Equestrian, Sporting and Wildlife Artist
Robin Watt has painted since the age of five. He has a passion for watercolour and has studied in depth the work of the leading English and American watercolour painters, past and present. His aim is to produce pictures that are as glowing and translucent as possible using primary colours applied in thin, transparent glazes. He has a particular interest in horses, dogs and wildlife.
He was born into a Scottish military family in Quetta, British India, now Pakistan, in 1947. His early life was spent in Iraq and Hong Kong. He was educated at Cheltenham and RMA Sandhurst and was commissioned into The 10th Hussars. He saw action during a ‘secret’ war in the desolate Dhofar region of Oman in 1973 in which British Forces, spear-headed by 22 SAS, were instrumental in defeating Communist-backed insurgents operating from Yemen, in a bitter struggle for strategic influence in the Arabian peninsula and Persian Gulf region; and ,in particular for control of the oil-shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz. He served with 16 Parachute Brigade; and in Northern Ireland on Special Duties for which he was mentioned in dispatches.
He was both a fighting soldier and war artist to the British 7th Armoured Brigade during the first Gulf War. Subsequently he wrote and illustrated ‘A Soldier’s Sketch-book’, his observations of the British Army during Operation Desert Storm, published by the National Army Museum in 1993.
He has travelled widely in North America, the Far East, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. He has sketched wildlife in USA, particularly snow geese in North Carolina, raptors in Canada, and albatross and penguins in the Falkland Islands.
He exhibited with the Society of Wildlife Artists, in London in 1989 and 1990. A one-man exhibition of his Gulf War paintings was held at the National Army Museum in 1993. He exhibited with the Society of Equestrian Artists in 1998, 2000 and 2001, winning the Juddmonte Farms’ Prize for the ‘Best Sporting Picture’ category in 2001.
His major military commissions include: paintings of Ulster for Headquarters Northern Ireland, Irish Guards, The Parachute Regiment and The Royal Irish Regiment; and paintings of Bosnia for lst The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, and the most recent British Army main battle tank, Challenger 2, for Vickers Plc.
His paintings are to be found in public and private collections in Europe, USA, Canada and the Middle East; and in the collections of HM The Queen and the National Army Museum.
Invited to display some equestrian pictures in the private boxes of HM The Queen and HRH The Aga Khan during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2002.
Appointed Official Artist to ‘All The Queen’s Horses’, an unique event involving over 1000 horses and one of the key celebrations of HM The Queen’s Jubilee Year in 2002.
The resulting picture was presented to HM The Queen in February 2003.
Exhibited in ‘The Hunt’ exhibition at The Gallery, Cirencester, in Spring 2003 and 2004.
Exhibited in the Christmas Exhibition of the Anthony Woodd Gallery, Edinburgh, in 2004 and 2005.
Exhibited in a Watercolour Exhibition at Ackerman and Johnson, Lowndes Street, London SW1, in Summer 2005.
Produced a Christmas card for The Countryside Alliance in 2005. Approximately 25,000 cards were sold, raising circa £10,000 for the Alliance.
Completed a portrait of HRH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, mounted on a favourite Arab horse for HM The King of Bahrain in August 2006.
Took part in exhibitions of Sporting and Wildlife Art at the Wykeham Gallery, Stockbridge, in February 2006 and 2010.
Produced two cards of foxhounds for The Countryside Alliance in 2011.
Undertook a major commission for The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in 2011.