An amazing week at the Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries

It’s been the most wonderful week since my last post when I was travelling to London to attend the Private View of the Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Sadly – though this is probably a blessing for most! – I don’t have the time to write the most detailed account of my experience, but I hope that few pictures will speak volumes!

First up, here I am next to my painting at the Mall Galleries:

My painting was on a display wall in the main gallery space that featured a lot of smaller works. This really threw me when I arrived as I’d expected my painting to be in one of the adjacent gallery spaces, so it took me about twenty minutes before I stumbled across my little offering. I felt honoured to be in this space (though I don’t think this was any reflection on my painting, just what worked well in the hang!) and that work by so many RI members surrounded my painting.

Once I’d found my painting (I had started to doubt that it was there and that it had all been a terrible mistake!) I was able to relax a little and have a look around. This was a little bit harder to do than you might have imagined as it was a bustling occasion, and in many cases, it was hard to get a good view of some of the paintings. My attention also kept being distracted by spotting familiar faces of artists that I’ve long admired but never had the opportunity to meet.

By this point, I had no shame and brazenly approached all those artists to say hello and pass on how much I admired their work:

As well as Florence Yuqing, Lea Nixon, Alex HillKurtz and Paul Talbot Greaves, I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting and speaking to Matthew Eastmond and David Parfitt amongst many others! It was a delightfully social occasion and, on the basis that I may never be in the same situation again, I was keen to make the most it!

The icing on the cake

As if the thrill of being selected and attending the private view wasn’t enough, things got even better when I learnt that my painting had also sold too! I was quite speechless when I found out, and felt compelled to capture this very special red dot moment!

Back to the sketchbook

After all the excitement of the week, I was itching to get back to some painting again. I had a few pieces of paper taped up and ready to go, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them! Instead, I decided to take to my sketchbook:

I really enjoyed painting these little A5 sketches and think there’s a nice carefree directness to them. I especially like the trees in the park and the sparkling river sketch.

All in all it’s been a wonderful week – and I can’t deny that it’s all whetted my appetite for more!

Thoughts on An amazing week at the Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries

22 thoughts on “An amazing week at the Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries”

    1. Thanks so much Brian and apologies for such a tardy reply! Must admit that this experience has given me a taste for more! Hope that all’s well with you!

  1. Went to RI 2023 yesterday, great to see your work in the flesh, as it were! Great painting, inspiring to a beginner like me.

    1. Thanks so much Peter, really kind of you and I’m so pleased that you got to see the exhibition – lots of inspiration all around I thought! Think I might try to submit something a little larger next year!

    1. Thanks so much for this – really kind and generous of you and very much appreciated! It means such a lot to hear that you like my work! Hope you have a great Easter!

    1. Thanks so much Rob – it was more exciting than I expected it to be to be honest! Felt a bit like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop to be surrounded by so many great paintings and the artists that painted them!

    1. Hi Martin and yes, I hope it does provide hope to others. This was my first selection for the RI exhibition in about 6 or so attempts (so I think a thick skinned perseverance also helps!). For the open submission paintings, there were about 220 paintings selected from around 1,700 entries and I heard quite a few people describe it as a bit of a lottery! After having had this little taste- I’m keen to have a few paintings that I feel confident enough about to submit next year.

  2. I saw your picture at The Mall Gallery when I visited yesterday. Well done! There were some very good pieces in the exhibition, including yours.

    1. Thanks so much Morag – I’m so pleased that you got to see the exhibition! It’s always my favourite of all the watercolour exhibitions and I always think that both the variety and the quality is high – it felt great to be keeping such esteemed company!

  3. Sounds wonderful John and many congratulations on your sale…always so exciting to have sales!

    1. Thanks so much Carole – I think the sale carried greater significance somehow because of how many other wonderful paintings were in the exhibition – it really took me by surprise!

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