Artist In Focus

Featured Artists

Bill Mundy

The Famous British Miniaturist

Bill Mundy was born in Berkshire and painted his first portrait in 1941 before his 5th birthday.

After a five year apprenticeship as a lithographic artist he spent his military service in the Far East as a cartographer during the Malayan Emergency. He lived in Asia for 20 years where his career progressed from Creative Director to the position of Area Director for Asia with a large International US Advertising Agency.

Whilst in Asia he became the “Court Painter“ to the Johor Royal Family in Malaysia. He returned to England in 1978 to become a full-time artist and portrait painter. He had his first miniature accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy‘s Summer Exhibition in 1977 and has regularly exhibited there ever since.

He has also exhibited with the Royal Society of Miniature Painters in 1979, later that year he became a member of the Miniature Art Society of Florida, and the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists. He was elected to the prestigious Miniature Artists of America in 1992.

In 1999 he was commisioned to paint an equestrian miniature for Her Majesty The Queen, and is the only living miniaturist to be represented at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Photograph of Bill Mundy
© Bill Mundy

Gilbert Adams
© Bill Mundy

The Royal Bargemaster
© Bill Mundy

Nelson
© Bill Mundy

More about Bill Mundy and his Accolades.
Bill Mundy specialises in miniature paintings, mostly portraits, utilising watercolours using a pointillist style. In the miniature field he is world-renowned.

Vince Hill
© Bill Mundy

Sultan
© Bill Mundy

Career Summary

1978 – Present:

Full-time Artist

1978 – Present:

Full-time Artist

1970 – 1977:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Singapore. Regional Director

1970 – 1977:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Singapore. Regional Director

1965 – 1970:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Bangkok. Managing Director

1965 – 1970:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Bangkok. Managing Director

1964 – 1965:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Bangkok. Creative Director

1964 – 1965:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Bangkok. Creative Director

1964:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Hong Kong, Creative Director

1964:

Grant International Advertising Agency, Hong Kong, Creative Director

1960 – 1963:

Papineau Advertising, Singapore. Art Director

1960 – 1963:

Papineau Advertising, Singapore. Art Director

1957 – 1960:

Huntley, Boorne and Stevens, Reading, Berkshire. Apprentice lithographic artist and designer

1957 – 1960:

Huntley, Boorne and Stevens, Reading, Berkshire. Apprentice lithographic artist and designer

Alan – the Boatman
© Bill Mundy

Notable Sitters
HM The King of Thailand, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Mother Teresa, The Sultan of Johore, General Sir Patrick Palmer (Constable Governor of Windsor Castle), Joe Pillai (Singapore High Commissioner in London), Sir Peter Saunders, HRH The Sultan of Oman, Leslie Thomas OBE, Edwin Hunt (The Royal Bargemaster), Spike Milligan, Sir Felix Brunner, Equestrian painting for HM The Queen, Raymond Baxter OBE, HRH Princess Azizah of Pahang, David Barber (Swanmarker to The Queen).
Exhibitions and Permanent Collections

2013 – 2014:

‘The Art of Bill Mundy‘ at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames

2013 – 2014:

‘The Art of Bill Mundy‘ at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames

1991:

Victoria and Albert Museum, London. ‘David Money-Coutts’ acquired for permanent collection

1991:

Victoria and Albert Museum, London. ‘David Money-Coutts’ acquired for permanent collection

1991:

Oriental Hotel, Bangkok (one-man exhibition, 120 miniatures). Presided over by Prince Suphat of Thailand

1991:

Oriental Hotel, Bangkok (one-man exhibition, 120 miniatures). Presided over by Prince Suphat of Thailand

1980:

Bird Place, Henley-on-Thames (one-man exhibition)

1980:

Bird Place, Henley-on-Thames (one-man exhibition)

1978 – Present:

Society of British Artists

1978 – Present:

Society of British Artists

1978 – Present:

Royal Society of Portrait Painters

1978 – Present:

Royal Society of Portrait Painters

1978 – Present:

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

1978 – Present:

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Akua
© Bill Mundy

Ade
© Bill Mundy

Publications and TV Appearances

2008:

Autobiography ‘A Brush with Life‘ published

2008:

Autobiography ‘A Brush with Life‘ published

2007:

‘The Big Event‘ for BBC TV. Painted miniature of King Henry VIII live

2007:

‘The Big Event‘ for BBC TV. Painted miniature of King Henry VIII live

2006 – 2008:

Three books on miniature portrait paintings published

2006 – 2008:

Three books on miniature portrait paintings published

2005:

‘Star Portraits‘ for BBC TV. Painted Adrian Edmonson

2005:

‘Star Portraits‘ for BBC TV. Painted Adrian Edmonson

Other
Established the Mundy Sovereign Award for the best portrait at the RMS annual exhibition.
Presented two miniatures to Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at Chitralada Palace, Bangkok,
and a large portrait of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to the Duke, celebrating his 90th birthday.

Sebastian
© Bill Mundy

Jade
© Bill Mundy

Societies and Affiliations

1979 – Present:

Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (RMS)

1979 – Present:

Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (RMS)

1983 – Present:

The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists (HS)

1983 – Present:

The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists (HS)

1983 – Present:

Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF)

1983 – Present:

Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF)

1989 – Present:

Miniature Artists of America (MAA)

1989 – Present:

Miniature Artists of America (MAA)

1997 – Present:

The Society of Limners (SLM)

1997 – Present:

The Society of Limners (SLM)

Sir Felix
© Bill Mundy

Selected Awards

2016:

MASF Annual Exhibition ‘Marion Winter Excellence in All Entries Award‘

2016:

MASF Annual Exhibition ‘Marion Winter Excellence in All Entries Award‘

2015:

RMS Annual Exhibition ‘Bonhams Portrait Miniature Award‘

2015:

RMS Annual Exhibition ‘Bonhams Portrait Miniature Award‘

2015:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‘Marion Winter Kangaroo Award for Excellence‘

2015:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‘Marion Winter Kangaroo Award for Excellence‘

2004:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‘Llewellyn Alexander Gallery Best in Show‘

2004:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‘Llewellyn Alexander Gallery Best in Show‘

1987-2009:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‚‘Bell Award‘ (best portrait) (4 times)

1987-2009:

Hilliard Society Annual Exhibition ‚‘Bell Award‘ (best portrait) (4 times)

1997:

MASF Annual Exhibition ‘Best of Show‘ for ‘Chief Runsewe‘

1997:

MASF Annual Exhibition ‘Best of Show‘ for ‘Chief Runsewe‘

1985:

RMS Annual Exhibition ‘Gold Memorial Bowl‘ for ‘The Royal Bargemaster‘

1985:

RMS Annual Exhibition ‘Gold Memorial Bowl‘ for ‘The Royal Bargemaster‘

1982:

Royal Society Summer Exhibition ‘Exhibit of the Year‘ for ‘The Picture Framer‘

1982:

Royal Society Summer Exhibition ‘Exhibit of the Year‘ for ‘The Picture Framer‘

1980:

Royal Society Summer Exhibition ‘Exhibit of the Year‘ for ‘Early Apples‘

1980:

Royal Society Summer Exhibition ‘Exhibit of the Year‘ for ‘Early Apples‘

(All oval miniature portraits are approx. 95 mm / 3,75 “ high)
© Text and Pictures Bill Mundy

Edward Dyas (1956 – 2013)

By Roger and Carmela Arturi Phillips

Edward was born in Launceston, Tasmania in 1956. His father, known as Ted, had a successful bakery business. Edward was always ‘Young Teddy’ to his close family, but never anything but ‘Edward’ to everyone else. His eye for detail was apparent at an incredibly young age. As a toddler, he was able to identify every one of a huge collection of old vinyl ‘78’ records, which astonished members of his family! His love of these vinyl records was apparent even in adulthood and he had quite a collection himself, together with an old wind up gramophone to play them on. 

Like many great artists, he could draw as early as he could hold a pencil and soon started to win art prizes whilst at school. Although he was extremely able, he did not continue his education beyond High School. At 21, he went to live in Auckland, New Zealand and met and married his wife. They moved to London where Edward worked in Oxford Street as a shop window designer for fashion stores and met with considerable success. He had remarkable flair as a costume designer; one of the last sales of his artwork was a glamourous outfit made of reels of celluloid film negatives, purchased by a slender Asian lady to wear to the Melbourne Races. He was always drawing and painting and took paid work as an artist whenever he could. He was unable not to draw and paint. 

His marriage was short lived, but Edward continued to live in London for a few more years, then a short spell in California, before eventually moving back to Australia, to live in Melbourne. A sensitive and somewhat troubled man, it took him a while to realise that he was gay, a notion that was disagreeable to some close members of his family. He met his partner, the love of his life, and they set up home together in Melbourne, with Edward continuing his career as a fashion window designer to begin with, before launching their own business with an art gallery.

Photograph of Edward Dyas 2003
© 2018 Arturi Phillips Collection

By the late 1990’s, Edward was smitten by miniature painting and having always painted in oils and pastels, he experimented with painting with layers of extremely diluted oils on Japanese paper, with the resulting fineness of watercolour. Miniature painting really suited Edward. Not only did he never use a magnifying glass – he enlarged each tiny point of focus in his mind’s eye – but he was able to stay completely still in one position for a couple of hours at a time. In fact, such was his concentration, that he would not notice that he had become locked into position and his partner would have to release him by massaging his shoulders. He grew the nail on his ‘pinkie’ finger long so that he could use it as an eraser! Edward hated imperfection in his work and set impossibly high standards. He would rather destroy it than have it seen by others less than perfect. 

Edward started to enter international competitions and became a regular winner of all the top prizes, including the prestigious Gold Memorial Bowl at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters at his first attempt in 2001. His partner, too, successfully started to paint miniatures and win prizes. It was around this time that we first met Edward, tracking him down after seeing his exhibited work and giving him a commission. 

Before giving him a commission to draw the late Queen Mother from a childhood photograph, we thought it wise to ensure that the most senior members of the Royal Family would not be offended, such was the affection in which she was held. It was surprising and touching to receive such personal replies to our letters of enquiry, but we never for a moment thought that any member of that illustrious Family would ever see the end result. Edward accomplished the task promptly and with exceptional skill. 

However, he was very unhappy with it as just as he was finishing, a bluebottle fly splattered the paper throwing drops of excrement over the sitter’s face, in particular her eye. No amount of pinkie finger erasing would take away the tell-tale stain, and in despair, Edward offered to redraw it. Naturally, we did not allow it, as Edward had produced a masterpiece and we were not going to reject it for so tiny an imperfection. 

For the last decade of his life, Edward moved back to his home state, Tasmania, and settled in Smithton where he had purchased 25 acres of wooded land with a small wooden hut that became home for his remaining years. It started off as one room with a caravan outside housing his seven dogs, which he regarded as his children. 

Above:

Close up showing stains left by the fly
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection

Left:

Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (1900-2002)
Graphite on card, 9,5 x 6,5 cms / 3,74 x 2,56 “ Signed by Edward Dyas, 2004 (Exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London Oct. 2011 ‘Royal Portrait Miniatures:A Special Loan Exhibition‘)
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection

Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (1900-2002)
Graphite on card, 9,5 x 6,5 cms / 3,74 x 2,56 “ Signed by Edward Dyas, 2004 (Exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London Oct. 2011 ‘Royal Portrait Miniatures:A Special Loan Exhibition‘)
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Close up showing stains left by the fly
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
The hut was later enlarged. It was heated with a wood stove and Edward, who liked to paint miniatures during the winter, would set up his desk right next to the stove and his partner would know not to disturb him until he said so! Edward was very unreasonable; thoughtless with a biting, hurtful tongue, and others saw him as arrogant. These traits hid a highly developed intellect and a sensitivity riddled with anxiety and self-doubt. It made him become something of a recluse. In fact when he was minded, he was exceptionally thoughtful and generous and excellent company.
 

When we were gleeful on his clinching a contract with a top London art gallery and being offered a one man show, and an opportunity to paint a member of the Royal family and earn more money than he ever dreamt of, he was frozen with fear. A fearfulness that prevented him from taking up the offer.

Surly
Oil on Paper
10 x 14 cms / 3,94 x 5,51 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Sovereign
Oil on Paper
7,5 x 11 cms / 2,95 x 4,33 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Sculptor
Oil on Paper
10 x 11 cms / 3,94 x 4,33 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Towards the end of his life, he asked to paint a miniature of Roger as a gift. By 2011 he was struggling with his state of mind and was frustrated that he could not get his paintings as he wanted them. ‘I haven’t been quite so thrilled about my recent ventures into miniature art. The nerves still aren’t 100% and I’m a bit rusty. A couple of bird paintings reached the half way stage before being thrown into a top drawer to finish later (or forget). I started the fire with ‘Roger Number 1’ as I wasn’t pleased with it, back to the drawing board. I will get there. You know me, nothing less than perfect, right?’
Southern Comfort
Oil on Paper, 7 x 6 cms / 2,76 x 2,36 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2010
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Shit Happens
Oil on Paper, 8,5 x 7 cms /3,35 x 2,76 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection

By October, he was feeling down again ‘I’ve been very depressed and anxious lately…hoping to snap out of it soon.’ Not even the news of another great triumph – two of his works included in a Special Exhibition of Royal Sitters in The Mall Galleries, London (the only living artist to have work included) could lift his spirits.

The Exhibition ran alongside that of the Annual Exhibition of The Royal Miniature Society, whose Patron is HRH Prince Charles. A beautiful illustrated catalogue was produced for the Exhibition, written by the Curator, Richard Chadwick, and HRH Prince Charles agreed to write the Preface. In it, the Prince wrote ‘I am also delighted to see the exquisitely rendered portrait of my grandmother as a 7 year old girl, by Edward Dyas – a wonderful example of the high standard of the contemporary miniaturist.’ 

Edward’s mental state continued to deteriorate. In January 2012, he wrote: ‘Try as I may just can’t get inspired by art these days. I keep telling myself it’s just a block and I’ll get over it but it’s so incredibly frustrating. Some cooler weather might help!’The following months, his mood darkened. ‘I am currently making out a new will and I wonder if you would like all of my miniatures? Once I have the will worked out I am free to pull the pin on this life that I live. I am incredibly depressed and I just don’t want to go on much longer.’ One by one, Edward’s precious dogs died and he did not replace them. 

After a spell in hospital some months later, Edward returned home and to his faithful friends, his cousin and his kind neighbours, he appeared to be improving. 

‘It has been an emotional time over the past few months as Edward’s health was fragile but we were confident that he was recovering when his death came quite unexpectedly’. (Edward’s cousin). Edward was estranged from the rest of his family at the time of his death and had been for many years. His father would have liked to have been reconciled, but he did not make any move to do so. 

Edward died alone at his home in Smithton 2013, as a result of his illnesses.

Diana, Princess of Wales
Oil on Paper, 8,7 x 7 cms / 3,43 x 2,76“
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
(Exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London Oct. 2011
‘Royal Portrait Miniatures: A Special Loan Exhibition‘)
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Waiting,
Pastel on Card, 9,5 x 7 cms / 3,74 x 2,76 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2011
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection
Save The Best For Last
Graphite on Card, 14 x 10 cms / 5,51 x 3,94 “
Signed by Edward Dyas 2003
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collectionion
Close up showing the Signature
©2018 Arturi Phillips Collection