The heir to the British throne went on to say that painting is “one of the most relaxing and therapeutic exercises I know,” adding that his hobby “refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can’t reach.”
The watercolors are on display at the Garrison Chapel in Chelsea Barracks in London. Credit: courtesy Richard Ivey
“I took up painting entirely because I found photography less than satisfying,” he is quoted as saying. “Quite simply, I experienced an overwhelming urge to express what I saw through the medium of watercolor and to convey that almost ‘inner’ sense of texture which is impossible to achieve via photography.”
“View in South of France,” by HRH Prince of Wales. Credit: courtesy Richard Ivey
In the exhibition text, the prince admitted that he is “appalled by how bad” his early works were.
“I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent!” he added. “They represent, more than anything else, my particular form of ‘photograph album’ and, as such, mean a great deal to me.”
During a royal tour of Japan, Prince Charles sits to paint a watercolor in the garden of the Imperial Palace In Kyoto. Credit: Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images
In 1994, Britain’s Royal Mail featured Charles’ landscape paintings on a series of postage stamps marking 25 years since the ceremony that formally recognized him as the Prince of Wales. The National Gallery of Australia also exhibited several of his works in 2018 to mark his 70th birthday. Two decades earlier, for his 50th birthday, some 50 of his watercolors went on display at Hampton Court Palace, the residence of his ancestor Henry VIII.
“Huna Mill, John O’Groats,” by HRH Prince of Wales. Credit: courtesy Richard Ivey
In a press statement, curator of the new London exhibition, Rosie Alderton, said that the prince “likes to sit in the actual environment and paint ‘en plein air,'” adding: “His passion for creating beautiful art is conveyed strongly in this exhibition.”
The watercolors are displayed at the Garrison Chapel in Chelsea Barracks, a converted army barracks in London’s upmarket Belgravia district. Also on display is a tapestry based on one of the prince’s paintings, “Abandoned Cottage on the Isle of Stroma,” that took weaver Ben Hymers eight months to complete.
Top image: HRH Prince Charles painting a watercolor in Klosters, Switzerland.