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Surrey Life Landscape Painter of the Year 2016 - meet The Art Agency, Esher

PUBLISHED: 09:45 15 November 2016

Autumn Glitter by Nicky Chubb

Autumn Glitter by Nicky Chubb


With the launch of our new Landscape Painter of the Year competition in the last edition, this month we catch up for a chat with Emma Riley, the co-owner of our gallery partner, The Art Agency in Esher

Co-owners of The Art Agency, Emma Riley, right, and Alison Ramsay (Photo Tessa Simpson, Catchlight35)Co-owners of The Art Agency, Emma Riley, right, and Alison Ramsay (Photo Tessa Simpson, Catchlight35)

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2016


So tell us a little bit about the story behind The Art Agency…

We set up The Art Agency in 2010 as a pop-up gallery and then took our first space on Esher High Street in 2011. We moved to bigger premises in 2015 and exhibit original art, prints, ceramics and sculpture from an exciting portfolio of contemporary artists. We offer a Try-Before-You-Buy service and an interest-free payment scheme over 10 months. In addition, we have also shown at both the Battersea and Bristol Affordable Art Fairs.

Any advice for people buying art for the first time?

For most of our clients, it is a gut feeling/emotional response. If you leave a gallery and you can’t stop thinking about a piece, that means you’ve got to buy it!

Are you an artist yourself – and, if so, what kind of style?

We both draw and paint for fun, but not good enough to sell in The Art Agency. We can therefore appreciate the time and skill involved.

Who would you say is your all-time favourite artist?

In my case, that would have to be Picasso, for being so revolutionary.

Do you have a favourite Surrey-based artist?

It’s hard to pick just one, but for a space in my house I have in mind at the moment, I’d say Jo Quigley. She is a Surrey-based artist who paints London scenes, seascapes and wildlife.

What kind of work do you have in stock at the moment?

We have a variety of mediums and prices. We’ve recently featured Ann Lindgren’s mixed-media pieces and Sandy Dooley’s landscapes. Ann’s artwork is colourful, evocative and makes big statements. Having travelled extensively, this has inspired her with cultural diversity. Sandy draws inspiration from the landscape. She loves colour and texture and is drawn from her memories of a childhood spent outside. We are hosting a Meet the Artist evening with Ann this month (see details on the right).

What do you think about the art scene generally in our county?

There are so many amazing artists out there at the moment that the art scene is very exciting and fast-paced. In fact, it’s hard to keep up with!

If you having an arty day out in Surrey, where would you go?

I love to visit National Trust houses where there is always lots of amazing artwork. I especially love Polesden Lacey, near Dorking, for the old family portraits there.

What would be your top tip for those visiting The Art Agency?

Keep checking the website,, as we update it regularly with new work and details of exhibitions and events such as forthcoming Meet the Artist evenings and free tickets to Art Fairs.

Finally, what would be your best piece of advice for those entering the new competition?

Finish off your picture well. Presentation is very important, especially to Esher clientele, so high-quality framing – or, if unframed, make sure the canvas/board is clean, good quality and well-strung.

The Art Agency, 118-120 High Street, Esher KT10 9QJ.



Are you inspired by Surrey’s bucolic beauty? Love to have a chance to show your work in a gallery? Then why not enter our new competition to find the Surrey Life Landscape Painter of the Year 2016. The competition is open to both amateurs and professionals. So, whether you have exhibited before or not, this is your chance to show your work in the gallery of The Art Agency in Esher, as well as win a cash prize of £250.

The prize: 
• A chance to exhibit at The Art Agency in Esher with other finalists
• A feature in Surrey Life on you and your work
• A first prize of £250

To enter, send up to three images, including the title of each work, the medium and where it was painted, as well as a brief biography of yourself, to

The closing date is Monday December 5, 2016

The finalists will be announced in our January issue and they will then be invited to take part in a show at The Art Agency in Esher, early next year, where we will announce the winner.

Rules of the competition:

• Open to residents of Surrey

• Must be own work

• Must be a painting – can include oils, acrylic and watercolour on canvas, paper or board

• Must be new work (not previously shown or sold) and available for exhibition

• Minimum age: 18 years

• The judges’ decision is final

• Archant reserves the right to use images in future publicity

• The number of entries is limited to three works of art per person

• All normal Archant terms and conditions apply

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