Tag Archives: london

more secrets revealed

Wednesday 27 March 2013

more secrets revealed… look dear reader, here are the three miniature postcard paintings i recently created for RCA Secret 2013!

rca secret postcards 2013

[three postcard paintings in the artist’s studio, shelved]

i spent quite a lot of time on these three small paintings – a whole afternoon, which is probably quite a long time in RCA postcard terms. i liked working with a limited range of colours and i enjoyed painting the grid-like pattern, but they’re still a little bit rustic.

they appear to recall aerial maps of fields, or crossroads, bridge intersections… you get the drift. i was thinking of the time when i went up in a hot-air balloon (a birthday treat many years ago) and whether i would like to do it again.

looking at them again (in a photograph) i can also see small elements of stained-glass or leaded windows.

rca secret postcards 2013

[three postcard paintings in the artist’s studio, floored]

i hope someone liked these postcards enough to buy them, and they weren’t too disappointed to discover that i am one of the unknown artists in the postcard art ensemble.

here are the scans of the three postcards i made (yes, i know – very organised) moments before they were placed in an envelope and posted to the RCA for the Secret exhibition:

rca secret postcards 2013

[postcard #1, RCA Secret 2013]

rca secret postcards 2013

[postcard #2, RCA Secret 2013]

rca secret postcards 2013

[postcard #3, RCA Secret 2013]

i have a strange feeling i will be making very small paintings in the future, but that’s another story for another day.

more information on the RCA Secret exhibition: rca secret postcard art exhibition 2013

rca secret exhibition 2013

Wednesday 13 March 2013

tomorrow the RCA’s Secret postcard art sale & exhibition returns for its twentieth year, this time at the royal college of art’s shiny new dyson building in battersea, london.

rca secret 2013 - royal college of art postcards sale


some london cabbies might not like to drive south of the river but some avid postcard art collectors no doubt will, in the scrabble to view all the RCA postcards – maybe a sports car cad (anag.) this year they’ve announced there will be 2700 postcards on show from 1000 artists!

some of this year’s more famous contributors have been variously revealed as: David Bailey, Christo, Paula Rego, Julian Opie, John Baldessari, Manolo Blanik, Paul Smith, Orla Kiely… this is where it starts to go a bit art celebrity to excite the postcard art punters. the identities of the postcards’ creators are only revealed after the sale as all postcards are anonymously displayed during the exhibition. is that a postcard by… or is it by another artist?

in addition to the more well-known, invited artists – who always seem to give a frisson of excitement to the proceedings each year – the other contributing artists are mostly students or graduates of the royal college of art.

there may also be some other artists who are neither RCA graduates nor very well-known in the world of art and design – maybe this is because RCA Secret is now a highly anticipated and regarded annual exhibition & art sale on the london art scene/map/circuit – and it’s all for a good *cause!

rca secret 2013 - royal college of art postcards exhibition

[rca secret exhibition at RCA kensington gore –  pic from the telegraph]

if you are interested in buying a RCA SECRET postcard you will need to register first at RCA Secret’s website to obtain a RCA Secret buyer’s number, any time before the big day of the sale, which is on saturday 23 march 2013, open to the public from 8am to 6pm.

the queues of buyers will probably stretch all the way to chelsea… apparently many people begin queuing in earnest from 5am, or even camp out overnight- it’s early birds an’ all that..!

each postcard costs £45 – if you love it,  it’s affordable – but note, it’s strictly limited to four purchases per person – more art for more people, fair’s fair. if you are near the front of the queue (a requirement for the serious art collector) the more choices you will have.

all the RCA secret postcards are also available to view on the RCA Secret website from thursday, 14 march 2013, enabling you to browse all 2700 postcards at your leisure before your visit to the exhibition.


i enjoy browsing the postcards online (as i have never visited the exhibition, such is the draw of the rustic idyll). most of the postcards are (or look) handmade: lots of painting, printmaking and drawing – some are mixed media or more sculptural in form within the dimensions of a traditional postcard – and there’s some photography or graphic design in the mix. all styles and genres of art can be found here, from the figurative to the abstract, the witty to the more whimsical or peculiar, and sometimes art school rebellious – all good fun.

so, a few weeks back i “made” three new postcards for RCA Secret 2013, which i cannot possibly reveal here – but i can humbly reveal that i made this:

rca secret art postcard

[love jazz, RCA SECRET postcard, 2011]

Royal College of Art, Battersea
Dyson Building
1 Hester Road
SW11 4AN

the RCA SECRET art exhibition is open to the public 14 – 22 march 2013, 11am – 6pm, late opening on thursday 21 march until 9pm.

the RCA SECRET postcard sale is on saturday 23 march 2013, open to the public from 8am to 6pm.

*proceeds from RCA Secret go to the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund. more information about RCA Secret is on the RCA Secret website.

rca secret exhibition 2011

Wednesday 16 November 2011

a short while back i spent an afternoon making some new postcard artworks for the rca secret exhibition 2011. i cannot, of course, show you any pictures of these new postcards because it is a secret art sale, but here are my secret art postcards from rca secret 2010.

rca secret art postcards - royal college of art

[rca secret postcards 2010, signed & dated on the back]

see more of my secret rca art postcards 2010, rca secret postcards from 2009 or some previous years’ rca secret postcards are here.

there will be around 3000 secret postcards in the rca secret exhibition at the royal college of art in london, which is open to the public from 18 november to 25 november 2011. the postcards will also be viewable on the rca secret website from 18 november, all in the run up to the big sale day on saturday 26 november 2011 (queues likely).

remember, to purchase any of the rca postcards (maximum four per person) you will first have to register as a buyer. monies raised from the rca secret sale benefit the royal college of art’s fine art student fund. lastly, some mention must be made of the excellent organisation & voluntary work that goes on behind the scenes to make this event so successful, many of whom are current fine are art students.

the rca secret exhibition has become a very popular annual art event in london, with thousands of people queuing to be in with a chance of obtaining an original artwork for just £45. some of this year’s big name contributors include: tracey emin, grayson perry, gerhard richter, anish kapoor and yoko ono.

i always find it troubling to discover some buyers go on to immediately sell their rca postcards on ebay for much more money – especially when the artists donate artworks for free to support an art college in the education of future artists.

i am waiting with much anticipation to view all the rca secret postcards online and try to guess who has made what. it has become something of a sport, and perhaps there is a skill in knowing what to look out for, armed with the knowledge of an artist’s likely subject or style of work. there are always some surprises, though. i would dearly love to visit the exhibition, but i think work commitments will preclude me from doing so this year.

for breaking news (top tips, faqs, artist interviews, media coverage, etc) on rca secret 2011 i highly recommend a visit to the unofficial rca secret blog