Royal Society of Marine Artists

The Royal Society of Marine Artists is widely recognised for much of Britain's finest contemporary marine art

RSMA Logo jpg

The sea, a source of inspiration to artists for centuries, constant yet ever changing. It has the power to evoke varied responses expressed in many individual ways. Throughout history the sea has represented a highway for exploration and trade, also the arena for conflict, adventure and romance. The challenges confronting Marine Artists are infinite, the motivation compelling and obsessive.

John Scott Martin - President

Founded in 1939 as the Society of Marine Artists, the Society was granted its royal status in 1966 by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the Royal Society of Marine Artists.

The RSMA Annual Exhibition is open to non-members and the Society welcomes entries from all artists interested in celebrating some aspect of the sea and tidal waters. The common theme is the sea and tidal waters although, within that remit, work is wide and varied. Subjects range from deep water shipping to coastal scenes, competitive sailing to quiet harbours, marine wildlife to still life. The work is representational in the broadest sense and includes a vast range of media.

The Society has links with the maritime world, including the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Navy, the RNLI, sail training organisations and publishing.

Video: RSMA Open Call and Exhibition

Call for Entries

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the RSMA Annual Exhibition.

Several prizes and awards are available to win.

Prizes & Awards

The Artist Magazine Award


2023: Nick Grove ARSMA, Bright Light, Burnham Overy Staithe

2022: Tom Marsh ARSMA AROI

2021: Lucy Clayton, Spidercrab No. 9

2020: Gareth Brown RSMA, Sea Flora V

2019: Brian Fleming ARSMA

2018: Pete Nance

2017: Natalia Avdeeva ROI

2016: James Bartholomew RSMA

2015: Jamel Akib, Pull 2

2014: Douglas Gray RSMA, Cromer Point

BAE Systems Award


2023: Richard Dack RSMA, The Shipwright

2022: Geoff Hunt PPRSMA, Stormy End to the Day Shift, BAE Govan

Baltic Exchange Award


2023: Jenny Aitken ARSMA, Sundown from Harwich Quay

2022: John Lines RSMA, Early Start

2021: William Carney ROI, Britannia, Pool of London

2020: John Walsom ARSMA ROI, Mylor Yacht Harbour, Low Tide

2019: Matthew Draper PS, Nocturne with a Polluted Light (Part VI)

2018: David Atkins, The Sea at Portland Bill

The Charles Pears Award


2023: Alison Holt, Between the Rock Pools

2022: Terry Lord, Evening Light

2021: Frances Bell RP, Howick 

2020: Srirangam Mohankumar, Reflections, Pin Mill

2019: Tony Allain PS, Low Water, Porthleven

2018: Pete Nance, Reflections, Polperro Harbour

2017: David Hawthorne, Low Tide

2016: Matthew Draper PS, Nocturne with Reflections, Falmouth Harbour

2015: Tony Williams, Ship with Moon

2014: Jamel Akib, Pull

2013: Deborah Walker RI, North Easterly; Farne Islands

The Classic Boat Award


2023: Clare Bowen, Falmouth Classics II

2022: Srirangam Mohankumar, Sailing Midday

2021: J F Morgan RSMA, A Freshening Wind - Victorian Yachts

2020: Kevin Clarkson, A Breeze on the Blackwater

2019: Tim Hall RSMA, Butterfly, Rose of Argyll, Mousehole

2018: Maarten Platje, Racing in the Solent 1926

2017: J F Morgan RSMA

2016: Geoff Hunt PPRSMA

2015: Sheena Bevis-White, Juno

2014: Brian J Jones, Lulworth, Mariquita and Moonbeam

2013: Brian J Jones, Shamrock Powering to Windward

The Kenneth Denton Award


2023: John Stillman RSMA, Grey Day, Cowes, Isle of Wight

2022: Martin Swan RSMA, The Foredeck of Mariette

2021: Mark Myers PPRSMA, The "Billy Ruffian" Running in a Blow

2020: James Bartholomew RSMA, Sun on the Solent

2019: Deborah Walker RSMA RI, Sunlight and Shadows

2018: James Bartholomew RSMA, Atlantic Blue 4

Murray's Commercial Fishing Award


2023: Duncan Palmar RSMA, Sunlight and Shadows, Cadgwith Cove (First Prize); Gillian Roberts RSMA, Parkol Marine Whitby, Trawler Builders on a Break (Second Prize)

2022: Alistair Butt RSMA, Evening Light on the Shell Fishing Fleet at Kings Lynn (First Prize); Michael Salt RSMA, Whitby Fishing Boats (Second Prize)

2021: Henrietta Graham, Twilight Sardine Landing (First Prize); Alistair Butt RSMA, Between Shell Fishing Trips - Brancaster Staithe (Second Prize)

2020: Jenny Morgan RSMA, Hauling the Trawl - Sidewinder Trawlers (First Prize); Alistair Butt RSMA, Banding the Lobsters (Second Prize)

2019: Neil Faulkner RSMA, Offloading, Tenby Harbour

Pegasus Art Prize


2023: Alice Hole, Against the Weathered Wall, Cadgwith

RSMA Award for the Best Small Painting


2023: Raymond Leech RSMA, Evening Crabbing Session Blakeney

2022: Gillian Roberts RSMA, Crab Success, Whitby

2021: Tom Marsh, RX56 and Friends, Hastings, Sussex

2020: John Lines RSMA, Waiting

2019: Benjamin Mowll PRSMA, Dawn Light, Venice

The RSMA New Generation Award


2023: Kayla Martell, Hey Sailor

2022: Max White, Albert Bridge, Sun Effect, 2pm

2021: Ollie Tuck, Fresh from the Fishmongers

2020: Gregory Smith

2019: Andrzej Szymczyk, Large Seahorse

2018: Frances Bell RP, Bamburgh Cattle in the Snow

The Sea Pictures Gallery Award


2023: Kate Bentley RI, Sail Loft

2022: Benjamin Hope RSMA NEAC PS ROI RP, Blues from Southwark Bridge 

2019: Simon Conolly, A Day at the Seaside

2018: Henrietta Graham, Newlyn Fish Market

2017: Martin Swan VPRSMA, St Helens Fort

2016: Brian Smith, Fighting the Elements

2015: David Nixon, Highrise

2014: Brian A Collins, Sea Trials II

2013: Tim Hall, Maritime Festival, Mousehole

The Topbond Marine Award


2023: Martin Swan RSMA & Paul Woods, A Suffolk Coast 

2022: Jenny Aitken ARSMA, Evening Light at Harwich Harbour

2021: Robert Brindley RSMA, Hazy Light, Fisher Fleet, Kings Lynn

2020: John Maule-ffinch, The Old Cranes at Bristol Docks

2019: Tony Williams ARSMA, Swinging a Plate

2018: Tony Feld, Portslade Dock Crane

2017: Tony Feld, Offshore

2016: Mick Dean, Under the Wharf

The Winsor & Newton Oil Prize


2023: Peter Goodhall, Serenity

2022: Greg Ramsden, Salcombe Boatyard

2021: Gareth Brown RSMA, Harbour Reflections II

2020: Richard Dack RSMA RWA, Hebridean Recollections 

2019: Tom Marsh, Early Morning - Hastings Fishing Fleet

2018: Lucinda Storm, Storm Ahead, Polzeath Beach, Cornwall

2017: Gillian Roberts, Staithes Roofs

2016: Charles Inge, Tethered Beach Hut

2015: Bruce Williams, Breakwater and Neptune

2014: Tony Feld, Fishing Floats – Staithes

2013: Rowena Wright RSMA, Gurnard Cardinal Mark

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