2014 catalogues available

If you would like a copy of the 2014 Art Awards catalogue,  please phone 020 7820 3755 and we will post one out to you free of charge.

The A5 size glossy catalogue features all the prizewinning and commended entries and a number of selected Art & Wellbeing statements.

EAC President hosts Art Awards celebration at House of Lords

The climax of this year’s EAC Over 60s Art Awards was a celebratory afternoon tea event at the House of Lords on 8th October, hosted by EAC’s President the Countess of Mar.

John Galvin CE of EAC and Margaret Countess of Mar

John Galvin CE of EAC and Margaret Countess of Mar

38 Award winners and highly commended artists were able to join the celebration, many with a partner or companion, and receive their Awards in person. A further four were represented by family members or by staff who care for them.

Welcoming our guests, Lady Mar reflected on the founders of EAC, Angela and Michael Farnell. It was Angela, along with her lifelong friend Dorothy Kershaw and early Trustee Jennifer Finegold who had created the Awards, which were now in their 21st year. In her view the quality of works submitted had never been higher, as evidenced in this year’s brochure.

In his presentation John Galvin, EAC’s Chief Executive, reflected on the success of the ‘Art and Wellbeing’ theme introduced into Art Awards last year. Nearly a quarter of entrants had taken up the invitation to write a few paragraphs about what led them to take up art, and what their art means to them. The many moving stories submitted illustrated vividly how art had helped them overcome, or simply live with, challenges they face in later life.

Mike Griffin - Art and Wellbeing prizewinner, with Susan Griffin

Mike Griffin – Art and Wellbeing prizewinner, with Susan Griffin

Prior to the event, most guests had also taken up EAC’s offer of a guided tour of the House of Lords, making it a full but extremely enjoyable afternoon.

Art awards 2013-14 was supported by The John Ellerman Foundation with a grant to help develop its online presence.

By John Galvin, CE of EAC


When I was nine years old, I was selected as a chorister in Westminster Abbey choir and, although I did not realise it at the time, the time I spent at the choir school would affect my entire life.  I sang at the Queen’s wedding and numerous other state occasions and it is true to say that the experience instilled in me a deep appreciation of music, especially religious music, tradition, history, art, literature and architecture. The school is located in Dean’s Yard, next to the Abbey, which towers above it. Here, we played tag, rounders and football almost oblivious then to the twin-towered Abbey; it would only be much later in life that I realised just how much that wonderful, 1000-year-old building had given me. So, in November 2003, I decided to paint it. I watched small boys playing, just as we did, the 22 choristers in the choir wearing red ties, the ten probationers blue ties (apparently, the school was – and still is – the only one in the UK at which the boys ed football in their school uniforms).  On the other side of Dean’s Yard is Westminster School, and you can see the students heading back to their classes in the painting. I worked from about 60 reference photographs which I patched together Hockney style. Taking a series of photographs vertically from sky to your feet and overlapping them laterally means that whereas one photograph has only one perspective, sixty photographs patched together gives the viewer 60 perspectives, all correct. This tends to push elements of the picture further away but that didn’t matter; I wanted the Abbey in the background – yet still dominating events. Moreover, the technique gives an immense sense of depth to a picture, as well. I particularly liked the way the boys had nicked a couple of traffic cones for their goal posts – and the small boy clearly less interested in football than in pretending to be an aeroplane! Typical nine-year-olds! I think this is possibly the only painting that I would never dream of selling; it holds far too many memories for that. 

Choristers and Choirboys

Choristers and Choirboys

by Sam Hall

Prize-giving Afternoon at the House of Lords

There are now only three weeks to go to the EAC Art Awards celebration and prize-giving ceremony at the House of Lords, which takes place on October 8th, and preparations are well underway. This year’s 26 prize winners and 24 highly commended artists have all been invited, with partners, and so far 80 have accepted the invitation. Most have also accepted the offer of a free tour of the Houses of Parliament, which will take place before the 3.30pm prize-giving ceremony.

The ceremony itself takes place in the Cholmondeley Room, which has superb views over the River Thames. Since the 1910 image below, some weather-proofing improvements have taken place………


and we are confident of a warm and sunny afternoon-tea, but looking out over much the same view…DSC_6336a

During the one and a half hour celebration event, artists will be awarded their prizes and certificates, while enjoying the House of Lords style afternoon tea, which includes cucumber sandwiches, jam and cream scones, with Indian tea!

In fact… a taste of how the other half live! Watch this space for more news and photos………….

The Arrow

I have gradually accumulated on my iMac around 25,000 photographs. They go back to the early 1950s when ‘I were nobbut a lad’. As I have said before I generally do not have time to sketch a scene that catches my eye so a photograph has to do. I guess around 60-70 percent, or more, of my photos have been taken with the intention of possibly using them for a painting. I came across a print of this picture last week and couldn’t remember when or where the photo was taken or even why.


An appealing scene doesn’t always carry its mood over to the camera and I didn’t look the most interesting of subjects but I could feel a hint of why the picture was taken and I was caught by the arrow on the fence so I set to with my easel and acrylics.

The photo has quite flat lighting and lacks a meaningful focal point. After thought I decided to give the picture a dramatic sky and from that came the full frontal lighting on the cottages and distant house. This was OK but still lacking a ‘path’ through the image. This is when I added the shadow from the barn on the left which when cast on the leftmost cottage pointed a way to the right. Then I swung the rightmost fence panelling to close off the right side. I still had an unimpressive chunk of road to the lower left so I began with the frontal shadow from a tree ‘behind’ me which partly forced the eye into the mid-ground. Finally I added the posts and wire (a favourite cliché of mine) with the intention of turning the interest round the corner, up the shadowed bit of road and then to be guided across the fronts of the cottages by sunlight, up the pole and to rest at the distant mansion. Thus ‘The Arrow’ was born.

I hope this works reasonably well but whether exhibition judges will agree is another matter.


Later, I did some research and found that I took the photo in May 2006 in Hambledon, near the Thames. A village once owned by W H Smith. Not his company but the man himself who was later lampooned in ‘HMS Pinafore’.