Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2017 - Selected Artists

The names of the 78 artists selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 2017 were formally announced yesterday. Prizewinners will be announced in advance of the exhibition opening - in the Culture section of the Sunday Times magazine on Sunday 27th August.
  • 87 paintings and sketchbooks in watercolour media will be exhibited in the 30th Exhibition at the Mall Galleries between 19 - 24 September 2017.  (This compares to 75 paintings selected in 2016 and 90 works in 2015.) 
  • They were selected from 1057 submissions - meaning just over 8% of the paintings submitted were selected.
Eligible media includes any water-based media, which includes acrylic, inks and gouache (note it does NOT state that watersoluble oil paint is acceptable!). My own feeling is that it should also state that all works should be on paper - but it doesn't. It would also be nice if the rules made it clear that sketchbooks are also eligible for submission.

Cornish Coastline Sketchbook by Sarah Wimperis - selected for the 2017 STWC Exhibition
This blog post is about the artists whose work was selected. The aim is to give those aspiring to being selected some sort of idea of the range of people who actually achieve selection.

There are 78 artists listed below -with links to their websites in their names and mini bios where info is available online. (See that's why you have a website!).
  • 9 artists have got more than one painting in the exhibition and two of them are Lilias August and Camilla Dowse.  
  • This year I've indicated which artists selected in 2017 were also selected in previous years.  STWC indicates previous years selected for this competitionAs you can see although there are a very few artists who are regularly selected, there's been a fairly significant 'turnover' and there are artists in the exhibition this year who weren't in last year - and quite a few of those have never been selected before. 
  • There are NINE artists marked with an *  who have been selected at least three times prior to 2017. This means just over 11% of this year's artists have been selected more than 3 times - and the vast majority have never been selected before at all - meaning this competition is wide open to future applicants in 2018!
So - as you can tell from the social media posts below there are some pretty pleased artists out there!

I also make a prediction about a future winner in this blog post - see if you can spot which artist I predict will win this prize at some point.

If you'd like your pic included in this post, please send it to me. You can contact me via my "Contact Page" at the top of the blog or the link in the side column.

  • Roger Allen - STWC : Selected in 2016 and 2015. Based in Derbyshire and paints the Derbyshire landscape using a traditional technique of overlaid washes in watercolour. 
  • Lillias August RI - One of my favourite watercolour artists - I've rarely seen anything she exhibits that I don't like. Studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London then did a postgraduate course in The History of Art and Design. Exhibited in STWC (when Singer & Friendlander) in 2001. Elected a member of the RI in 2006 and has been a prizewinner at RI exhibitions in 2002, 05, 06, 10 & 17 - but she's not somebody who normally enters competitions. She has a solo show at The Old Fire Engine House, Ely later this year (3 – 26 November). She has been working on a series of unmade beds
The inspiration came from walking round a house that I was renting with my family. It was very quiet. They had all gone out for a walk and there were just these ‘remains of where they had been’ and I found it very moving. The subject matter is naturally evocative – I want the paintings to be dark and still, slightly brooding but peaceful. Technically the method of painting has been rather brooding too with paint being layered on and lifted off in stages to create a muted, soft yet strong, effect.

  • Debbie Ayles - Based near Colchester in Essex. Participating in Open Studios in September. Difficult to summarise her work.
Escalation by Debbie Ayles
acrylic and size (framed) is 70x90cm (framed)
    • Chris Baker - Lives in Crouch End and has a blog about his watercolour paintings.  (but I might be wrong and it could be this chap)  Note: always make sure you enter competitions with the same name you use on your website or blog!
    • Greg Becker - trained at Leeds University and the Royal College of Art, London. His work as an illustrator has been commissioned by Dorling Kindersley, Puffin Books, Heinemann, Random House, BBC Publications, LWT, The Guardian, The Times and New Scientist Magazine. His main areas of interest are allotment gardening, nature, science and all forms of narrative illustration.

    • Varsha Bhatia - Selected for this competition in 2016 and 11 previous years. A Watercolour Artist specialising in detailed architectural paintings. This is this is the 13th time her work has been selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition. She graduated with a degree in architecture in Bombay and came to the UK in 1982 to work in Cambridge. Regularly exhibits with FBA societies at the Mall Galleries and has won a number of awards for her paintings. Facebook Page: Varsha Bhatia - Watercolour Artist. Below is a video she made this year for the competition - on location at St Cuthberts Mill.

    • Alison Boult Selected for this competition in 2016 and 2015. graduated with an MA from The Prince’s Drawing school in 2013. Selected for the Threadneedle Prize and the ING Discerning Eye in 2016 and RA Summer Exhibition and Lynn Painter-Stainers in 2015. According to her website her preferred media of choice is oil.
    • Karen Bowers STWC: Selected in 2015. Studied a Foundation in Art and Design at Cheltenham Art College (1980’s). Completed MA in Fine Art in 2012. Married with two sons and lives in Gloucestershire. Selected for Lynn Painter Stainers 2016-2017 and ING Discerning Eye 2016. She paints in oil and watercolour and creates very complex intricate paintings and also provides watercolour classes for small groups
    • Max Boyla - BA (First Class Honours) in Fine Art Painting (2014) from Grayʼs School of Art. Based in Scotland and mainly exhibits in Scotland.
    • David Brayne RWS - born 1954, studied painting at Nottingham and Gloucestershire Colleges of Art and philosophy at Exeter University. Elected as a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 2001. Awarded the Turner Medal in 2015. Paints in pigments. Has exhibited at the Qingdao International Watercolour Biennial. Open Studio in Somerset Saturday 23rd – 30th September 2017. 
    • Fay Brown - Paints pictures of young women on a white background and had her painting chosen for the exhibition banner for the 2017 Contemporary Watercolour Competition run by the RWS at the Bankside Gallery. 
    • Geoff Butterworth - began painting full time in 1980 after a serious motorcycle accident ended his career in Engineering. Lives in Rochdale.
    • Tom Caley - lives in Ealing.
    • Delia Cardnell RI - born 1974. 2000: elected member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours; Served on RI council (2001–2005) and (2010-2014). Won National Young Artist, Laing Art Competition, 1999
    • Sophie Charalambous - STWC: Selected in 2016. Used to be a theatre designer. Did the Drawing Year at the Princes Drawing School in 2009 (now the Royal Drawing School) She's a visual Artist who also works collaboratively in the theatre and leads arts projects with community groups. Teaches drawing and painting at the Prince’s Drawing School. Has a studio in an old garment factory in London Fields in east London. Works largely monochromatically with an illustrative style. This is an article about her and her work. I'm hoping it's one of her impressive cityscapes.
    • Michelle Cioccoloni - Trained at Royal Drawing School 2012/13. Based in London and West Sussex, specialising in monochrome pen and ink drawings of interiors and objects. Artist in Residence at the Museo del Prado, Madrid in 2014. Has drawn interiors of Dumfries House
    • Josh Crowe - BA (Hons) in Fine Art: Painting from Wimbledon in 2016. Currently living and working in New York City
    • Vicky Dale - born in Grimsby. Emerging artist. Gets a prize from me for one of the more entertaining bio pages I've read on an artist's website.

    • Leo Davey - STWC: Selected 2012, '13, '14, '15. Studied at Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall. now lives and works in his home town of Minehead in West Somerset where he has his studio/Gallery. Winner of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Smith & Williamson Prize, 2015
    • Esme Dollow - lives and works in Hertfordshire, UK. Graduated with First Class BA (Hons) Fine Art from Coventry University in 2015. Selected for Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize in 2016.
    • Camilla Dowse STWC: Selected in 2015. Lives and works in South Oxfordshire, England. Trained as a graphic designer; used to be a picture editor but now paints urban landscapes full time. Uses acrylic and ink on gesso. Named Artist of the Year by Artists & Illustrators Magazine in 2014. Facebook Page
    • Catherine Ducker - Exhibited in 2000 and 2001 Singer and Friedlander Watercolour competition.
    • Stephen Earl Rogers - I can't see any watercolour online. Exhibits oil paintings with Quantum Contemporary Art since 2001. Regularly selected for the BP Portrait Award in past.
    • Mark Elsmore RBSA WSASTWC: selected in 2016 and other years. Mark’s work has been selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibitions on fourteen occasions. Won first prize in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2012. See Mark Elsmore wins Sunday Times Watercolour 2012. Born in the Potteries, North Staffordshire. Member of Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and Wirral Society of Arts and regularly exhibits nationally.
    • Kate Evans - BA Hons Illustration, Falmouth College of Arts (2006). She paints very attractive wilderness landscapes. Read an interview with her.
    • Mark Fielding - Lives in Saltash, Cornwall. Selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition in 2017.

    • Howard Flanagan - No formal training. Based in Dorset. Selected for RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2017.
    • Richard Fowler - studied at Farnham School of Art from 1958 -1964. In 1972, began a career freelancing. His commissions included illustration, exhibition design and book design. He became an author - writing and illustrating over a hundred books ; mainly for children. Selected for the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition 2010
    • Janis Fry - Studied at Bangor University and Swansea College of Art. Member of Royal Watercolour Society of Wales. Paints in watercolour, ink and gouache, mixed media, acrylic and oil. Works as a Specialist Art Teacher who also provides private art tuition.
    • Paul Gadenne - a Canterbury-based artist who works principally in watercolour and acrylic. Worked as a a Chartered Designer with a background in commercial Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design. Design Lecturer at Hastings College of Art and taught Graphics and Design at St Edmund’s School Canterbury for over 20 years. Sky Arts-Landscape Artist of the Year 2015. Heat Runner Up Facebook Page

    • Daphne Gradidge - STWC: previously selected in 2007, 2010, and 2015. Studied at Winchester School of Art 1972-73, followed by theatre design at Nottingham 1973-76 and post-graduate at the Slade 1979-81 ING Discerning Eye in 2001, 2012 and 2014.
    • Christopher GreenSTWC: previously selected in 2012, 2013, 2015. Byam Shaw School of Art, MA 2006.  Won the 2017 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for a large street scene drawn/painted in ink from life on several large sheets of paper (see Christopher Green wins Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2017). His Sketchbook New York, Winter 2016 was selected for Sketch Open 2017.  Some great pics of his work - in which he can bend perspective and draw tremendously complex scenes - and comments about it - can be seen on this page on his website.   I don't often go on record making predictions about winners but when I do I'm generally right! :) I'm confident that Christopher will win the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition at some point. Who knows it may be this year?
    Christopher Green's artwork selected in 2012
    for his very first Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
    • Ingrid Greenfield - not online
    • David Greenwood - not online
    • Rachael Grimm - grew up in the northwest of England and moved to the U.S. in 1996; spent the last year (2016-17) in Cambridge
    • Gary GroucuttSTWC: previously selected in 2016. a painter and photographer based in rural Shropshire
    • Rebecca Harper - Based in London. First class Degree in Drawing and the Applied Arts at UWE, Bristol. Graduated from The Royal Drawing School in 2013. Currently on the Royal Drawing School's International Teaching and Art Residency in India. Drawns and paints people in contemporary settings. Facebook.
    • Emma Haworth STWC: previously selected in 2007, 2008, 2008, 2010 - see Emma Haworth wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2010. Born in Sheffield. Based in East London. She produces large and colourful and somewhat Lowry-like paintings. Selected for the Lynn Painter Stainer Prize 2007-2017 and ING Discerning Eye in 2015. Won joint First Prize in the National Art Open Competition in 2010. Has regular solo exhibitions with the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. I'm guessing seeing Kathryn Maple win twice (2014 and 2016) triggered her interest in entering this competition again!
    Her art is built upon meticulous observation of the ebb and flow of modern metropolitan life - in the streets, the parks, the squares of London, New York, Paris or some other great urban centre: it is a constantly shifting drama, of moving people and changing light, played out in a great arena that is both architectural and natural. Rebecca Hossack Gallery
    • Suman Kaur - winner of the BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge - see my blog post Review: The Big Painting Challenge FINAL 2017 (which also lists the other posts documenting her progress through the series). The programme aimed to find the Finest Amateur Artist of 2017 - and I predicted she would win round about Episode 3. I corresponded with Suman during the series and encouraged her to start entering some art competitions after she won - and she was the very first person to tell me she's been selected for this year's STWC! Suman studied Art and Design up to college level, then went on to study Prosthetics and Orthotics - prior to appearing on television. She lives in Leeds, and paints in a converted studio at her parent’s house. Represented by Tag Fine Arts. Facebook Page.
    Meat Van by Suman Kaur
    acrylic on canvas, 
    • Caroline Kent - no UK artist with a website 
    • Janet KenyonSinger and Friedlander: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 & 2006 STWC: selected in 2009 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016.  She has won the Sunday Times/Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize twice: Northern lights, Blackpool (2009) and Gridlock (Manhattan) (2016). She has also won 1st Prize in Northern Region Laing Watercolour competition, Manchester (1997) and Laing Watercolour Landscape competition Critics prize, (2000). Born in 1959 and brought up in Bolton. Studied for two years at Bolton College of Art & Design (1975) and Leeds Polytechnic (1977) and gained a B.A. Hons. in Graphic Design. Published article ‘Revelations’ in ‘The Art of Watercolour’ magazine, March 2016, 22nd issue. Published article in the Artist magazine August 2017 issue
      A head for heights This year she has been selected for her painting Northern Edge, (Manchester). 
    • Frank Kiely RE - No profile on his website. (See my blog post about him - Frank Kiely - an Irish artist in London). Graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002; became an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Print-makers in 2006 and then a member. Selected RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition in 2017
    • Irene Lafferty - Paints from life in ink and watercolour. MA (Hons). History of Art, University of Glasgow, First Class Honours. Member of Hesketh Hubbard Art Society and regularly exhibits in their annual exhibition.

    • Teresa LawlerSTWC: selected in 2016BA in Fine Art from Northumbria University (1978); studied at Slade School of Fine Art (1981) before joining the BBC Design Department. Course Director for MA Production Design in Film and TV from 1999 -2013. Previously selected for RA Summer Exhibition. Art Gemini and National Open Art Competition.
    I have always been drawn to paintings that display a fascination for the kind of lighting that is a forerunner of film lighting today, in which subjects emerge from dark, evocative backgrounds.
    Dream House on the Edge of Town by Teresa Lawlerwatercolour and gouache on paper, 66cm H x 48cm W
    • Sally Lawson - Graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1986 and worked as a clothing and knitwear designer.  Currently she works full time as a painter. Usually exhibits with arts society. Selected for ING Discerning Eye in 2015 and 2016. This is her first exhibition with the STWC.
    • Martin Leman RWS - born in London in 1934. Studied at Worthing School of Art & The Central School of Arts & Crafts. Worked in design and advertising. Lectured in Graphic Design at Hornsey College of Art. Began painting seriously in 1971. A member of The Royal Society of British Artists and The Royal Watercolour Society. Best known for his paintings of cats.
    • Judith Logan - her art has been described as a fusion of figurative, naive and folk art. Has previously exhibited in the Royal Watercolour Society’s Contemporary Watercolour Competition. Associate member of the Ulster Society of Women Artists; Signature member of the UKCPS.

    • Alex Maczkowski - no website
    • Anne McAulay Edmond - no website
    • Elizabeth McCarten - studied Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton. Completed The Drawing Year postgraduate course at The Royal Drawing School in 2013. Lives and works in London. Facebook Page
    • Robert McKenzie  - no website - only an Instagram site. Robert creates finely detailed trompe l’oeil watercolour paintings of natural forms and everyday objects
    • Rika Newcombe - born and grew up in Tokyo. Moved to Cambridge and started developing my career as an artist. Studied at the Royal College of Art and won the Linklaters Printmaking Award. 
    • Robert Offord - no website
    • * David A Parfitt RI - STWC: selected in 2016, 2015 and 2014. Lives near Bath. A landscape painter, working with watercolours and water-based media. Elected a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2011; current RI Membership Secretary. Below is a video commissioned by STWC and filmed at St Cuthberts Mill.

    • Doug Patterson  - Studied at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association. Spent 25 years  25 years designing on a wide variety of projects, ranging from film sets to a private 28-suite yacht. Numerous one man exhibition and major commissions. His latest project is a bit different as his website describes and illustrates.....
    During the past five years he has been retracing the journeys of three 18th and 19th century travelling artists who recorded the three great world faiths - Islam, Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity. This has involved sketching and painting Islamic mosques and monuments in north Africa and India, Buddhist Dzongs in Bhutan and the Christian orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos and Meteora in Greece.
    Falkland Street Glasgow
    Watercolour  on paper 102x50cm
    by Peter Quinn RWS
    • Peter Quinn RWS - Born in Dumfries; graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1986. Now lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Divides his time between painting and teaching Art History. Member of the Royal Watercolour Society

    • Sylvia Alice Robertson - no website
    • Hilary Rosen - born in Whitechapel, trained at the Royal College of Art . Lives in London and exhibits internationally .
    • Rachel Ross STWC: selected in 2012. graduated from Central St Martins School of Art in the 1980s. Worked for twenty years as an illustrator. Has pursued a career in painting since 2007. Based in Ediburgh. Works in acrylic on board.
    • Dennis Roxby Bott RWS - studied at Colchester School of Art and Norwich School of Art where he studied Fine Art Painting. Elected an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1981 and a full member in 1983. Often paints very precise architectural paintings.
    • Patrick Shart - no website
    • Anastasia Shimshilashvili - born in Moscow and currently living in the UK. Studied at the the Moscow State Academy Art Lyceum of The Russian Academy of Arts and the the Surikov Art Institute, Russian Academy of Arts. Currently working on working on a series called 'faces of the world'.
    • David Shuttleton - no website
    • Ian Sidaway RI - STWC: Selected in the past (no dates) Born in 1951 in Tamworth Staffordshire. Studied graphic design and went on to work for a short time in advertising.  Painted portraits to commission and began to illustrate books on art technique during 80s and 90s. Now concentrates on painting landscapes. Elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2010. He's master of tonal control and the use of negative space. This is his Fine Line drawing blog and this is his Studio blog - both well worth a visit.
    • Vincent Spain - Studied ceramics at Camberwell. This is the selected painting
    • Martin Spanyol - Bath Academy of Art (1970-74) Goldsmiths’ College (1981-83). Primarily a painter but has also produced a large number of ceramics and drawings. 
    • Claire Sparkes - Lives and works on the South East coast of England. Grew up in Deal. Graduates in Fine Art Painting, Sir John Moores University in Liverpool, 1992. MA in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury. Exhibited at  RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition in 2016.

    • Robin Storey - STWC: selected twice (no dates) born in County Durham and lives in Beverley. Has exhibited widely in the UK.
    • Stephanie TuckwellSTWC: selected 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016. University of London, Goldsmith’s College - BA (Hons) Textiles. UWE Bristol, Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking (Distinction). Regularly exhibits with Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours annual exhibition  and the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition for non-members.
    • Hannah Turner-Duffin - born in 1984, London. Studied BA Fine Art at University College Falmouth from 2004-7, The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School in 2009 and a residency the subsequent year. She then gained a PGCE in Art & Design at the Institute of Education in 2014. Works as an art tutor/educator.
    • Ziling Wang - no website - but I've seen her paintings at the annual exhibition of the Society of Women Artists and they're very impressive 
    • Annie Williams RWS RE RBA - Sunday Times Singer and Friedlander competition - selected. One of my very favourite contemporary artists and I own one of her works! She grew up in South Wales and comes from an 'art' family. Trained and worked as a nurse at Great Ormond Street and then studied art, graduating with a Diploma in Fine Art from City and Guilds Art School in 1969. Lives in North London. She is an elected member of the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters, Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, and Royal Society of British Artists. Won the 2009 Turner Watercolour Award and numerous other awards. Paints very popular still life paintings which are often full of patterns. (see my blog post Annie Williams demonstrates a still life in watercolour)
    • Michael Williams - STWC: selected 2015 - when he won 2nd prize . His bio states "born in Patna, India in 1936. He read History at Oxford and then went to Paris, to be a painter effect he was self taught" and "taught Art History at St. Martin's and then Fine Art at Goldsmith's, ultimately running the first part-time MA course.". Now lives in Gloucestershire but has had a very long association with Wales. He has a fascinating description of his painting practice - quite the best I've read in quite a while!
    • Sarah Wimperis - Born into an "art' family. Studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art and graduated with a degree in sculpture. Sarah is a very prolific painter in both oils and watercolours (I've watched her do both) and a great traveller - and has painted her way around the world - see my sketch of her painting below. She keeps a watercolour sketchbook whenever she goes on her travels. She uses a tiny watercolour paintbox which used to belong to her great great grandfather E M Wimperis who was Vice President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours back in 1895 - 1900. 
    My sketch of Sarah Wimperis painting at Couguieux in Provence
    It's always nice to have a friend selected for the exhibition 
    • Robbie Wraith RP - STWC: Selected in 2011 and 2012.  Great start to his bio "left school at 16, and went to study in Florence at the invitation of Pietro Annigoni." Paints in oil, watercolour and tempera. His client list and sitters for his portrait commissions are very distinguished e.g. He has 40 pictures in the private collection of HRH The Prince of Wales . Elected to membership of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1995. Has been selected for various competitions over the years: Lynn Painter Stainers, ING Discerning Eye and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Exhibits with Messums.
    Two Admirals and a Tea Caddy by Gertie Young

    Judging Panel

    The 2017 judging panel comprises:

    Selected artists in previous years

    These are my blog posts about the artists who had work selected in previous years
    Note: For those wondering about which watercolour competition to enter - or whether to enter both - you might want to compare the images above and those on the websites with the works selected for the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition.

    More about the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition





      1. From what I've seen so far, the paintings in this year's exhibition look a lot more accessible than last year which I thought for the most part was awful and I include the winners in that criticism. Have The Sunday Times had a change of heart? I hope so..

      2. At least one member of the jurors changes every year - so you will always get a different panel with different views.


      COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
      My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

      Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.