Finishing Touches

05 Sep 2018
by Nick Holker
Rare Skills finishing touches

Yesterday we put the finishing touches to our new exhibition at The Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre in Tunbridge Wells.

There are approximately 50 original paintings by 4 different artists, each of whom has as a rare skill.

There's something for everyone: Cityscapes, Landscapes and Seascapes, Tropical fish, architecture, wildlife - even aircraft and ships.

Entrance is free, Everything is for sale at reasonable prices.

The Trinity has just put its own finishing touches to its Cafe and Foyer area, creating a fabulous environment in which to enjoy a coffee and a little something from the new menu. I've been watching with considerable envy as some very appetising dishes come and go.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 15th September, We hope to see you there.

Trinity Theatre can be found in Church Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1JP.

More Rare Skills at Trinity

25 Aug 2018
by Nick Holker
More Rare Skills

From the 26th of August to the 15th of September we will be exhibiting a selection of work at the Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre in Tunbridge Wells from several of the artists who exhibit with us.

In the first week we will be having a display in the foyer of some of the original paintings which form Andrew Reddens' 100 Years of the RAF exhibition.

In weeks two and three we will be moving into the Gallery at Trinity and adding more to the RAF work as well as paintings and drawings featuring landscapes, sea-scapes, wildlife and local heritage by highly talented Kent and Sussex artists.

When we exhibited at Trinity last year, the exhibition was described as a 'Feast for the Eyes'. We're sure you'll find this year's display at least as appetising.

Wealden Times Mid-Summer Fair

23 May 2018
by Nick Holker
Rolvenden Windmill

We're preparing for the Wealden Times Fair which is taking place on June 7th 8th and 9th at Hole Park, Rolvenden, just round the corner from the windmill in this painting of Andrew Redden's.

We'll be exhibiting much of Andrew's popular 'My England' series as well as prints of some of his paintings for the 100 years of the RAF exhibition.

We'll also have a selection of cards and board backed prints.

We look forward to seeing you there!

General Data Protection Regulations

23 May 2018
by Nick Holker
Rare Skills Gallery stand

On the eve of the new GDPR regulations coming into force, we would like to assure all of our customers that we take our responsibilities over personal data very seriously. Rest-assured we only use the information you provide us with to ensure that you receive what you have ordered. We will only contact you in relation to the fulfilment of your order. We will only send you our Quarterly Newsletter to keep you informed about any events, private views or special offers if you request it. We will not share your personal information and take care to ensure that it is kept safely and securely.You can read our full policy in the Contact Us section of the site.

Supermarine S6B

26 Apr 2018
by Nick Holker

The Supermarine S.6B, piloted by Flt. Lt. John Boothman, won the Schneider Trophy outright for Great Britain in 1931.

Designed by RJ Mitchell, the elegant racing seaplane was subsequently developed into the iconic Spitfire fighter.

Prints: Signed, mounted artist's proof in 50 x 50 cms wooden frame – Price £295 (collection in person only, I'm afraid)

Schneider Racers

20 Apr 2018
by Nick Holker
Schneider racers


1913 - 1931

Racing seaplanes were the cutting edge of technology in the 20s and 30s and pilots from the RAF High-Speed Flight were keenly involved in development, racing and record-setting. Although they didn't all race together, this Supermarine S.6, Macchi M52 and Short Bristow Crusader illustrate different design approaches to achieving maximum speed.

Original: Acrylic on canvas, size: 50 x 70 cms - £1200 excluding delivery

Prints: Signed, mounted artist's proof to order - from £175 excluding delivery

Please contact for details:

RAF Centenary- Nieuports

18 Apr 2018
by Nick Holker

Exhibit 1.



The nimble, French, Nieuport 17, shown here on patrol in Aeronautique Militaire livery, was the aircraft of choice for many British aces including the first to capture the public's admiration - Captain Albert Ball VC.

Original:Acrylic on canvas, size: 50 x 50 cms - £875

Prints:Signed, mounted artist's proof to order - from £175

I00 years of the RAF

03 Mar 2018
by Nick Holker
Join the RAF

An exhibition of work by well-known Kent artist, Andrew Redden

To mark the centenary of the formation of the RAF, Rare Skills Gallery is holding an exhibition of paintings, drawings and print works by Andrew Redden.

Each of the images in the collection portrays an aspect of the RAF's activity, whether in war or peace. While focussing on the sculptural elegance, design and engineering of some of the most significant aircraft in history, his work also reflects on the human endeavour and sacrifice.

Andrew grew up in Kent close to Biggin Hill airfield and the unique sound of vintage Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in the skies overhead is one of his earliest memories.

His father, who had been an engineering apprentice at Rolls-Royce Derby, and a navigator in the RAF in the '50s, regularly took him to air shows and provided him with the facts and figures to spark a life-long interest.

As a result, Andrew gained an appreciation of the shapes, sounds, smells, textures and engineering that combined to create such aviation icons as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Vulcan.

His images are both technically accurate and highly atmospheric, often evocative of the style and colour palette from the era of the subject.

The exhibition runs from Thursday 12th April to 30th June 2018.

If you would like to attend the open evening on Thursday 12th April, please email for an invitation and further details. Andrew will also be discussing this work at a 'Meet the artist' dinner at the Hotel du Vin in Tunbridge Wells on 22nd June.

Handbags with a little bit of theatre sewn in

15 Jan 2018
by Nick Holker

The Rare Skills Gallery in Forest Row celebrates the work of 20 plus artists and craft makers with exceptional talent and creativity. As a result, in addition to a wide variety of original paintings and prints, we have a wonderful collection of vibrant ceramics, art glass, textiles and decorated wooden bowls and boards. We are particularly pleased with the hand crafted leather bags, belts, wallets and purses that we offer.

One of our distinguished exhibitors is Victoria Baker who worked for many years as a costume designer and maker in the field of Theatre, Film and Dance. She made costumes for such well-known film actors as Glen Close, Julia Roberts, and John Malkovitch, as well as for productions in the West End and, even more challenging, fringe theatre.

For the past 15 years, Victoria has focussed her design and exceptional hand crafting skills on making beautiful and unusual handbags in high quality leathers and textiles.

Her extensive knowledge of historical garment construction has led to visual ideas on form and texture that feature in her recent designs for bags. As she says:

"Shape has always played an important part in theatrical costumes and this has influenced the design and techniques which I apply to my handbag making. But I have also had to learn a new set of skills like skiving, paring, burnishing and using a saddlery stitch etc. And I'm still learning!! "

Another influence stems from Victoria's work in Indian theatre and dance where bright fabrics and other media were used to create flashes of colour - a technique that is now seen in the linings of her bags.

Owners of Victoria's bags delight in the knowledge that they have bought an exclusive, stylish, yet practical handbag that has been lovingly crafted by a true master of their art. A seasonal discount is currently on offer making them even more attractive.

New additions to My England series

15 Jan 2018
by Nick Holker

There are three new additions to Andrew Redden's My England series for 2018. The first is a study of the interior of the Palm House at Kew.

The next is a near photographic painting of the magnificent Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

The Third is Cliveden, a spectacular house first built in the mid 17th century, but most famous for its association wth the Astor family and latterly the Profumo affair.

The original paintings of all three are available for sale and prints can be ordered in four different sizes ranging from 50 cms x 70 cms posters to A5 mounted prints.