Royal artists share tour memories
In the technological age we have found ourselves living in, not many people spare a thought for the old-fashioned art of painting.
Fortunately, Prince Charles himself an avid water-colourist is one of those rare people for whom art and artists are never far from mind.
As such, he pays from his own pocket for official artists to join him on every tour he undertakes.
Last year, Australian artist Warwick Fuller and New Zealander Sue Wild had the great honour of travelling with Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, on their tour of Australia and New Zealand.Morning Light, Garden Island, by Warwick Fuller.
Warwick was thrilled to be chosen as a tour artist, but found the pace and the weather conditions challenging at times.
"It was a whirlwind tour moving at a relentless pace, with military precision, planning and timing," he wrote on the Prince of Wales' website.
"I was able to paint at locations planned ahead of time and fortunately, mostly found good subject material. On a showery day at a sheep stud out of Hobart I only just won a race by seconds against a great pelting storm.
"At the Icebergs Club at Bondi, Sydney, a monstrous deluge beat me! I was drenched through with an unsalvageable painting roughed up by the sudden driving rain."Study for Approaching Storm, by Warwick Fuller. Approaching Storm, by Warwick Fuller.
Warwick found a kindred spirit in Charles, admiring the prince's appreciation of art and finding time to chat with him about places they'd both visited in Victoria.
Sue Wild was similarly thrilled to be chosen to accompany the royal couple on their tour.
"[When I received the phone call] I mumbled in astonishment about 'privilege and honour' and thought 'How crazy amazing!' What a huge privilege and a huge challenge," Sue wrote.The Auckland CBD across the mudflat from the North Shore, by Sue Wild.
Shortly after that phone call, the preparation began. Sue spent months honing her techniques and brushing up on her knowledge of British history and etiquette.
"I practised daily, working particularly on speed sketching," she said. "I pre-visited the venues on the tour programme, I refined my kit.
"I sewed a splendid 'mobile sketcher's pinny', with pockets for small palette, brushes, pens, pencils, camera and even water. I planned my clothing, learned the correct form of address, perused The Prince's website and read the history of England! And finally, there I was, in the welcoming party at the airport."Kids in Kayaks, by Sue Wild.
Waipiko Farm House, by Sue Wild.
The tour went spectacularly, and Sue is very happy with the paintings she produced. She loved being a part of the trip and has nothing but praise for the royals and their team.
"The Royal Tour Party was a wonderful group," she said. "Every member, from Prince and Duchess to valet and logistics team, moved with impressive speed and efficiency, while finding the time to care for each other and everyone around them with warmth and lively British wit!
"They were a 'mean machine', an honour and a joy to join."