Prince Charles finds art therapeutic

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  • Charles, Prince of Wales
    Charles, Prince of Wales
    Eldest son and heir-apparent of Queen Elizabeth II (born 1948)
Prince Charles loves painting credit:Bang Showbiz
Prince Charles loves painting credit:Bang Showbiz

Prince Charles finds painting "one of the most therapeutic exercises" he knows.

The 73-year-old royal is a keen artist and admitted his hobby is so relaxing, it "transports [him] into another dimension" and "refreshes" him in ways that other pastimes haven't been able to.

The latest ever exhibition of Charles' artwork is being staged at The Garrison Chapel in Chelsea, London, with 79 of his watercolours on display, and the prince spoke of his joy in his hobby in an accompanying panel.

He wrote: "You become increasingly aware of things that may have escaped your attention previously - things like the quality of light and shade, of tone and texture and of the shape of buildings in relation to the landscape.

"It all requires the most intense concentration and, consequently, is one of the most relaxing and therapeutic exercises I know.

"In fact, in my case, I find it transports me into another dimension which, quite literally, refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can't reach."

Charles turned to painting after first trying photography but finding it a "less than satisfying" hobby for him.

He explained: "I took up painting entirely because I found photography less than satisfying.

"Quite simply, I experienced an overwhelming urge to express what I saw through the medium of watercolour and to convey that almost 'inner' sense of texture which is impossible to achieve via photography."

The prince admitted he initially found painting frustrating because he couldn't quite get down on canvass the vision he had in his head, and he's "appalled" by the standard of his early work.

He wrote: "I very quickly discovered how incredibly difficult it is to paint well in such a spontaneous medium, and the feeling of frustration at not being able to achieve on paper the image that your eye has presented you with is intense.

"Looking back now at those first sketches I did, I am appalled by how bad they are. But, nevertheless, the great thing about painting is that you are making your own individual interpretation of whatever view you have chosen."

"I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent.

"They represent, more than anything else, my particular form of 'photograph album' and, as such, mean a great deal to me."

The paintings are on display in The Prince's Foundation exhibition space until 14 February.

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