This time last week I visited the private view for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. For me this was a lot of firsts. For a start it was my first private view, the first exhibition in London I have taken part in, my first entry in the competition and the first time I have seen a contemporary exhibition dedicated solely to watercolour.
The standard was very high, I still can't believe I was part of it especially when I saw the exhibition catalogue front cover. However walking around the room I quickly realised there was a distinct lack of figurative work. Maybe a large amount of portraits and such like didn't make it past the initial selecting stage or perhaps figures in watercolour paintings are not fashionable or don't sell? Who knows and who cares!? Next year I'm going for something with lots of figures - not too sure exactly what but there will be humans none the less.
Regarding the prizewinners, John Hunt won 1st prize (a pleasant landscape done in the purist watercolour tradition but not the best in show), Jonathan Pitts received 2nd prize (an arresting atmospheric painting of the river Avon, a worthy winner), Dennis Roxby Bott won the cityscape prize (a cracking name and an equally cracking watercolour similar in style to David Roberts, solid draftsmanship with a superb limited palette) and Philip Ciolina won the vintage classic cover art prize (not a lot of painting went into the piece but it suits the poetry book it will feature on). To view the winners and a much better write up click here.
A few other artists that stood in my opinion were Paul Birkbeck with his The Amorous Newt, David Forster's A High Wind Blew Over The Land, And The Colours Flew (Edinburgh) and Janet Kenyon's Manhattan. I should have taken photos but I'm afraid I was more interested in the free wine!
In other news I'm working on a couple of things which have to stay hidden for the time being, however I will post some of the loose sketches associated with these projects.