Christopher Darton Watkins


Christopher Darton Watkins, M.A. Oxon., studied at Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He has lived and painted in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France. He is married to a Swede and now lives and works in London and Skåne.

His work is owned by three Oxford Colleges; Liverpool University; The Royal Hospital, Chelsea; The National Gallery, Lisbon; Apotekarnas Riskförbund, Stockholm; Svenska Handelsbanken, Stockholm; The Charterhouse Bank Ltd., London; Bischoft and Co.; The City of London; as well as many private collections at home and abroad.

In 1990 he received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award, '... because of the exceptional quality of [his] work and the extent of [his] artistic achievement,' and is a member of l'association internationale des arts plastiques, Unesco.

Styles and subjects

For several years my interest in buildings, their shape and texture, their decorations etc., have led me to the study of doors, from Arabia to the shores of Mexico. Besides their tactile appeal, doors form the barrier between a private world and the public world outside. They both enclose and shut out, but at the same time they are the means of entry and exit between these worlds; hence their enigma. Two years ago I began to produce a series of doors made of wood and metal which are painted.

More recently, after spending a winter in the South of France, I have made paintings based on medieval villages, using the architecture, texture and light to create what I hope and believe will prove an interesting series.

Three years ago I began a series of Summer beaches and lakes in Southern Sweden in the winter time.

Technique and materials

Over the years I have developed my own technique. I build up the surface of the picture using a number of materials; among them plastic cement, marble dust, sand, wood and sometimes metal. I mix best quality powdered oil paints with pure beeswax and turpentine. I do not need to varnish my paintings as the beeswax acts as a protective layer and also enhances the colours.

My preferred surfaces to paint on are cotton flax canvas with wood substructure for larger works and canvas covered board for smaller works.

Exhibitions and awards

1961S.N.E.E., Lisbon Portugal.
1962Woodstock Gallery, London.
1962Awarded 2nd prize, British Open Painting Competition, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.
1963Royal Society of British Artists Summer Exhibition.
1963Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.
1964The Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford.
1965The Drian Gallery, London.
1967Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.
1967The Royal Academy Summer Show.
1968Guest exhibitor, bi-centenary Exhibition, Royal Exhibition of Art, Glasgow.
1968The Alwin Gallery, London.
1969The Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford.
1970The Alwin Gallery, London.
1972The Richmond Hill Gallery.
1975Heals Gallery, London.
1976Heals Gallery, London.
1977Gallerie Aix, Stockholm.
1980Seifert-Binder Gallery, Munich.
1981Sloane Street Gallery, London.
1982Seifert-Binder Gallery, Munich.
1986Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, London.
1987Stephen Bartley Gallery, London.
1990Anthony Dawson Fine Art, London.
1990Received Pollock-Krasner Foundation award, '... because of the exceptional quality of your work and the extent of your artistic achievement.'
1991Edwin Pollard Gallery, London.
1992The Barbican Gallery, The Barbican Centre, London (exhibition arranged through A.D. Fine Art).
1993Work exhibited by Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
1993Edwin Pollard Gallery, London.
1994The House of Sweden, London.
1995The David Curzon Gallery, London.
1995Contributor to A.D. Fine Art's travelling exhibition to the Low Countries, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
1996Original Art Gallery, Båstad.
1998Galleri Tersaeus, Stockholm.
1999Galleri Syd, Ystad.
1999Original Art Gallery, Båstad.
2004Summer exhibition, New Grafton Gallery, London.
2004-5Christmas exhibition. David Curzon Gallery, London.
2006Working towards Summer exhibition, Torokov.