Nicholas Verrall

NICHOLAS VERRALL

“In all my paintings, whether the subject happens to be a Provençal landscape, a balcony crowded with potted plants, a quiet interior or a Venetian antiques shop, invariably there two elements that interest me most – light and colour.  I am constantly fascinated by the way that a certain quality of light can radically alter the character and impact of a subject and make it something unique, and it is this moment of ‘uniqueness’ that I try to capture in my paintings through the considered use of colour. “
— Nicholas Verrall – Introduction to ‘Colour and Light in Oils

Nicholas Verrall is a painter that clearly delights in maximising the effect of light and colour. He has over the years honed his talent to capture glorious atmosphere and mood created by natural and brilliant light.  His palette is subtle, muted with a pastel softness and diffusion, which makes the work glow with a gentle ambiance and a delicate tonality. These stylistic effects are no ‘happy accidents’, for Verrall is very much a technical artist, who applies incredible application and skill throughout the whole creative process.  

Verrall employs a whole range of artistic techniques in the development of each piece, including colour blending, glazing, brushwork effects, impasto and finally a layer of varnish to protect and lift the whole image. These so-called tricks of the trade reflect an accomplished painter, whose mastery over his medium means that he can concentrate on capturing the overall sentiment of the scene. But as a viewer, we have to ask, what are the feelings generated by Verrall’s consummate craft and talent?

Verrall’s subject matter evocatively let us enter world far from the daily grind of city life, far away from the incessant noise, the frenetic pace and throngs of people. As we look at these pieces and let these beautiful images appear in our unconscious mind we allow ourselves to be transported to tranquil and serene world. The world of delight and unadulterated charm and we may imagine ourselves actually sitting there on that Tuscan terrace, soaking in the magnificent scenery deliciously bathed in a rich afternoon light, now we start to feel so relaxed and so at peace in quiet reflection.  Verrall gives us a very personal perspective, an extremely intimate point of view. As we see the scene through our own eyes all these wonderful sensory experiences begin to grow and fill our conscious mind.

The paintings of Nicholas Verrall has that magical quality, in their quiet understated way, they have a dramatic effect on your whole sensibility.  These pieces are so evocative of those hidden away places and those sacred moments that you must respond immediately.  As he says, it is through the use of light and colour that he manages to create such beautiful scenes, which are truly unique and therefore highly sought after.

Biographical Details

Nicholas Verrall graduated in Fine Art & Printmaking at Northampton School of Art. He worked in picture conservation and restoration before becoming a full-time artist in 1970. His first one man show was at the Upper Grosvenor Gallery, 1971. This was followed by regular exhibitions at Seen Gallery, Belgravia. Nicholas was first hung at the RA in 1976 and subsequently eleven times after that.

During the late 70’s/80’s Nick started making prints at the Curwen Studios in association with the Royal Academy Graphics, exhibiting in the Royal Academy Upstairs Gallery and the Royal Society of Etchers and Engravers.

Throughout the 90’s to the present date Nicholas has had regular solo exhibitions at the Catto Gallery , Hampstead. His work has also been included in many major art fairs, including the International Arts Fair, Olympia & the 20TH Century British Art fair, London. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and also in France, Hong Kong, Japan and America. It is held in numerous private and public collections including, The City of London, Surrey University, Crownlife and B.A.T. His books and publications include, ‘Nicholas Verrall Colour and Light in Oils‘, Curwen Studio’s 1958-1998 and ‘An Introduction to Drawing and Painting Still Life’.

Nicholas has received numerous prizes and awards including ‘The City of London Annual Exhibition Prize’, the ‘Abbot and Holder Prize’, at RWS, ‘The Artist Magazine’ prize, 2011, and ‘The de Laszlo Medal’ 2015 from the members of the RBA. He is also listed in ‘Who’s Who in Art’ in 1986.

Nicholas was elected a member of The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in 2010 and elected a member of The Royal Society of Oil Painters (ROI) in 2011.

Nicholas is renowned for his Mediterranean landscapes, where light and colour play a major part of his interpretation of a subject. It is the dramatic interplay of light and shade which creates such an evocative atmosphere and appears to capture a transient moment to be shared with the viewer.

Scholarships, Awards, Prizes

  • City of London, Royal Water Colour Society, B.A.T. through RA, Royal Horticultural Society Medal
  • RBA Davison Award  for Painting

Other exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

1971  – Upper Grosvenor Galleries  W1

1971 – Reviewed Sunday Telegraph

1975 – Langton Gallery Chelsea with Gertrude Hermes RA

1976 – Dulwich Village Gallery

1978, 1981, 1987 – Seen Gallery Belgravia

1989 – Railings Gallery W1

1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009 – Catto Gallery Hampstead

1997 – Yehudi Menuhin School Surrey

2001 – Art Obsession Inc Hong Kong

2006 – Restrospective University of Surrey (painting added to their Collection)

2008 – John Davies Gallery

Group Exhibitions

1970 – Upper Grosvenor Galleries W1

1972, 1973 – City of London Annual Exhibition

1976 – RA – Tryon Gallery, Cork St

1977 – Exhibition RA Upstairs Gallery

1978 – RA, RBA, RA Upstairs Gallery

1983 – RA, RBA, RA Upstairs Gallery

1984 – RA. Royal Society of Etchers &  Gravers

1985  – RBA, RA Business Gallery’s

1985 – Welsh Touring Exhibition

1986 – RA, RWS, Olympia International Art Fair

1988 – RA, RBA, RWS, Abbott & Holder

1989 – RBA, Art in Action Oxfordshire, Gallery 10 Grosvenor Street London

1991 – RA, RBA, Bourne Gallery, Reigate, Catto Hampstead

1992 – RBA  Knoestu Fine Art Japan,

1992 – 20th Century Art Fair with Catto at RCA

1994 – NEAC, Christies Contemporary Art sale

1995 – RBA, Patchings Nottinghamshire

1996 – City Hall Exhiibition Hong Kong

1998 – Portrait Society Curwen Gallery

2001 – RA, Brian Sinfield Oxfordshire and Dallas Texas

2004 – 2008 – Russel Gallery, Wykeham Gallery, Pattersons ‘Venice in Peril’

2010 – John Noott Gallery Broadway

2010 – Royall Fine Arts Tunbridge Wells

Publications

Colour and Light in Oils by Nicholas Verrall

 An introduction to Drawing and Painting Still Life by Peter Graham

Curwen Studios 1958-1998

The Public Catalogue Foundation 2004

1986 – Who’s Who in Art

The Artist 2001, Leisure Artist, Homes & Garden, Arts Review, Time Out

Printing Published with Royal Academy Graphics, Curwen Studios, Ikea