If you go down to the Mall today, you're sure of a big surprise....
Held annually at the prestigious Mall Galleries, (just up from Buckingham Palace!) the RMS offers a two week feast of today's top miniature painters' latest works. Entrance is free!
Last Monday, the Gallery was full of people who had come to see the opening ceremony and presentations. Starting from a couple of hundred pounds, original masterworks were on sale and being snapped up by eager collectors. For those looking to spend a smaller sum, beautiful and exclusive greeting cards, representing the works of winning exhibitors, are also on sale.
The Exhibition was opened by Rupert Maas who also presented the Golden Bowl award for the best piece in any medium. Rupert is the picture expert for the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. He was introduced by Elizabeth Meek, the President of the Society.
The Gold Bowl was crafted by Garrard, the Crown Jewellers, in 18 carat gold. The magnificent Bowl was donated to the Society by the previous President, Suzanne Lucas, who being a very practical lady, suggested that if the RMS should ever fall on hard times, the Bowl could be sold to save the Society!
The Gold Bowl Award was won by Iain Gardiner for his work called 'Reflection 4'. He was given a smaller silver gilt replica to keep.
Although not a portrait miniature we were impressed by the skill and technique of his complicated conversation piece on today's consumerism.
It was then we saw the the genius of Iain's painting ability with the large painting of his mother and father (on the wall behind him). The painting is 22 1/2 x 18 in (56.5 x 46 cm) and is painted in the miniature painting style. The painting took six months to complete and was selected for the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery.
A close up of the faces shows the incredible detail in the painting
Even the shirt is painted showing the material 'fluffing' on the edge!
While at the exhibition we met artist and author, Katherine Tyrrell, who runs a web site called www.makingamark.co.uk and also one of the worlds most popular blogs on art, www.makingamark.blogspot.com. This is an excellent site for reports on all the art exhibitions in the UK .