Artistic duo are given the royal seal of approval

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Dave Watson and Jonathan Lloyd are the toast of north Norhumberland after having their work accepted into London’s Royal Academy.

The pair now have their working hanging proudly in the Academy’s prestigious summer exhibition and to say they’re pleased would be putting it mildly.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Dave told ‘WOW’.

“Along with getting my degree, it’s definitely the highlight of my career.

“I went down for the varnishing day and to be in the company of artists like Alan Davies and Gillian Ayres was huge- they’re a big deal!”

The painting Dave submitted for the exhibition is one of Twizel Bridge and has a very interesting story behind it.

“I was driving to Coldstream with my partner Morag when I started feeling seriously unwell.

“I said I’d get out of the car and she could pick me up on her way back.

“There’s nothing like a bit of sketching to relax you. So even though I felt really sick I sat and sketched the bridge and then went back later to do an oil painting of it.”

Dave’s appearance at the Royal Academy exhibition is the start of an exciting few months for him which will also see him exhibit in Durham University’s Travelyn Hall.

Like Dave, Wooler’s Jonathan Lloyd was inspired to submit work to the Royal Academy after exhibiting closer to home at Berwick Watchtower.

Jonathan submitted two of his wood cuts for the Academy’s showcase and was fortunate enough to have them both accepted.

He told ‘WOW’: I’m thrilled to be showing at the Royal Academy again.

“The Summer Exhibition is unusual and controversial because the distinction is not between amateur and professional but, as Grayson Perry so succinctly put it, between good and bad.

“It’s the biggest and oldest open submission exhibiton in the world; naturally with 12000 entries lots of good work gets rejected so there’s plenty of indignation which only adds to the frisson.”

The Royal Academy exhibition runs until August 17.