Charles Williams NEAC RWS CertRAS


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See below for artist information or to get more of a personal insight, read our interview with Charles Williams.

Artist Statement

Charles Williams' work is very like short stories. He tries to cram everything he is thinking about, other paintings old and new, newspaper stories, what he saw on his holidays or when he last went to the shops into each painting. Sometimes characters and places evolve; sometimes they just appear and then disappear. The chief studio rule is no sketches, no photos, no studies, nothing. People seem to assume that the paintings come from somewhere, but they are simply a la tête. He cannot be bothered with stopping and fiddling around with those things, or doing that projecting thing.

Method of Working

The work is either in oil paint, watercolour or, recently, acrylic, and he is fascinated by the ways in which each medium dictates the result. For example, in order to develop a watercolour painting the work has to get darker, as watercolour is transparent and you cannot make it lighter. Williams' methodology is, to some extent, determined by the circumstances of his training - 1980s Art Colleges were the site of an ultimately futile battle between Abstract Formalism and figurative, representational ideas, both with their traditions and taboos, and he tries to synthesize them in his work. A keen observational draughtsman, Williams has published two books on working from observation, and several magazine series, but it seems to play little part in the work he exhibits.

Biographical Details

2011-14 Publication of Basic Drawing and Basic Watercolour
1996 Elected Member of New English Art Club
1993 First of 23 London solo exhibitions to date
1989-92 Royal Academy Schools
1985-1989 Maidstone College of Art 

Other Society Memberships

Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), Small Paintings Group, Stuckists (Founder Member)

Scholarships, Awards & Prizes

Silver Medal for Painting, RA Schools

Past Exhibitions

2015 'Autocatalytic Future Games', group show curated by Playpaint at no format Gallery, Woolwich
2015 'Memento Mori', exhibition of paintings by Charles Williams at Lilly Zeligman Gallery, Laren, Netherlands
2015 'A-Genda', Brian Chalkley, Jacqueline Utley, Charles Williams - exhibition at Studio1:1 Gallery, Redchurch Street, London
2015 Surface, Surface Gallery, 51 Scrutton Street, London (co-curator)
2014 Lynn Painter-Stainers, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Studio 1:1, London
2014 'Wash', Resort Gallery, Margate (co-curator)
2014 'The Small Self-Portrait', Hogarth House, London


'The New English' (represented in, 2006) by Kenneth McConkey, ISBN 1903973988
'Basic Drawing' (C Williams, 2011) ISBN 9780709091042
'Basic Watercolour' (C Williams, 2014) ISBN 9780719807411