can use the simple domain URL. Nobody remembers or uses URLs that are that long!

  3. I've now included the URK - and it works fine if you just use


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