How a Finchampstead artist’s sketch made good radio

Mr Banerji is an exhibiting member of the Wokingham Art Society and the Reading Guild of Artists. Picture: Mohan Banerji

A FINCHAMPSTEAD artist’s sketch of The Royal Berkshire Hospital has been praised by a Radio 3 presenter.

Mohan Banerji is an exhibiting member of the Wokingham Art Society and the Reading Guild of Artists.

His picture of the hospital was recently chosen by Radio 3 presenter, Fiona Talkington, as her favourite piece in the Reading Guild of Artists’ current exhibition.

Reviewing the piece, Ms Talkington said she was drawn to Mr Banerji’s work “time and time again”.

She said his depiction seemedto “step forward and greet us, welcoming us”, with the yellow wash of colour making the window sing.

Fiona Talkington loved the sketch so much she bought it. Picture: Mohan Banerji

Mr Banerji said he was over the moon when he heard her praise.

“She had such wonderful things to say about my sketch,” he said.

“Fiona actually kept in touch with me and said she wanted to buy the painting, so we met up socially-distanced and she bought it off me.

“I’m absolutely thrilled she liked it that much. She said it’s now up on her hallway.”

Mr Banerji said he can often be found sketching in and around Wokingham.

Picture: Mohan Banerji

He is founder member of the Reading Urban Sketchers, and on the executive board of Urban Sketchers, a global non-profit organisation whose aim is to foster the art of on location sketching, showing the world one drawing at a time.

“Urban sketching such a simple thing,” he said. “You don’t need to be an expert painter or have been to art school. All you need is a pen, or a pencil, and a piece of paper and you can get out and sketch.

“It’s like taking the line of your pencil for a walk across the page. Everybody can do it.”

He said the international group has chapters across the world.

The Reading chapter launched in 2016, with members of Reading Guild of Artists, and in 2018 it was recognised by the international group as an official chapter.

“Urban Sketchers are in 65 countries around the world and there are 225 chapters,” Mr Banerji added. “Our mission at Reading Urban Sketchers, is to spread the word about sketching on location.

“We want people to be on site, observe what’s around them, and then decide to sketch whatever appeals to them.

“We have sketched everything in Wokingham and Reading – anywhere we can get to easily in and around Reading, we sketch.”

Mohan said he was inspired to begin urban sketching, rather than painting landscapes, after seeing the historic buildings across Wokingham borough.

“I’ve lived in Finchampstead since 1984, and I’ve always looked at the buildings in Wokingham and wanted to sketch them,” he added.

To view the Reading Guild of Artists’ current exhibition, visit: www.rga-artists.org.uk

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