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Artists of the Month

Every month The Circles of Art newsletter features an artist who has captured our attention. Members vote for our annual award recognising the artist whose work they find most outstanding. 


Ellie Caeti, March 2024
Until five years ago Ellie Caeti painted purely for relaxation, posting her vibrant Guernsey landscapes on Instagram for family and friends. But then a magazine asked to feature a painting which sold immediately. A flow of commissions and a London-based show followed: she now works as an artist full-time. About her work she says: “My aim is to express joy.” @elliecaetiart


Max White, February 2024
Max White evokes mood and atmosphere in his urban and marine oil paintings. From plein air sketches he paints using only two or three strong colours, investing emotion in each scene. He is drawn to the abstract, possibly influenced by his studies in architecture. His membership of the prestigious Wapping Group of Artists (pictured is The Thames by Wapping) and representation in several galleries, notably Green & Stone in a solo exhibition in May 2024, mark him out, aged 25, as a talent to watch.  @maxwhiteartist


Xanthe Burdett – January 2024
The natural world is woven into ethereal woodland figures that populate Xanthe Burdett’s art. Tendrils and curling leaves clothe her sitters’ bodies, creating a surreal air of both entrapment and repose. While now London-based she often paints al fresco in the rural Devon of her childhood. “I enjoy using my imagination,” she explains “but I aim for the solidity of shapes that emerge when you observe as you work”.  @xantheburdett_artist


Melissa Perold, December 2023
Finance professional and entrepreneur Melissa Perold was casually surfing the web one day when she signed up “on a whim” for a three-day drawing course. One sketch led to another and eventually she swapped the City for diploma studies at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art. Perold now creates powerful portraits that have won her many commissions and awards. Judges have cited her intensity of observation, paint handling and emotional connection. Of her new career she says: “What I do now is entirely me. It’s who I am.” 


Eloise Dethier-Eaton, November 2023
Working in watercolour on paper, Eloise Dethier-Eaton is a multi-disciplinary artist drawn to still life, telling the stories behind the objects she depicts. She used decorative techniques for her recently completed MA at the City & Guilds of London Art School to focus on the poor ethics behind fast fashion, illustrated in her thought-provoking trompe l’oeil painting of a jumpsuit that ripped when first worn. She has been exploring the properties of paper and will apply skills from a paper-marbling apprenticeship for a fellowship she was recently awarded by the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.


Emma Jamison, October 2023
Wedded to the outdoors from an early age, Emma Jamison expresses her love of the Sussex landscape in her abstract oils on canvas. From the studio on her family’s farm she composes vivid landscapes that evoke the ancient magic of the Downs. Her first solo show, staged in London by Petworth’s Kevis House Gallery, combined to spectacular effect these works with contrasting paintings inspired by a recent trip to Iceland.


Kimi Zoet, September 2023
Kimi Zoet embraces visual expression in its widest definition—not as simply painting and sculpture, but also as enfolding music, writing and other creative forms. Her current themes explore the natural world, water and the night sky. Increasingly, she is focusing on salvage sculpture based on discarded furniture. Weaving many strands together, she sums up her work by saying: “I’m a storyteller”. 



Ruby Hagan, August 2023
Winner of The Circles of Art prize for an artist under the age of 26 at the 2023 Society of Women Artists exhibition, Ruby Hagan exudes passion, originality and talent. (Her prize-winning work, The Council of Abi, is shown on our home page.) Aged 18, she has loved expanding her artistic horizons, doing life drawing, and exploring the grotesque for her Art A Level before heading from The Wirral to London to start her degree course. 

Previous winners – Artist of the Year 


Daisy Denning, October 2022 – Portrait artist
Artist of the Year 2022/23
Having shown an early interest in portrait painting, Daisy Denning cemented her skill at the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, which keeps traditional oil portraiture alive. Painting from life in controlled natural light in studios in London and Kent, she is inspired by such artists as Velasquez, Renaissance and 18th-century British masters and Sargent, wishing ‘to create a world within the canvas’. That she has exhibited at the Society of Women Artists and the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and returns to Florence every year as a tutor reflects her exceptional talent.


Wesley George, November 2022 – Artist
Artist of the Year runner-up 2022/23

Wesley George’s portraits pop with dazzling colour – but that’s just one of the qualities that sear his work into your mind. This self-taught artist of Vincentian-English heritage has a mission to convey the character and experience of Londoners with similar African diaspora backgrounds to his own. Dynamic urban youth culture fires his work. His mission is “to focus on the complexity of Black British identity – to dismantle traditional racial narratives and bring out every person’s individuality and emotional scope.”


Joseph Black, August 2021 – Artist
Artist of The Year 2021/2022

Joseph says of his precision-honed paintings: “the relationship between people and nature, and in particular between animals and their depictions in art, has always been the main focus of my work”. The musculature of horses and myriad colours of trees fuel his passion “to explore the finest details and bring them to life”. This Kent-based Courtauld Institute graduate recently had a solo show at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery, where his equine works were centre stage.


Nicola Stratton Tyler, May 2022 – Artist
Artist of The Year runner up 2021/2022

When Nicola Stratton Tyler takes her oil paints and heads for the coast, her mission is to capture not just the extraordinary landscape but also the sounds of the sea. The thunder of breakers pounding on Cornish cliffs or wind whispering through Suffolk reed beds is as integral to her work as the dramatic interplay of scenery, sea and sky. “I aim to give an immediate sense of being outside, of natural forms, the play of light, the rumble of the waves” she says. Her paintings convey pure delight in the contrasting countryside around her low-lying East Anglian home, with its vast skies, and the rugged West Country, where she regularly holidays.


Tim Gilpin, April 2021 – Painter
Artist of The Year 2020/2021
Tim Gilpin’s paintings not only capture the eye but envelop you within the lush surroundings of their canvas.  He chooses the slow-drying intense medium of an oil palette to bind together the brilliant colours he loves. Working initially from a photograph of a room or hotel interior, Gilpin draws a composition of lines and shapes that he then manipulates and scales onto large, square-format canvases.


Emily Wilson , August 2020 – Painter
Artist of The Year runner up 2020/2021
Portrait artist Emily Wilson captures the elusive essence of childhood with her iridescent watercolour paintings.  The arrival of her first-born son rekindled her artistic creativity and she has progressed from depicting him to taking photo-to-portrait commissions. Her passion for painting and drawing, conveying a child’s pure joy for life, appears in every piece.