Art of the Real (which also has an art blog also called Art of the Real) is an artistic collaboration between four watercolour artists - two members of the Royal Watercolour Society plus two members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Together they have developed what I think is a unique project to take realism in watercolour to exhibitions in reputable art galleries around the world.
Art of the Real - the Artists
- Angus McEwan RSW RWS (Angus McEwan, Scottish Artist) - these are the works Angus was exhibiting in:
- the first exhibition in Charleston, South Carolina
- the second exhibition in Albeburgh, Suffolk
- This is a video Angus made of the artwork he was displaying
David Poxon RI's vivid paintings of metal and rust have incredible saturation and create interesting pictures out of the most unlikely subject matter. 14 Mar 2012
|A New Day by David Poxon|
watercolour, 12" x 12"
- Denis Ryan RWS - this is a feature article (pdf) about Denis in a feature on Denis Ryan in the Artists & Illustrators magazine (October 2010). Denis first came to my attention when his wonderful painting of a neon sign Playland featured as the motif for an exhibition by the RWS at the Bankside Gallery. Watch this short film which demonstrates the stages that the painting Philadelphia Neon, New York went through as it was produced.
|Philadelphia Neon, NYC by Denis Ryan|
16 x 22" acrylic and watercolour
- Sandra Walker RI - Sandra is an American artist who now has a permanent home in the UK. If you've admired a painting involving brickwork and a New York fire escape at a watercolour exhibition there's a pretty good chance it's been painted by Sandra! This page on her website explains her process - Bring realism to your watercolours with photographs
|Quaker Oats by Sandra Walker|
14" x 16", watercolor
The four artists have organised an international touring exhibition at seven venues in the USA, England, Scotland and China. Their exhibitions comprise around 40 pieces with 10 artworks by each artist.
They've just completed the first two exhibitions at
- Charleston South Carolina (6th - 30th April) - M Gallery of Fine Art
- Aldeburgh, Suffolk (7th - 22nd April) - Thompsons Gallery (Aldeburgh)
Each artist responds in a quiet & sensitive way to the often-overlooked corners of everyday life. They exhibit enviable technical skills, where realism is exploited to reveal an intrinsic beauty in decay.These are the remaining exhibitions - recommended for those who enjoy both realism and watercolour and fantastic attention to interpreting the textures found in buildings.
- Roundtop, Texas ( 9 June - 8 July) The Gallery at Roundtop
- London, UK (13 June - 1 July) - Thompsons Gallery (Marylebone)
- New York, USA (September/October) OK Harris Gallery in the SoHo district of Manhattan.
- Edinburgh, Scotland (8-27 November) Open Eye Gallery - this is a gallery in Scotland where you can regularly see work by Angus McEwan
- Shanghai, China (15 November - 14 December) Quanhua Gallery - this is the home of the
Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition and a gallery which exhibits several internationally known watercolour painters - including David Poxon.
I'm featuring this group for a number of reasons.
First off I have been consistently impressed by their art in various exhibitions over the last few years. These are people who all have a track record in producing high quality watercolour paintings within the genre of realism.
Second - there are a number of lessons arising out of this collaboration which can be shared with other artists who may wish to do something similar.
The following are the lessons which occurred to me having reviewed their catelogue for the exhibition
- Four artists who have developed skills and techniques to an advanced and similar level can present themselves to galleries as a coherent group - with no weak links
- Four artists with a common interest in terms of subject matter - which might be termed textured surfaces, cityscapes and abandoned objects - enables galleries to tell a story and to pitch their art at the type of client who is most likely to enjoy it
- When four experienced and skilled artists - who all enjoy signature status of a prestigious art society - collaborate together, it's very likely to result in them all "raising their game" so as to present their best work for exhibition
- Four artists collaborating together provides lots of scope for a sizeable exhibition without individual artists having to create a sizeable stock of work prior to being able to exhibit.
- A rolling programme of exhibitions also enables a small group of artists to create new stock for new exhibitions as works sell - and to collaborate in shipping artwork overseas
- Sharing a series of shows between four artists presumably means that the pressures of putting on a show and liaising with galleries can also be shared around.
- The nature of the collaboration is also one which is likely to generate interest amongst the art press and art materials/supplies people. To date, the group has enjoyed articles in:
- Winsor and Newton magazine article - Art of the Real
- an article in Artists & Illustrators - April 2012
- an article in Watercolor Artist (USA) April 2012
- plus are now featured in the latest advertisements for Winsor & Newton and Winsor and Newton have sponsored their very nice catalogue which covers the series of exhibitions
|A Real Coup - Angus McEwan, Scottish Artist|
I guess it's the art world equivalent of forming a band, touring the world and breaking America! They describe themselves as a collective. It looks like a very constructive collaboration from my perspective.
Have any of you ever thought of doing something similar?