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Shirley Trevena RI

Shirley Trevena RI was born in Brixton, London, and now lives in Shoreham by Sea. Although Shirley has had no formal art education she has become internationally renowned as one of Britain’s leading watercolour artists.

Shirley became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1994 and has since served twice on the RI Council.

Shirley has won numerous awards including the prestigious Winsor & Newton Award (twice), the Llewellyn Prize and the John Blockley Prize.

Shirley Trevena’s paintings are exhibited each year at the Mall Galleries, London and at the Sussex Watercolour Society’s exhibitions, for which she is the President. 

International exhibitions include:

International Watercolour Festival in Antwerp, Belgium.

St Cyr sur Mer Biennale in the south of France.

World Watercolour Competition Exhibition in Narbonne, France (finalists’ exhibition).

International Watercolour Exhibition in Jimo Qingdao, China (top 20 foreign Watercolour Master Artists), 2017.

Master of Watercolour 2018, St Petersburg

Shirley Trevena has had 4 books published (two of which were shortlisted for the ‘Artist Choice Book of the Year’) and 3 DVDs

Artist’s Statement

“My paintings are mainly of domestic settings using objects that I have collected over the years for their specific colour or shape. Frequently a painting begins with just the desire to see two fabulous colours nudging up against each other. There has to be a visual excitement towards my subject matter and I try to pass this involvement on to my viewer.

My work appears to be painted very freely with loose brush strokes, but there is a strong discipline underpinning it all, giving attention to detailed balance and movement, always with a strong compositional structure.

I work quite slowly, building up the surfaces, concocting a muddled perspective, fractured and disjointed picture planes and describing objects, which begin at strange places and end nowhere at all. Implying things rather than explaining them. Above all I want the paintings to reveal themselves slowly, remaining interesting over time, to exist beyond that first hit of glorious colour.”

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