Congratulations to our newly elected members!
Congratulations to our newly elected members!

Following recent elections at the ROI AGM we have the great pleasure to announce the following new full members of the ROI:

  • Frances Bell ROI
  • Benjamin Mowll ROI
  • Adam Ralston ROI
  • Sarah Spackman ROI

We are also delighted that we have four newly elected Associate members.

  • Ruth Fitton AROI
  • Sarah Manoscalue AROI
  • Valerie Pirlot AROI
  • Maria Rose AROI

Well done to all!

Frances Bell ROI

‘The themes of my work largely revolve around what I observe in life and find captivating, ranging from formal portraits to farm life and landscapes of many kinds. The main nugget of interest is often a transcendent moment of atmosphere, whether the light over a field, or the tilt of a head. I think I attempt to pursue what seems to convey most about our environment and human nature in the simple subjects that surround us.

I have always admired the show at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and been especially pleased to have participated in it down the years. To have been elected to full membership is wonderful for me, and I so look forward to future shows and ventures as a member of this vibrant society.’

Benjamin Mowll ROI

Ben is delighted to have been elected as a full Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) in December 2022. This election is both a great honour and privilege. The ROI is an eminent and vibrant Institute, with many illustrious Members, both now and historically.

Ben is also a Past President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), having previously served as a Council Member and Vice-President for that Society.

Ben has been painting and exhibiting for 30 years in both oil and watercolour, showing regularly throughout that time in a variety of outlets, including 20 solo shows. His paintings are currently available in a number of commercial galleries in the UK. He is based near Canterbury in Kent.

Adam Ralston ROI

‘I’m an oil painter from Blackpool and have been exhibiting with the ROI since 2016. The majority of my work is pleinair painting, but I’m also interested in still life. I’m very much an observational painter, and much prefer to paint from life. I’m not the most traditional of painters, with the end result sometimes having a quirky feel to it especially if I’m adding figures anyway! I’ve always been fairly confident with colour since the early days of exhibiting in the open exhibitions. It’s my tonal ability which I feel has progressed the most over the years, something I’ve always found the most difficult. I’d say that’s due to being influenced by fellow exhibitors and members work. I’m absolutely delighted to be made a full time member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. We’re always trying to get better at what we do, and without doubt I feel I’m now part of the best group of artists to help with that progression.’

Sarah Spackman ROI

‘I feel very honoured to have been elected a full member of the ROl, and to be part of such a wonderful society dedicated solely to oil painting. I work in my studio in Oxford painting mostly small still life paintings. They are quite often things that have been grown on the allotment or in the garden, or from the local market. I see something and want to paint it – I like to think of them as individual portraits. I have always loved using oil paint, I love the range and depth of colour it allows, and its great flexibility. For me. painting has alwavs been a way to explore the mysteries of space and form revealed by light, and oil paint is the medium I love to use most. Looking at things and mixing colour is what I do. It is a great privilege to have been elected to the society by fellow oil painters, so many thanks to all those who voted for me, and I am very much looking forward to being part of the ROI.’

Patrick George: “If I see something I like, I wish to tell someone else. This then is why I paint.” Sarah studied at Byam Shaw School of Art 1978-79 and Camberwell School of Art 1979-81. She was elected as a member of the RBA in 2019.

Ruth Fitton AROI

‘I’m a portrait and figurative painter based in Yorkshire.

I have been fascinated by portraiture since my mid-teens, and began teaching myself to paint while also studying for a BA in Music. Nearly ten years later, I have my own studio, host open painting sessions and workshops, and have exhibited around the world.

I absolutely love painting from life – there is nothing like the experience of capturing immediate reality in paint. I’m also hugely curious about oil paint and everything that it can do – I’m always looking for the most imaginative ways to make paint replicate the feel and character of what I see. Speedy live studies are generally followed by long periods of studio work.

The first time I walked into an ROI exhibition, I looked around and thought “this is a group of people who just love to paint.” I’m so delighted at the idea of joining this family. I look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas and paint-outs, and bringing everything I can to this brilliant community.’

Sarah Manolescue AROI

Photo Credit Heather Chuter

Sarah Manolescue is an observational artist with an unrelenting fascination for light and its effects. Working in oil and predominantly plein air, Sarah prefers to work on small boards and in one session, so to preserve a freshness and immediacy in her work. Rarely does she have a subject or composition in mind, instead she waits for inspiration to strike, first placing large plains of colour, before working into the wet paint to add more information where she deems necessary.
‘Working as an artist can be quite a lonely profession, but ever since I began submitting work to the ROI (unsuccessfully at first, I might add!), attending the annual private view and taking part in the painting events, I’ve felt part of something extraordinary. The ROI members are so welcoming and encouraging, and it’s a huge accolade for me to join the ROI family as an associate member. To have my work assessed and accepted by the best of the best working in oils today is just the greatest feeling. A massive thank you to all the members who voted for me. What a Christmas present!’

Valerie Pirlot AROI

‘I’ve always been in love with the medium of oil and every painting I make is only making me hungrier to paint the next one. I’m equally delighted and honoured to have been elected an associate member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and be able to join its lovely and welcoming community, filled such talented painters. I cannot wait to start this new adventure and contribute to the society and this motivates me more than ever to try to become the best painter I can be.’

Maria Rose AROI

‘I am a Devon based artist and am fanatical about oil paint and painting from life. I work mostly outside in the elements, letting the seasons guide me. When you work in tune with nature you realise how fleeting these precious moments are; every light situation, every sky, every change in the weather are all completely unique and painting is my attempt to try and record this transience.

I have been exhibiting with the ROI since 2015. They have always been the most welcoming of societies and the support to me as a younger artist has been invaluable over the years. The ROI has always felt like a home to me but to be made an Associate Member is the cherry on the cake. I am ecstatic that my humble paintings of the British landscape have been recognised in this way. I look forward to being able to work with the society even more over the coming years.’