LONDON GRIP  exhibition

Sandra  Walker  R.I. – Six Watercolours:  New York

– what painting makes of photography

 Sandra Walker, R. I. is an adherent of the American  photo-realist school of Richard Estes and Chuck Close.  She  makes paintings that are informed by photography and photographs. In the tradition of Canaletto, Utrillo and Hopper, she prefers the cityscape, somewhat abhorring, she says,  “too much green” – which is saying something, since for about the last twenty years she has lived in a leafy Buckinghamshire village.  But contrary to the easy assumption one may bring to a survey of her watercolours, they are not transcribed photographs or simply crafted repetitions of scenes viewed with the naked eye.

Walker’s paintings are the end result of visits to a site or several sites, photographs taken and brief sketches and  colour notes made in situ. She brings her researches back to her studio to study. Eventually she assembles and edits a collage, if necessary shifting objects and details to form the basis of an intricate, meticulously planned, carefully drawn composition.  Given the scale of her preferred landscape, the painting itself  may be relatively small –  about 55cm x 75cm is one of her favourite formats – although she has done both larger and smaller works. The final product is far from accidental, yet for her medium she chooses watercolour, the most temperamental, idiosyncratic and wayward of paints.

The paintings below give a flavour of her work …

Goodbye Roger Smith (2003), Sandra Walker, RI

Crossing Delancey (2004), Sandra Walker, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.

Chrysler Building III (2007), Sandra Walker, RI

Chrysler Building II II (2007), Sandra Walker, RI

Bowery I (2004), Sandra Walker, RI

Bleecker Street (2004), Sandra Walker, RI.

Sandra Walker’s achievement as an artist has been internationally recognised in exhibitions and awards for nearly thirty years, and some ten years ago she was made R.I.   She will be exhibiting her new work at the Mall Galleries in March and April 2008 as part of the 196th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.

Walker was born in America.  Before turning to painting full time, she worked for ten years on Capitol Hill in Washington DC for Senators McGovern and Kennedy. While in Washington she was commissioned by the United States Mint to design a Congressional Medal honouring Simon Wiesenthal.

Since moving to England in 1987, she has been awarded Britain’s most respected watercolour prize, the £15,000 Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Award for Best British Watercolour. She was commissioned by Margaret Thatcher to paint the Houses of Parliament for the Thatcher Foundation.  She recently won the Grand Prix at the Tregastel Salon International de la Peinture a L’Eau in France. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections including those of Senator Edward Kennedy, John Le Carré and Margaret Thatcher. In 1999 Sandra Walker was elected member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.

January 2008


20th Century British Art Fair, Royal College of Art, London;
Allied Artists of America, New York (Silver Medal);
Alresford Gallery, Winchester;
Barbizon Gallery, Glasgow;
Bourne Gallery, Reigate, Surrey;
Bristol Museum & Art Galley;
Chrysler Museum Biennial, Norfolk, Virginia;
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC;
Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, Yorkshire;
Duncan Miller Fine Arts, Hampstead, London;
Ferens Art Gallery & Museum, Hull;
Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC;
Galerie Atelier Mensch,  Hamburg;
Galerie de Art, Honduras;
Gallery 4, Alexandria, Virginia;
Gallery Henoch, New York;
Georgetown Art Gallery, Washington, DC;
Grant H. Lester Cooke Foundation, Washington, DC;
Harewood House, Leeds;
Henry Wyndham Fine Art, London;
Hunting / Observer Exhibition, Mall Gallery, London;
Laing Exhibition, Mall Galleries London;
Leeds City Art Gallery;
Manchester Art House;
Manor House Gallery, Chipping Norton;
National Watercolour Society, Long Beach, California;
Pierre Cardin Gallery, Paris;
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York;
Portsmouth Art Gallery, Hampshire;
Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, Denver;
Royal Birmingham Society of Art. Birmingham;
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Mall Galleries, London;
Royal Society of British Artists, London;
Royal Watercolour Society, Bankside Gallery, London;
Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times Exhibition, Mall Gallery, London;
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC;
Spectrum Gallery, Washington, DC;
Tregastel Salon International de la Peinture a L’eau (Grand Prix);
U.S. Government – Designer of President’s Medal of Freedom.
Virginia Museum, Richmond, Virginia;
Watercolour USA Exhibition, Springfield, Illinois;
Waterman’s Fine Arts, London;
World of Watercolours, Park Lane Hotel, London;
Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC.

Collections: (Partial List)

United States Mint;
Ferens Art Gallery & Museum, Hull;
Convention Center, Washington DC;
Bank of America, New York, NY;
National League of Cities, Washington DC;
American Embassy, Colombo, Sri Lanka;
Canadian Embassy, Washington DC;
Wall Street Journal, New York, NY;
National Geographic Society, Washington DC;
U.S. Senator George McGovern;
U.S. Senator Edward M Kennedy;
Rothmans International plc;
Singer & Friedlander Merchant Bank. London;
U.S. Senator Fred Thompson;
John Le Carré;
Henry (“The Fonz”) Winkler;
The Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher (Lady Thatcher).