Paul Banning RI RSMA

Paul was born in Trinidad in 1934, educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and the West of England College of Art, gaining NDD Honours in furniture Design.  He served two years national service obtaining a commission in the army and subsequently became a furniture designer in industry. 


Redundancy in1986 gave him the opportunity to start a new career in painting.  Using his design skills, and the basic training at Art School in drawing taught by Victor Passmore RA., he studied the great water colour masters of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and learned the masterly skills of water colour painting. 

He is mainly a plein air painter, and loves the challenge of painting directly from the subject whenever possible. He travels extensively and is constantly looking for interesting subject matter, whether it be from a sailing barge in Holland, or in the streets of a dirty old market in India, Egypt, Dubai, or the hot desert sands of Jordan or on the low water shores of the river Thames, or the tranquil country lanes of Hampshire. He is President of the Wokingham Art Society.

In March 2011, Paul was awarded the The Turner Watercolour Award which is for an outstanding group of paintings by a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, and the receiver is given a cheque, and bronze medal facsimile of the Gold medal originally presented biannually at the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, and originally sponsored by Turner himself.   Today the award is given by the Turner bequest and divided equally between the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Royal Watercolour Society, where it is judged by the President and Vice President of each Society, together with the great great great niece of Turner. 

He was awarded many other awards:
– Freshfields Prize at the RWS C21 Exhibition 2000
– Llewellyn Alexander Award RI 2002
– Society Painting prize, Armed Forces Art Society 2005
– Chelsea Art Society Painting prize 2004
– Armed Forces Art Society Exhibition, best picture depicting an Army subject 2007
St Cuthbert’s Watercolour award at RSMA 2008.

He has appeared in numerous articles for The Artist and Illustrators magazine, for The Artist magazine, for L’Art de L’Aquarelle. He is a member of many societies: Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Royal Society of Marine Artists, Wapping Group of Artists, Chelsea Art Society, Armed Forces Art Society and Associate Member of Farnham
Art Society.

“Why do I want to paint? Because I know I can. Often not as well as I would wish, but occasionally there is that magic combination of light, shapes, opportunity and energy, which enables me to do justice to the subject and to myself. I am no academic but I have always been creative, and the desire to express this internal force leads me to tackle subjects that are not always conventionally attractive but which challenge my skills.”

Bristol docks

53 x 76 cm

Fishing boats Tavira Portugal

41 x 53 cm

Waiting for Customers, Petra

oil on canvas
64 x 47 cm

Moorings Keyhaven

33 x 40.5 cm

Fishermans Huts, Brancaster Staithes

watercolour and ink
20 x 36 cm

Looking down the River Saramento, Basilicata

75 x 55 cm

Dawn Across to the St Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

25 x 41 cm

The Workshop Everson Boatyard Woodbridge

48 x 74 cm