Tom Coates previews his solo exhibition at Mall Galleries where plein air oil sketches and paintings will cover the walls of the Threadneedle Space.

"I want people who buy my work to see how I work,” says the irrepressible and ever-popular artist Tom Coates, who is holding his own one-man exhibition at the Mall Galleries this month.

Tom plans to be in the Galleries throughout his exhibition, conducting workshops, sharing his sketchbooks, displaying some of his beloved pochade boxes (a portable paint box that doubles as a small easel) and doing what he’s famous for: making new friends and talking wherever he works.

Tom’s energy and appetite for recording the daily comings and goings of people, places and the natural world that inspires his work is still ‘as voracious as it is varied’, according to Michael Spender, who wrote the Introduction to his last London exhibition three years ago (Tom Coates: Messum’s, 2011). There will be lots of working sketchbooks in his exhibition, as well as more than 70 new oil sketches and paintings to admire and (why not?) take home to enjoy. Tom tells us that he has priced all the work to make them as accessible as possible.

While other artists rely on cameras and new technology to record their experiences, Tom has always used his sketchbooks (many beautifully bound) in the way that others use their photo albums – as a continual source of reference for place, subject matter, colour and light. Many of the new works in this exhibition are small in scale, direct, almost impatient responses to a wide range of subjects, executed with a painter’s flair in oil on panel, most of them intimate and all of them painted en plein air.

Make a point of introducing yourself to Tom during the exhibition. “I don’t mind being distracted”, he insists, “I make friends everywhere I go”.

Mall Galleries
The Mall (by Trafalgar Square)
London SW1 United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 79306844

Opening hours
Daily from 10am to 5pm

Related images

  1. Tom Coates, Storm over La Verna
  2. Tom Coates, Resting amongst the shadows
  3. Tom Coates, Ilfracombe Rocks
  4. Tom Coates, My fellow painters in France
  5. Tom Coates, Hollyhocks in the Courtyard
  6. Tom Coates, Duckboards to the beach