With almost 70% of the UK’s land used for agriculture, it is no wonder that so many of the artists exhibiting in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition have created images of farmland or livestock.
Now that we have all seen empty supermarket shelves with our own eyes, the vital importance Farmers have in keeping us all fed and well is obvious. What better time to celebrate their hard work?
Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Sunlight in the Shed Watercolour & bodycolour, 65 x 85 cm, £2,000
Colin Allbrook RSMA RI is showing a collection of watercolours that focus on the everyday life of the farms around him in Devon and Cornwall, including images of cattle in their cow sheds and sheep in the fields.
Colin Allbrook RSMA RI The Old Bull Watercolour & bodycolour, 65 x 85 cm, £2,000
Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Welcome Sunshine Watercolour & bodycolour, 46 x 62 cm, £1,200
Colin Allbrook RSMA RI Winter on Dartmoor Watercolour & bodycolour, 35 x 43 cm, £495
Sheep safely grazing are also the inspiration for paintings by David Parfitt RI and Lisa Graa Jensen RI.
Lisa Graa Jensen RI A Country Walk Acrylic inks, 45 x 45 cm, £850
David A Parfitt RI Slate Fence and Sheep Watercolour, 59 x 64 cm, £1,100
There is an increased awareness of the positive role that farmers can play in wildlife conservation and many of these images celebrate the huge biodiversity that can be found in field margins.
Edward Stamp RI March Headland Watercolour, 54 x 45 cm, £750
Neatly ploughed fields and their teaming hedgerows are Edward Stamp RI’s focus for many of his works in the show.
Edward Stamp RI March Morning Watercolour, 61 x 47 cm, £775
Ann Blockley RI treats us to a closer view of life in the hedgerow.
Ann Blockley RI Caught in the Brambly Hedge Mixed media, 85.5 x 66.5 cm, £1,650
Tony Hunt RI has reduced the ploughed fields down to beautiful geometric symmetry.
Tony Hunt RI The Barley Mow Acrylic, 88 x 67 cm, £1,400
Rukiye Garip Memories Watercolour, 95 x 75 cm, £3,000
For Karen Read Coley the memories of the farm are also a recurring theme in her work: "These paintings are nearly always based on the memory of the farm next door to where I grew up - Distant farm buildings set on top of rising farmland with a meandering track up the hill to reach them."
Karen Read Coley The Distant Farm Water-based media, 44 x 44 cm, £490
And because 'man shall not live by bead alone', let's also celebrate the Fishermen bringing us home fish when the boat comes in.
Jane Hodgson says of the inspiration behind her painting: "Four of these men cram themselves into a tichy dingy for their life on the high sea."
Jane Hodgson Choppy Sea - Putting Out Nets Ink & watercolour, 67 x 68 cm, £465
The galleries might be closed but you can view the entire Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 208th Exhibition online. Most works are for sale, with prices starting at £350.
Mall Galleries is a not-for-profit Charity and any purchase you make goes to support the artist themselves as well as helping us to continue to offer artists a platform on which to exhibit and sell their work.