Exhibition news – RI 2021

Fresh root veg 29 x 91cm

Fresh root veg,   21 x 91cm

5 April 2021

It’s a while since I did my last blog.  I look back at those months since Christmas when I had just finished the painting above and, as the number of Covid cases soared, I sometimes felt as if I was a bit creatively stagnant. Then I realise that it’s just an attitude of mind – I’ve actually been doing a fair amount  – perhaps it’s the feeling of inertia that many have felt during lockdown.  My creative process seems to take a while anyway – look at the Leonard McComb quote on the home page and you will be able to guess which watercolour route I take….. a slow building up rather than a quick dash!

The annual RI exhibition approaches. It has just gone online and you can even go and see it at the Mall Galleries in London from May 20 – 29. To compensate for the lack of actual demonstrations and talks in the gallery, there will be several videos by members on the Mall Galleries’ website including my very informal one about the work I have on show and my way of working. There were a record number of submissions (over 1700) to the exhibition and we made a selection of just over 200 works. Together with the RI Members’ work there are over 400 paintings to look at and, in the spirit of our inclusivity as an ‘open exhibition’, there is a 50/50 split between Members’ and non-members’ work. They represent some of the best work around in water-based media from a huge variety of artists and styles, both traditional and contemporary.

My last post was about my long paintings.  Along with my 4 other pieces, there will be two long ones in the RI exhibition.  ‘Fresh root veg’, at the top of the page, was painted in October/November when the veg were coming out of the ground (I kept having to wet them to keep them going and to keep the colours fresh). I left the dirt and the freshness there and enjoyed the freedom that both of them inspired.

Lockdown A-Z (including detail),   26 x 97cm

In contrast to ‘Fresh root veg’, I painted ‘Lockdown A-Z’, above, where I homed in on tiny everyday objects. This painting provoked a far tighter method of working – the objects are small and detailed (and not so easy to capture on a long photo!). I’ve always been drawn to little things that often get overlooked. They are important either through memories they conjure up or simple familiarity and usefulness.

Everything is close to home…….

Please give yourself time for a private tour of this year’s RI exhibition online and even escape to London to see it in May.  There’s nothing like the real thing!  I wish you all the best and thank you for your support of all the arts over this difficult time.


Two fat pears and Eggbox in progress – in the RI exhibition

I’ve done a small edition of 10 prints of Fresh root veg, which you can see here . There is also a new print of a row of stone carver’s mallets there.