Sunday, September 30, 2018

Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour 207th Exhibition in 2019

The Call for Entries for the 207th Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at the Mall Galleries in April 2019 opens tomorrow.

The deadline for entries to this exhibition which is open to international artists is 4 January 2019.

There are also FOUR other important changes (see below).
Showing a diversity of styles and techniques, from traditional uses of the medium to more experimental and innovative paintings.
Below you will find:
  • a brief review of the history of the RI and how it is different to the RWS
  • exhibition metrics for the last exhibition in 2018
  • Call for Entries 2019 unpicked - including FOUR Important Changes
    • about the exhibition
    • terms and conditions
    • who can submit an entry
    • what sort of artwork can be submitted
  • Prizes & Awards - The exhibition includes several prizes and awards, open to all participating artists 
Feature wall in the 2018 Exhibition

About the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

The home of Watercolour painting since 1831
The RI seeks the best in contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting.
The RI was originally formed as the New Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1807 as an alternative to the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS). Both were a response to the failure of the Royal Academy of Arts to consider watercolour painting as a serious medium.
From the start the New Society showed the work of non-members’ alongside that of members, a policy still followed today.
It then became the Associated Artists in Water Colours in 1808, then folded due to financial difficulties - and then resurrected itself as the New Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1831. In 1863 the New Society became the Institute of Painters in Water Colours. It moved to new premises at 190-195 Piccadilly - just across the road from Burlington House, the home of the RA. After many years of exhibitions limited to the work of members only, the RI reopened their doors to all comers.

It's an important distinction which continues to be the major difference between the RI and the RWS

The RI remained at Piccadilly until 1970 when the lease expired, when they joined forces with other leading national art groups to form the Federation of British Artists based at the Mall Galleries

Website -
Facebook -

The Candidates Wall in the RI 2018 Exhibition

Exhibition Metrics for 2018

This is a summary of the exhibition metrics for the annual exhibition in 2018
  • 407 paintings by members and non-members were hung across the three galleries (405 if you discount the two paintings by HRH The Prince of Wales) 
  • by 151 artists from 12 countries (51 members and 100 non-members) 
    • 163 of works (40%) were by 100 (66%) non-member artists were selected and hung in the exhibition. 
    • 50 Members: averaged 4.88 works hung 
    • 100 'Open' artists: averaged 1.63 works hung - compared to 1.45 in 2017 
    • although this included the people who were Candidates for Membership where the number of works hung varied between 2 and 4 paintings 
You can review my past blog posts about this annual exhibition (2007-2018) at the end of this post.

Call for Entries - RI Annual Exhibition 2019

Artists are invited to submit works for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at their 207th Exhibition 2019.

In summary, both members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and other artists are invited to submit paintings for consideration. 

  • Anybody can enter artwork created using in traditional watercolours or water-soluble media
  • All entries are via digital submission
  • The deadline for entries is Noon on 4th January 2019.
  • The entry fee is £18 per work payable at the time of submitting (£12 per work for artists aged 35 or under).  Entry includes free admission to the exhibition.
Details of how artists can apply via the open entry process are set out below.

Information about the Annual Exhibition 2019

The 207th Exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries between Wednesday 3 April and Thursday 18 April (10am - 5pm every day) - so just over two weeks.

Terms and Conditions of Entry 2019

You can find

Who can Submit

Any artist - over the age of 18 - living anywhere in the world can submit work in water-soluble media to this exhibition.

A wall in the Main Gallery in 2018

What you can submit 

  • Number: You can submit a maximum of six works - of which a maximum of four works selected. Typically it's candidates for membership who submit a large number of paintings.
  • Media: Artwork in watercolour or water-soluble mediums, including watercolour, acrylic, ink or gouache (excluding water-soluble oils) are eligible for exhibition.
  • Age: Works must have been completed within the last two years 
  • Exhibition: Works should not have been previously shown in London.
  • Support: painted on paper or paper based support.
  • Size: Works must not be larger than 2.4m high and 1.5m wide. (NOTE: There is no minimum size!)
  • Price: The minimum price is £350

IMPORTANT NOTE: FOUR important changes:

  • The type of support for the artwork is now specified. All artwork in water-based media must be painted on paper or paper based support
    • I've made this point myself previously. If painted on canvas or board support then one has to question if an e.g. an acrylic painting would be eligible for the oil painters exhibition!  
    • However I do think that the criteria should have included vellum (including vellum stretched on board) - as this is a support much used by those painting in traditional watercolour paint. Not necessarily by those who have submitted to this before - but the fact is it is much used eg by botanical artists, natural history artists and miniature painters who work in watercolour - and master painters in watercolour in the past! (I'm working on the fact that the vellum painters don't submit!)
    • My advice would be that if you paint on vellum in traditional (i.e. NORMAL) watercolour paint then you should approach the RI for clarification.
    • PS For those on the RI who are not aware - see my page on vellum for clarificationThis is a support where you can wipe off your traditional watercolour paint using water and start again!
  • Age: Works must have been completed within the last two years - so essentially NEW WORKS ONLY
  • Exhibition: Works should not have been previously shown in London - which very much benefits 
    • art collectors and those viewing many exhibitions as they don't see the same old artwork rotating between different exhibitions in London.  
    • those outside London as you can submit your paintings to other exhibitions before the RI - and it doesn't matter!
  • The minimum price has been reduced to £350 for 2019. Note there has been a change in the minimum price. Last year it was set at £450 and I said I thought this was a mistake as there are lots of sales below this figure in other exhibitions. My personal view is still that somewhere between £250 and £300 might be a better place to start - but we'll see how sales go in 2019.....

NOTE: The change in entry fee is universal across all FBA exhibitions and is not unique to the RI. Payment of the entry fee also brings fee entry to the exhibition for those submitting entries.

a corner of the main gallery in the RH Exhibition in 2018

How to Submit

The process works as follows
  • Read the general terms and conditions
  • Read the specific entry requirements
  • Register for digital submission - if you have never entered before
  • Login to the Open Exhibition Entry website
  • Submit your entry ONLINE prior to the deadline (4 January 2019 - 12 noon). 
    • You need to complete the form, pay the fee and upload images of work between Monday 1 October 2018 and Friday 4 January 2019, 12 noon 
    • [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]
  • Pre-selection is based on online entries and associated digital images 
    • Notification of Pre-selection - Friday 11 January, 12 noon (Log in to to see if your work has been pre-selected)
    • Deliver pre-selected entries to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD for final selection on Saturday 9 February 2019, 10am to 5pm
  • Final selection - in front of a Panel of Members of the RI
    • Notification of Acceptance Tuesday 12 February 2019, 12 noon- via checking this page to see if your entry number is listed 
    • Collect work not accepted for exhibition from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD on Thursday 14 February, 10am – 5pm
    • The selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered.

Note: Collection of unsold work: Wednesday 24 April 2019, 10am to 5pm

Timeline for Open Entries - Summary of Key Dates

These are the key dates for all those wishing to submit work to this open exhibition.
  • Submission opens: Monday 1 October 2018, 12 noon 
  • Submission closes: Friday 4 January 2019, 12 noon
  • Pre-selection notification: Friday 11 January 2019, 12 noon [Log in to see if your work has been pre-selected]
  • Receiving Day (if pre-selected only): Saturday 9 February 2019, 10am - 5pm
  • Acceptance notification: Tuesday 12 February 2019, 12 noon
  • Collection of unaccepted work: Thursday 14 February 2019, 10am - 5pm
  • Collection of unsold work: Thursday 26 April 2019, 10am - 5pm

International Entrants

  • Artists from outside the UK may need to register for VAT, please check with HM Revenue and Customs: 
  • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post - Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 / Email: 

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

This is an organisation that has worked hard to generate sponsorship for the very many prizes.  So if you want your CV to include an award from an exhibition take a look at the ones below.

The many prizes and awards include:
  • The Winsor & Newton Award: £3,000
  • The Winsor & Newton Product Prize: £1,000 worth of Winsor & Newton art materials
  • The Leathersellers' Prize: £1,000 awarded by The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to an artist aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award: A certificate of commendation for an outstanding work chosen by the art critic and broadcaster Anthony J Lester
  • NEW The Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prizes: Two prizes of £250 each, awarded to a member and non-member for excellence
  • The Cass Art Prize: A prize of £200 of art supplies from Cass Art, awarded to a work demonstrating the most innovative use of colour
  • NEW The Chaoshan Watercolour Award: £250 awarded by Chinese artist, Professor Li Xiaocheng, for the best classically inspired watercolour
  • The Debra Manifold Memorial Award: Presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery, an award for the most innovative work in the exhibition
  • The Dry Red Press Award: The winning work will be published as a greeting card in the Dry Red Press 'Prize Winners' range, with royalties from the sale of the cards going to the artist
  • The Escoda Barcelona Award: A set of Escoda's finest brushes for an outstanding landscape painting
  • The Frank Herring Easel Award: An easel presented for an outstanding work in the exhibition by Frank Herring & Sons
  • The John Purcell Paper Prize: Paper to the value of £100 awarded to a work chosen by John Purcell
  • The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award: An award of £500 for what is considered the most outstanding use of light and colour in a watercolour
  • The Schmincke Award: A Schmincke watercolour set to an outstanding exhibitor
  • The Neil Meacher RI Watercolour Award: An award of £250 for an outstanding watercolour
  • Megan Fitzoliver Brush Award: A trophy, named The Pipe Fish, awarded for a work that most inspires a connection with the natural world
  • The James Fletcher-Watson RI Memorial Award: £500 for the best use of watercolour in the exhibition.

ARCHIVE: RI Annual Exhibition 2007-2018

The purpose of this video isn't to give you an in-depth view of all the paintings so much as to give you:
  • an idea of the overall size of the exhibition
  • a notion of how big the paintings are that get selected via the open entry
  • a view of the paintings that were selected this year
This exhibition has always been very popular with the provincial art societies whose members arrive in droves - on coaches!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Hockney adds another way of making art to his portfolio

Westminster Abbey has a new stained glass window designed by David Hockney RA - and the artist has added a new but traditional method of making art to his already eclectic portfolio of methods for creating art.

The window was commissioned to celebrate the reign of Her Majesty The Queen and was unveiled this week.

The new window is located in the Abbey’s north transept, which was previously just plain glass. It will in future be known formally as 'The Queen's Window'.

It's located in an Abbey that was founded in 960AD and has been the church in which the monarch is crowned since 1066. It is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs.  It's a very special place for new public art.

The Queens Window - a new stained glass window in a building which 
This post is about the process used to produce it and finishes with a video of David Hockney speaking about his very first stained glass window and possibly his very last artwork involving a tree.

About David Hockney

The reason for commissioning David Hockney was essentially that

  • he has been one of the most influential artists of The Queen's reign 
  • his contribution has been recognised to date with an Order of Merit and as a Companion of Honour
  • he has a reputation as an artist who works with a =wide range of media and has always been prepared to try new media - or, as in this case, a very traditional method of portraying a visual image
This is his first work in stained glass 

It must feel like a tremendous honour not only to be given the opportunity of celebrating the life of the Queen but also to be able to do so in a building where the artwork will last for centuries.

About the Commission

The artists's brief to provide something symbolic or representational of the subject, rather than a heraldic or figurative design, and for it to be recognisable as his work.

Hockney's response was to develop an image which reflects the The Queen's well known deep affection and connection to the countryside and her identity as a countrywoman.

He designed a country scene, set within his beloved Yorkshire. It features one of his favourite trees at the point in the year that he finds it most attractive - when the hawthorn blossom bursts forth in frothy clouds. He regards that as the celebratory aspect - akin to champagne bubbles!

Unsurprisingly, especially as the design was intended to be representative of his work, it also uses his distinct and vivid colour palette of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange and greens which he has used in the past for paintings of spring in the Yorkshire Wolds.

About the making of the window

Although David Hockney designed the window, its making was not his responsibility.

Barley Studio - a leading stained glass studio of over forty years based in York (which has a rather large Minster with rather a lot of stained glass!) - were commissioned to create the window using traditional techniques

The stained glass artists and craftspeople worked with David Hockney to translate his vision for the window into a reality in stained glass. 

The first task was to get the precise measurements of the window so as to create stencils of the different parts of the window. This was done in May 2017 - and I'm guessing they were at the top of some scaffolding or in a cherry picker for quite a lot of the time.

Barley Studio staff - Keith Marley and Helen Whittaker - take precise measurements 
The next stage involved creating the different sections of the window using lead and stained glass matching the palette determined by Hockney.

Helen Whitaker works on the window at the Barley Studio
When all parts of the window had been made they then needed to be assembled within the window void so as to create the stained glass window. Needless to say this is a job requiring some experience and expertise!

The installation of the Queen's Window
The stained glass window is a piece of art - and as with every piece of art created by Hockney it contains the artist's signature.

David Hockney's signature
Below is a video of David Hockney speaking about the whole process.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:
I’m very pleased that David Hockney accepted my invitation to design this window which is a celebration of the reign of Her Majesty The Queen. What he has produced is directly accessible with wonderful colours. It is a country scene to honour a woman who loves her country.

Dedication of the Window

The window will be dedicated formally by the Dean in the presence of the artist, his family, friends and invited guests on Tuesday 2nd October at 11:30am.

More about David Hockney

I've written about David Hockney on a number of occasions on this blog. You can READ my posts BELOW - they're organised backwards by years.

Those in 2006 and 2016 contain references to his artwork about the Yorkshire landscape - including the major exhibition he had at the Royal Academy of Art - which I will never ever forget

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Review: Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2018

The Society of Women Artists' 157th annual exhibition of 448 artworks - paintings and drawings in all media, fine art prints and ceramics, sculpture & 3D works - opened to the public yesterday in all three galleries of the Mall Galleries and continues until 1pm on 30 September 2018.

The end wall of the Main Gallery

This is an international exhibition with artwork being produced by women artists from the UK and abroad.

President Soraya French (fourth from left) with her fellow exhibition curators and organisers and curators
It's always most rewarding to see a national art society improve the quality of its annual exhibition over time - and the exhibition has improved yet again.

To my mind, this annual exhibition can now hold its own with the annual exhibitions of the FBA societies whose home is at the Mall Galleries.

Indeed the SWA was once a member of the FBA - before it withdrew - and I'm wondering whether this re-invigorated art society might find it worthwhile to review whether it makes sense to apply to be a member again. (I've recommended some number-crunching and weighing up of pros and cons! For the history of the society see the end of this blog post)

Below you can:
  • view photos of the 2018 exhibition 
  • read who won which prizes - which are not insignificant - and see the related artwork 
  • read about what I thought of the exhibition

View of the north wall of the Main Gallery

You can also view
The new SWA President Soraya French attributes the improvement of the quality of work on display in no small part to the practice introduced by the previous President Sue Jelley of SELECTING ALL THE ARTWORK ON DISPLAY - including that by members This means that members must raise their game to stand a chance of selection against an increasingly robust open entry. To me this makes for a robust and sustainable art society in the long term as the open entry is the future life blood of an art society and without regular injections of new blood, an art society is at risk of its members becoming complacent - as has been seen elsewhere in the past.
(See also my comments on this topic in my review of the 2016 exhibition.)

Exhibition Metrics

There are 449 artworks in the exhibition. 
The ratio of artwork by members and non-members selected for the exhibition is 50:50
This is admirable and reflects the description of the annual exhibition as being an "open exhibition".

Members artworks

  • Just under 300 works were submitted for selection by members 
  • 225 works (75%) were selected

Open Entry

  • 1656 entries were received via the open entry from non-members
  • 427 artworks by non members works went to the final selection panel
  • 224 artworks were selected for the exhibition.

Prizes and Awards

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

To hang an exhibition you need a few tools

Yesterday I was in the Mall Galleries as the finishing touches were put to the hang of the 2018 Annual Exhibition of the Society of Women Artists.

I'll be writing the review of this excellent exhibition tomorrow.

In the meantime here's an insight to some of the tools that the Tech team at the Mall Galleries use to hang an exhibition of 450 artworks in two days.

Basic tools - tapes, level, screws and cordless drill

First the artwork has to be laid out on the floor in terms of how it needs to be hung on the wall

Then the tech team and their super duper kit mobile home move in

The Tech Team Toolkit - on wheels!
A place for everything - and some of it in place and some of it in use
On the reverse there are tapes and wedges for every possible use

Wedges and tapes
Finally the big steps come out so as to adjust the lighting so it enhances the framed artwork on the wall

Very very big steps for adjusting lights
The Tech Team form part of the exhibition support for those hiring the galleries for their exhibition

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Christa Zaat is rewriting art history for female artists

At the weekend I came across Christa Zaat for the first time - and found out how she was building a huge resource about Female Artists in History as a Facebook Page - which has 91,000 followers and a very high rating of 4.9 out of 5 by those who have reviewed the page.

Female Artists in History Facebook Page - with the wonderful painting by Rosa Bonheur as the banner 
She had shared an image relating to Maria Sibylla Merian the 17th century entymologist and botanical artist- and I commented that I had a major profile / resource page about her  (see About Maria Sibylla Merian)

Her response was that I was doing for my area (botanical art) what she was trying to do for female artists in history!

Christa Zaat
I then started to
The aim of this project is to give a voice to those female artists, that can't speak for themselves anymore. With this project I hope to get an extensive insight in how many female artists we have had in the past, which works they created, with who they collaborated, etc.
The introduction explains that the project is actually a joint project - and it's not just Christa on her own. Also how the resources is much more than just the very frequent posts about female artists. Check out the photo albums!
For the people who don't know the curators behind this page, we are Christa Zaat and Carel Ronk, living in The Netherlands.
We started this page on 20 April 2014, wanting to show the world all the talented and skilled women artists we hadn't heard about at school, but were certainly there. In 2015, we became a non profit foundation [Stichting Female Artist in History]
Since the beginning, we've been posting nearly 7000 posts per year. Each woman gets her own album, and in this moment we have nearly 2000 albums!. Over 4000 names are still waiting to be researched and added! So we have more than enough work for the next decade.
It's a really admirable project - and I'm amazed that it's taken me so long to come across it - but I shall now be a regular follower.

I've tried to do my own bit to raise awareness of women artists in history - but this endeavour by Christa is something else again.

I very much recommend all those interested in the art created by female artists in the past to read the interview on Rewriting History (see above link) and sign up to follow this Facebook Page.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Who knew Giles from Gogglebox was an artist?

I'm devoted fan of Gogglebox and have often wondered what Giles and Mary - the middle England middle aged couple in the rural cottage in Wiltshire with the William Morris wallpaper - "did" in terms of gainful employment.

She seems to spend a lot of time on trains and he seems to spend a lot of time "doing things" outside.

It turns out - courtesy of an interview in the Guardian - Mary and Giles from Gogglebox: ‘Fame hasn't changed us. We fly under the radar' and My life as a Googlebox star - and some judicious googling of their real names - that.....

  • Mary Killen has been writing The Spectator’s Dear Mary column for very many years and regular contributions in many other national publications (the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express), plus monthly columns for Marie Claire magazine and Harpers & Queen) - and 
  • Giles Wood also writes - occasionally - for The Oldie - and is an artist.
Yes, that's right Giles is AN ARTIST.

I never knew! Well who knew? I certainly didn't.

Turns out 
  • he was taught draughtsmanship by Maggi Hambling
  • he's a good oil painter
  • he obviously gets quite a few commissions to sit in people's drawing rooms to paint the interiors of their rather posh homes
  • or the exteriors of their rather posh homes.
What's more he produces impressive paintings of complex subjects. I think he's a man with an eye for detail and painting exactly what's there. He's certainly got a very good eye for both colour and tone. According to his wife he has turned down a number of offers to have his paintings exhibited in London - which I think is a great pity as I'd love to see one up close and personal!

Check his paintings out for yourself. (I'm itching to give him a lesson on how to photograph your oil painting before you frame it! I think I'll wrote a blog post!)

He paints rural landscapes and his website suggests at least some are painted plein air. I'm very definitely somebody who appreciates an artist who likes big vistas. That's because I'm rather partial to a BIG landscape myself.

His website has a gallery for his Landscapes

Eschewing the modernist aesthetic to pare away detail to the logical conclusion of the blank canvas, Wood enjoys painting the clutter of peoples’ lives and popular demand has recently led him away from his trademark landscapes to specialise in interiors.
Paintings of Interiors by Giles Wood
If you want to commission him you have to email him via his wife Mary.

Why does that not surprise me? 😉

Friday, September 21, 2018

Derwent Art Prize 2018: Prizewinners and Exhibition

The Derwent Art Prize 2018 prizewinners are listed below together with views of the exhibition currently on display in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries in London - until 5pm on Sunday 23rd September 2018.

View of part of the Derwent Art Prize exhibition 2018
The Derwent Art Prize 2018 exhibition will tour to venues across the UK including

Derwent Art Prize 2018 - Prizewinners

The nationalities of those receiving prizes (and the catalogue) underline that this has become a truly international exhibition. 

The Prizewinners were announced after the exhibition opened.  I saw the exhibition before the prizewinners were announced (last night) and it was difficult to tell who would win the prizes. There's certainly a lot of good calibre work within the exhibition.

First Prize (£6,000): France Bizot (France) - Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary
colour pencil on book 22cm x 19cm
copyright France Bizot
French artist France Bizot’s intricate hand-drawn books illustrate one way in which drawing can be realised in three dimensions Derwent is proud to announce the finalists and exhibitors of the 2018 Derwent Art Prize

France Bizot is an artist who draws in printed books. She also has a second work selected for the exhibition - of two graphite drawings also within a book. Both are contained within the display boxes on plinths.

Her work belongs to the great tradition of those who produce art in published books. Not artists books as such - as these are artists who produce books of their drawings - so much as artists who use books as their support and their medium for their artwork (eg see 10 Visual Artists Who Use Books as Their Medium for more not quite the same)

France Bizot was born in 1959 and lives in Paris France. She is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale SupĂ©rieure des Arts DĂ©coratifs. Prior to becoming an artist she had a a successful career as an artistic director in the advertising industry. In 2002 she became an artist and has in the past created drawings based on images appropriated from social media. Her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions, including Fondation EDF, Paris, BACKSLASH, Paris, Galerie François Giraudeau, Paris, Galerie PrivĂ©e EBC, Paris, Espace Beaurepaire, Paris, and Young Gallery, Brussels.

Her works are contained in display boxes placed on plinths

Second Prize (£3,000): Jovanka Stanojevic (Serbia) - Hair

Hair 2
Graphite pencil on paper 33 x 33cm
copyright Jovanka Stanojevic
Jovanka Stanojevic is a Serbian artist living and working in Belgrade.

She has been awarded a BA in Painting (2005) and an MFA in drawing (2009) from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is currently completing her PHD dissertation. Since 2008, she has worked as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Art and Design Megatrend University, Belgrade.

Her professional art work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Serbia, Germany, England, Italy, Greece, Spain and Switzerland and she has received a number of painting awards.
Her drawings and paintings are a part of public and private collections in Serbia, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Greece, Italy and Denmark.

This is a video about her work which I found online

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition 2018

I visited the exhibition for the The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018 this afternoon. It's at the Mall Galleries (10am - 5pm) until 23rd September after which the exhibition will be travelling to:
Admission to all the galleries is free.

The exhibition is being held at the same time as the Derwent Art Prize - and the combination of the two exhibitions in the Mall Galleries making this a RECOMMENDED VISIT this week - before they both close at 5pm on Sunday 23rd September 2018.

The entrance to the exhibitions for two major art competitions
The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018 and The Derwent Art Prize 2018
Below you can read my impressions - about:
You can also see some "views" of the paintings on the walls in the exhibition in the NEW slideshow banner images at the top of my Facebook Page - which give a very good sense of the look of the show.

If you can't get to the exhibition, do take a look at the website because you can see:
  • all the paintings - in a long column underneath the details about the exhibition
  • click a painting and see it individually - with full details (with the caption MINUS  media but PLUS price - make of that what you will!) and a space for comments. I've included links to these below.
  • plus there's also a link (bottom right hand corner) to see each painting at a larger size. This is presumably the digital image submitted for the competition based on the fact some are unframed when photographed. These provide a good guideline re. quality of photograph required for the competition for those aspiring to enter in 2019.  
If you do go and see the show and compare the painting on the wall with the large painting on the website you can also tell which artists 'enhanced' their chances of getting selected. I'm not commenting further or naming names in this review. However I might do so in future ones....

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A bit of a hiatus

I’m writing this blog post on my Mini iPad because my iMac has had to go to the Apple Hospital to have a hard drive replacement.

One of the bonuses of always buying from Apple is that when they have identified a problem with hardware they have installed - in this instance a Seagate Barrcuda 3TB hard drive which has been the subject of lawsuits due to its very high rate of failure after year 3 - they’ll replace it free of charge. Even if you are out of warranty!!  The fact I’ve just saved £335 is the good news.

The bad news is that I now need to use my Mini iPad for blogging for the next 5-7 days. Even using my Bluetooth keyboard, this is not the easiest of exercises when one is used to a 27” screen - used at 125%!

What’s more the last time I used an iPad to blog was when I was in Provence in 2011 (see Four Go Painting in Provence).

Since then the iOS has moved on and the Blogger App no longer works - because Google has not bothered to commit resources to updating it.

Plus trying to upload images from an iPad to Blogger seems really difficult - given my basic principle is do not overload your blog with very large images which only serve to slow down your blog for readers.

Why Blogger cannot access the photos on my Mini iPad - when accessing Blogger via Chrome - is beyond me. It appears that in order to get access to my photos I have to allow Google to access and upload and archive them!!!  Have they not read any of the recent legal imperatives around data privacy?

Anyway I’m trying to think of ways of posting which are simpler!  Minus images is one way!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019 - Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019 has been published and the first prize has been increased to £20,000!

This art competition
  • promotes representational art in two-dimensional works in any painting or drawing media
  • has a significant prize pot (see below)
  • aims to display 100 of the very best original representational artworks (but in part the number depends on size and the quality of the submission)
  • at an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in March 2019
  • accepts submissions  up until 5pm on Monday 3 December 2018
The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize has been running since 2005 and I've been covering it since 2008 (see the end for my past blog posts about the competition which contain images of artwork selected). It's an art competition with a generally good reputation and one which is particularly relevant to
  • those who enjoy representational painting 
  • younger painters less than 30 years old.

About the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019

Approximately 200 artists will be longlisted from the digital entry and invited to deliver their actual works after initial selection from digital entries. Following review by the Judging Panel, approximately 100 works will then be selected for exhibition in March 2019 at the Mall Galleries, London.

Last year a record 2,194 entries were received for the 2018 Prize. Of these
  • 92 drawings and paintings (4.2% of the submission) were selected for exhibition
  • by 83 artists 
Melissa Scott-Miller won the £2,000 People's Prize in Lynn Painter-Stainers 2018 with this painting


In terms of prizes it's certainly one of the more prestigious art prizes in the UK - particularly for younger artists who are eligible for two worthwhile prizes in addition to the others.

The total pot for prize money for 2018 is £35,000 split as follows:
  • the Lynn Painter-Stainers First Prize (£20,000) 
  • a second prize (£4,000) 
  • the Young Artist Award (£4,000) for young artists aged 25 or under. The aim is to promote and support fresh new talent. 
  • the Brian Botting Prize (£5,000) for an outstanding representation of the human figure by an artist aged 30 or under 
  • The Daphne Todd Prize: £2,000 
The £2,000 People's Prize which was introduced in 2018 seems to have gone and been replaced by the Daphne Todd Prize.

Lynn Painter-Stainer 2018 Prizes - Left to right:
Young Artist Prize | Second Prize | First prize
I wasn't a fan of last year's winner (see and I think it very interesting what those visiting the exhibition voted for - see first image above.
The judges will be looking for work that demonstrates the very best in creative representational painting and promotes the skill of draughtsmanship. (website)
For me, there seemed to me to be more of an emphasis on 'innovation' and 'creativity' last year and draughtsmanship seemed to take a lower profile. For example there were no drawings in the exhibition at all whereas there have been a number of works on paper in many exhibitions in the past - such as the composite work in ink on paper by the winner in 2017 - who is a Judge this year!

Winner of Lynn Painter-Stainers First Prize 2017
Lunchtime, Liverpool Street by Christopher Green
ink on paper 142 x 136 cm £5,800


The Judges Panel has changed and retained only one Judge from last year.

There are three artists - including two former first prizewinners in this competition plus two gallery directors - one commercial and one the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery.  It's a good mix.
The panel of judges will review all entries from the digital submission process. Only works shortlisted from the initial digital submission will be received for final judging in person - at the end of January


The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition will be at the Mall Galleries in London between 5 – 17 March 2019 (Open 10am-5pm daily, free entry)

The Exhibition will be curated by the artist Sam Wadsworth and Andrew Wilton, the Honorary Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Academy of Arts.

How to Enter

These are:


Artists - Who can enter

  • Living artists over the age of 18, who are resident in the British Isles - irrespective of whether or not they are a British citizen. 
  • You can be professional or amateur artists
  • British citizens living abroad cannot enter.
Two of the prizes are age-related. It is IMPOSSIBLE to tell from the website what the date is for determining age - despite highlighting this issue FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS! Plus nowhere on the Entry Form are artists asked to state their age. The "normal rule" of most other competitions, that follow good practice and specify a date, is that the determining date is the deadline for entry.

Eligible artwork - What can you enter?

  • Original - which (although they don't say) means in art competition terms that you can assert copyright for your work. What the law says is that your work is derivative and not eligible to claim copyright if you have copied another original artwork done by somebody else - and that includes photographs.
  • two-dimensional works in ANY painting or drawing media.
  • MUST be completed in the last three years (assume the date ends on the deadline for entry)
  • MUST NOT have been previously exhibited. (Presumably within the three years which ends with the deadline for entry - again no date is specified)
If your work has been exhibited in a solo or group show in a public or commercial gallery it is not eligible for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize. However, if your work has been in an open studio show or shown as part of your degree show or has been shown online, then it is eligible for the Prize.FAQs
  • All works must be for sale, except for commissioned portraits (which must be marked NFS on rear). Note that Commission of 40% + VAT will be levied on works sold during or as a result of the exhibition, or by means of the website, (i.e. your sale price nets you a sum equivalent to 52% of the price you state if your artwork is sold)
  • available for exhibition
  • You can submit up to 4 works
  • Longest dimension - including frame - must not exceed 60 inches (152 cms).

Entry Fee - what does it cost?

  • Entry is £15 per work (£8 per work for students).


  • 3rd December 2018 - Deadline for online entries, by 5pm (GMT)
  • 21st December 2018 - Results of initial judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 25-26th January 2019 - Shortlisted artists submit works to FBA 10am-5pm (4pm on Saturday)
  • 29th January 2019 - Results of final round judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 5 - 17th March 2019 Exhibition at Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1
(Note: the FAQs have NOT been updated for the new dates for the 2019 competition)

Entry Process - How do you enter?

This is a link to the Rules and Guidelines which you MUST read in full before you enter.
Don't blame the organisers if something happens which you didn't expect because you only skimmed them and never sat down and read them properly!

Stage 1: How to enter

  • ALL Entry is digital and online - via the secure 
  • Digital Images must be: 
    • 300 dpi 
    • file formats: JPG, TIFF, or PNG 
    • maximum file size of 1MB (increased from previous years - at last!) - but it still means a pretty small image in terms of pixel dimensions for length and height @ 300 dpi 
    • files titled using your name and at least part of the title of the artwork 
  • Submit your entry online using this online entry form.
BIG TIP: Make sure you get the best possible digital image of your artwork

Stage 2: How to submit work

You only need to submit your actual painting or drawing if you've passed the initial selection filter at Stage 1.
  • Typically around 200 artworks make it through to Stage 2 
  • If you pass, this means your art now has a 50% chance of being selected for exhibition so don;t give them an excuse to exclude it e.g. frame which is not fit for exhibition
BIG TIP: You cannot assume you can book a framer at short notice - especiallyover the Christmas/New Year period. What this means is
  • if your work is not framed then you need a framer booked and on standby 
  • then cancel the job once you've got the result if you do NOT get selected for Stage 2. Not nice for the framer but there really is no other option (speaks one who got caught out badly on one occasion when every framer was booked up in advance!)

You need to:

Good luck if you get this far! I hope I see your artwork in the exhibition....

More about the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize (2008-2018)