R o b e r t W a d e O A M
Watercolour captures each and every one who takes up the challenge to paint with this glorious and capricious medium. In painting the type of subjects that I do, my main concern is to create an expression of my emotion through light, form and movement. To be able to translate these feelings of excitement from my mix of imagination and reality, and then put them down on paper, takes much intense observation and interpretation. I call my process ‘Perceptive Observation,’ which I define as ‘seeing with your BRAIN, feeling with your EYES, interpreting with your HEART.’ Hopefully, this mix will eventually lead to a sensation that will flow through to the viewers of my work.
Educated at Scotch College, Robert A. Wade was introduced to watercolour at the age of six by his artist father but is otherwise self-taught, having undertaken no formal art training. He worked for forty years in the fields of advertising, screenprinting and graphic arts.
Wade has exhibited with most of the world’s major Watercolour Societies, winning 13 major awards in England, France and the United States, as well as 120 awards in Australia. Among these are the Cornelissen Award, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, London, 1983; the Talens Award and Public Choice, Grand Prix International, Tregastel, France 1994; Clay Kent Medal, International Society of Marine Painters, Washington, D.C., 1985; eight major awards of the Salmagundi Club, New York; the Emanuel Krueger Memorial Award,1988; three Gold Medals for Watercolour at Camberwell Rotary Exhibition, 1981, 1985, 1987 and the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, International Watercolour Society, Istanbul.
Commissions include paintings for Australia Post’s aerogramme for the International Philatelic Exhibition in 1984 and the Bible Society’s 1988 Australian Bicentenary Bible. His work is published in limited editions by Rosenstiel’s Fine Arts, London.
Wade’s work is represented worldwide in numerous public, corporate, and private collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Royal Watercolour Society, London; the Salmagundi Club, New York; the Bank of Tokyo; the National Museum of Watercolour, Mexico City and the regional Galleries of Hamilton, Mornington Peninsula and Castlemaine, Victoria, and Grafton, New South Wales.
In 1986, he received the Advance Australia Medal for his contribution to Australian art and, in 2003, was awarded the Medal of The Order of Australia for his service to Watercolour as an artist, educator and promoter of Australian artists. He is the author of three instructional books, over 100 articles for art magazines and produced five films.
Wade was elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 1983 and a Life Member in 2010. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, a Fellow and former Council Member of the Victorian Artists’ Society and a Life Member and Patron of the Watercolour Society of Victoria, his memberships include the American Watercolor Society, the International Society of Marine Painters, United States, the Pure Watercolour Society, United States, and the Salmagundi Club, New York. He is an Honorary Member of both the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, London, and the Sociedad Mexicana de Acuarelistas, Mexico.