I’m Exhibiting at The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2017!


Now in its 30th year, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest and most prestigious prize for contemporary watercolour painting in the UK. Whether it be through abstract or figurative, contemporary or traditional, the competition aims to celebrate and redefine the beauty and diversity of watercolour and water-based media. – and I’m in it!

After a long time dreaming and dreaming about a chance to have my work taken seriously I’m here

The piece submitted ‘Meat Van’ is my 3rd serious attempt to enter a respected national art competition, I have tried before and it must be noted that I didn’t get anywhere.

It was through a gentle nudge again from a close friend (Not James) that I submitted some work. I found that I had little confidence following previous attempts to do so.

This work really was from the heart, it pieces together what I am really trying to build a ‘voice’ with, some skill, messages and emotion thrown on canvas.

I suppose this acceptance of work means a lot because of the calibre of artists exhibiting and whom have exhibited in the past too.  The fact that its my first recognition as a serious emerging artist amongst respected professional artists is quite frankly overwhelming.

I’m really proud that I am good enough to be exhibiting at the Mall Galleries a place I thought one day I would make it to but certainly not within the first year of becoming a full time artist.

Further details regarding the competition and exhibitors can be read in my favourite art blog here




First Big Painting Challenge Reunion 2017

What a great way to start the first of hopefully many a reunion!

Everyone except Camila (who unfortunately couldn’t make the trip), met up again this time in Glasgow under supervision of our lovely host Jimmy (who we lost during the movement challenge in the competition). Jimmy has always been enthusiastic about out experience on the Big Painting Challenge and took the reins to arrange our first meet up since the show.



The Line Up



I have to say it was slightly surreal to be sat having drinks at Jintys Pub and reminiscing of our time on the BBC.


We were missing all the crew , presenters, mentors but it was still as pleasant as when we’d meet up for challenges.

Me and David with our stand in Pascal


This time we had a chance to really relax and enjoy each others company more, on top of that we had the honour of meeting Rosemary Beaton who mentored us for a spot of painting in the Glasgow School of Art.

Part way through my 40 min Drawing

Part way through my 2hr Acrylic Study


If you don’t know much about the school I encourage you to take a look : You can read about its history here

What was sad was learning more about the fire which unfortunately damaged a significant part of the building designed by Mackintosh but it was encouraging to hear the passion of the people working to rebuild and restore the damage.

The icing on the cake was a few drinks and chat at Christos Gallery after signing prize winning art works from Hillhead Primary in conjunction with West End Festival 2017.

Really lovely reception at Christos Gallery


And then time at Cass Art where my Billy Connolly piece was displayed for the weekend! This piece has also been featured on the BBC Arts website, you can read about my inspiration for the piece here


With my Connolly tribute


With the reunion coming to a close the responsibility for the next gathering rests on my shoulders – stay tuned for updates!

in summary – Am I feeling more like an Artist – Yes.

Love Hearts and Art



The doors are closed on amateur artists.

Ok – so this is my first blog entry.

I asked my friend James – (who is basically a brother to me) how I set about doing this, he simply said you write. I guess the trick is to write something interesting.

All I want to do firstly is apologise that I havent been updating my news feed, in the age of sparkly websites and news stories that make lives seem interesting and fulfilled I’m not keeping up.

Instead I’m spending the majority of my time thinking about how to progress my work, which sounds easier than it reads for an amateur artist. I keep going back, right back to the masters. The dusty books full of light to guide me forward.

That and trying to build a network of friends in the art world whom I respect and who have achieved great things. After leaving my job I had a small pocket of friends and followers made online over the years, but the majority were supporting from overseas. Some of the best artists out there are ones out of the spotlight, who toil day in and day out to create something so they can progress and mature.

I’m getting used to meeting people now. The art world is daunting.

I just finished a few months in art college, it opens your mind to how contemporary art works but I still found myself battling to find anything that stimulated me creatively with the current works coming out. In the end I am limping out still craving a return to classical art. The sort of discipline you learn from the few traditional painting schools is pricey, but I keep faith that even an amateur can make it without these places, there are some examples of this.

The emphasis seems to be on how materials become the work, I guess that is important, I was reading the interviews of Francis Bacon and he goes on and on about capturing a moment, energy and mystery in work.

Its a huge mathematical equation to me.

I’m still finding it difficult to work outside in the garage which is now a studio, I like to work where I’m comfortable and a set out studio doesn’t feel that way. I want to live with and breathe with the work I’m doing.

Most of the work I am creating I’m reflecting on and criticising to pull together more of what I like. But I’m still skating along the learning process and I am far from the critical art world as it is now.

anyway – how was that.




8 thoughts on “Blog

  1. Great first blog post Suman 😊 Nice to hear such honesty. I believe and hope that there is room for everyone/every style in the art world whether ‘on trend’ or not. Daunting and exciting that there is so much to learn!


  2. Hi Suman, I watched the Great Painting Challenge on the TV – congratulations on winning :). Easy for me to say after the event but I had you down as being the eventual winner. I love your work by the way – really beautiful figurative stuff. It’s exciting to see you going full on down the art path – I also believe that an amateur can become a great artist without having to attend expensive courses. I believe that the path of self teaching can be successful as long as a person is prepared to put in the hard work. I wish you luck with your endeavours!


  3. I struggled (and still do) with the pretentiousness of the art world. I graduated in ’95 having majored in Painting. None of my lecturers really understood what I was trying to do – apart from the visiting ones who only came in a couple of times a year. I’ve only gone back to really calling myself a professional artist in the last 4 years having done lots of graphic design, conference presentation design, youth work and event management. As artists I think we never stop learning our craft. I’ve finally found something I enjoy though in teaching art to others in informal environments – taking painting workshops to cafes and restaurants. I really believe that everyone is an artist – but not all of us get the right encouragement to keep going with it.


    1. Thankyou for your comment:) I think its really exciting that you are able to share your skill and experience with teaching, it is something I would love to do within my own space someday – maybe if that happens you can drop in as a teacher too!


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