This exhibition, as I indicated in my earlier post, RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 - Selected artists & artwork, this exhibition is 100% open. There are no works by members of the RWS.
General impressions of the exhibition
|RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition - the feature wall|
That said, I also have to note that I came across what I considered to be some weak examples of watercolour art which I found rather surprising. I'm not going to name names or otherwise characterise them - although if you're a watercolour artist whose work I rate highly you may find me dropping you a line to suggest you enter next year! ;)
I also noticed that I was seeing more than one painting for the second or third time in the last 12 months. Good though they may be, I think a competition of this sort really should have a condition that the entries have not been previously exhibited in London. Not least because those paintings I saw are also produced by artists whose work I rate and I know they have more good paintings in their portfolios! Maybe a point for the RWS to ponder on?
|RWS Open 2012 - South Wall|
|RWS Open 2012 - The Alcove Wall|
In general terms - and for the benefit of those thinking of entering next year - this is what I found in terms of subject matter, media, style and presentation
|Winner of St Cuthbert’s Mill Prize|
(top) Stu by Mark Haddon
- styles lean towards the impressionistic and figurative (ie freehand rather than traced) and there is relatively little hyper/photographic realism
- mainly watercolour and gouache, limited use of inks and acrylic
- there's an awful lot of landscapes of every size and style
- there's more botanical work and still lives involving flowers, fruit and vegetables than I've seen before. I think the botanical artists have just begun to realise they can also apply to become members of the RWS!
- the portraits and paintings of figures varied enormously - and two won prizes. There were very few straight portraits. There were some very stylised treatments of people. Interestingly these carried more conviction than those where it was very evident the figure had been painted from a photo. I was somewhat surprised there weren't more out and out portrait painters submitting work in watercolour
- there's not a lot of abstract work although there are some 'statement' paintings
- framing is neutral, light wood, white or black. Study my photos to see what I mean. Most but not all are matted. Relatively few were floated.
- the paintings with impact tended to be either bigger than average (eg whole sheet of watercolour paper) or smaller than average and technically skilled.
These are the award winners
|Top left - Winner of the David Gluck Memorial Award|
After the Storm 2 by Maki Kiryu
- Royal Watercolour Society Award (£500 cash prize) - Matchbox Seascapes by David Cass
- David Glück Memorial Award (£1000 cash prize) - After the Storm 2 by Maki Kiryu
- St Cuthbert’s Mill (£300 worth of paper) - Stu by Mark Haddon
- Daler Rowney Prize (Daler Rowney Artist Watercolour Set) - Jess Puts up the Boards by Malcolm Wilkinson - see below
- Winsor & Newton Prizes
- 1st Prize (£250 RRP worth of Winsor & Newton Art Materials) - Unknown Lady by Dong Li-Blackwell
- Runner up (Artists' Watercolour Box) Waiting for the End Boys by Bob Ballard
- Runner up (Artists' Watercolour Box) Dhaka by Robin Storey
- The Artist Prize (An article in a future issue of The Artist magazine) - Bathers, Sandycove, County Dublin by John Short
|Winner of The Artist Prize (top centre)|
Bathers, Sandycove, County Dublin by John Short
|Winner of the Daler Rowney Prize|
Jess puts up the boards (sold) by Malcolm Wilkinson
|Extract from Jess puts up the boards (sold) by Malcolm Wilkinson|
|The White Van by Philip Rundall|
|In a French Kitchen and From the Wild Wood by Tessa Shedley Jordan|
|It's raining, it's pouring by Christopher Dunn|
watercolour and gouache
Note: Joy of joys - Blackfriars tube station is now open again and the Thames Path has been reinstated which makes getting to the Bankside Gallery a lot easier.
However The Thames Path is closed on 10-11 March due to the continued work on the new entrance to Blackfriars Station which is a now hop, skip and a jump from the front door to the Bankside Gallery