Our Artists

Clifford Bayly, R.W.S.

Clifford was trained at St. Martin's and Camberwell Schools of Art he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1984. He was, for twenty years, Head of Graphic Design Degree Courses at Maidstone College of Art. He has exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Bankside Gallery, home of the Royal Watercolour Society. He has been a winner of the prestigious annual Singer Friedlander/Sunday Times National Watercolour competition. He now lives in Australia but spends the summer months in Britain.


Grahame Booth, P.P.U.W.S., A.S.U.

Grahame is based in Belfast and he is a popular tutor in workshops throughout Europe as well as being in demand as a watercolour demonstrator for art societies. Painting only in watercolour, Grahame is a Past President of the Ulster Watercolour Society, and an elected full member of the Arts Society of Ulster. His paintings are in private and public collections worldwide. He believes that watercolour paintings by their nature will never be “perfect” and he seeks instead to capture the essence of a subject as freshly and simply as possibly. His success in watercolour is reflected in the many awards he has won and he is the only artist from Northern Ireland to reach the national finals in the popular Channel 4 programme Watercolour Challenge. He has also featured in magazine articles as well as producing an art instruction DVD.


Jane Carpanini, R.W.S., R.W.A.

Jane was born in Bedfordshire and was first elected to the Royal Watercolour Society in 1978, establishing a reputation for expansively composed and meticulous watercolours. She was trained at Brighton College of Art and the University of Reading. Her work is in the collections of the National Library and National Museum of Wales. She is also a member of the Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Cambrian Academy, and exhibits with these societies. She has served as the Vice President and Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Watercolour Society. In 1983 she was the winner of the prestigious Hunting Group’s Prize for the Watercolour of the Year by a British Artist.


John Doyle, M.B.E., P.P.R.W.S .

John was born in Dulwich, London and is a past President of the Royal Watercolour Society and has had many exhibitions in major galleries in London and Canterbury Cathedral. A book, entitled "An Artists Journey down the Thames" was published in 1989. He undertook a peripatetic journey retracing and painting in St. Augustine's footsteps from Rome to Canterbury to celebrate, in 1997, the fourteen hundredth anniversary of this famous event. The culmination of which was an exhibition at Canterbury Cathedral of the paintings made in the course of this journey. John now lives on the edge of Romney Marsh in Kent and readily acknowledges the help and encouragement he received in the early years from the distinguished painter John Ward.


Dennis Flanders, R.W.S., R.B.A.

Dennis was born in London and was unquestionably one of the greatest pencil and watercolour artists of the twentieth century. He attended evening classes in antique drawing at Regents Street Polytechnic whilst working for a firm of fashionable interior decorators. He painted the scenery and architecture of the British Isles for over sixty years before his death in 1994 and has been called the "Canaletto of our time" by Peterborough in the Daily Telegraph. He was for some years a graphic reporter with the ‘Illustrated London News’ and his pictures of London during the Blitz are treasures of the Guildhall Library and the Imperial War Museum. A Freeman of the City of London, he was a member of the Art Workers Guild and served as Master in 1975. Two previous books have been published containing the body of his lifetime's work, “Britannia” in 1984 and "Watercolours in Academe" in 1994.


Professor Ken Howard, O.B.E., R.A., R.W.S.

Ken was born in London and is a member of the Royal Academy and Royal Watercolour Society. He is also president of the New English Arts Club, that bastion of figurative painting and drawing. He was official war artist in Northern Ireland in 1973 and 1978.Since his National Service in the Royal Marines 1953–55 he has had a close association with the British Army, undertaking special commissions for them throughout the world, including portraits of the Royal Family. Ken’s work is held in public collections including the Imperial War Museum, Ulster Museum, National Army Museum and the Guildhall Art Gallery. He has studios in London and Cornwall and several books on his life and works have been published including "The paintings of Ken Howard" in 1992; “Ken Howard A Personal View” in 1998 and more recently, in 2011, “Light and Dark - The Autobiography of Ken Howard”.


Ken Messer.

Ken was born in Newport Monmouth and educated at the City of Oxford School. On leaving school he went into accountancy, leaving it after six years to fly all over the world with BOAC. A motor accident cut short his flying career and at the age of thirty-three he joined Pergamon Press in their design department, after six years he became Studio Manager, in charge of Art and Design. In 1974 he left publishing to freelance as a graphic designer and painting watercolours started to take up more of his time. He has since won prizes in three consecutive biennial Saunders "Artist in Watercolour" international competitions and in the Artist Magazine watercolour competition. Prints of his work have been published by Rosenstiels, Kingfisher Prints, Templecrest Art and the Burford Gallery. His work has hung in the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour annual exhibitions at the Mall Galleries


John Newberry, R.W.S.

John was born in Horsham, Sussex and was educated at Kingswood School, in Bath. He studied architecture at Cambridge and fine art at Newcastle, and was Acting Head at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford from 1963-1989. John now paints full time and his work creates unique perspectives and unusual light effects. He was awarded the Watercolour Foundation Prize at the Royal Watercolour Society, and he exhibits regularly in both Oxford and London.


James Porteous Wood, R.S.W.

James was born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School. He was trained at Edinburgh College of Art and in 1945 he became the youngest elected member of the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society. His murals and paintings are held in many of the world’s premier collections including royal and Presidential Palaces in Africa and the Middle and Far East. For the past 50 years his work has regularly appeared in the National Press and for 25 years he was Artist and Designer in residence for Aspreys of Bond Street.


Hubert Pragnell, M.A., A.T.D., N.D.D.

Hubert was born in London and he trained at Goldsmith’s College, London,and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. He also has an M.A. in history from the University of Kent and has written and illustrated a number of books on architecture including ‘Britain, a Guide to Architectural styles’, ‘Industrial Britain, an architectural history’ and ‘Oxford in Watercolour’. He retired from full time teaching after 36 years, mostly in the independent sector as Head of Art, and History of Art, and apart from part-time university teaching, spends much of his spare time painting.


Dennis Roxby Bott, R.W.S.

Dennis was born in Chingford, Essex, and attended the prestigious Norwich School of Art where he studied fine art painting and obtained a Dip.A.D. (Fine Art). He was elected a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1981. Dennis, who now lives in Sussex, has had regular one man exhibitions in London and Sussex notably Ebury Street Galleries, SW1, Worthing Art Gallery and Museum, Lannards Gallery, Billingshurst and the Ogle Galleries. He is a regular exhibitor at the annual spring and autumn Royal Watercolour exhibitions at the Bankside Gallery and in 1992 he was a prize winner at the annual Discerning Eye Exhibition at The Mall Gallery in London and in 2011, Dennis won the ‘Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize’ in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. His commissions include the Wardroom of H.M. Royal Yacht Britannia, Sotheby's and the National Trust.


Denis Ryan, R.W.S.

Denis was born in London and studied for an M.A. in fine Art from 1966 – 1972. His career began in film animation and later, illustration, working on award – winning films and commercials illustrating for all of the leading publishing houses. In 2008 he was elected into the Royal Watercolour Society ( R.W.S) and is now concentrating on pursuing his love of fine art, in particular painting with watercolour. As his website shows, his peregrinations worldwide in search of subject matter results in paintings which are delightfully idiosyncratic


Thomas Plunkett, P.P.R.W.S.

Thomas Plunkett was born in London and studied Fine Art and English Literature at the University of Chester and the University of London’s Institute of Education. He has exhibited widely, including The Royal Watercolour Society at Bankside Gallery, the Art on Paper Fair at the Royal College of Art and The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and The Royal Society of British Artists. Thomas’s work has been exhibited recently at the Glasgow Arts Club with the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society (RSW), Fabriano Museum, Fabriano, Italy, the Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney, New South Wales and The Royal Albert Hall in London. Thomas was elected President of the Royal Watercolour Society in April 2012. He is married with two children and lives in Radlett, Hertfordshire.

© 2011 Contemporary Watercolours