Susan and I are just back from visiting the shows of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS founded 1804) and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. (RI founded in 1831).
Royal Watercolour Society (RWS)
The work shown by the RWS work was RUBBISH !!! Some of it was below what we expect a normal beginner to produce. OK to be honest there were a handful of good paintings among the 200+ on display. But I got the impression that if the good exhibitors knew the level they were being 'brought down to' they would go elsewhere. The prices were from $500 to $3,000. Very few had sold.
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI)
This was a much more professional show 400+ paintings. $4 entrance fee per person and $5 for a catalogue containing a full list of the painting with 30+ colour prints of the selected best.
This show was at a much higher standard. The top set were v good. I particularly liked the John Yardley's (which was the main reason for going to the show). If you want to see why I am so into John Yardley see this thread
Much more of these paintings had sold. Of the 6 John Yardley's on sale 5 had sold. Prices from $1,300 (1/4 sheet) to $2,000 (1/2 sheet). Many more of the works had sold. The high quality high value ones were selling well. Michael Morgan (I suppose I should know who he is) had sold the majority of his six painting the most expensive were at $5,500 eeek. His paintings were (smallish) say 15" x 15" the largest there was I guess double elephant 36" x 36".
The top people here at WC (you know who you are, mentioning no names like Nick or Arnold
etc) would easily have held there own with the best on display. That cheered my greatly. Out of the next level of painters here at WC (and I don't put myself among them) they also would have stood well when compared to the body of work displayed.
I personally was very pleased to have a good stare at the Yardley's, there simplicity was very illuminating.
Here are a couple of snap shots of London with the pocket digi. Yes the body of St Paul's does have a fake painted canvas over it, to hide the in-progress renovations.