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TV Artist Wins Devon Art Grant

English Riviera watercolourist Ashley Raddon was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when he appeared on the return of the popular Watercolour Challenge on Channel 5.

First airing back in the 1990s, Watercolour Challenge pits four watercolour painters against each other for a week of on location painting challenges. Competing against the clock, the painters visit scenic locations across their home region, capturing them in their chosen style and sharing tips along the way.

Having retired from the Fire & Rescue Service in 2016, Ashley decided in 2017 to see if he could paint again after 7 years military and 26 years’ Service with Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

“Leaving school with only a self-taught art O Level, I always dreamed of attending Art School but was not academically gifted plus in 1981 my life was changed forever when my father took his own life aged 38 when I was 16. Shortly after I joined the military and never went back to art.” Ashley Raddon

Fast forward to 2017 and Ashley was picking up a paintbrush again uncertain of how much he’d remember. Sales, awards and magazine features quickly followed with the Channel 5 appearance continuing a rapid professional development which leaves little room for doubt over his natural talent and the quality of his work.

Ashley, based in Torbay, appeared on the Devon series alongside artists Faye Allison, Ken Maharajah and Kathy Jenner, painting on location at Royal William Yard, Dartington Hall as well as at home on our coastline from Meadfoot Beach.

“My aim was to promote watercolours in a new way with a fresh approach but in a traditional way as did Seago, Hilder and Wesson.” Ashley Raddon

Now, as part of Devon’s biggest regional art event, he’s been awarded the Artizan Grant which will see his work and studio practice showcased this September.

Devon Open Studios features annually and is the highlight of the South West arts calendar, organised by Devon Artist Network (DAN), which promotes, celebrates and champions the regions arts. For 16 days, the networks members throw open their doors to visitors or otherwise occupy venues and spaces across the region, offering an intimate look at their work and practice, delivering demonstrations, and running workshops for visitors to partake in. For collectors, it is truly an unmissable event.

As part of his award, Ashley will be this year’s Artizan Resident Artist, occupying their Basement Studio space where he’ll be working from and sharing his practice for the two-week event. Audiences can visit him throughout, see him work and find out more about his experiences on Watercolour Challenge, perhaps even taking away a piece of original work from this talented English Riviera artist.

Devon Open Studios runs from 10th – 25th September and Ashley’s work can be viewed at Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street. For more information on the event and what’s happening across Torbay, visit Ashley’s works are available to reserve now at



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