And so to London for the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. It was the opening weekend and, by the time I got there, already thronging with visitors.
My visit also coincided with a demonstration by David Poxon RI and it was a real treat to punctuate my viewing of the exhibition with little check-ins on his demo. I’m grateful too that he gave me permission to take a few snaps:
I particularly like this annual exhibition. To be able to see such a range of water-based paintings – from photo-realism to abstract expressionism, and such a multitude of approaches and subject matter all in one place is a real treat! It’s certainly not all to my liking, but there’s no questioning the technical ability and skill of all the artists whose work is on display.
If I had to pick out some personal highlights from the RI members selection of works it would be the paintings of David Parfitt and John Yardley. From the non-member selection of works, I particularly like works by Keith Hornblower, Andrew Harrod, David Howell, Srirangam Mohankumar, Martha Zmpounou, Brian Smith, Tianya Zhou and Kai Ting Sung. (I hope you won’t mind me leaving you to do your own searching on some of these names!)
As exciting and inspiring as it was to see so many amazing paintings, I can’t deny that I also found it a little demoralising. This was the first exhibition of the year to which I submitted my own paintings, and it remains the exhibition that I think I most aspire to have my work selected for. Seeing the quality of the works on display only highlighted just how far I have yet to go!
The most frustrating aspect of this was that I had carried my tripod and plein-air kit all the way to London, full of excitement and anticipation at the prospect of painting in the capital. Especially as I’ve already customised it a little further since my last outing! What I hadn’t bargained on was just how busy London was going to be, nor quite how flat and overcast the weather was. These factors, combined with the knock to my confidence, meant I didn’t do any painting, which seemed like a missed opportunity.
I suppose if there was a lesson from this outing, it would be to make sure that I do my painting before I see the exhibition next time! I did, however, get lots of reference photos, so it may not have been an entirely fruitless trip!
In an effort to cheer myself up then, here are a few takes on one of my favourite views of late, La Place Reial, Barcelona. Basically, I did the first one, liked it a lot, but felt I could do better.
So I did another version:
Which I also like, even though there are few elements of the first painting that I still prefer!
Fortunately, I don’t have time to dwell on ‘where my paintings aren’t’ – because at the beginning of May, I’ll be taking matters into my own hands and staging my own exhibition. Much more on this in the coming weeks!