Watercolour exhibition in London

Yesterday I went to an exhibition of The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in London at the Mall Galleries. It was wonderful and vibrant and extremely diverse.

What I love about this society is their openness - to them watercolour is about making paintings and not making pictures in narrow confines dictated by some committee who are full of 'thou shalt nots'. Watercolours were mixed with acrylic, gouache, pastel., oil pastel, charcoal, collage and more making for vibrant imaginative work alongside beautifully subtle pieces.

Photo realism sat next to sensitive painterly realism, dynamic abstracted pieces and pure abstracts.

Here are some links to work by the artists, sadly there is nowhere to see the actual work in the show - the Mall Galleries really need to improve their website.

It was well worth the trip and Ros and I had a great day. The weather was fantastic - warm and sunny,


The knockout of the show for me was Bob Rudd. They were large paintings, beautifully simplified down to the key elements, with a wonderful sense of light and place. Lovely loose marks and variety of expressive marks - I wanted to own one!

Shirley Trevena had some interesting landscapes but 2 were framed in deep burgundy mats and frames which made them look hot and bothered and really didn't help the painting at all I felt.

One artist at least had done hideoously grandiose multi layered framing on what would have been a nice enough work and the signature was too large - an ego problem here?

Quite a few limed wood frames very similar to mine - which of course looked good! ;>)

I was interested by the deeply angled insets in wood used by quite a few in place of mats - I liked them.

Well known people like Mike Bernard, Moira Huntly, Ann Blockley, John Hoar et al had good pieces in . David Easton. local artist I know had some abstracted landscapes. Leslie Goodwin local artist and art critic had some lovely free sketches in minimalist colours.

Martin Caulkin had some lovely work.

Andrew Boult had a fun one of just legs, a small painting - his other work is more traditional.

Marjorie Collins had a nice still life but I can't find any links for her.

Richard Cook had a couple of nice landscapes,. loose with lovely light

Ian Cook had some vibrantly coloured nudes but I can't find a link

Ron Ford had beautiful light and simplified elements

Peter Folkes work appeals to me but the group we went with thought he had 'issues' and that gravestones were a strange subject :>D all his work there featured gravestones, some with ghostly images of a face half seen (wasn't so keen on that idea, it didn't quite work for me)

Chris Forsey had some nice work in.

Tammy Gray had just one work in, a loose abstracted beach

Roger Griffiths work seemed John Blockley influenced but more stylised

Steven Allan Griffiths had the most incredibly detailed painting of an unfolded map book

Robin Hazlewood had the most wonderful sketchbook in a glass showcase, I love to see the sketchbooks.

Maggie Herbert-Jobson had one lovely loose landscape again seeming influenced by John Blockley

I liked the work of Cliff Howe but can't find a link - other than to my blog as I liked his work last year!

Colin Kent had some lovely painterly elements full of light that didn't quite gel with stylised elements for me - I wish he'd go with painterliness and forget the more illustrational feel of buidlings - there was a lovely area of light on water in one

Harry Price reflections in windows/outside view were interesting.

I like the stylised work of Michael Morgan and Rosa Sepple

Lisa Graa Jensen and Ronald Maddox - I like the way they use the patterns in the landscape. I can't find a link for Maddox which is a shame as I like his work.

Neil Meacher who does quirky illustrational paintings had an equally quirky, lovely little sketchbook on show. no links.

David A Parfitt - lovely loose abstracted landscaped but I can't find a link

Sylvia Paul had some interesting collaged pieces framed with torn edges.

Richard Plincke had a gorgeous sketchbook on show His paintings were very abstract and totally unlike the sketches

David Poxon
showed incredible photo realist work

Jane Puckering had some interesting work with unusual viewpoints - I like it

Sue Read showed a couple of exquisite little painting of delicate bowls, isolated, with space around, seen from above - beautifully done but I can't find a link.

John Tookey showed one lovely landscape . He's generally pretty conventional, but good.

Vivienne Tribbeck had some lovely Barbara Rae-ish landscapes but is unknown to google!

Naomi Tydeman had some lovely charcoal/watercolour pieces, where the charcoal was wet, mixed with the watercolour and granulated - interesting and a little reminiscent of Lindsay's mud paintngs (see Watermarks blog)

I've used charcoal with watercolour before and liked it and it reminded me to do some more.

Michael Wrigglesworth had a wonderfully loose painting of a motorbike

Geoffrey Wynne had wonderful close ups of people and boats, lively, loose, vivid, tightly cropped (much closer in than the one in the link)

There was a lovely diversity of approaches and mixes of mediai with watercolour and it kept us interested and buzzing. I like the fact that the cafe is in the middle so that you can sit and look at the work.

Other work didn't earn a comment in my catalogue so I can't remember it - some as always, was poor (IMO!) but only a very small proportion in this show.

Ok so now I'm buzzing and want to start a 40 inch canvas of the trees/reeds tangle against the blue water that I'd done in my sketchbook.

We went and enjoyed the sunshine in Regents Park across the road afterwards it was beautiful weather

I came home planning to consider the wooden angle insets some used in place of mats - if I can find out how to get hold of them. Anyone know what I mean and where I can get them?


Robyn said…
Wonderful post rich with links, thanks Vivian. I'm very interested to see the wood alternative to mats (since I can't buy mat board here). I hope someone comes up with a photo for you.
vivien said…
I wonder if Katherine will be able to photograph them? I'll have to ask her.

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