Prince Charles: 'Painting transports me into another dimension'

‘Painting transports me into another dimension’: Prince Charles tells of his love of relaxing with a canvas as full exhibition of his works opens

  •  Charles’ revelation comes as the largest ever display of his artwork is staged
  • 79 of his watercolours are on display at The Garrison Chapel in Chelsea, London
  • Charles says painting ‘refreshes parts of the soul other activities can’t reach’ 

Prince Charles has told how he finds painting so relaxing that it ‘transports me into another dimension’.

The revelation comes as the largest ever display of his artwork is staged, with 79 of his watercolours – the first full exhibition of his work in the medium – shown at The Garrison Chapel in Chelsea, west London.

The paintings depict Scottish landscapes such as the Huna Mill at John O’Groats and Glen Callater near Balmoral, and scenes from the south of France and Tanzania.

In a display panel, Charles says the hobby ‘refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can’t reach’. 

File photo dated 09/02/1998 of the Prince of Wales painting some of the surroundings of Paro in Bhutan whilst on a visit

He adds: ‘You become increasingly aware of things that may have escaped your attention previously – the quality of light and shade, of tone and texture and of the shape of buildings.

‘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. 

‘I took up painting entirely because I found photography less than satisfying. 

‘I experienced an overwhelming urge to express what I saw through the medium of watercolour.

‘I very quickly discovered how incredibly difficult it is to paint well in such a spontaneous medium.

Prince Charles sketching in the gardens of Omiya Palace during a break in his official tour of Japan, May 1986

‘Looking back now at those first sketches I did, I am appalled by how bad they are.’

He adds: ‘I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent.’

The display in the chapel’s Prince’s Foundation space began before Christmas and reopens on Monday until February 14.

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