The RI is currently holding it's 200th exhibition at the Mall Galleries. You have until the 25th March to see it and if like me you're a big fan of water based mediums and you live in the UK then there is no excuse.
The exhibition contains 366 works which are, as expected, all of a very high standard. I visited the show yesterday en route to picking my artwork up from the RWS. The Mall Galleries were heaving, there was a considerable crowd around Chris Forsey and Anne McCormack as they demonstrated they're process and a lesser gathering at the makeshift cafe in the corner. In fact I had a bit of a moment when I had to cut into the 'tea & cake' queue in order to see the paintings hung behind it. I was given a few disgruntled looks but they quickly turned to relief as I moved on to the next painting instead of jumping in and stealing the last macaroon.
Some of the highlights for me were:
Victoria Station by Eva Tomkins (above). It might be small but the composition is epic. Eva manages to show a full panorama of the station, keep perspective in check, control her palette and have it nicely populated all at the same time. I wonder if she is planning a large scale version?
Proms Schubert by Geoffrey Wynne (above). Superb composition and choice of angle which for me gave the painting a crowded and energetic feel. The colour and light handling was subdued but effective, however I felt Geoffrey had missed a trick in not showing facial features. He could have created a narrative through the various characters in the orchestra but that's the illustrator in me picking fault.
As you can see the show is well worth a visit, my only slight grumble would be some of the dated stylistic approaches I found. Not many but enough to make me think of children's book covers from the 1970s. In a way this is to be expected, most artists have to be in the watercolour game for a time before they are accepted as members unless of course you are the son of the patron.