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Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Royal Society of Portrait Painters
annual Exhibition
Portraits 2012

The private view of the RP exhibition was, as always apparently, packed. Through the crowds I managed to have a good look around and found myself amazed at the evocative paintings on display. I had so many favourites I could not show them all. There was an impressive collection of portraits of the Queen, to celebrate her jubilee, and of course the celebs were not lacking in presence either. But a hugely touching portrait by David Cobley of his mother stole the show, as did three paintings by RP member Michael Taylor. Antony Williams won the Ondaatje Prize ('best in show’) and his work is absolutely awesome. His portraits in egg-tempera are stern but endlessly subtle, technically amazing and timeless.
My painting had a fantastic spot on the wall of the north gallery, surrounded by RP members’ work. I was honoured it was hanging so well. My friend and model was with me and she got recognised immediately by the people around it. I was delighted to meet up and have lunch with Katherine Tyrrell, the wonderful lady who writes the Making-a-Mark blog. Her review of the exhibition can be found here, and her line up of all the prize winners is here.
All in all a great day. I can so recommend going to see the exhibition, which is on until 18 May at the Mall Galleries.

Some highlights for me:

Portrait of ballet star Carlos Acosta by Nigel Cox.

Fantastic little Self Portrait by Tim Benson

Great portrait by Sandra Mills

Amazing work by Michael Taylor

Lovely portrait by Olha Pryymak

Refined perfection by BP shortlisted artist Alan Coulson

Gorgeousness by Scott Bartner


  1. Sophie - thanks for this. My work got digitally pre selected for this exhibition but was rejected at the final stage. Now I can see why!! The works are amazing so I don't feel quite so bad now. You work is as ever amazing. Thanks for sharing this and hopefully I will get to visit the exhibition.

    Kindest regards

  2. Sorry to hear that Kat, better luck next year! Hope you can make it to see the exhibition. It is so inspiring.

  3. Thanks for the mention Sophie. Nice to meet you at the show albeit briefly.


  4. Hi Sophie,
    Your painting looked wonderful . . . beautiful. Congratulations.
    I never think to document shows as you have above. Thrilled to see it and that my painting of Carlos is there. Thank you
    Sorry we didn't get to meet this time. Hopefully there will be another occasion.
    Nigel x

  5. Hi Tim, thanks. Would be nice to meet again, some time. Hi Nigel, thank you so much. I am honoured to be hanging at the show. Would be fab to meet some time.
    I hugely admire both of your work.

  6. Thanks for the kind mention Sophie, your painting looks really strong, well done x

  7. You’re welcome Alan. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you for the BP....

  8. Having seen your work and your kitchen at the Severn Arts Trail I was inspired to see your portrait in the RPS exhibition, I hope to get in there one day myself. I thought it was OUTRAGEOUS that the non RPS artists weren't in the catalogue. Your work was every bit as interesting as most of the RPs. Good luck. Ian (wp site work in progress!!)

  9. Thank you Ian! I doubt you saw my ‘kitchen’, LOL, the place in Wickwar is not mine, nor the cakes....As for the RP catalogue, ah well, those are standard rules, only members get in the catalogue and not even all of them either. It is ok, gives me something to aspire to! Thank so much for stopping by and enjoying my work!

  10. Just to let you know that the reason the catalogue contains reproductions of the members' works only is because it is prepared well in advance of the show and the members pay £60+ per image to have them included. Names of all exhibitors are included, and titles of work etc. just without pics.


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