Minerva 2020


Mick Davies, Yuko the interpreter and Mr Kushida opened the exhibition
The RBA Council were well represented, although sadly the Japanese artists were unable to attend this year due to Covid-19

It was good to see them both

Social distancing and masks – set the scene for everybody!

RBA October/November News

It is pleasing that some of our members have some good news to share with us.  As the Covid restrictions start to take effect again – or in some cases continue to take effect – it is sometimes difficult to raise a smile, but it also feels good to hear of positive things happening for some of our members:

Callum Stannard our youngest RBA member and newest member of the Council, has quite a lot to smile about … despite his arm being in a sling at the moment!  He was awarded “The Society’s Prize” by the Society of Portrait Sculptors for his work
Mother’ and he was also commended by the Tiranti Prize in the same exhibition, Face 2020:


‘ Mother ‘ – Callum Stannard

Stephen Brown has work in The Autumn Hampshire Art Fair at the Nadia Waterfield Fine Art Gallery, in The Old Grain Store, Westover Farm, Andover, Hampshire SP11 7LF.  The Exhibition runs from 6th – 28th November:


‘ Sunset Peak Hill ‘ – Stephen Brown
‘ The Somerset Levels ‘ – Stephen Brown

Sarah Spackman will be showing 12 – 15 of her works at The New Ashgate Gallery, Waggon Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PS, in an exhibition called “Specific Beauty”.  The exhibition runs from the 14th Nov – 9th Jan 2021:    http://The New Ashgate Gallery,

Sarah Spackman
Sarah Spackman

Sue Campion has a solo show from the 5th – 21st November at the Russell Gallery, 12 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London SW15 1JP


‘ Church on the Hill, Shropshire ‘ – Sue Campion
‘ Bigger Stormy Sky ‘ – Sue Campion

The Royal Academy Summer Show was renamed the ‘Winter’ show this year as it has only just opened, and the RBA was well represented: 

‘ Family Portrait ‘ – Jill Leman
‘ The Black Sheep ‘ – Robert E Wells
‘ The Undercroft ‘ – Bridget Moore
‘ Cher Ami and MartinPuch ‘ – Joyce Cairns
‘ Inside Tokyo Fish Market Warehouse ‘ – Austin Cole

Also on show are works by Hon RBA members:

Olwyn Bowey RA     James Butler RA,    Frederick Cuming RA,   

Anthony Green RA,  Ken Howard RA,   Philip King RA,   

and  Michael Sandle RA, 


Also news from some of our “RBA RISING STARS”:

Henrietta Macphee had a work, a glazed ceramic, selected for the RA Summer Show:

‘ Banana Fan ‘ – Henrietta Macphee

Poppy Field had works included in The Society of Portrait Sculptors

‘ Ruby ‘ – Poppy Field

Alex Wood’s film “Blown Away” was selected by a panel of Mayfair gallerists to be screened at The Mayfair Art Weekend.  The film was inspired by his trip to America when he was exhibited in Los Angeles.  It depicts his bronze “Drone” sculpture traversing the American West landscape:

Film Still – ‘ Blown Away ‘ – Alex Wood

Ben Duax was profiled by the online magazine Panhandler, which is published by the University of Western Florida and the item is here:


‘ The Glue Factory ‘ – Ben Duax

Alice Boggis-Rolfe was commissioned by Sky Arts to paint a number of paintings around the country to give to the MPs of various constituencies, celebrating the channel going free-to-air in September:

Rishi Sunak MP holding Alice’s painting outside No.10

A smile …

A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up.  Then, he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, ‘Dad’.  With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter, with trembling hands:

“Dear Dad,
It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you.  I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mum and you.  I’ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, her tight Motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am.
But it’s not only the passion, Dad.  She’s pregnant.  Stacy said that we will be very happy.  She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.
We share a dream of having many more children..
Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t, really hurt anyone.  We’ll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.
In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it!!
Don’t worry Dad, I’m 15, and I know how to take care of myself.
Someday, I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.
Love, your son,

P.S. Dad, none of the above is true.

I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that’s on my desk.
I love you!
Call when it is safe for me to come home. ;)”

RBA Tribute to Rebecca Cains RBA RWA

Rebecca Cains RBA RWS

It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent passing of RBA member and friend, Rebecca Cains.

The President, Council and members of the RBA send our sincere condolences to Rebecca’s family and loved ones

Some Messages & Thoughts from those who knew her:

Rebecca was a lovely, lively lady who will be a loss to the Society and to the art world. It was great working with her and she always made sensible and interesting observations and contributions to the running of the RBA Council. We are all shocked and devastated. My heartfelt sympathy for all her family and friends
Mick Davies President RBA

Rebecca had a wonderful eye for detail and observation in her paintings. The main subject matter was unusual, but I think she was able to sense the life and experiences the wrecked vehicles had had. In spite of all her own personal difficulties, she did have a wonderful sense of humour and a zest for living. It is so tragic to think we have lost someone who was only in the early stages of what might have been a very fulfilling and satisfactory artistic career.
Denis Baxter RBA

I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Rebecca. It was indeed very shocking; she was such a positive person, always very friendly and easy to chat to. Please pass on my condolences to her family. I know she will be greatly missed by all who knew her
Annie Boisseau RBA

Eileen and I are very, very sorry to hear of the sad loss of Rebecca. She was a wonderful, talented, imaginative artist who will be greatly missed by so many people. My sincere condolences to her family
David Sprakes RBA

This is very sad news indeed – I had no idea she’d been ill. I remember supporting her application for membership and I was delighted when she was elected – a breath of fresh air! I’m very sad to hear it – what a rubbish year this is turning out to be!
Chris Aggs RBA

So sorry to hear the sad news about Rebecca. Such a young life lost. At least Rebecca has left a legacy with her paintings. All these sorrows at such a difficult time. Barbara and I send our heartfelt sympathy.
John Sprakes RBA

I’m so sorry to hear about Rebecca Cains. I never met her or had any contact with her, but I know her work. It is such very sad news
Liam Culver Fellow RBA

Terrible news – so sorry to hear
Carole Griffin RBA

So sorry. A terribly sad loss!
Martyn Baldwin RBA

What such sad news; we’re very sorry to hear it. Thinking of you and all at the RBA
Alistair Redgrift [Mall Galleries]

This is such a tragic loss, her work had that stamp of being readily recognizable, such skill to master composition on a big scale and a huge personality. She was one of those people who lit up the space she occupied and will leave a hole in the artistic life of her native city. I was immensely privileged to meet and eventually to know her
David Paul Rowan RBA

So sad to hear of this news. Please accept my condolences
Francis Drasar, Hon Treasurer RBA

It is so hard to believe that we have lost such an active member of our RBA family.
Guy Portelli RBA

Although we knew she was ill, it still came as a shock and both John and I send love to her family for their huge loss. The RBA has lost an excellent artist and a willing Member and Council Member.

We are both so sorry to hear about Rebecca. It is so shocking to hear this news, she was far too young and as you say full of life. I didn’t know her that well, but we had some good chats together.
Cheryl Culver RBA

Sad news indeed. I’m gutted to hear this after thinking that she had got over the worse. Not a lot more l can add really just to say l will be thinking of her and her family during what must be an awful time.
Austin Cole RBA

This is such terrible news. She was such fun to be with. I can’t believe someone so young and vibrant has been taken from us. So very sad. I’ll miss her lots.
David Brammeld RBA

That’s so terrible, she was so lovely and a great painter, I’m absolutely devastated to hear that news.
Melissa Scott-Miller RBA

I am so sorry and upset to read such sad news. I knew she was battling the bloody cancer – we’d chatted about it whenever we bumped into each other at the RBA ‘do’s and she did tell me how it had come back and her struggles with the treatment. She was very brave about all that she was coping with and I have wondered often how she had been doing during this wretched time of Covid and the Lockdown. Although I didn’t know her terribly well she was full of life and sparkle and I’m stunned at this news. I think both she and her strong meticulous paintings were a real asset to the RBA.
Bridget Moore RBA

It was an enjoyment to be around Rebecca, her enthusiasm for the arts will be sorely missed.
Lewis Hazelwood-Horner RBA

I am so sorry for her family – such a tragic loss as a person and as an artist.
Nick Tidnam PPRBA

I feel awful at the news that Rebecca’s life has been cut so short. She was a lovely girl and she will be terribly missed. I have got to know her since the Ally Pally project and we shared some nice moments together chatting at the Christmas Party, at PV’s etc. Of course I knew she had health problems but didn’t realise quite how bad these were – she hid these facts well. Apart from these times I’ve not really had any other contact with her and so don’t really know what to say or do as we really weren’t that close, although when with her she was always so warm and friendly.
Anthony Yates RBA

It has made me feel so very sad. Life is so unfair for some. I remember her work well. I am sure her family are devastated by her loss
Judith Gardner RBA

My deepest condolences to all Rebecca’s family at this difficult time. She will be greatly missed by members of the RBA – as will her wonderful personality – and the many contributions and work she did as a council member of the society.
Meg Dutton, Vice President RBA

I am so very sorry to hear that she has died, how very sad. Please pass on my condolences to her family.
Sarah Spackman RBA

Just as her work enhanced any RBA exhibitions, her presence at any RBA function made it a more joyful occasion for everybody around her. We will all miss her very much.
Terry Watts RBA

Vibrant and full of life, she will be sadly missed.  She was like a ray of sunshine who always radiated happiness and positivity.  She will leave an echo of her smile in our memories.
Jon Pryke RBA

I cannot attend Rebecca’s funeral but I would like to add my thoughts and condolence to her family and friends.
The vitality in her work will live on and her unique paintings will be revered for decades to come. A great loss to the RBA. She will be missed
Clive Duncan RBA

Unfortunately I am unable to attend the funeral, but please be reassured that my thoughts will be concentrating on what should be a celebration of Rebecca’s life. I do so hope a prominent gallery in Bristol take into care some of her inspirational paintings. It is so sad to lose someone so young and very sad for the RBA to lose a popular young artist.
Miranda Halsby RBA

All of us at M1 Fine Art were devastated to hear of Rebecca’s passing. We considered her a true friend of the gallery and a uniquely talented artist.

We all remember her with a huge, beautiful smile on her face, often having fantastic, fun photos being taken of herself in front of her stunning artwork. We’ll miss her (very welcome) impromptu visits to the gallery terribly and of course RBA exhibition events with us will undoubtedly be a lot less lively without her there.

Whenever I see an abandoned car, I’ll think of Rebecca and I’m sure I’ll find myself with a smile on my face, just as I always did whenever I had the privilege of spending time with her.

A real loss to the art world and anyone who ever met Rebecca I’m sure. Our thoughts are with her family and close friends.
Peter McAllister & colleagues at the M1 Gallery

We are all feeling so very sad! I know I am speaking for everybody who knew Rebecca at the RBA when I say we will miss her a lot. She was a friendly vibrant character who always had a smile and a warm greeting and she always really enjoyed and supported the social activities of the Society. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all those who loved her and we are very grateful to have known her and her distinctive and skilful work.
Brenda Davies, Hon Secretary RBA

This comes with love from us all at the RBA

RBA Autumn News 2020

Pamela Kay has a solo show coming up at the Russell Gallery, in Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JP. All the paintings will be on the wall and online at: russell-gallery.com

The exhibition is on from the 10th September until the 3rd October:

“Jam Jar of Buttercups” – Pamela Kay

Austin Cole has a work in the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The show opens on the 30th September and runs to the 10th October and, like all exhibitions at the Mall at this time, tickets are available online.



“The Headland” – Austin Cole

Austin has also had two works selected for the upcoming NEAC Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. That show will run from 11th – 21st November.

Anthony Yates has been invited to be their “RBA Guest Artist for the Month of September” by the Trent Art Gallery, 19 Brunswick St., Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 1HF, where his works can be viewed in the gallery and online:


“Euphrosyne” – Anthony Yates

“Flowers on the Draining Board” – Anthony Yates

Akash Bhatt was selected by Trent Art Gallery, 19 Brunswick Street, Newcastle, Staffordshire, ST5 1HF as their ‘RBA Guest Artist of the Month’ for August and his works are still available to be seen on the Trent Art website:


“Crossing New York City” – Akash Bhatt

“City Dog in the Countryside” – Akash Bhatt 

Akash is featured in an online interview with the Bankside Gallery, along with some sketches of his mother completed during lockdown:


And Akash also has work in “A Narrative” a group watercolour exhibition at The Gallery Holt, Lees Yard, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6HS

From 18th Sept – 28th October:


Ann Wright will be the next artist to be featured by the Trent Art Gallery, she will be “RBA Guest Artist for the Month” of October:

“The Little Park, Montmartre” – Ann Wright

“Back Gardens, Montmartre” – Ann Wright

Jacqueline Taber has a solo exhibition at Twenty Twenty Gallery, Finningham Road, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk P31 3PG

This runs until the Autumn


Nicola Slattery has a solo exhibition at the Fosse Gallery, The Square, The Manor House, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1AF. The show “Stories without Words” is an exhibition of her paintings completed over the past three years and it opens on the 4th October and continues until the 24th.


“Moths and Flowers” – Nicola Slattery

“Red Rider” – Nicola Slattery

Nicholas Verrall is another artist with a solo exhibition, this time at The Catto Gallery, 100 Heath Street, London NW3 1DP

“Chapel in the Woods” – Nicholas Verrall

“Mist Rising over Monastero della Certosa” – Nicholas Verrall

Nicholas’s exhibition runs from 26th September – 14th October

Shanti Panchal is featured in an online virtual 3D exhibition of his work at the Ben Uri Gallery – “Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting 2007-2018”


“The Roots or Route to Helmand 2010” – Shanti Panchal

Shanti also co-curated “Midnight’s Family 70 years of Indian Artists in Britain” an online exhibition which celebrates the contributions of Indian artists working in Britain over a 70 year period. This can be seen at the website of the Ben Uri Gallery – the exhibition was designed to coincide with the date of Indian Independence, 15th August 1947.

“Laxmi-Narayan and Son” – Shanti Panchal


Some Reminders – These shows are still on:

Henry Jabbour at the Pontone Gallery until Sept 13th

“It feels like hope” – Henry Jabbour

Cheryl Culver at The Gallery Holt until September 15th

“Atlantic Coast” – Cheryl Culver

“As they were and will be again” at the Royal Overseas League

“A Walk Before Dark” – Steven Outram

“The Queen Mary arriving in New York on her maiden voyage from Southampton” – Mick Davies

This virtual show also includes works from Annie Boisseau, Richard P. Cook, Carole Griffin, Lewis Hazelwood-Horner, Henry Jabbour, Guy Portelli, David Sawyer, Melissa Scott-Miller, Nicola Slattery, Sarah Spackman, David Sprakes, Callum Stannard and Anthony Yates.

And another reminder … the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours have their show on at the Mall now and it includes works from
‘RBA RISING STARS’ Habib Hajallie and Alex Wood.

Another ‘RBA RISING STAR’ is Georgina Lowbridge, who tells us that she is now showing works with Phillipson Fine Art, whose website is: https://www.phillipsonfineart.co.uk/georgina-lowbridge-2!

RBA Summer News 2020

During these strange times it is good to know that there are still some things for our members to look forward to and here are a few of them:

Henry Jabbour, our newest RBA member has an upcoming solo show in London at the Pontone Gallery, 43 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2TB. The exhibition is titled ‘Traces Remain’ and will run from August 13th – September 13th. Further details can be found here:

‘From My Eyes Into The Day’ – Henry Jabbour

Guy Portelli has been working on a sculpture project that celebrates the history of the Isle of Wight Festival from 1968 – 70.  The concept was to collect the handprints of musicians who performed and mosaic them on to a large panel and so far approx. 80 handprints have been collected.  Many of the great bands and musicians have donated hand prints for the panel, including Jorma, Jack and Grace of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke of Free, The Pretty Things, Richard Thompson and Kris Kristofferson.

Guy Portelli with his ‘Wight Spirit’ panel

The panel can now be seen in ‘Wight Spirit 68-70’ at the Masterpiece Gallery, Norland Place, Holland Park, London W11 4QG from 27th July – 5th September:  https://masterpieceart.co.uk/exhibitions/

A reminder [see June Newsletter] that Nicola Slattery and Richard Sorrell both still have works showing in the Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold until the 29th August – and also included is work by SenRBA Pamela Kay:

The Jewel in the Town – The Ruby Years, Fosse Gallery at 40!

‘Ruby in the Daisies’ – Pamela Kay

Trent Art Gallery, 19 Brunswick Street, Newcastle, Staffordshire, ST5 1HF have selected Martyn Baldwin as their ‘RBA Guest Artist of the Month’.  His works are available to be seen online throughout July at:


 Martyn speaks very highly of the gallery – and they speak very highly of him!

‘Angel #3’ Martyn Baldwin
‘Cat #6’ Martyn Baldwin

Cheryl Culver has work in the ‘Drawing from the Heart’ Exhibition being held at the The Gallery Holt, 23 Lees Yard, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6HS.  The show brings together a selection or original pastel paintings from various artists …


‘The Road to the Head of the Valley’ Cheryl Culver

I am sure that many of our members know the youngest member of the Culver family – and Honorary RBA Mascot – who celebrated his 5th birthday recently.  You can see from the photo that he found it a joyous occasion:

Baxter’s 5th Birthday celebration!

                                                           And another smile with which to end:

RBA June News 2020

It is heartening to hear that some galleries are hoping to open their doors again soon, and Nicola Slattery has informed me that the Fosse Gallery in Stow-on-the-Wold have announced that they hope to be re-opening in June. Nicola has a couple of her paintings in their mixed show opening July 5th – 29th August, which is called:
‘The Jewel in the Town – the Ruby Years, the Fosse Gallery at 40!’The exhibition also includes work by Richard Sorrell


‘After Lunch’ by Richard Sorrell

Nicola will have her own exhibition in that gallery called “Stories Without Words” opening in October:

‘The Long View’ by Nicola Slattery

RBA members Melissa Scott-Miller, Peter Brown and Tom Coates, who are also members of the Royal Portrait Society [RP], have some works in the RP online exhibition at the Mall Galleries:

‘Self Portrait’ by Melissa Scott-Miller
‘Self Portrait’ by Peter Brown
‘Girl with the Gentle Smile’ by Tom Coates

The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours [RI] also have their online exhibition at the Mall, and it includes works by RBA members Chris Myers and Peter Weaver, who are both also members of the RI:

‘The Great Divide’ by Chris Myers
‘Over the Rough’ by Peter Weaver

Many of our RBA artists have their work in the Mall Galleries’ online …
Figurative Art Fair

‘Crossing the Water’ by Annie Boisseau
‘At the Edge of the Wood’ by Stephen Darbishire
‘Belonging’ by Steven Outram
‘The Scissors’ by Shanti Panchal

Other RBA artists included in the Figurative Art Fair are:
David Brammeld, Peter Brown, Cheryl Culver, Fred Cuming, James Horton, Henry Jabbour, Jill Leman, Martin Leman, Chris Myers, David Sawyer, Melissa Scott-Miller, Richard Sorrell, Sarah Spackman, Jacqueline Taber, and Robert E Wells

Jacqueline Taber informs us that The Geedon Gallery in Colchester, Essex CO5 7DN will be open from 15th June – 1st September, showing works from the Small Paintings Group. They include works by RBA artists:

Anne Heat, Christopher Miers, Cinzia Bonada, Joyce Cairns, Judith Gardner, Ken Howard, Peter Kelly, William Packer, Barbara Richardson, Jacqueline Rizvi, Richard Sorrell and Nick Tidnam

‘Brown Calf in the Morning’ by Anne Heat
‘S. Giorgio Venice’ by Christopher Miers
‘Houses on Santorini’ by Anne Wright
‘Hills’ by Melvyn Petterson

RBA’s first ‘Virtual Exhibition’ – “As they were and will be again” is still on the Royal Over-Seas League’s website:
and also on the RBA website:

Featured artists include Richard P Cook, Callum Stannard, Sarah Spackman, David Sprakes, Mick Davies, Lewis Hazelwood-Horner, David Sawyer, Nicola Slattery, Annie Boisseau, Steven Outram, Anthony Yates, Melissa Scott-Miller, Guy Portelli, Carole Griffin, and Henry Jabbour

‘After the Rain – Trafalgar Square’ by Peter P Cook
‘Sunningwell Green’ by Sarah Spackman
‘Trance’ by Callum Stannard
‘A New Dawn, Early Spring, Elvaston Lake, Derbyshire’ by David Sprakes

Members Terry Watts and Cheryl Culver have work in the ‘The Landscape Collection at M1 Fine Art. https://m1fineart.com/exhibitions/32-the-landscape-collection-a-virtual-art-exhibition-bringing-the-great-outdoors-to-you/works/
3 – 15 JUNE 2020

‘Headland’ by Cheryl Culver
‘Sunrise Through Rain’ by Terry Watts

Cheryl Culver has six pastel paintings in a pastel exhibition at The Gallery Holt called ‘Drawing from the Heart’
An exhibition held from the 7 August to 15 September 2020 at The Gallery, Holt.

‘Those Sombre Peaks’ by Cheryl Culver

We are always delighted to report news from our past “RISING STARS” and we are pleased to see these works in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ online show:

‘Bea’ by Rosalind Watkins
‘Woman in a Knitted Jumper’ by Owain Hunt

Owain has been especially featured and interviewed in the Cass Art blog, “Art in Isolation”.  The full article can be found here:

Habib Hajallie has shown his works with the RBA and has now had three of his works selected for the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours online show:

‘Sierra Murrican’ by Habib Hajallie
‘Gbugbu’ by Habib Hajallie
‘Le Wi Lan Krio’ by Habib Hajallie

And Alex J Wood has once again written to inform us of some exciting news: He tells us that he has received an Arts Council Grant. His latest bronze sculpture “Scylla and Charybdis” develops an ongoing series of his works drawing inspiration from Greek myths and during the lockdown he has also been working on a film for a film festival. His work “The Kraken!” is included in the online RI exhibition at the Mall Galleries:

‘The Kraken!’ by Alex J wood
‘Scylla and Charybdis’ by Alex J Wood

RBA May News 2020

RBA May News 2020

Martin Leman has a selection of his new works [received by the gallery just before London’s lockdown!] online at the M1 Gallery:

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists [RBSA] have an online exhibition of some of their members’ works and these include RBA members:

David Brammeld

‘Dark Wood’

Anthony Yates

‘The Catholic, Easter Sunday’

Wayne Attwood Hon RBA PRBSA:

‘Will I always feel this way?’

Anthony Yates also has some works in the ‘Lyrical Colourists’ exhibition at the Fosse Gallery – this show has also been transferred online until the 4th June.  His work for this show was inspired by his recent Italian trip and more images as well as a continuation of his blog can be seen in “Latest News” on the RBA website

Anthony Yates
‘Music in the Square, Montmarcello’

Cheryl Culver has made a video called Art in Lockdown, which can be viewed on YouTube

Art in Lockdown – Cheryl Culver PPPS RBA Paintings

Some of our ‘RISING STARS’ are still doing well, including:

Ruth Murray who has just won the Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020 for her work ‘Geraniums’.  She has received the main prize of £5000 and says that the award “… was a wonderful surprise!” and “It’s a huge privilege and honour. The prize means a great deal, particularly in these uncertain times. It will go a long way in supporting my practice.”


Ruth Murray

Alice Boggis-Rolfe’s website http://www.aliceboggis-rolfe.com shows her online exhibition ‘INDIA’ and her works which were scheduled to be shown with the British Art Portfolio, can now be seen online at their website:

‘Tomatoes in a Moroccan Bowl’

Alice Boggis-Rolfe

[Our members Sue Campion and Frederick Cuming also have works in the same online exhibition]

Alex J Wood is probably familiar to us all now – here he is smiling broadly behind Tracey Emin at the Terrence Higgins Trust Auction 2020 at Christies:

Alex says: “Earlier this month I exhibited alongside Tracey Emin, Howard Hodgkin and many other big name artists at Christies. I was over the moon as ‘Blow Out’ my watercolour of an oil derrick, sold for £500 with all the money going to help Terrence Higgins Trust.”

‘Blow Out’

Alex J Wood

Another Alexander – Alex Glass [who also had a work in the Christies auction in support of the Terrence Higgins Trust – see ‘March Good News’] has informed us about the following project, which is helping artists in these difficult days:
The Artist Support Pledge is an initiative set up by the artist Matthew Burrows as a reaction to the effect of COVID-19 on artists everywhere. The idea is to create a network of generosity and support whilst things are so precarious.   Alexander Glass is supporting this initiative himself and also making extra donations to The British Red Cross for any sales made.  His ‘shop’ is here: https://www.alexanderglasssculpture.com/shop


Alex Glass


  • If you need a break from your own studio, there are also online tours of some galleries and museums including The British Museum, The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, The Courtauld Gallery and The National Galleries of Scotland.  Lectures, videos and talks can also be found online. My favourite is the film: Documentary: inside ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ on the RA website [also recommended by our Denis Baxter]
  • For those who live/work/studied or were born in Northern England, the ‘New Light Real Northern Art’ exhibition is inviting entries until the 31st May https://newlight-art.org.uk/prize-exhibition/
  • Other upcoming news is that the Mall are thinking about a mixed online exhibition for the FBA Societies during the summer.  This is very much at the ‘thinking’ stage, as there will be many things for them to consider – not least that there are probably over 800 members altogether!
  • The ‘virtual’ exhibition at The Royal Over-Seas League will be happening online soon – the launch will be next Wednesday 13th May at this link http://www.rosl.org.uk/rbaonline.  The problem was that the laptop, which was being used ‘at home’ to mount the exhibition, was not powerful enough for the rather complicated programme being used to show the works ‘in situ’ in the gallery.  However Liam Culver, like a knight in shining armour using a more powerful computer rather than a white horse, has come to the rescue.  He has worked hard to organise the show, although he has never used the programme before and we have fingers and toes crossed that he will be successful!
  • We are aware that some of our members are unwell at the moment [not Covid-19 so far as we know] and others are recovering from surgery or are suffering because their planned surgeries or treatments have had to be delayed.  We wish them all well and hope that you will all please keep in touch with us and let us know how things are going.
  • We also thought it might be a good idea to share some ‘smiles’ at this difficult time and so, if you have some which you would like us to share with other members, whether they be videos, jokes or cartoons, please let us have them [we shall have the first giggles] and then we will send them out to the members. We know that this first video has been around for a while and you may well have seen it, but it’s one of our  favourite songs and apologies if you are offended by the political message:


And this one will also hopefully raise a smile too:


You may need to copy and paste all these to your internet browser.

Vicky Anthony Montemarcello by Anthony Yates RBA RBSA Part 3.

The Taste of Italy

At the end of a piece of rope longer than the heel on the boot of Italy was a dog. The other end led to Barbara’s House. Barbara lived next door. The dog padded into our house, flopped on the burnt orange tiles of the floor and wouldn’t budge. If we wanted to use the front door we had to step over him. I wanted; no! needed a coffee. I looked at the stylish, angular pot standing on the gas hob. I had no idea how to use it, nor that it was called a moka pot or that it was invented by an Italian named Bialetti. I asked Vicky how to use it. No good asking Vicky how to use it, she is strictly herbal tea. I stepped over the dog, sheepishly climbed the steps to Alexandra’s house, Alexandra being the only person I’d met on the first morning in Montemarcello, and asked her advice. Alexandra came down the stairs into our kitchen, explained the Italian passion for coffee, made sure I had good coffee in the cupboard, showed me what to do, and, “listen to the little ‘blip-blipping’ at the end, keep the gas flame low, too high and you singe the handle, and, most importantly don’t ruin the coffee by burning”. I thank Alexandra from the bottom of my heart.

Vicky and I immersed ourselves in our work. We both wanted to draw everything; to feel the emotions only this experience could bring. My drawings aren’t particularly for public display; they are for me, my language, a shorthand cut to how I feel in front of the subject, to reappear when I make the final paintings. I drew the big metal kettle that Vicky used to make her herbal tea and the Bialetti Moka pot – both on the boil every morning – and, perhaps, the finished painting is a symbolic portrait of Vicky and me. I made a simple watercolour of crude hand-thrown jugs and a bowl against the dazzling light of sunlit façades. In Tellaro, we melted in the heat, and the colourful buildings blurred through squinted eyes. Morning bustle gave way to the silence of the afternoon, parched earth under the searing sun, almost unbearable to stand out in and draw. As the days went by the heat built up and things slowed down… right down. Come the afternoon the café on the Square shut, the streets emptied and the air hummed with humidity. This atmosphere intrigued and enticed me, and late one afternoon I left Vicky resting in the house, slung a rucksack of drawing materials over my shoulder and wandered out alone, not one person was to be seen and just out of the village I found a spot to draw – a lane through dark woods, mysterious in that deathly quiet afternoon. I drew quickly, scribbling marks, laying on colour and used the sketch as inspiration for a finished studio painting. I made interior studies, in the shuttered light of the afternoon, the torpid heat pervading the atmosphere, inducing inertia. The evenings came alive again, the café buzzed and we’d watch Mediterranean sunsets from a viewpoint out of the village high up on the cliffs, afterwards walking back in the twilight to the lamp lit streets of Montemarcello.

Once a week some of the womenfolk of the village get together and go swimming at Punto Bianco, a local beach so named because of the white outcrops of rock on the beach. It’s a ladies only affair and the ‘foreign contingent’ of Vicky, Caroline and Leoni were invited to join them. They looked at me and said that as I was the only man there I could come along too. Feeling a little embarrassed in the company of so many women I declined and made the German girls giggle by telling them I couldn’t go as I’d left my bikini at home. Off they went crammed into a couple of cars while I stopped in the village and went searching for something to draw. They were gone quite a while and returned chattering excitably. There had been a man on the beach exposing himself, which obviously wasn’t nice for the ladies. Ah, well! – I missed out on that particular drama – perhaps if I’d tagged along I’d have got a chance of doing a male nude study, (only joking, girls!).

Our stay was drawing to a close and, of course, having made so many friends we simply had to spend the last evening together. We all wandered to a café at the edge of the village and sat drinking, chatting and laughing until the bar closed.


As we stood on the raised step outside our house on the morning of our departure an elderly man came by carrying a large basket of plums. He spoke only Italian but offered the basket up to Vicky beckoning her to take some fruit. Alexander was close by, she knew the man and explained the plums were to make jam and he was on his way back home after picking them.  We both bit into a plum, they were sweet, juicy and still warm from the bush – we had our last taste of Italy.

We knew we would miss the life we had found in Montemarcello. We found our Italian friends serious and passionate about life who gave us kindness and friendliness without reservation. I must especially thank Alexandra and Barbara our neighbours for all the warmth and generosity of spirit they extended to us, and, of course, not forget the lovely German girls Caroline and Leoni. We were in Montemarcello courtesy of Henrietta Bowden-Jones who had the idea of sending artists over to this part of the world to see what we made of it – and so our biggest thanks must go to her.

Grazie, grazie, grazie!












All drawings and paintings reproduced in the blog are the original work of Anthony Yates, with the exception of No. 13 Vicky’s etching – ‘Montemarcello’ and No. 20 Vicky’s print – ‘Summer Sky one’ which are the original work of Vicky Oldfield

Photographic credits: for image 12 © Alexandra Schileo, for image 21 © Leoni Fritsch.  All other images © Vicky Oldfield & Anthony Yates

Blog written by Anthony Yates and edited by Vicky Oldfield

Vicky Anthony Montemarcello by Anthony Yates RBA RBSA

Vicky Anthony Montemarcello by Anthony Yates RBA RBSA

Just bringing you all up to date with Tony’s trip to Italy before COVID-19.

To quote Tony –  it all began like this:

‘Last summer a woman called Henrietta looked at our RBA website and my paintings caught her eye. She sent an email to our secretary, Brenda Davies, who forwarded it to me. The message I received was an incredible offer. How would I like to spend two weeks in Italy painting and drawing in a house provided by Henrietta? Sounds too good to be true? Well, I met her at Chelsea Arts Club and the offer was genuine. Henrietta, (who is half-Italian) simply wants to encourage artists she likes to spend time in the place she grew up and see what we produce. I accepted the offer.

Next step. As this wasn’t to be a family holiday it was decided that I should travel with another artist. Henrietta left the choice to me. And so, talking to the printmaker Vicky Oldfield who has shown at the annual RBA Exhibition for the last nine years and with whom I had become good friends and collaborated with on a book and poster design, I told her of my offer. She thought it ‘amazing’ and immediately jumped at the chance to join me. It turns out every artist I subsequently told also gave me the same reaction, so I would have had no trouble finding someone to accompany me.

Plane tickets were booked and we landed at Pisa Airport on 19th June. We drove along the Autostrada and wound a tortuous, mountainous road to arrive at the unspoilt, un-touristy village of Montemarcello, Liguria. We parked outside the village as no cars allowed, no internet, hardly a phone signal, one small shop with no credit card facility (well, it did have a machine but it didn’t work very well). We lugged our laden cases up steep, narrow streets, met an Italian woman Chiara who opened the door to a little house on the square, gave us the key and disappeared. We were lost’.

We now continue with Blog number two:

Part 2 Vicky’s Knockers

‘I pulled off the heavy hooks securing the wooden shutters and opened them wide; down below Montemarcello Square glittered in the early morning light. The warmth, the peace and quiet, the darting swallows lured me outside and I started to draw. Alexandra, the next door neighbour appeared, introduced herself, took some photographs and went back up the steps to her house. Vicky wandered out, bleary eyed clutching a huge cup of herbal tea, hovered a few seconds and scuttled back inside. I carried on drawing as the day opened itself up. People started strolling through the Square, the café seats were taken up and cyclists propped up their bikes by walls to rest awhile. And soon Vicky came out again, now her usual bright and bubbly self eager to explore. This was our first morning in Liguria.

I was to discover that when Vicky gets going there’s no stopping her as my poor feet were to find out. She loves walking and I was soon dragged through narrow streets, up hills, through forest and climbing down to the sea. One walk was particularly hair-raising, when we tried to follow the wooded path to Bocha di Magra high above the sea. Trails vanished into cul-de-sacs, brambles tore at our bare arms and legs, sheer drops were encountered every few hundred yards, wild-boar tracks criss-crossed the earth and occasional small painted signs pointing the way were soon nowhere to be seen. The tracks we were trying to follow became more impassable and we turned back completely losing our sense of direction and starting to worry. How relieved we were when we emerged from that jungle of trees and undergrowth scratched, dusty and sweaty. We didn’t enter the forest again.

At first days were hot and nights cool, but soon the southern winds brought in the African heat, overpoweringly hot, and now we sweltered day and night. Montemarcello is perched high on top of the Caprione promontory and the wind, it seems, can be a problem. We wondered why there were large rocks placed on many roof tops and found out they were to protect from the Mistral, for when it blows it rips tiles off, sometimes taking a whole roof.

But for now in the sultry heat we determined to work hard and soak in the atmosphere. We drew from the edges of the village looking back up at the colourful buildings, we drew in the streets we drew by the sea, we drew in gardens and fields, the views from high over the Mediterranean, and I drew Vicky. We didn’t travel far from our base, visiting only Bocha de Magra the nearest town, Tellaro with its colourful buildings crowding the sea, Pietrasantra with its many street sculptures and a night out in Forte dei Marmi to attend a Private View. There was more than enough for us to get on with where we were, for drawing takes time, it is absorption in the subject, and for two artists left alone this was ideal – we loved it. And Vicky noticed the ornate door furniture of Montemarcello. Off she’d go getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and come back smiling after recording myriad knockers in drawings and photographs. As hard as we worked we did take breaks though, and visits to the beach were de rigueur in the heatwave to bathe and cool off. Vicky likes swimming and is good at it. I’d sit on the beach drawing while she disappeared for an hour re-appearing from the water looking like Ursula Andress in Dr No.

Our little house was on the upper part of the Square (Piazza XIII Dicembre) looking down to the shop cum café with seats outside under olive trees and parasols. I always made little doodle sketches of the comings and goings in the Square which wasn’t originally intended as a Square but after Allied bombing of the Second World War flattened buildings the space was left and made as we see it today. A plaque declares ‘A ricordo delle vittime dell incursione aerea’ (In memory of the victims of the air raid). The café and shop are run entirely by women, great characters who work tirelessly and not without a little sense of fun. You eat and drink outside and pay inside. One night we were the last to leave and I went in to settle up leaving Vicky at the table outside. The ladies of the café didn’t speak English and I tried my best to say one or two words in Italian much to their amusement. They insisted I pronounce the language properly, trapping me inside giggling hysterically as I flustered my lines. I was in there ages and not allowed to leave until I got it right – poor Vicky wondering where I had got to.

The two weeks we spent in Montemarcello were a wonderful adventure and, as it turned out, the trip couldn’t have come at a better time for me as it gave me the opportunity to collect material for an exhibition I had been asked to participate in…’

Altro nel prossimo blog
(More in next blog)











All drawings reproduced in the blog are the original work of Anthony Yates, with the exception of No. 8 Vicky’s knockers and No. 16 Vicky’s print ‘Hidden Garden’ which are the original work of Vicky Oldfield

Photographic credit for image 2 © Alexandra Schileo. All other images © Vicky Oldfield & Anthony Yates

Blog written by Anthony Yates and edited by Vicky Oldfield

RBA Star Students at ROSL Arts

ROSL ARTS Celebrating and supporting the future of fine art RBA Star Students with the Arts Society presents an exhibition of art by young artists just beginning their creative careers.


Friday 6 March – Sunday 19 April

ROSL presents an exhibition developed with the Arts Society and the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA). The artworks presented have been selected as the top entries from the RBA Star Students competition which encourages aspiring young artists.

Initially identified by The Arts Society’s local Societies, the RBA selected the very best pieces from the nominations to be presented at ROSL. Exhibited are 39 artworks chosen from over 200 entries, demonstrating the highest levels of skill, expression and draughtsmanship using a variety of mediums and exploring equally varied subjects.

Exhibiting Artists:

William Adams, Beatrix Barber, Louise Batchelor, Tara Bean, Rebecca Deary, Annie Doran, Charlie Fern, Lucy Fitzwilliam-Lay, Kate Fung, Demi Gao, Hannah Graham, Erin Hartnett, Robbie Haynes, Jason Jac Ben Wan, Rachel Jane Barlow, Mizuki Jones, Keri Kennett, Francis Kenneth, Eve Leckey, Erica Liffen, Alexander Daniel McKenzie, Sophie Meadows, Emma Money, Emma Moore, Anna Peake, Amy Pozzilli, Alice Pun, Toby Richardson, Ella Sambrook, Sungmin Song, Grace Stansall-Seiler, Charlotte Wattam, Felicitas Wagner, Yolanda Wang, Ella Williams, Jonah Williams, Archie York and Andy Zhao.