Upcoming Scottish artist Francis Salvesen has been shortlisted for The Royal Arts Prize 2020.
The aim of the Royal Arts Prize, running since 2014, is to showcase a selection of the world’s best artistic talent and allow emerging artists to reach diverse audiences and to gain invaluable exposure.
The awards which will take place 20-29 February 2020 at La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London. Francis only recently held his first exhibition Great British Art in November 2019, so it is a true honour for him to appear in the running for this prestigious award, which will be selected by a judging panel of eight and announced at the end of the show. After learning of his nomination, a delighted Francis cracked open a bottle of Champagne with his wife and took the rest of the day off!
His recent major exhibition displayed his interpretation of the UK’s most inspiring historic and natural landmarks, including views of the British coastline, iconic waterfalls, seasonal woodlands and atmospheric mountains.
Francis started painting as a child, and was so productive that his pictures adorned his school (Fettes) in Edinburgh. There his name is inscribed on the Art Cup for perpetuity.
Francis has spent many years capturing the most beautiful countryside scenes that he has seen. Over time the scenes have become more elaborate, with complicated branches bedecked with moss, sunsets and sunrises, mirrored images in lochs and lakes and a myriad of snapshots that convey happiness and joy in what is truly beautiful.
Sometimes the impulse to paint comes from an upcoming Birthday, Engagement or Marriage, when Francis sets to work to make a painting as a gift; sometimes he paints his own wife or family for himself.
Each painting is accompanied by, inspiring and inspired by a poem that Francis has written, defining the scene and explaining why it is important or relevant.
Over the next few years Francis has decided to paint ‘What it means to be British'”, capturing scenes of custom and tradition all around the British Isles. He will visit cheese-rolling in Gloucestershire, Tossing the Caber in the Highlands, the Up Helly Aa burning of a Viking ship in Orkney and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Over the next few years this will expand to include the sports in which British people partake, from croquet to cricket, hockey to hurling. And then there are other aspects of ‘Being British’ such as eccentricities, hospitality, ‘high spirits‘ and ‘a sense of humour’, all to be captured on canvas.
These will allow a greater latitude from landmarks, stretching the mind as well as the smile.
All Francis’s paintings are created to be treasured and appreciated, decorating a wall. They are painted to capture beauty, and be beautiful in themselves….gradually improving towards that wonderful goal of creating a beautiful picture of impossibly beautiful (yet real) people in a stunning setting doing something that creates a story or mood, conveys an emotion or provokes one. So far, Francis has achieved this in some of his landscapes, yet without the people or interaction. There are some animals, which provide life, and clouds or mists that provide motion….the best is yet to come!
The landsapes which give most fulfilment are the ones that Francis himself finds stunning. Yet, as the Great British Art Exhibition showed, everyone has their own favourite and these are rarely the same. ‘Quaraing’ is Francis’s current favourite, capturing a particularly stunning scene in the Isle of Skye, with the lochs reflecting the sunset and multiple bright colours. It takes your breath away.
The Emerald Lake in Canada is so lovely that it decorates Francis’s own dining room, complete with its stunning sunset and mesmerising waterfall.
Francis has painted many of the landmarks of the UK, but there are many more to capture, from Buckingham Palace to the Dark Hedges of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
Blackpool Tower is anticipated, Edinburgh Castle will be done again. Glastonbury awaits the next festival, while St Michel’s Mount may be improved still further.
22 of his paintings were sold in the Great British Art Exhibition, so there were only the remaining ones to select from -and several more have been sold since.
A full selection of Francis’ work can be viewed and purchased on BrilliantBrushstrokes.co.uk