Janet Kenyon is a multi-award winning watercolour artist who as gained an enviable reputation for her innovative use of watercolour and is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading watercolour artists.

Over the course of her career, Janet has received an impressive number of accolades, including winner of the Sunday Times/Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize twice, first in 2009, for her painting titled: Northern Lights, Blackpool and in 2016 for her painting titled: Gridlock (Manhattan). The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest and most prestigious showcase of contemporary watercolour painting in the UK.

Born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1959. In 1975 she studied for two years at Bolton College of Art & Design. In 1977 she moved away from Bolton to study at Leeds Polytechnic and later gained a B.A. Hons. in Graphic Design. It was here she began to experiment in watercolour and ever since as continued to push the boundaries of this very difficult medium.  Janet says:

“It’s the capturing of natural & artificial light, in my paintings, and the way it interacts with the landscape, alongside the unexpected perspective and sense of space, that ignites my imagination.”

Janet’s highly individual and distinctive landscapes have been exhibited in many leading galleries including the Mall Galleries, London, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and The Lowry Gallery, Salford and can also be found in private collections in the UK and abroad.

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19951st prize winnerGreater Manchester Arts Award
19971st prize winnerNorthern Region Laing Watercolour competition, Manchester
20001st prize winnerLaing Watercolour Landscape competition Critics prize, London
20091st prize winnerSmith & Williamson, Cityscape Prize in the RWS/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
20091st prize winnerKent Valley Award in the Lake Artists Society Competition
2009, 2012, 2013Prize winnerCumbrian Open Competition
2010Prize winnerSt Cuthbert’s Mill Award in the Royal Watercolour Society Open Competition
20101st prize winnerCumbria Life, Lake Artists Society prize
20111st prize winnerCumbrian Open Competition
20111st prize winnerRWS Bankside Gallery/Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Purchase prize
20141st prize winnerCumbrian Open Competition
2016WinnerSunday Times/Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize

Solo Exhibitions

1980Salford City Art Gallery, Manchester
1985Bury Art Gallery & Museum
1996The Lowry Art Gallery, Manchester
2008Upfront Gallery, Penrith
2009Heron Theatre, Cumbria
2010Octagon Theatre, Bolton
2014Upfront Gallery, Penrith

Selected Group Exhibitions:

1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, & 2006The Laing Watercolour Landscape competition, London
2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2017 & 2019The Royal Institute of Watercolours competition, London
2005, 2006, 2011 & 2017The Society of Women Artists, competition, London
2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 & 2006The Sunday Times Singer & Friedlander competition, London
2009, 2011, 2012, 2014The Royal Watercolour Society/Sunday Times competition, London
2016 & 2017The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London
2009 & 2010The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize competition, London
2009The Royal Scottish Academy Open competition, Edinburgh
2010, 2011, 2014, 2016The Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary competition, London
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014Lake Artists Society Open, Grasmere
2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014Cumbrian Open, Upfront Gallery, Penrith
2011New English Art Club Open Exhibition, London
2017 – 2018New Light Art Prize, The Bowes Museum County Durham, Huddersfield Art Gallery and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Carlisle


  • Bolton City Council, Rock Hall, Bolton
  • Salford City Council
  • Smith & Williamson
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Gallery Represention

  • Burlington, London.  Burlington
  • Old Courthouse Gallery, Market Place, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BU  Old Courthouse Gallery
  • ByGillian Gallery, 12 Furlong Road, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, SL8 5DG
    Bygillian Gallery

  • Vermillion Gallery: 10a Princess Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6DD – Studios: Unit C3, Stanley Road Industrial Estate, Knutsford, WA16 0DE
    Vermillion Gallery