Thursday, 7 September 2017

Interview with artist
Annie Williams

St Cuthberts Mill Award Winner
Annie Williams

“The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition / St Cuthberts Mill prize for an outstanding work on paper, worth £250, has been awarded to Annie Williams for her watercolour, Still Life with a Small Spanish Bowl. Abstraction meets representation in this dynamic work, which is occupied by beautiful prussian blue, cerulean and ultramarine tones. Speaking of the subject matter, the artist said “most of my chosen objects are pots – I have a sister and friends who are potters, so have acquired quite a number over the years. I love their shapes and colours.” Congratulations Annie!

 The Sunday Times shortlisted works will be shown at Mall Galleries, London from 19 – 24 September 2017 before touring to a number of venues across the UK.

Annie Williams, Still Life with a Small Spanish Bowl.

Annie Williams, RWS/RE/RBA, was born in London and grew up in Wales. She originally worked as a Nurse at the Great Ormond St Hospital before studying art at the City & Guilds Art School. Annie now lives and works in London, and is an elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), Royal Society of Painter/Printmakers (RE), and the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA). She regularly exhibits with the Bankside Gallery.

Annie is mostly a still life artist who creates compositions by incorporating a variety of shapes, patterns, textiles and newspaper cuttings into her work. These mixed media compositions often have a distinct element of abstraction.

Patchwork III

Your work is made up of a variety of mixed media. What do you feel these different elements bring to your work?

My work is primarily watercolour plus a little added gouache for some highlights, or structural changes. On a separate board I often pin up a collage of various media including abstract patterns I had previously painted. The still life is arranged in front of this. This gives me the chance to play with shapes and colours. Sometimes the background is entirely imaginary.

Listening to music

What is the best part of creating art?

Like anyone who is happy at work, one can get totally submerged in the process and forget all the other problems that life throws at one. It kept me sane last year as I coped with six months of chemotherapy for Lymphoma. 

What is your creative process like?

It can be difficult to get started, but once involved it can be hard to stop. At the moment I paint on average 4 hours a day, excluding time spent on framing and other connected things. I’m lucky that I belong to 3 art societies and there are always exhibitions to work towards. I am always trying to think of new ideas or subject matter.

A river runs through it

What is the best art advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice - thats a difficult one, the advice I would give to others is go to exhibitions, look at other peoples work, think about why you do or don't like it, learn from them. Send into open exhibitions, you never know you might be successful and get shown . Wonderful for building up confidence.

How has your artistic style changed over the years?

I think my work has become a little more abstract, more colourful, my subject matter has changed considerably.

How do you feel about winning The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition / St Cuthberts Mill Prize?

I feel quite chuffed! I only decided to enter on the last day of submission. I also look forward to trying out some new paper. The choice of paper is incredibly important to me in getting a result I am happy with.

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