How much do they quote? Prince Charles, who has been painting for more than 50 years, exhibits his watercolors in London
Since many years, prince charles cultivate the passion for watercolor. It is an activity that relaxes him and that, at the same time, allows him to channel his sensitivity and his ecological vocation. Carlos paints landscapes and keeps them for himself, or sells them in favor of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, at about $3,400 per frame. It is estimated that his art has already brought five and a half million dollars to the institution. However, Carlos sometimes gives his works to his relatives. Susan Barrantes, the mother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, had watercolors signed by the Prince of Wales at her Argentine estancia El Pucará, in the province of Buenos Aires, for example.
for the son of Queen isabel II, painting is more than a hobby and takes art seriously. A collection of 79 of his paintings is currently on display, until February 14, at the Garrison Chapel at Chelsea Barracks, London, with free admission. What can be seen there is just a part of his great production, which includes 680 frames in total. “It’s interesting to see how his style has evolved over the years. It was more measured and left pencil marks at first, whereas now the pieces are more fluid, luminous and deep”, says Rosie Alderton, who worked on Clarence House with Carlos.
The Prince finds his inspiration in nature and in the landscapes he visits, and mountains and lakes, old buildings and mountain paths alternate on his canvases. And not only does he portray his native land, but he is an avid seeker of settings for his drawings in other countries. His works include views of Switzerland, France, the Greek island of Corfu, and Tanzania. Two of his favorite works, however, are places he knows well: the Castle of Mey in Scotland, which belonged to his beloved grandmother, the Queen Mother, and his own home, Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, where he lives with his wife, Camila.
The Garrison Chapel exhibition is organized by The Prince Foundation and in the presentation brochure it is Carlos himself who explains what it means for him to take a brush: “It requires the most intense concentration and, at the same time, it is one of the most most relaxing and therapeutic I know. In my case, it transports me to another dimension that literally refreshes parts of my soul that other activities cannot reach”, he confesses.
Carlos, who signs his works with a modest C -his initial-, and the year, began painting in 1970, under the influence of his Gordonstoun school art teacher, and later learned the technique with prominent artists such as Derek Hill , John Ward and Bryan Organ. His first exhibition was at Windsor Castle in 1977, alongside the creations of two other royal artists, including Queen Victoria and her father, Duke Philip of Edinburgh, who died last year.