Friday, April 28, 2023

The RBA Rome Scholarship and the Rising Stars exhibit at the Royal Overseas League

Rising Stars is an initiative associated with the Royal Society of British Artists Rome Scholarship. This exhibition, at the Royal Overseas League, is one of the benefits for 40 artists competing for the annual RBA Rome Scholarship.

Rising Stars - part of the exhibition

The Rome Scholarship

The Rome Scholarship is limited to figurative art in painting, drawing, printmaking or sculpture

Thanks to a special bursary, The Rome Scholarship is open to artists aged 18-35 who live, work or study in the UK.

The call for entries for the Rome Scholarship 2023 closed earlier this year. Those entering have to provide six images of recent work to be provided together with a completed application form (and a very nominal fee). 

The prizes vary

Semi Finalists

  • Forty semi-finalists will have a work in the RBA’s RISING STARS Exhibition, which takes place in April 2023 at the Royal Over-Seas League in Mayfair, London


  • Three finalists will have a work in the RBA’s Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries in 2024
  • The two runners-up will also receive a prize of £250 each

Winner of the Rome Scholarship

The Scholarship offers:
  • September 2023: Four weeks accommodation at Sala Uno, a highly prestigious gallery and international arts centre in the heart of Rome
  • Staying in a self-contained apartment, situated within a wonderful and extensive walled garden in the grounds of the gallery
  • Studio space which will be available within the gallery
  • Two meals per day, provided at a nearby restaurant
  • Return flights to Rome
  • £1000 prize money

Rising Stars Exhibition at the Royal Overseas League

You too can view this exhibition at the Royal Overseas League in St. James. Admission is free and the exhibition is open to the public between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

The exhibition opened earlier this week and is on until 2nd July 2023.

View of the artwork around the stairwell

For those who cannot get to see it - and particularly for those who might be interested in a submission for the 2024 Rome Scholarship - I've also uploaded some photos I took yesterday to an album on my Facebook Page.

RBA RISING STARS, produced in partnership with the Royal Society of British Artists, showcases the extraordinary talent of 40 artists shortlisted for RBA Rome Scholarship 2023.

This exhibition captures creativity in the moment and showcases the trajectory of what is yet to come in contemporary art practice from the relative viewpoint of the present day. Amongst other awards for the finalists is a one-month residency at Sala Uno, an arts centre in the heart of Rome. The history of this collaboration with ROSL, which hosts the work of young artists aged 35 and under, began in 2017 and acknowledges the depth of emerging talent present across the UK in figurative forms of contemporary art.

The artworks I liked the most

So what follows is not official - it's just my view! 

Best artwork

By a country mile in my view. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

EXTENSION of Deadline for Landscape Artist of the Year (Series 9)

Do not fear! The deadline for the Call for Entries for the next Series (9) of Landscape Artist of the Year is not tomorrow. 

REJOICE! The deadline has been extended until noon on Monday 1st May 2023.

If you paint landscapes regularly you've still got time to enter!

They do this - extended the deadline - every single year.

Normally I read this as meaning that 
  1. they've had a look at all the applications they've received to date and 
  2. they are short of decent calibre artists for the pods.

So if you fancy having a go, you've got all of the weekend and the morning of the Bank Holiday on Monday to get your submission together - even if you've not done anything about it to date!! :)

How to Enter

You can read all the details about the Call for Entries which covers:

  • who can enter
  • terms & conditions
  • eligible landscape paintings for your entry
  • how to complete your digital entry
in my blog post about the Call for Entries: Landscape Artist of the Year 2024 (Series 9) (published December 2022)
I cannot emphasise enough HOW IMPORTANT THE SUBMISSION LANDSCAPE ISThis is the painting that:
  • gets you into the competition;
  • counts as part of the assessment of how you might deliver a commission - given there is no limit on the amount of time required for your submission painting
  • decides whether or not you will be a Heat Winner i.e. it will be lined up alongside your heat painting if you get in a pod and get shortlisted to determine who wins
  • goes to the Semi Finals and the Finals - should you get that far - and 
  • counts as part of the process for deciding the overall winner
In other words it's never ever JUST the Heat Painting which decides how you progress in the competition.

My blog post also includes

  • a commentary on the very particular nature of the Landscape Artist of the Year competition
  • how to paint a landscape in 4 hours
  • why Sky Arts really needs to upgrade the competence of the people in the pods or get better at picking good people (because some are regularly outperformed by the wildcard artists who weren't selected for a pod!)
Don't forget that only the pod artists who get some expenses and it's entirely possible you could be out of pocket if you decided to be a pod artist.

The Series 9 Heats will be filmed around the UK on the following dates
  • Heats One and Two: in the week commencing 12th June 2023
  • Heats Three and Four: in the week commencing 19th June 2023
  • Heats Five and Six: in the week commencing 26th June 2023
  • in July(?) 2023 re. the Semi Finals, Finals (and Commission?)
If you get a wildcard spot there's no guarantee that the heat you're allocated to is one near your home. Last year people were flying out to Northern Ireland!

Monday, April 24, 2023

RI Annual Exhibition 2023: Analysis of art sales metrics and pricing artwork for the future

This is my third post about pricing in recent art society exhibitions. Today it's about the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) Annual Open Exhibition 2023 at the Mall Galleries in London in April 2023. 

The exhibition is the biggest exhibition of watercolours in the UK. This is my review of the exhibition Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Annual Exhibition 2023 in which I indicated I'd be doing this exhibition metrics post after the exhibition had closed.

Sales for this exhibition take place:
  • during the exhibition - to visitors
  • online - before, during and after the exhibition in the Mall Galleries

Below you can find charts I've produced from a lot of careful counting of artworks hung in the exhibition and which ones sold.

Plus some fairly robust comments.....

Exhibition Metrics: Artwork Exhibited and Artworks Sold

The purpose of the post is to illustrate some points about pricing which I've been making for some time - which are again underlined by the results I got from my analysis

This post considers three aspects
  • the number of artworks exhibited and sold in each price range - analysed between member and non-member artworks
  • observations on sales - in different price bands - for both members and non-members.
  • pricing lessons for:
    • the RI and Mall Galleries
    • member artists
    • artists selected via the open entry - when entering in 2024.
My charts reveal
  • which are the most popular price bands for sales.
  • which price bands have the most unsold work!

There are a number of important points - about which I'll comment more below - which, in summary are:

  • Price point hurdles are VERY important determinants of sale 
  • Affordable art sells well
  • There's an effective ceiling limit at the Mall Galleries - above which few artworks will sell
  • Excessive prices rarely generate sales for unknown artists - you need to be aware of the audience an exhibition attracts
  • Expensive artworks are harder to sell during a period of economic uncertainty

All/any pricing ALWAYS needs to take economic context into account. This is particularly relevant to some members who normally sell and sold no work in this exhibition.

I'm uploading larger versions of my pricing/sales charts to a post about them on my Facebook Page.


  • 449 artworks were selected for hanging in the exhibition
  • 68 artworks sold - represented 18% of the artwork hung
  • open artists sold more artwork than RI members
    • 40 by RI members (17% of artwork hung)
    • 43 by artists selected from the Open Entry (20% of artwork hung)
  • most sales were for less than £1,500 - which has been a really important hurdle price for a very long time.
[NOTE: This post has been corrected for an error I made which I spotted this morning in the comments immediately after the first chart - and updated.] 

What proportion of artwork sold - across different price ranges?

Two price ranges saw the most sales - and there were few sales after £1,500

RI Annual Exhibition 2023
Comparison of total numbers of artworks sold and exhibited

  • Under £500: 36% of artworks hung sold - and most of these relate to small/smaller artworks by open entrants
  • £501-£750: 24% of artwork hung sold - again mostly in relation to smaller artworks
This is not untypical of what happens in an economic context of uncertainty such as 
  • the current cost of living crisis and 
  • concern around increases in interest rates - which has NOT abated (i.e. this applies to all upcoming exhibitions too)
Exactly the same thing happened when we had the banking crisis in 2008 - which is when I started monitoring prices and sales. Sales were much better at the "affordable art" end and basically sales crashed among the more expensive price ranges. Interestingly I could spot established artists on the wall who had learned the hard lessons of 2008 and adjusted what they submitted accordingly. (In 2009 we had a LOT of "play it safe during the recession" exhibitions and this is what I've been expecting to see this year)

Other observations which can be made are:
  • the first four price ranges have a similar number of artworks hung
  • however the number of sales in the first four price ranges DIMINISH as the price rises
  • after £1500 (a VERY important price hurdle observed by me in numerous FBA exhibitions)
    • the numbers of artworks hung drop off dramatically
    • the drop in sales is even more dramatic
    • only 6 artworks sold above £1500
  • nobody sold above £5,000
I am absolutely certain there are artists who would have sold or sold more if they'd had better information about 
  • how sales work relative to prices in these galleries - and 
  • how best to price in relation to price hurdles
  • how best to price in a time of economic uncertainty

What are the price hurdles?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

RWS Open Exhibition 2023: Analysis of prices and sales of selected artwork

This is the second in my series of posts about pricing for art society exhibitions relates to the annual RWS Open Exhibition of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS)

View of the RWS Open from outside the Bankside Gallery on the South Bank

The RWS holds its exhibitions at the Bankside Gallery (next to Tate Modern) which despite being a very decent space for many exhibitions is not actually big enough to hold a combined member and non-member exhibition. It does however have an extremely good footfall outside - if they can be attracted down the steps.....

Consequently, the RWS holds 

This post relates to that latter show - the RWS Open held in the Bankside Gallery in March 2023. You can browse the artworks hung in the exhibition here

View of part of the exhibition

In order to produce this post this is what I did
  • I visited on the afternoon of the last day (19th March) and went around the Gallery and very carefully identified all the sales and marked these up on the list of artworks with the sames
  • I then analysed the sheet which listed all artworks in terms of price ranges
  • I then compared the number of sales in each of those price range and produced an excel spreadsheet with the results tabulated and charted... which you can see below.

This chart compares the number of artworks hung to the number of sales. It shows you 

  • (light column) the distribution of prices - between price ranges - of the artworks selected to be hung in the RWS Open. 
  • (darker column) the distribution of sales in those same ranges.

My observations can be found below

153 artworks were hung. Of these just 17 sold (11% of work hung).  It needs to be remembered that this is an exhibition of artists who are not as well known and many will lack followers and collectors. Hence I would not expect a high percentage of sales. 

In the various price ranges the chart above demonstrates a very pronounced bias towards more affordable art with the £500 and under category accounting for over 70% of the sales. This is the category commonly considered to be one which accounts for a lot of "impulse buys" which is a very important part of any gallery sales.

RWS Open at the Bankside Gallery

If looked at in detail, in terms of percentages:
  • £500 and less: 46% of the selected artworks hung and 71% of total sales
  • £501-£750: 22% of artwork hung and 12% of total sales
  • £751-£1000: 14% of artwork hung and 12% of total sales
  • £1001-£1500: 8% of artwork hung; NO SALES
  • £1501-£2000: 5% of artwork hung; NO SALES
  • £2001-£2500: 1% of artwork hung; 6% of sales (i.e. the one painting in this category sold. This was The Shed by Stewart Smith who also won the Dry Red Press Award)
  • £2500-£5000: 4% of artwork hung; NO SALES
This analysis certainly reinforces the importance of having a price range in an open exhibition below £500.

There's a conventional view that watercolours are worth less than paintings in oil. It's certainly true that oil paintings typically sell for more than watercolours. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

74th Annual Summer Exhibition of the Chelsea Arts Society: FINAL call for entries

It's worth noting that the 74th Annual Summer Exhibition of the Chelsea Art Society, in June at Chelsea Old Town Hall, has £12,000 in prizes. That's broadly equivalent to some national art societies!

  • The aim of the exhibition is to show recent work by Painters, Draughtsmen, Printmakers and Sculptors - and for open entrants to exhibit alongside members of this popular Art Society.
  • However, the deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday 23rd April 2023 - which means you have ONLY five days left to organise an online entry.
The centre of our ethos is to enable artists to exhibit and sell their work in the heart of Chelsea. If we are successful in doing this, it allows artists to continue creating and being seen.


Why not take a look at the prizes and see if any of these appeal to you?

Young Artists:

  • Wedlake Bell for a Young Artist 35yrs and Under, painting or sculpture - £1500

Older Artists:

  • Lady Hamlyn prize for an artist over 65yrs, painting or sculpture - £250

Exhibition Opportunity:

  • Green and Stone Award to host a two week Solo Show in their Chelsea Gallery or a gift voucher worth £1000 (to be redeemed against anything in store except art work.)

Media Publicity

  • Artist and Illustrators - feature article in the magazine 


  • Sculpture for an Interior Space, Savills - £1000
  • Heatherleys Award for a sculpture - £500
  • Slaski Sculpture Award - £500 
  • West Dean College Award, for Sculptural Integrity - £200 voucher to use at the College
  • West Dean College 'Visitors Choice' Sculpture Award - £100 voucher to use at the college


  • Simon Macnab Award for a watercolour - £500
  • St Cuthberts Mill, for a work on paper - 20 sheets of watercolour paper worth £120

Painting or sculpture

  • Handelsbanken for Artistic Innovation, painting or sculpture - £1000

Painting or print

  • Julian Barrow prize for a Spirit of Adventure, painting or print - £500


  • Boden Award for a print - £500


  • Heatherleys Award for a drawing, a course worth - £340 

Chelsea oriented

  • Cadogan Award for Culture in the Chelsea Community - £1000

London oriented

  • Agnes Reeve Memorial Award for a painting of London, for a CAS member £100
View of a previous exhibition in the Main Hall of Chelsea Old Town Hall

Call for Entries

Full details can be found on the OESS website

Exhibition Details

Who can enter?

  • Anybody - living anywhere in the world.

What can you enter?

  • ELIGIBLE artwork includes paintings, drawings, original prints, sculpture 
  • INELIGIBLE artwork includes Digital, Video, Sound, Photography, Needlework, Beadwork, Pressed Flowers, Mosaic or Stained Glass, Giclee prints
  • Artwork for sale ONLY. Pricing should include 
    • VAT if applicable (this is the artist's responsibility)
    • Commission rates charged by the Society are: 35%  for Non Members and Friends of CAS; 30% for Artist Members of Chelsea Art Society
  • All entries must be less than 120cm in any one direction including frame AND only one large artwork per entrant.
  • You can enter up to three artworks - costing:
    • £12 per artwork for young people under 25
    • £15 per artwork for everybody else

How to enter

There is a two phase selection process
  • Phase 1. Preselection announced on OESS on 28th April, 2023
  • Phase 2. Successful entries go through physical judging - in front of a 7 person panel of members - at The Chelsea Town Hall on 11th June, 2023
To enter you need to:
  • Complete the online application form
  • upload images - Image files should be JPG or PNG and no more than 5MB large.
  • pay the fees per artwork
If you artwork gets through the first round of selection then you need to:
  • attach OESS labels to the back of the artwork
  • deliver your artwork to Chelsea Old Town Hall on Sunday 11th June between 10am and 3.30pm - for the second round of selection
There are no refunds of entry fees. It's your responsibility to make sure your artwork is compliant with the detailed requirements and that you can comply with all the dates re delivery and collection.


  • only correctly completed entries will be considered
  • only properly framed artwork will be hung. Poorly framed or presented artwork will be rejected irrespective of the quality of the artwork.

Monday, April 17, 2023

RBA Annual Exhibition 2023: Analysis of art sales metrics & Recommendations about pricing artwork

This week I'm focusing on pricing art - and looking at sales in three recent exhibitions I've visited.

This post is about the sales of artwork - by members and non-members - achieved in each price band at the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition 2023.

This post considers three aspects
  • the number of artworks sold in each price range - analysed between member and non-member artworks
  • observations on sales - in different price bands - for both members and non-members.
  • pricing lessons for:
    • the RBA and Mall Galleries
    • member artists
    • artists selected via the open entry - when entering in 2024.
My charts reveal 
  • which are the most popular price bands for sales. 
  • which price bands have the most unsold work!
Plus I comment on a well-established rumour about the Mall Galleries raising the future minimum price of an artwork - from £300 to £500 - and why this would lose money for the artists, society and the Mall Galleries. i.e in my opinion, a major rethink is required if the rumour is true!

  1. A number of you know I'm a qualified accountant and an ex-Finance Director who loves crunching the numbers to reveal what might not be obvious to those artists who are less happy with numbers! I've done quite a few exhibition metrics posts in the past.
  2. All charts and tables EXCLUDE any unframed sales of prints)

Sales at the Royal Society of British Artists' Annual Exhibition 2023

Number of artworks sold in each price range

Below is a chart which compares the number of artworks sold (97) to the total number of artworks exhibited (nearly 500) - by price range. 

In other words approximately 20% of the artwork on the wall was sold either at the Mall Galleries or online.

This chart does not examine whether artworks were by RBA members or open entrants. It purely focuses on:
  • the distribution of total artworks hung by price band (pale column)
  • the distribution of total artworks sold by price band (blue column)

The percentage of artwork sold in each price band has a very pronounced distribution.

From this, some obvious conclusions can be drawn:
  • the most popular price bands are all below £1,000 - with under £500 being the most popular (for what I commonly refer to as "impulse buys")
  • for the three price bands below £1,000 identified above the percentage of sales achieved for artworks hung is between 23-30% - which looks like a good result to me
  • by way of contrast over 90% of artworks in the top two price bands (above £2,000) failed to sell. (i.e. 7 sales out of 93 hung = 7.5%)
    • That's very expensive wall space for a very low return on the 90%
    • I have been saying - for a very long time - that the only people pricing above £2,000 in the Mall Galleries should be artists with an established track record in reputable art galleries for sales above this figure. 
    • The artwork might be great - but if financial targets have to be met then pricing needs to be sensible and sensitive.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Review: The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea

I've visited the exhibition of The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea twice now. However while referencing it extensively in relation to the Landscape Artist of the Year Commission, I've added the review to my long list of "things to do/blog about" without striking it off the very long list.

So this is my review.

What's the exhibition about?

The exhibition celebrates two two Dutch Golden Age artists Willem van de Velde the Elder and his son, Willem van de Velde the Younger - some 350 years after they came to Greenwich following an economic meltdown in Holland.

a corner of the exhibition showing both drawings and paintings
by both father and son

It highlights:

  • their maritime drawings (by father) and paintings ( by son_ and 
  • their connections to both 
    • the Netherlands, England and its King in general and 
    • Greenwich and the Queens House in particular
  • how they influenced other painters - including WM Turner.
It also draws upon the largest collection of the Van de Veldes’ artwork in the world. This is held at the The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich which is recognised as a longstanding centre of Van de Velde expertise.

In addition, the Queen’s House at Greenwich became the home of the studio granted to the two artists by Charles II.

Details of the Exhibition

The exhibition is:

The Queen's House, Greenwich - March 2023

London from Greenwich Hill (1672)
attributed to Johannes Vorsterman 
- a dutch painter who also worked for Charles II
The painting is currently in an exhibition at the Guildhall Gallery, City of London
It shows the Queens House on the extreme left
at the time the Van der Veldes arrived in London
(and which I saw the morning before my second visit!)
Note the ships on the River Thames

Who were the Van de Veldes?

To my mind, this exhibition is much more interesting once you know who the Van de Veldes are and something of the historical context for all the sea battles. This helps to make sense of the diversity of artwork - albeit it's all about ships and battles at sea!

Willem van de Velde the Elder and Willem van de Velde the Younger were the most important and influential marine painters of the seventeenth century. 

Father and son moved from the Netherlands to England after Het Rampjaar, or "the Disaster Year" of 1672 when the Netherlands were invaded or threatened from all sides and the economy crashed. This in turn severely affected the art market. Vermeer, for example, was unable to sell any of his work. 

The Van de Veldes moved to England at the invitation of Charles II. He awarded them:
  • a salary equivalent to that of his ‘Principal Painter’, Sir Peter Lely; and 
  • a studio at the Queen’s House - where they worked for the next 20 years.
Together, they became the founders of the English school of marine painting - and established a new genre of painting which persists today.
Both remained in London and are buried at St James, Piccadilly.

Willem van de Velde the Elder (1610 - 1693)

Van de Velde the Elder was the son of a Leiden bargemaster who became the official artist of the Dutch fleet for a period. He was a self-taught draughtsman who pioneered the technique of ‘pen painting’, allowing him to capture a ship’s likeness or a naval battle in astonishing detail. He specialised in documenting the action in a Dutch Sea Battle - of which there were more than a few!

Van de Velde the Elder sat drawing the Battle of Scheveningen
- the last battle of the first Anglo-Dutch War - from a ship at sea
- pen and ink (extract from the drawing below)

The Battle of Scheveningen, 10 August 1653
a pen painting or grissaille by Willem van de Velde the Elder
(the boat he's sat in is shown bottom left of centre)

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Call for Entries: International Original Print Exhibition 2023

The International Original Print Exhibition, established by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), is an international open submission exhibition celebrating the best of contemporary printmaking. 

The exhibition is:
  • organised by the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE)
  • sponsored by Jacksons Art
  • held at the Bankside Gallery (next to Tate Modern) in the Autumn 2023.
The deadline for entry is 3rd July 2023
As an art organisation run by artists, the RE is constantly working to create long-term opportunities for artists and promote printmaking to a wider audience.

There are a number of prizes awarded to some of those whose work is selected for exhibition

Education / Studio Time Award

  • Thames-Side Print Studio Prize - Annual membership of studio, 50 open access sessions & a place on a print course of choice worth circa £650
  • Hole Editions Publishing Award, (Newcastle) - An invitation to collaborate on a lithographic project for three days. Accommodation included, but not travel
  • Hot Bed Press Award - One year’s membership at Hot Bed Press, Induction and exclusive time with their technician, 100 hours workshop usage and £50 worth of materials to use at Hot Bed Press

Profile : Exhibition / Publishing Award

Art Supplies Award

Membership Award

  • Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Prize - One year’s guest RE membership for an outstanding work
  • Society of Wood Engravers Prize £100 plus a one-year subscription and free entry for selection process to SWE Annual Exhibition
  • East London Printmakers Prize - One year's associate membership
Works from the International Original Print Exhibition 2022

Call for Entries

All the information that you need to know regarding preparing your works for the exhibition and sale of your work is available in 

Who can enter

  • Artists must be 18 or over on 6 March 2023
  • Artists from any country may enter - provided they are willing and able to get their work to and from the designated drop off and collection venues at their own cost 

What you can enter

  • Any form of original printmaking is eligible. 
  • Reproduction prints are not accepted. 
  • All artwork must have been made in the past 3 years, dating from 6 March 2020 
  • There are no limitations on style or subject matter 
  • The work must have been made by the entrant 
  • All work must be for sale 
Do you accept digital prints?
We do absolutely accept digital prints, as long as they are limited edition prints created using digital processes, not digital reproductions of another work. (FAQs)

Number of entries

  • Artists may submit up to 6 recent prints - for a non-refundable fee of £16 per picture. 
  • Students in full-time education (ID required) can submit up to 6 recent prints - for £10 per picture. 
(Note: Students will be required to show student ID when delivering the work to the drop-off location)

How to enter

  • Take a good quality digital photograph or scan of each print. The judges will make their decision based on this photograph. 
    • The print should be photographed unglazed and evenly lit, and cropped to the edge of the work. 
    • View the photograph on a computer to make sure you are happy with the picture quality on a larger screen
    • As a guide, the file size should be minimum 1MB and not exceed 3MB
  • Go to and follow the onscreen instructions to make your entry. You will be asked to provide:
    • An image of each artwork 
    • Artist’s name (exactly as you wish to be known on the works list and labels)
    • Contact email address for the artist (please be sure to spell this correctly!) 
    • Title of the work 
    • Framed dimensions in centimetres 
    • Medium 
    • Framed and unframed price for each print (latter only if applicable) 
    • re. Pricing - Remember to take into account 
      • framing and transport costs, 
      • Bankside Gallery’s commission of 45% should the work sell. 
      • If you are registered for VAT, please also include this in your price. 
      • No changes to your price(s) will be possible after the competition deadline so please ensure they are correct. 
      • Unframed price for each print (only if applicable ie. Do not fill in this field if further prints in the edition are not available or if it is a monoprint / monotype) 
    • Availability of further unframed prints in the edition (if applicable)
  • When submitting student work online, please also 
    • scan your student ID and 
    • email a copy to 
    • Any works found to be falsely submitted as student work will not be hung. 
  • Pay the non-refundable entry fee using the secure online payment service. 
  • Make sure you click the blue ‘Submit entries’ button. 
    • Your entry is not complete until you complete this step. 
    • Acknowledgement of your entry and payment will be sent to you
You won't be able to access your entry after the deadline has passed do be sure to make a record of the complete entry (I always print off the entry and then also save it as a pdf file in the folder for the competition on my computer)
Incomplete entries or those made without payment received by the competition deadline, will not be shown to the judges. If you encounter difficulties, you can get in touch at
Works from the International Original Print Exhibition 2022

Important Dates

Call for Entries

  • Monday 6 March, 12 midday | Competition opens for entries
  • Monday 3 July, 11.59 PM | Entry deadline
  • Thursday 27 July by 6pm | Results posted on and successful artists contacted via email


  • Friday 15 or Saturday 16 September, 11am-5pm | Delivery of successful entries to 23 Blue Anchor Lane, SE16 3UL


  • Wednesday 20 September 6-8pm | Private View & Prizegiving
  • Thursday 21 September – Sunday 1 October, 11am-6pm daily | Exhibition of successful entries at Bankside Gallery
  • Sunday 1 October, 6 – 8pm, or Monday 2 October 11am – 6pm from Bankside Gallery | Collection of unsold work

Selection & Panel

These digital submissions are assessed by a panel of judges who can select up to a maximum of 3 artworks for any one artist. The judges’ decision is final.

The 2023 Selection Panel comprises:
  • Rob Ryan (artist) 
  • Dr Mark Golder (collector & academic)
  • Sharon Lloyd (co-founder of FACE)
  • David Ferry (RE President)
  • Michelle Griffiths (RE Vice President)
A list of prints selected for the exhibition will be published on by 6pm on Thursday 27 July. 

Artists whose work has been selected will be sent an email confirming arrangements for the exhibition.

Preparing work for delivery and exhibition

There are detailed instructions for those who need to know in the guidelines about presentation, framing, mirror plates, labels and insurance.

Note that poorly presented prints or works that differ significantly from the photograph that was entered will not be accepted. 


The exhibition of works selected will take place at the Bankside Gallery from 21st September to 1st October 2023.

Works from the International Original Print Exhibition 2022

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney

Last week, I went to see the new exhibition of Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney at the Wallace Collection in Marylebone.

Crop of Landseer's Laying down the Law (or Trial by Jury)

Whether you are a dog fan or not, it's a very interesting exhibition for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them:

  • the paintings in the show are exclusively portraits of dogs - no humans allowed!
  • some of the portraits are extremely impressive - on any level
  • artists included in the show include some very well known names - including some you may find surprising
  • the exhibition has an excellent narrative in terms of themes which tell the story of dog portraits over time
  • it's very well presented with good labelling
  • you get to see a well known artist trying to draw a dog - who isn't always co-operating!

Oddly, this is an exhibition which had been planned for some time - and then had to be postponed due to the Pandemic. What happened next is 

  • the Wallace Collection decided to publish the catalogue anyway (see below)
  • a huge number of people became very new owners of dogs! 
I fully expect this exhibition to be very popular and attract a lot of visitors from both old and new fans of dogs - particularly during the school holidays. I recommend all those who specialise in dog portraits to see an upsurge in interest - and they'd better go and see it to see what has prompted a commission!

General consensus seems to be it's well worth a visit which I would endorse
  • ★★★★★ 'A treat for art-lovers and dog-lovers alike' – The Telegraph
  • ★★★★ 'Charming' – The Evening Standard

About the Artists

I'd heard of most of the artists. They include:

Famous painters of animals 

  • George Stubbs (1724 - 1806) - he's best known as a painter of horses - but he's a brilliant painter of dogs too and demonstrates an excellent understanding of their anatomy. He's also a painter of dogs renowned for their bloodline.
Stubbs’s animal portraits were family records intended for personal consumption and not for great public rooms.
George Stubbs (1724-1806) Ringwood, a Brocklesby Foxhound (1792)
Oil on canvas, 100 x 126 cm
Private Collection
  • Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873) - a very well known painter of animals - about whom I learned something new - his use of allegory in his paintings of groups of dogs. For example, Landseer's painting Laying Down The Law (1840) satirises the legal profession through anthropomorphism. It shows a group of dogs, with a poodle symbolising the Lord ChancellorThis is one of the most celebrated dog paintings of the 19th century. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1840
Edwin Landseer Laying Down the Law or Trial by Jury
one of the most popular paintings of the 19th century
In the picture Landseer uses the individual characters of the breeds of dogs to satirise various members of the legal profession. The white poodle, with the similarity of its long ears to a legal wig, parodies the pomposity of a judge.

The painting was recognised at the time as a satire on the Court of Chancery, set up to deal with common law problems such as contested wills. The endless delays in the court exhausted the finances of the litigants while enriching its lawyers, an issue memorably taken up by Charles Dickens in Bleak House.


Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Aesops Fables Sculpture Exhibition at RHS Hyde Hall

Very large gardens have been a perennial favourite of those wanting to exhibit sculpture since they provide both space and a nice setting.

RHS Hyde Hall is currently the location for a selection of life-size animal sculptures by Susan Bacon and Marcus Cornish - which I saw yesterday. It's called Aesop’s Fables sculpture exhibition

The life size bronzes of animals exhibited in the Dry Garden are by Marcus Cornish and are very impressive and I'm uploading my photos of these to a Facebook Album

Boxing Hares by Marcus Cornish

However I was less impressed by the display on the slopes - which, given it's both a very different style and material, I assume is by Susan Bacon.

WHY place a sculpture on the ground - if you're going to fence it off?

Horse and foal sculpture

The entire sculpture is fenced off - which is quite ridiculous. In fact it looks totally naff! 

Plus it has two very silly posters either side which say 

Important: Do not play on or pass this railing

I think they're assuming all small children can read!

Have those who erected it never seen exhibitions of sculpture in large ground eg the Yorkshire Sculpture Park?

Somehow I got the impression this was maybe out of concern for potential damage to the sculpture rather than any concern about health and safety of the visitors to Hyde Hall.

Of course an alternative and a much more professional approach would have been to use a plinth if they needed to avoid any potential damage to sculpture or small child.

I hasten to add, Hyde Hall is somewhere I enjoy sculpture - from the leaves in the Winter Garden to the Kinetic Sycamore Seed Sculpture by David Watkinson - which I love!

About the Sculptors

Susan Bacon studied sculpture and drawing at the City and Guilds Art School and the Royal Academy, and is based in the East of England.

I must confess I'd ever never heard of her and could not find a website. 

THEN I came across a page which indicates she's a noted sculptor and wife of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon - who was president for 2013-2020. His wife is Lady Bacon. Conclusion: It appears the RHS are not above a bit of "being nice to the relatives" aka nepotism.

Marcus Cornish trained at the Royal College of Art and now practises from his studio in Sussex. 

Both artists have taught at the Royal Drawing School, a not-for-profit educational organisation.

It would be nice to think that the RHS could also find a way to 
  • avoid nepotism
  • be "nice to the sculptors" 
Maybe have an open competition for those wanting to display their art in the RHS Gardens? I'm sure they'd get some excellent entries.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Annual Exhibition 2023

I visited the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 211th Exhibition twice last week - once for the preview and again the next morning when it opened to photograph the artwork without hordes of people in front of it!

This is the biggest exhibition of paintings in water colours in the UK and it's well worth a visit. I've always enjoyed visiting this exhibition - and missed it last year due to surgery

RI Preview Evening in the West Gallery

MY APOLOGIES: I had planned to be posting this review rather earlier but last week turned out to be VERY busy for five days straight and I woke up on Sunday feeling very distinctly under the weather. I need to get better at pacing myself! The fact I can now walk again without pain (in my ankle) does not mean I'm getting any younger!

Deborah Walker RI and Chris Myers PRI - both displaying four artworks in the West Gallery
I was particularly impressed by Deborah's paintings of the water's edge
and Chris's painting of snow

For artists - both members and those selected via the open entry, this exhibition offers:
  • several prizes and awards (see below)
  • the chance to have your work seen alongside artwork by RI members
  • the opportunity to exhibit at a prestigious gallery in the heart of London
  • have your work seen by very many visitors - some of whom regularly buy watercolour paintings

I've decided to adopt a different approach and write the key conclusions up front and then follow up with images.

Key Conclusions about the RI 211th Exhibition

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Respite & Recommendations

After five very full days of "full on" art gallery visiting, two press views, two private views and photographing five exhibitions, plus a hospital appointment to get my pre-assessment done for more surgery next month, I woke up this morning feeling really very weird, which then turned into feeling really rather ill for most of this morning. I'm unable to eat much of anything.  Basically I'm nearly brain dead and my body is rebelling I think! 

So...... My partner pointed out I'd obviously overdone things (he is apt to do things like that!) - and we've cancelled today's Sunday Roast.

So...... Despite the fact I'd planned to do my review of the annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours today I'm going to restrict myself to brief recommendations relating to the exhibitions I've seen this week.

If you like dogs...

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Portraits of Dogs from Gainsborough to Hockney

Two exhibitions are worth seeing - they're a total one off and they've never been done before.
  • Portraits of Dogs from Gainsborough to Hockney (paintings and videos) - lots of really good portraits of dogs only (i.e. no humans in sight - apart from this one photo mural on one wall). I learned a lot - about artists and dogs! You can find this exhibition on the Lower Ground Floor
  • The Queen and her corgis (photography) located to left of entrance on ground floor. For real fans of corgis and/or the late monarch.

If you like Paintings in Water Colours 

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours | 211th Exhibition | Mall Galleries

This RI Annual Exhibition is well worth seeing and can be found in all three galleries at the Mall Galleries until next Saturday.
  • It includes 449 artworks on the walls
  • It had c.4,000 entries - so those selected from the open entry are mostly very good quality
I've already uploaded a folder of prizewinners and I'm trying today to upload the photos I took as I walked slowly around the exhibition - by Gallery
I'll embed a link to the latter two when I've uploaded them.

Royal Watercolour Society | Spring Exhibition | Bankside Gallery

If you're coming to London for the RI Water Colours Annual Exhibition, don't forget that the Royal Watercolour Society also has its Spring Exhibition on at the same time at the Bankside Gallery next to Tate Modern - until 22nd April

I've not seen it - but the artwork which you can see online suggests they continue to pick artworks by painters with different 'contemporary' styles in recent times. 

It's emphatically NOT the exhibition it used to be...... They've still to find halfway adequate replacements for people like Leslie Worth and David Prentice!

If you've only got time to do one, then go to the RI Exhibition.

NEW Exhibitions about Plants

  • Plants of the Qu'ran - a series of 25 botanical paintings by Sue Wickison
  • The Wonderful World of Water Plants - botanical art and illustrations
  • All the Flowers Are for Me - two installations by Anila Quayyum Agha

ALL three Exhibitions are on display at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery | Kew Gardens until Sunday 17 September 2023.

They opened yesterday, while I was there and there were lots of people flooding in...

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Plants of the Qu'ran 

This is a series of 30 large botanical watercolour botanical paintings by Sue Wickison. All of them are scientific botanical illustrations for a ground-breaking book of the same name which will be published next month.

This is the sort of watercolour painting rarely seen in the exhibitions of the RI or RWS. More's the pity. 

This photo, after posting to my Botanical Art and Artists Facebook Page  is currently drawing international admiration from botanical artists from all over the world - and breaking lots of my FB Page records for adulation! It's an exhibition which is going to get a lot of visitors!

I'm also going to be reviewing it next week on my News Blog on Botanical Art and Artists. I'll also be publishing a video interview I did with Sue yesterday morning before the gallery opened.

Sue Wickison with two of her paintings

The Wonderful World of Water Plants - botanical art and illustrations | Gallery 6

This exhibition focuses on plants which are found:
  • growing in the water
  • on the margins of rivers and ponds
  • in damp boggy areas