Exhibition updates

Estelle Lovatt FRSA: 'Art Expert' in Residence

Estelle Lovatt - RI Exhibition

Artist and art critic Estelle Lovatt FRSA shares her thoughts on the instinctive nature of watercolours.

Being 'Art Expert in Residence' at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) 207th Exhibition was wonderful. I was there to talk about the watercolours, share market insights and answer questions on all things art. I met such interesting people, from gallery visitors to the exhibiting artists, whom I heard gallery-goers praise and describe their skilled artwork “incredible…innovative… haunting…beautiful…stunning…astonishing…expressive…great quality.” Many congratulations to the incredible prize winners, and indeed all the magnificent artists.

I enjoy the capriciousness of watercolour.  From how it is shaped as much by the wetness of the medium and the way that weighty, broad washes, relax into the furrows of the paper (often without much control!), to how tiny, subtle, brushstrokes build up layers of transparent effects, adding 3D volume and depth of perspective.

Watercolour has a life of its own, its magical luminosity and instinctive freedom rapidly seizing an impression, reminds me of a quote by Pablo Picasso who said, “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.” And on the cold bleak London day I was there, the jewel-like colours – Prussian blue beside Indian yellow, carmine and burnt sienna by Hooker's green, Payne’s grey and emerald – felt especially gorgeous.

Estelle Lovatt at the Royal Insitute of Water Colours 207th Exhibition

The beginnings of the RI dates back to 1807 and it continues to promote watercolour today. His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, has written the foreword of RI: Then and Now, a coffee-table book accompanying the exhibition, which traces the history of the institute. Prince Charles himself had two landscapes exhibited; he favours watercolour for painting ‘en plein air’, outdoor studies, of landscapes and forests of trees, rooted in the scrutiny of nature, since water scenes fit the clear flowing characteristics of the medium.

I was also lucky to eavesdrop on some free events as part of the exhibition including Jean Noble RI hosting portfolio reviews, Robin Hazelwood RI giving an exhibition tour and Rosa Sepple PRI talking to visitors.

Elli Koumousi, Head of Education and Cultural Strategy at Mall Galleries said staff thought of me as their “in-house art therapist.” Someone I was chatting to called me the “Art Doctor”. I won’t forget observing pictorial effects with one gallery-goer who looked at me surprised after I explained how I use salt and clingfilm to apply added texture when I paint. Anything goes in the medium loved by some of the greatest British artists from traditional masters including J.M.W Turner and William Blake to contemporary giants Anish Kapoor and Tracey Emin.

Estelle Lovatt FRSA

Work from the Royal Insitute of Water Colours 207th Exhibition is available to view online.


In the Bookshop: The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

Mall Galleries Bookshop

The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 207th Exhibition features an accompanying selection of gifts and souvenirs from our bookshop.

The latest arrival in the bookshop is a brand new publication written by Anthony J Lester, Hon. RMS, FRBA, FRSA. RI: Then and Now is a celebration of the Institute's rich history and its member artists of both past and present.

The book includes biographies of the society's current members along with examples of their work, and a preface written by first female president Rosa Sepple who has also signed copies of the book.

Further new arrivals include a collection of fine bone china mugs by Lillias August RI each depicting a charming collection of items painted by the artist: Nests, Lightbulbs, Paintbrushes and Scissors.

Naomi Tydeman RI’s work Marsh Moon (on view in the exhibition) is this year's limited edition greetings card and notecard sets of Ann Blockley RI’s chilling 'Wintry Hawthorn' are also available

Shirley Trevena RI’s signature style of loose and dynamic watercolours are firm visitors favourite and her selection of greetings cards and book are unsurprisingly among our bestsellers.

For those feeling inspired and keen to get painting the first thing every artist needs is a good sketchbook and a travel set of paints followed perhaps by a guide book (or two) with some helpful tips and hints. Thankfully our bookshop has an entire range of instructional titles but two we’d like to highlight were both written by Hazel Soan. Light and Shade in Watercolor offers a comprehensive introduction focusing on the use of shadows and highlights to create depth and atmospheric effects.

However, if you’re new to watercolours and eager to dive straight in and get painting in the great outdoors as soon as possible then our bestselling 10-Minute Watercolours is the perfect pocket-sized guide to carry around with you. This mini edition is full of handy 10-minute step-by-step exercises for the budding artist whose time is limited but passion for painting isn’t.

The Royal Insitute of Painters in Water Colours 207th Exhibition continues at Mall Galleries until Thursday 18 March. 

Plan your visit now

All of the products featured are available to purchase in our bookshop:

  • RI: Then & Now book, £34.99 
  • Lillias August mugs, £15.00
  • Naomi Tydeman, 'Marsh Moon' greetings card (limited edition), £2.95
  • Shirley Trevena Watercolours, £25.00
  • 10-Minute Watercolours, (Collins Mini) £5.99
  • Light and Shade in Watercolour, Hazel Soan, £19.99
  • Watercolour paint disc sets, £8.50
  • Seawhite sketchbook, £9.95
  • Ann Blockley card packs, £6.99 (or 2 for £12.00)

'Art Expert in Residence' Estelle Lovatt FRSA on Pastels

Goodman-Sheila-Avon Meadows

Artist and art critic Estelle Lovatt FRSA shares her thoughts on pastels, and the peculiar exercise of appreciating art.

My second day as Mall Galleries ‘Art Expert in Residence’ was at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019.  It was a great privilege to be there, talking to gallery visitors about all things art, and looking at the superb pastels, which were of a very high standard.

Visitors asked me questions, some in whispers, others boldly requesting art world information at decibels that enabled those nearby to listen in. Whatever questions popped into people's heads, they asked. Titbits of advice were required in answer to questions like how can I sell my work? How much should I sell it for? What framing is best? Are there rules about mounts? Should pastels be behind glass? What type of glass?

Someone asked me simply to talk about a pastel they admired from the exhibition, and we discussed how art doesn't demand to be understood to be appreciated. You don't need expertise to understand art, to do it, or to experience it. When I listen to birdsong I don't know its meaning, but I enjoy it very much.

Just as important as knowing what you like is knowing what you dislike. We talked about the subjective versus the objective in art. We talked about rejection, and how the Impressionists, Fauvists and Cubists were initially rejected and considered madmen, before becoming much-loved favourites.

The love of art and ideas, emotions, feelings and imagination is what it’s all about. It was inspiring to hear pastel enthusiasts talk about their love for the medium and their struggles with their art: 'how can we make whites whiter and at the same time have more colour?' 'Can our greens be as wide-ranging as Constable?'

We nattered about what sort of paper to use, whether to use fixative, and how fixative might darken as it seals the pigment (so use a good quality fixative). This led on to talks about becoming friends with staff at a good art shop. The famous pastel artist Edgar Degas made an appearance; we discussed how he might apply a layer of paint to his card, for the pastel to grip it another way, or apply pastel to tracing paper. I directed one visitor to the National Gallery across the road to examine the Degas there.

I talked about good mixing techniques, like hatching and crosshatching, to ensure colours stay light and unified. I also encouraged visitors not to worry too much about technique. My motto is 'if you can dust you can draw!' Drawing is all about moving your hand, wrist and arm, up and down and side to side.  And, hey, you’re making marks, and marks equal drawing.

So until we meet again, I’d like to thank everyone for their ideas and questions. Happy drawing! My next event in the gallery will be on 10 and 11 April from 12 noon to 1.30pm. This is during the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 207th Exhibition.

Estelle Lovatt FRSA

Image credit

Sheila Goodman PS, Avon Meadows

Celebrating Older People in Portraiture

Melodie Cook PS and Penelope Milner explain how a desire to portray compelling emotion led them to select older sitters.

'I want my portraits to possess an emotional potency, and older sitters tend to project a lot of emotion because of the wealth of life experiences they have' says Melodie. 'I love the challenge of portraying those emotions with pastels. I also find it fascinating to map out the wrinkles, understanding how they are all connected and why they are there.'

Maria Vajente by Melodie Cook PS: Pastel, 107 x 107 cm - £2,950

'My two portraits in The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019 were inspired by Maria Vajente, a long-time friend who'd wanted me to do her portrait for quite a while. Maria had seen my portrait of Nancy Trotter Landry and Bobby and absolutely wanted me to portray her with a chicken on her head.'

Nancy Trotter Landry and Bobby by Melodie Cook PS

'When we finally got together there was no chicken to be found, so Maria produced an amazing bandana and wrapped it around her head. Maria was three years into treatment for cancer and was awaiting the results from her latest tests. All of this really showed on her skin and in her expression, and I wanted to capture that, despite the pain of it. I put a lot of my own emotion into that drawing. Maria died just a few months later and so never made it to the exhibition.'

'Rosemary is 70 and a ceramic artist. She’s a lovely positive woman and has had a fantastically varied life, from owning a riding school to breeding and showing dogs, whilst running a French restaurant with her Italian husband. I wanted to portray Rosemary's strength of character and her love of the outdoors, hence the determined expression and the hair blowing away from her face.'

Rosemary Delfino by Melodie Cook PS: Pastel, 107 x 107 cm - £2,950

'Both ladies loved that I had done their portrait but hated to see all the wrinkles! They were both convinced that I had added extra ones, whereas the opposite was true. I am yet to find an older sitter who likes to contemplate the reality of their ageing - myself included. My self portraits are usually brutally honest. They reflect the ageing process rather than attempting any self-flattery or delusion.'

'Older people are physiologically complex and interesting to paint' says Penelope Milner. 'When the sitter is able to be themselves and allow the artist access, it's both a privilege and a fascinating discovery. I am less concerned about documenting the degenerative effects of age on the skin and the blemishes, than in understanding the individual.'

'Unfortunately, older women can be harder to paint than men; they often feel less at ease with their self image. But what happens to the muscles and the lines in the face tells much about the way a life has been lived, and there can be a real beauty in that. While painting the portrait of my mother, Harriet, I saw glimpses of her child self and young woman self as well as the person she now is.  The onset of my mother's dementia has made her less self-conscious about her physical appearance too.' 

Harriet by Penelope Milner; Pastel, 69 x 54 cm - £1,600

'Social media and adverts can feel dominated by perfect images of youth, often airbrushed, edited in photoshop, or filtered. These images seem to be concerned with a very narrow version of exterior beauty. In contrast, the process of painting someone is essentially slow and contemplative.'

'The presence of the individual makes itself known to the artist quietly, through a direct exchange. Perhaps art has a role to play in portraying something deeper about the human condition, something we as viewers can recognise about ourselves as we look into the face of a painted portrait.'

Image credit

Maria Vajente by Melodie Cook PS

Emerging Artists in The Pastel Society Exhibition 2019

Of the 60 guest artists selected from the Call for Entries to exhibit work at The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019, several are new faces at Mall Galleries, and some have never shown their work publicly in the UK or elsewhere before. Many of these first-time exhibitors have gone on to win prestigious prizes at the Exhibition, and here they share their experiences of submitting and exhibiting.

Andrea Santi, winner of the Alfred Teddy Smith & Zsuzsi Roboz Award

21-year-old Italian artist Andrea Santi won the £5,000 Alfred Teddy Smith & Zsuzsi Roboz Award for a pencil drawing of her mother in The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019. It's Andrea's first exhibition at Mall Galleries, and we've devoted a whole article to her here

Mum by Andrea Santi: Graphite, 35 x 33 cm - £1,100

Sophie Amauger, winner of the Frank Herring & Sons Award

‘I’ve never submitted my pastel work to an exhibition in the UK before, but I felt ready to do it this year after winning a prize in America’ says Sophie Amauger. Regular Mall Galleries exhibitor Penelope Milner told Sophie about The Pastel Society Call for Entries, and the artist decided to enter her work. ‘As a member of an art society in France, I also met some of The Pastel Society members, David Brammeld RBA PS and Margaret Glass PS, when they visited us in France.

‘It has been a great experience to see my work hanging alongside member artists at The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition’ says Sophie. ‘I was astonished by the quality of the works on display, and the diversity of mediums and subject matters. Many of the artists have such a strong style that their work is instantly recognisable. Several of the exhibitors are very well-known in France. Halla Shafey, who won the Henri Roche Award for her work Red Sea, is featured in this month’s popular French Arts Magazine, Pratique Des Arts. It was great to meet her at The Pastel Society private view.’

The Plunge by Sophie Amauger: Pastel, 80 x 80 cm - £2,100

‘Exhibiting at Mall Galleries is like showing your work in a national museum; the quality of the space, the light, and the various rooms creates a special environment for displaying art. I feel very lucky to have been selected and even more so to receive a prize, because lots of talented artists compete for a spot on Mall Galleries’ walls.’

‘If I was to offer advice to other artists thinking about submitting to a Mall Galleries Call for Entries, I would say that having a nice technique is not enough; personality is required. Now that I’ve exhibited at The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition and won the Frank Herring & Sons Award, I feel inspired to devote more of my time and efforts to creating work and exhibiting. This has been a great step for my art career.’

Lynn Norton

‘This was my first attempt at entering an exhibition at Mall Galleries and I’m absolutely thrilled to have a painting accepted’ says Lynn Norton. ‘I was encouraged by an art tutor, herself a member of The Pastel Society, who thought my work was of a high enough standard to exhibit. I’m so delighted she persuaded me to enter as I wouldn’t have had the courage otherwise.’  

‘I discovered The Pastel Society a few years ago. Visiting Mall Galleries for their Annual Exhibitions helped me to discover how I could use pastels in an exciting way. Traditional ideas of safe pastel painting are long gone thanks to exhibitions like this one; there are so many techniques, styles, and innovative approaches to dry media on display. I love getting up close to the paintings to study the mark making the artists have used.’

Komorebi by Lynn Norton: Pastel & Acrylic, 62 x 62 cm - £500

‘Attending the private view and seeing my painting on display among such fabulous work was a surreal moment for me. My adult daughters came too, and it was a proud moment showing them the painting hanging in such a fantastic gallery, with such a prestigious art society.’

The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019 is great. There’s something for every taste and budget, and an amazing range of sizes, so whether you’re looking for an enormous statement piece, or trying to fit great beauty into a small space, there’s something for you. It was fantastic to see a full spectrum of styles, with examples of everything from pure abstraction to photorealism on display. Some of the paintings were so realistic I had to scrutinise them closely just to believe they were created with pastels.’

‘It’s early days, but I’ve already had some great feedback from being in the exhibition. Some people didn’t know about Mall Galleries, and they’ve all loved the space. Others had assumed certain things about dry media, but were amazed at the work on display.’

‘I would encourage other artists to enter their work to Mall Galleries Call for Entries. It’s scary at first, but the online application process is very straightforward. Mall Galleries shares a list of trusted art couriers on their website, so that took care of the logistics. I found a lovely chap who transports artwork from Northern England, and it was plain sailing after that. Having done it once, I’d like to do it again, and I’d recommend others to do so too.’

Phil Irons

‘I really liked that The Pastel Society welcomes innovative work and pencil drawings, which is my medium’ says Phil Irons, ‘so my family encouraged me to enter their Call for Entries. I met several of the judges and members of the society, and they were all extremely friendly and encouraging as well.’

Old Fishing Shed, Dungeness by Phil Irons: Pencil, 31 x 47 cm - £1,000

‘It’s quite surreal to have my work on display in The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition because I’ve only been drawing for 18 months. I didn’t really expect my submission to be successful, so to see my drawing hang alongside such talented artists is very humbling. The standard of the works in the exhibition is really impressive, and the gallery space looks amazing.’

‘Since the exhibition opened, I’ve received encouraging and complimentary comments from other exhibitors and members, especially on social media. I would certainly encourage other artists to enter in the future.’

Eugenia Solomkina

‘This is the first exhibition of my artistic career’, says Eugenia Solomkina. ‘I submitted to The Pastel Society Call for Entries because I wanted to know whether my work is good enough for public display. I’m a student at LARA, and I still have a couple of years before I finish my training, so it was really flattering to know that my technical skill impressed The Pastel Society judges.’

Steve by Eugenia Solomkina: Charcoal, 92 x 51 cm - £1,200

‘I really appreciate how exhibitions at Mall Galleries provide opportunities for emerging artists to reach a wider audience, and to get their name out there. It’s fantastic to show my work alongside prominent members of The Pastel Society, in an exhibition where the level of skill on display is so high. I will definitely tell other artists to submit their work to future exhibitions.’

Tracey Gent

‘I decided to enter The Pastel Society Open Exhibition after meeting member artists Caroline Bays PS and Susan Relph PS at life drawing classes in Woking, who suggested I should submit my work’, says Tracey. ‘I've been submitting for a few years now, and this is the first year that my work has been accepted.’

‘I was drawn to The Pastel Society because of the lovely work on display in the Annual Exhibitions. This year, I’ve started signing up to the society’s workshops and events at Mall Galleries too.’

Stone and Shadow by Tracey Gent: Pastel & charcoal pencil, 33 x 28 cm - £350

‘It’s very flattering and a little intimidating to have my work on display alongside such talented artists. I feel like I still have a lot to learn. As a community, The Pastel Society has been very supportive and congratulatory. One member took me under her wing at the private view and introduced me to lots of the other exhibitors, which was great.’

‘I would encourage other artists to submit their work to Mall Galleries Call for Entries’ says Tracey, ‘with the advice that they shouldn’t be discouraged if they are rejected. It can be difficult to handle, but it’s also part of the process.’

Find out more about the artists and work in The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019

Image credit

Old Fishing Shed, Dungeness by Phil Irons

The Pastel Society 2019: Interactive Map

The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2019

The Pastel Society hold their Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries from 5 to 16 February 2019.

Based on the titles of works, this map reveals 54 locations around the world where members of The Pastel Society and guest exhibitors have found inspiration, and the works of art they created there.

All these works and more will be on display at Mall Galleries from 5 to 16 February, with a private view on Tuesday 4 February from 2pm to 8pm.

Browse and Buy works from the exhibition


Help us improve this map:

While best efforts have been made to accurately plot locations, please let us know where improvements can be made. Email: admin@mallgalleries.com

Picturing the World in Pastels

Pastel Society exhibitor Richard Rees PS travels the world as an architect, and documents the places he visits in vibrant pastels.

Clevedon Pier, Somerset by Richard Rees PS: Oil Pastel, 49 x 68 cm - £750

'Visiting a new city or seeing a piece of historic architecture inspires my artistic practice' says new Pastel Society member, Richard Rees. 'I take a sketch book and camera with me on my travels to record the most interesting sights, and use these records to form works of art in oil pastel. I'm drawn to distinctive patterns, colours, and shapes, so even though my works in this year’s Pastel Society exhibition depict locations as far flung as Somerset and Yemen, they are linked by this overarching focus.'

Canary Wharf at Night by Richard Rees PS: Oil Pastel, 39 x 33 cm - £300

'In my UK scenes, it was the patterns that spoke to me. I liked the floating grids of light at Canary Wharf and the mysterious river reflections. For Clevedon Pier, Somerset it was the curved and gridded structure of the supports for the pier, dark against the blue Bristol Channel behind. For  Falmouth Boats 2, I liked the dancing rhythm of the sails and their contrast with the sky, sea and land.'

Falmouth Boats 2 by Richard Rees PS: Oil Pastel, 50 x 65 cm - £800

'At Eguisheim, a medieval village in France’s Alsace wine region, I found traditional timber frame structures, overhanging roofs, and pastel colours which looked like they had come straight out of a fairytale.'

Street in Eguisheim, Alsace by Richard Rees PS: Oil Pastel, 60 x 48 cm - £750

'My fifth oil pastel in the Pastel Society Annual Exhibitoin 2019, which is open from 5 February to 16 February 2019, is of Shibam in Yemen. It is the only place I've depicted that I have not visited, and as the country is now caught in the grips of a tragic civil war, it is currently impossible to do so. This World Heritage Site City is unique in having hundreds of eleven storey mud towers, dating from the Middle Ages. I was captivated by photos of the patterns these created and added my own colour interpretation.'

Shibam, Yemen by Richard Rees PS: Oil Pastel, 52 x 65 cm - £650

'Although I am still travelling a lot, my next subject is a series inspired by the Thames Bridges in London. Each work will gradually reveal more of the building's structure, forms, and variations. I'm also working on depictions of a Pueblo settlement at Mesa Verde, and a multi-windowed façade in Berat, Albania.'

Discover the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition Online Now

Image credit

Shibam, Yemen by Richard Rees PS

Introducing Dachan

Dachan is a renowned Chinese contemporary artist who is also a poet, calligrapher and painter. The artist uses traditional Chinese watercolour and inkwork, and a variety of traditional scripts in his calligraphy to introduce ancient practices into the world of modern art.

The Art of a Spiritual Era Brightens All Living Things: The Art of Dachan World Tour Exhibition is a series of exhibitions showcasing the ink wash paintings and other works by this artist. It represents a global journey of spiritual culture, guided by the theory of unity through art. The tour began in 2016, and these works have so far been exhibited in the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Italy, Germany and India. Dachan’s work will be complemented by a video allowing visitors to experience the world of Buddhism through virtual reality technology, creating a truly immersive experience.

Dachan’s works are rich in content and highly individualistic. Their poetic, calligraphic and pictorial aspects are intimately integrated. By using traditional practices in a contemporary manner, Dachan assimilates the spirit of Chinese modern art with a Zen sensibility, using ink wash methods rooted in Chinese culture to portray the changelessness of life. It is hoped that the language and vitality of his works lead viewers to have a more positive and joyous outlook on life.

Find out more about the Exhibition

Image credit


Behind the Scenes: Leanne Rutter AROI's Travel Paintings

Leanne Rutter AROI shares the stories behind her paintings in the ROI Annual Exhibition 2018, and how the institute helped to kickstart her art career.

'My relationship with the ROI began in 2009 when I exhibited with the society for the first time. I was fresh out of university and fairly unsure of my place in the world. One year later, I received both the Phyllis Roberts Award and 3rd prize in the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award at the ROI Annual Exhibition. That recognition and support has been so useful for my artistic progression, and I hope to become a member of the ROI soon.'

'My paintings in this year’s exhibition reflect my love of travel, from the deserts and vast lakes of Southern Africa, and the lush jungles of Mexico, to resplendent woodlands in California and beyond. Here are some of the stories behind the works.'

'Before I left for South Africa, a friend taught me how to tattoo. Possessing this skill has changed so much for me - the way I travel, the people I meet, and my whole relationship with art and process. I had been going through a period of disenchantment, but through tattooing my creativity rushed back. While painting could feel lonely, I was suddenly working with interesting people every day. Tattooing funded my travels, and my travels inspired my art, helping me to love painting in a new way.'

Needless, Malawi

Needless, Malawi by Leanne Rutter AROI: Oil, 40 x 40 cm - £2,200

Needless is a scene from the last night of my most recent trip to Malawi. Often referred to as ‘the warm heart of Africa’, I’ve made some of my dearest friends there. It’s a country of great beauty, where you find a strong sense of community and joy in life, in spite of the widespread poverty.

On the final night of the trip, I was working alongside a tailor. The tailor was making several garments and I was finishing a large tattoo of a baobab tree. Suddenly we were plunged into darkness as the power failed. You’d think this would be a disaster, but somehow the blackout made us both concentrate; blackouts are a regular feature of life in Malawi, and work must go on regardless.

Both the tattoo and the clothes turned out beautifully, and that night is emblazoned on my memory. The resulting painting shows ‘two people who earn their living with needles, practicing their craft in my tiny flat under improvised light sources’ says the recipient of the tattoo, Ashley Malpass, from the Malawi Peace Corps.

Poaching Patrol, Malawi

Poaching Patrol, Malawi by Leanne Rutte AROI: Oil, 45 x 55 cm - £2,300

Poaching Patrol features Reto, a Swiss man I met who wanted a sleeve tattoo depicting creatures that creep in the Malawian night. Reto works to protect elephants and other animals in the vast forest of Thuma from poachers and charcoal-burners.

Without the support of teams such as Reto’s, there would soon be no wildlife left in this region. It’s not just elephants that are in danger, antelope and warthogs are targets for poachers as well. But elephants have so much emotional intelligence that they visibly grieve for fallen family members in an incredibly distressing way.

Reto’s job is hard and often lonely, with little respite. There will always be new snares, new poachers, and new horrors to behold after a long night of searching the through the dark trees. Working with local communities instead of against them is vital.

Desert Corax, California

Desert Corax, California by Leanne Rutter AROI: Oil, 15 x 40 cm - £2,000

I fell in love in San Francisco, and we travelled to the desert together. I recall the sunset as the saturation seemed to seep out of the landscape into the glowing skies overhead. A single hare. The imperious sharp silhouettes of Joshua Trees. Clambering up vast boulders. I felt so utterly present and in awe of the spell-binding stillness and silence. We made art and gazed at the skies.

See more works from the Exhibition

ROI 2018: Interactive Map

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2018 brings together works inspired by locations all over the world, from Las Vegas and Venice to Doncaster and St Tropez. Mall Galleries Digital Manager Liam Kilby plotted these locations for us on this brilliant interactive map. Can you find an exhibition artwork inspired by a place near you?

Based on the titles of works, this map reveals 85 locations around the world where members of the ROI and guest exhibitors have found inspiration, and the paintings they created there. All these works and more will be on display at Mall Galleries from 28 November to 9 December 2018. 

Help us improve this map

While our best efforts have been made to accurately plot locations, please let us know where improvements can be made. Email suggestions to admin@mallgalleries.com.

Discover the ROI Exhibition 2018