Downland watercolour in prestigious exhibition

Dawn by Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis
Dawn by Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis

A LEWES artist has been selected to show her work in the prestigious 2012 Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition.

Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis will be exhibiting her atmospheric piece ‘Dawn’ at the Mall Galleries, London, from September 17-22.

With total prize money of £18,000, the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is not only the largest prize for the watercolour medium in the UK but also the leading competition dedicated to creative excellence in watercolour. This year it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

From a submission of almost 1,000 entries, the distinguished judging panel has brought together an exhibition of 92 works by 72 artists.

Celebrating the oldest painting medium in the world, the esteemed competition has evolved into the leading opportunity for artists working in watercolour.

The first prize of £10,000, second prize of £6,000, the Smith and Williamson Cityscape Prize of £1,500 and the Vintage Classics Prize for Cover Art (£500 commission to create the cover art for a Vintage Classic) will be announced at a private awards ceremony on September 20.

Admission to next month’s exhibtion is free and works are for sale.

Mary Anne, of Southover High Street, was the official Tour Artist to The Prince of Wales when he visited Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and Canada. She said: “I have spent the last six years working intensively from life and in my studio in a particular small patch of landscape at the foot of the South Downs. ‘Dawn’ is one of the paintings from this body of work, looking at the transformative effect of light on the landscape and the way in which it brings mystery and poetry to whatever it touches. What fascinates me is the incredible depth of meaning and layers of history present within ‘my’ patch of ancient woodland and downland, and the way in which it can be a metaphor for the way humans have interacted with nature for millenia and the way in which we treat our landscape now.”

Meawnhile, St Anne’s Galleries in Lewes will be staging From The Artist’s Studio on August 25/26 and September 1/2.

It’s the annual showcase of new and favourite works by all the gallery artists, with a glimpse of work in progress. Times are 10am-5pm, or by appointment. The gallery can be found at 111 High Street. Visit