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Contemporary Fine Art

Artists > Chris Forsey RI


Chris studied art and graphics at Bristol University and began his art career as an illustrator in a publisher’s studio. He became a full time artist a few years later and is largely self taught in watercolours. Laterally he has moved on to acrylics, pastels and gouache.

He has exhibited on many occasions with the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour as well as in a number of galleries in various locations throughout the UK.

Chris is a painting tutor and runs highly successful watercolour classes in Surrey and Sussex and also abroad in the Greek islands. He frequently gives lively and informative demonstrations to art societies in South East England and is in demand for commissions, particularly house/home portraits.

He was awarded the prestigious F Donald Blake award for contemporary watercolour by the Lincoln Joyce Gallery in 2006 and also the Matt Bruce Memorial Award for light and colour at the Royal Institute’s 2007 exhibition.

Chris specialises in landscape subjects, exploring man made themes alongside the organic. He paints pictures of buildings by water, structures emerging from rocky cliffs, occasionally figures contributing to the theme often inhabiting the middle ground between buildings and the wild. He is inspired by downland, coastal scenes of the UK and sometimes the Mediterranean, and by café life and townscapes, and always tries to capture the sense of place at a specific moment, season, or time of day.

My approach to painting in acrylic owes a lot to my experimentation in watercolour and move towards a more mixed media technique.My preference for a surface that will take a lot of manipulation e.g. scratching, lifting, rubbing etc means that I would prefer to work on a board rather than paper and have recently began to work on canvas. As with watercolour and mixed media, I enjoy using techniques that promote texture and interesting and unpredictable paint surfaces. Colours are limited and chosen with care for each painting, consideration being given to colour harmonies, analogous and complementary colour combinations. The paint, as with my mixed media work, is applied using large brushes, palette knife, card, rag, sponge and finger and I use glazes of colour to build density of hue and tone to produce an interesting layered appearance to the work

A weekend course
WEST DEAN COLLEGE, CHICHESTER, painting the sussex village,1,2,3, April

RI Spring Exhibition ( Royal Institute of painters in Watercolours)
Mall Galleries, The Mall, London. 30 March-10 April. "In Show" gallery artist 4 April

Solo exhibition," LIGHT IMPRESSION"
LINCOLN JOYCE FINE ART, Church road, Bookham, Surrey. Private view 7 and 8 May, I will be doing 2 painting demonstrations at THE BARN HALL( opposite the gallery) on Saturday 7 May , ring 01372 458481 to book a ticket(£10) Exhibition continues until 28 May

4 artist show
GALLERY LE FORT, 5 Margaret Buildings ( next to Royal crescent) Bath, from 16 April. 01225 428347

Group exhibition
D'ART GALLERY, 4 Lower Street, Dartmouth, Devon , from 21 April.

Surrey Artists Open Studio
Sandstone Studios, The Chine, High Street Dorking, ( opposite Pizza Express) 11, 19, 26, June. Showing with 2 other artists in our new studios.

Painting holiday
Tutor at DEDHAM HALL, Dedham, Suffolk, 16-23 July, A beautiful location and accomodation for a tutored week of painting and sketching in Constable country, 01206 323293 for details

New gallery representation
GALLERY LE FORT, 5 Margaret Buildings, Bath, BA1 2LP, 01225 428347


I began my art career as an illustrator in a publisher's studio after studying art and graphics in Bristol. I am a self taught watercolour painter, constantly trying to extend and add to my skills in water-based media. I have exhibted on numerous occasions with the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. I am a tutor of painting and run my own watercolour classes in Surrey and Sussex and in the Greek Islands. I also give lively and informative demonstraitons to art societies and groups thoughout South East England and am delighted to undertake commisssions of landscape subjects and house portraits.

I endeavour to re-appraise my style and technique on a regular basis and this has led me towards a mixed-media approach to my work, combining watercolour, acrylic, pastel and gouache. I am exhilarated by colour and surface and enjoy creating textured layers of dry-brushed colour that allow hints of complementary hue to glow through, thus creating an exciting surface of scattered, broken colour.

I specialise in landscape subjects, exploring the themes of man-made alongside the organic: buildings by water; structure emerging from a rocky cliff, sometimes with figures contributing to this theme, inhabiting the middle ground between buidings and the wildness of nature. I am inspired by downland, coastal scenes of the Uk and the Mediternean, cafe life and townscapes. I try to capture the sense of a place at a specific moment, season or time of day, always endeavouring to bring passion and immediacy to my work.

Chris was awarded the prestigious F DONALD BLAKE AWARD for a contemporary watercolour by the LINCOLN JOYCE gallery in 2006at the RI spring exhibition and also THE MATT BRUCE MEMORIAL AWARD for light and colour at the 2007 RI exhibition.

Top Light, Trebarwith
Chris Forsey RI


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