Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: 73rd Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists

The 72rd exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists is in all three galleries of the Mall Galleries until 5pm on Saturday 20th October 2018.

The exhibition contains just over 400 artworks comprising paintings drawings and prints in a variety of media plus sculpture and 3D artworks. The dominant colour of the exhibition is a blue turquoise punctuated by greys and red/oranges.
The Royal Society of Marine Artists is the focal point for much of Britain's finest contemporary marine art, and many of the country's leading marine artists are elected Members of the Society.
I've been trying to make a video of the exhibition post hard disc crash - but it looks like I need to get on with (1) updating my operating system to make it worthwhile to (2) upgrade to the latest video software - so that (3) I can make videos. At the moment I'm limited to imovie on my iPhone - but you can see two quick videos of the exhibition on my Facebook Page.

The stand-out artist for me is a non member called Pete Nance from East Looe in Cornwall (originally from the Isles of Scilly).  His panoramic paintings of harbours - particularly Polperro - are absolutely outstanding.
  • Sadly he does not have a website - although he does have a Facebook Account (but not an FB Page) and is a member of Liskerrett Artists. If he did have a website he'd be getting lots of enquiries about his artwork. 
  • Unusually for an Open Entrant, he had all four paintings accepted for the exhibition.
  • Unsurprisingly he won two of the awards. 
  • Surprisingly he's NOT a candidate for membership although to my mind he's an absolute shoe-in should he apply.  I'm hoping the RSMA will encourage him to apply.
Paintings by Pete Nance

Apart from Pete's paintings, the painting that appealed to me the most was a very quiet watercolour painting of dawn on the Truro river.  It's very much the sort of painting I'd like to see more of in art competition like the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition - where the properties and pleasures of watercolour are clear to see.

Dawn, Malpas Reach, Cornwall by Keith Noble RSMA
watercolour £950
Paul Banning's unusual aerial perspective in his watercolour painting Cabanes du Salaison, France also appealed.

Watercolour paintings by Paul Banning RSMA
I noticed LOTS of waves this year.

I also noted what I think might be the first digital photomontage in this exhibition. I noted last year how it is never afraid to allow submissions in various media.

Seascape 69 by Clair Gill
Digital photomontage £450
Below are photos of the exhibition.

Threadneedle Space

North Galleries


Prizewinners are listed below - together with their paintings. You can see the awards being presented to the artists on the RSMA website (and well done to the RSMA for actually getting award winners on their website promptly together with good photographs of the presentation)

The prizes were dominated by wins by the non-members - which is always good to see for those who submit work via the open entry.

Awards won by members

The R K Burt Canson Prize: Peter Cronin RSMA
Morning Sun watercolour £950

The Kenneth Denton Award: James Bartholomew RSMA

Awards won by non-members

Pete Nance won two awards.

The Artist Magazine Award: Pete Nance
The Artist Magazine Award: Pete Nance
(All Works - this one is Sunlight on water, Polperro £3,950)
The Charles Pears AwardWinner: Pete Nance

The Charles Pears AwardWinner: Pete Nance
Reflections, Polperro Harbour £4,750
The Derek Gardner Award: Maarten Platje
The Derek Gardner Award: Maarten Platje 
The Clipper Ship Sir Lancelot passing South Foreland
Martin also won the The Classic Boat Award

The Russell and Chapple Prize: Claire Paul 
Sea near Cancale - acrylic and charcoal £700

The RSMA New Generation Award: Frances Bell RP
Readers may remember that Frances Bell was elected to membership of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters - and was featured earlier this year on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. She also paints animals extremely well!  Personally I think she should be submitting her marine landscapes.

The Baltic Exchange Award: David Atkins
The Sea at Portland Bill £3,850

The Sea Pictures Gallery Award: Henrietta Graham 
Newlyn Fish Market £8,000
I'm more familiar with seeing Henrietta painting chefs. Seems as if she may have moved on to painting those who supply the raw materials for chefs.....

The Topbond Marine Award: Winner: Tony Feld
Portslade Dock Crane £1,200
The technique used for differentiating colours reminded me of the 'Posterize' filer in Photoshop

I can't find the winner of The Winsor and Newton Oil Prize in my photos - however that might be because I have a particular aversion to heavy black frames and this one had one of those.

The winner was Lucinda Storm and she certainly has a nice website and I found the pic on the Mall Galleries Instagram!

Candidates for Membership

The route to membership of the RSMA is via the open entry and being selected for exhibition.
Most of the candidates for membership had their artwork on one wall in the Threadneedle Space.

The candidate who impressed me was Tony Williams. His two low key and close cropped paintings were both very unusual and outstanding.

Two paintings by Tony Williams
I'll be back to update this post as I sat on the tube going home counting numbers of artists and numbers of paintings in terms of members and non-members - but still need to crunch and compare - and I'm now off to another exhibition.....

If thinking of applying for this exhibition next year, below you can find:
  • this year's call for entries
  • reviews of annual exhibitions in previous years.

Archive of posts about past annual exhibitions

2016: Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition 2016
2015: Review: 70th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Marine Artists
2014: Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists - Review
2013: Review: Royal Society of Marine Artists - 68th Annual Exhibition
2012: Review: 2012 Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
2011: Review: Royal Society of Marine Artists - Annual Exhibition 2011
2010: REVIEW: Royal Society of Marine Artists - 65th Annual Exhibition
2007: Celebrating the sea with the Royal Society of Marine Artists

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