You must have a healthy, wholesome view of yourself, your works and what you can uniquely bring into the art world and be true to it!

Adebanji Alade VPROI on his favourite work in the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2020, his favourite art supplies store and the greatest asset an artist can have. 

Adebanji Alade VPROI Grey, Rainy, Gloomy Day, London

You and the ROI

Why did you want to join the Royal Institute of Oil Painters?

I wanted to join the ROI because I love the oil medium and I wanted to belong to a society that parades the best artists in the medium.

Why should artists want to exhibit with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters?

It is a great opportunity to get your work recognised and seen alongside some of the best painters in the oil medium today.

Why should people want to buy art from the Royal Institute of Oil Painters?

People should buy art from the ROI because you know for sure you are getting work from some of the best painters in the oil medium today. 

Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA Winter, Oak Trees in the Snow

Past or present, which artist from the ROI do you most admire?

For me, it’s Trevor Chamberlain. I’ve courted his works in books way back when I was in Nigeria. I love his consistency over the years and even after eight decades, his quality is still up there with the very, very best!

What is your favourite work in this year’s exhibition?

My favourite work in the exhibition is David Curtis’ piece titled, “Diffused Light, Jermyn Street”.

He uses a limited palette with such dexterity that it almost looks like he has used a full-blown palette, yet the mood atmosphere of this piece still comes across so vividly. It’s a masterpiece!

David Curtis ROI RSMA Diffused Light, Jermyn Street

Your Materials

What paints make up your palette? 

I couldn’t do it without them!

What framer do you use and do you always use the same framer? 

Two framers, Joe Alexander & Bijan!

Joe Alexander is a master framer with great precision and finishing.

Bijan is experienced in everything frames, I’ve used him since 1999.

What is your favourite art supplies store? 

My favourite supply store is Cass Art - they’ve taken way too much of my money but I get quality in return.

You, Your Work and Your Studio

What gallery did you first sell work at? When was it? How much did it sell for?

The first gallery to sell my work in London was the Mall Galleries. It was in 2006 at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and I can’t remember how much it sold for (£400 according to our records).

It was titled, “The People I Sketch Every Day on Public Transport”

Where do you produce your best work? Do you work en plein air and finish in the studio?

I produce my best work on the go - sketches and plein air.

But then the more refined gallery work is started and finished in my studio. 

Adebanji Alade VPROI Too Early....?

Do you have any rituals or routines when preparing and starting a painting? 

Yes, I pray to God for inspiration - a touch of the Divine.

Where is your studio and what’s it like? / Can you describe your studio space?

My studio space is in Chelsea on Lots Road, it is a cluttered treasure of an organised junkie, filled with sketchbooks, paintings, books and over 500 art magazines!


What advice would you give a young artist starting out or wanting to join the ROI?

You are making the right decision. Oil is the most respected medium in the world and when you introduce yourself into the art world as a member of such a prestigious society you instantly gain respect and the doors of opportunity are bound to open for you! At least they did for me since being elected a full member in 2015!

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?   

I wish somebody had told me to believe more in myself and not let self-doubt consume me.

I believe self-confidence is the greatest asset any artist can have, once it’s gone, there’s not much you can do in a world where a million artists are all splashing their stuff on social media and galleries....and if you are not careful, you’ll compare yourself with too many and be swamped into complete utter despair. 

You must have a healthy, wholesome view of yourself, your works and what you can uniquely bring into the art world and be true to it!

'Reflections from the Artist' is an ongoing series of reflection, advice from and insight into the practice of artists who exhibit at Mall Galleries. 

Discover the full series here.

Next Up... Derek Daniells AROI

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