Highlights of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhbition (Winsor & Newton Young Artists/Under 35yrs)

exhibition london Mall Galleries oil Oil painting ROI winsor and newton

This is another review of the ROI Annual Exhibition at The Mall Galleries, which is a bit late this year as the exhibition closes today! But for for those of you who couldn't make it and for those of you far far away...this is post highlights few of the paintings in the Under 35 category that got my attention.

They are young painters with so much potential and I know when I say young, some people might say 18-35 yrs isn't young. But we all know that in this business, most people never really hit it big in this career until they have passed the 35 hurdle, anyway that was my experience after 15 years of painting!

Anyway, enough of the explanations, lets get down to the paintings! I'll take the artists one by one and without much ramblings just go straight to the point and reason why I liked the piece. I don't know if I can keep to my promise, but lets see how I get on!

Just remember, there were more in this category but these are the ones that caught my eye!


He stole the show in this category! He won the First Prize!

James Bland and his winning painting

I like his work because he draws with paint! The mark making in the painting below is just beautiful.....you feel you can understand his decision making and struggles. His paintings are like drawings in colour to me and it's not only the fact that his drawings are accurate to the eye, but he knows what to put in and knows what leave out.

James Bland, Reclining Figure, Evening

He is a master of selectivity!

I have to ramble a bit...... I was introduced to his work by Ilaria on Facebook and then I saw him and his work at the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition just before this one and I was really impressed seeing his work live.

Paul from Winsor & Newton, James Bland and lovely Model he painted

The painting below is amazingly composed. The colour is vibrant, he has painted the model over several sittings under artificial  light. I just love the way he composes all his pieces. You can immediately see that a lot of thought has gone into developing these paintings.

James Bland, Lime Green Dress

Whenever an artist conquers drawing, he conquers painting! But whenever an artist conquers colour and drawing, he triumphs in any artistic battle! Hence the victory of this young painter has just begun, watch out for him in the future, he has been in  the hiding but his revelation is right here for us to behold in the present!   


Tom Hughes is naturally a vibrant, energetic and really nice chap! His paintings have some of those qualities.
I don't really paint still life pieces but when I see his still life paintings, I get a feeling of how I would love my still Life paintings to look.....anything but still. His painting below is dynamic, it has a nice monochrome underpainting which has been skillfully painted with ease and flow. He then decides where he is going to add colour to and where he is not...again it's the selectivity! There's a constant interchange of thick and thin, which makes the eye excited, as one takes in this painting!

Tom Hughes, Painting of a painting of a painting with Deer Skull

The other painting of his I liked so much in the show was this little plein air piece of an ice cream van. I don't have much to say on this one, the work speaks for itself. It has an urgency it and because it was done with that spirit (The True Alla Prima Spirit), he then has been able to produce a lovely energetic and dynamic piece! Look how he has blocked off the background with a lovely dark washed colour to create a functional contrast to the van! 

Tom Hughes, Ice Cream, Plein air


She loves painting! Having watched her paint sitting on the floor on the ROI Open Painting Evening... I now have a better insight into how she works.

Leanne Rutter, Brutally Refined

For this piece above, she has created an exciting painting that has simple coloured dotted strokes all over. No passage is plain or just one shape of flat colour, every bit is a mixture of dots placed side by side to create a vibration and some sort of tension which keeps this piece and her other paintings alive and more than just a truthful rendition of what she paints. She takes us beyond the surface and works out these beautiful motifs that are little abstract pieces if isolated to stand on their own.

Leanne Rutter with her painting

I had to add this picture above, so you can see the size of this wonderful piece!


Sometimes you look at a painting and you just don't know why you love it! You go back to it and you just keep on going back to it!

Flora Watson, Georgy

That's exactly what happened to me with this painting above. Maybe it's because the lady is not staring straight at me, so it gives me the opportunity to steal a longer gaze at her, over time, like those people I sketch on Public Transport. Maybe it's the colour temperature, because this piece is a clear cut study by someone who has mastered colour temperature. The whole face is painted almost in one tone and to me that would have been boring without must value. But she proves to us with this painting that successful portraiture is not all about value (light and shade) but Temperature( the warmth or coolness of colour)

The drawing is accurate and it's a piece that has undergone the surgery of life sittings! Oh, I long to paint from life sittings again! She sees lovely shapes of colour and this is not a painting to please the sitter, this is one that makes me feel the artist is free to take decisions based on how she sees the Three Dimensional transformed into The Two Dimensional.


When a painter takes the painting backward and forward with one mind and one goal, but that goal is not reached until something suddenly resonates....then the painter has not just used technique for the sake of it but knows how to use it as a means to an end.

Yermolova, Watermelon Mood

Her style is unique! I watched her paint on one of the ROI Open Painting Evenings and it was simply a delight to behold. There she was scrapping, pouring, allowing accidentals, pasting, carving, scratching.....name it! She was enjoying the process! And that why her paintings beam with such liveliness! 

Her still life is anything but still! I love what she does and the confidence with which she does it and when a painter is confident-the painting can no more be confidential but one to be seen by the world and hailed for its uniqueness!


For this piece it is all about the skin colour here. Sometimes getting the right skin colour can be difficult. She has definitely painted a girl who is an albino, now, to paint albino skin colour, you must be very observant and Caroline has been able to portray the tanned skinned colour under a very cool light source.

Caroline de Peyrecave, Musunda

The artist has done well to produce a truthful piece with so much fluidity and sound drawing skills. 

It's a piece that has a very painterly approach, somewhat of the school of thought that Sargent belonged to. 


 Whenever I see a work like this I really appreciate the time and patience it takes to be classically trained and to master this sort of  technique in painting. I love it for the accurate drawing, brilliant and vibrant skin colour, and the way he has included a backgound which doesn't compete or swallow the main figure but yet compliments it in everyway.

Simon Watkins, Winter Evening



 This is a simple plein air piece. He actually told me I was one of those whom he discovered on-line that helped him to be inspired to take up plein-air painting! I was happy to hear that!

Francis Martin and his winning painting

He hasn't been doing outdoor painting for long but he is sure on the right direction with what I could see with this little street scene. You can almost count the marks he has made, only striving for what matters most and for what would speak most about the scene at hand. 

Francis Martin, Autumn Greys-Theberton Street, Islington

I particularly liked the honesty in this piece, nothing is overdone, just beautiful marks of a painter in the right tune with the Alla Prima Spirit! He won an Award with the piece! Keep an eye on him!!!


 Simply love it for her labour of love and celebration of colour! Her keen eye for detail is to be adored and the way she is able to include everything she wants into the painting without ending up with chaos has do with some sound and proper planning at the beforte such paintings are embarked upon.

Stephanie Pijper, Studio 6.13


Graham Webber and his well presented paintings

 That's the man with three well painted plein air pieces and well presented too! Presentation is powerful and sometimes it is easy to overlook the fact that after a painting is done in flesh and blood, it needs the right clothes to wear. Now, don't you tell me clothes don't matter! I have been treated differently all because of what I was wearing at the time.

Hence my praise this time, not only for the beautiful impressionist style of Graham and his profound way of simplifying the landscape and only honing in on the essentials BUT for the professional presentation he has given the works!


There's always a portrait that breathes!

Ellen Tovey, Sasha

This is one of them! What I like about this piece is the mood that shines through. It is a fairly large portrait but what wins it for me is the distribution of light on the skin surface, it was terrifically done! 


Alice Hall with her painting.

 I love this one for it's pure impressionist approach, every stroke she lays is seen clearly you can read her hand. It's truthful and the surface of her paintings are very interesting, I just love the way her strokes dance all over the surface with some lyrical movement!

Alice Hall, Falmouth Dock 2013


You might guess already why I love this one! I love crowded scenes but this time it's not the only reason. I love the way he has created some drama here. The play of light on the whole scene, the suspense- you begin to ask yourself what are they gathering to see or talk about? 

Jack Banister, Gathering


Hayley Brown, Homage to Chardin

When a painting is executed well and all the the main essentials like composition, value, colour, texture and the focal point have been all given a very good amount of skillful attention, then the rest is history, the painting is a winner!

I could begin to write a whole story about this painting, I really love every bit of it! The shadows are so subtle and the change in temperature of the greys is amazing on the wall that the dead bird is propped on. Finally, look at those negative shapes that the shadow forms with the pears and the background, sweet!!!


Brandon Scott, Nick Rehearsing
This is a very bold little painting that celebrates meaningful shapes of colour! It all fits well together as a brilliantly composed design and works as an abstract too! It takes great confidence in ones style, not to go further than this but to leave the conversation right where the main ideas have been highlighted!

I hope you enjoyed this post, please feel free to comment and share with the social media buttons below.

My next post would be on the open painting evening where both members and non-members of the ROI took part in painting on an explosive evening!

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