About The Artist, Leisure Painter and Painters Online

The Artist and Leisure Painter Timeline

Who are we?

Three great brands working together, Painters Online, an online art community, combined with two of the UK’s most loved art magazines, The Artist and Leisure Painter, are committed to helping artists of all levels to develop their skills with our inspirational content and professional artist contributors. From our magazines and Studio membership, live painting webinars and much more, we’re here to offer you expert advice, how-to guides and inspiration every step of the way! 

Discover our history

1931 The Artist was first published by Harold Sawkins, a commercial artist, in 1931. A tribute to Harold can be found in the March 1981 (50th anniversary) issue, by his son Raymond. The magazine’s offices eventually settled in The Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly. 

Harold Sawkins Tribute











1940s Sometime in the mid-1940s, the company was sold to Sir Isaac Pitman Sons Ltd, publisher of art books. One of their authors, watercolourist Leonard Richmond, became editor of The Artist.

1967 Leisure Painter was first launched in 1967 by colourmakers Reeves, as an A5 quarterly ‘house’ magazine, supported by many Galleon Holidays art tutors.

1976 In 1976 The Artist magazine was sold to an American art publisher and Leisure Painter changed format from A5 to A4, under the ownership of Irene Briers.

1978 The Artist again changed ownership and was purchased by P&PR (International) Ltd, run by Irene Briers, who at the time was already publishing Leisure Painter and Pictures and Prints.

1980 In March 1980, Irene Briers moved P&PR (International) Ltd to Tenterden, Kent and received permission to use the name of The Artist Publishing Company Ltd (TAPC). 

1985 Dr Sally Bulgin took up her tenure as editor of The Artist.

1998 Irene Briers sold TAPC to Sally.

1999 Saw Jane Stroud take over editorship of Leisure Painter.

2001 The Artist and Leisure Painter (TALP) Open Competition and Exhibition was launched in partnership with The Patchings Art Centre.

2005 The first issue of StartArt, for newcomers to drawing and painting, went on sale in October 2005, running as a regular annual publication until 2014.

2006 Ingrid Lyon took over from Jane as editor of Leisure Painter, and Jane changed her role to contributing editor, working across both titles.

2007 Painters Online was launched as the online home for The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines. A dedicated platform for artists of all abilities, where they can discuss all things art, learn from fellow artists and share and sell their work. 2007 also saw Dawn Farley join the team as the online editor, providing digital support for the brands, including the Painters Online website, social media and emails.

2016 In February 2016, Warners Group Publications plc, a family-run magazine publisher established in 1988 and based in Bourne in Lincolnshire, purchased TAPC and continues to publish and build the Painters Online collective brand, to this day. For more details on Warners, please visit our company website.

2020 In 2020, Lucie Dawson took over publishing responsibilities from Sally Bulgin for both titles and the collective Painters Online brand. 2020 also saw Charlotte Savidge join the team as a digital marketer, helping to oversee all aspects of the Painters Online brand and developing the customer experience to ensure that we offer a one-stop-shop for all artists.

2023 The team launched Art Supplies with Painters Online, a trusted go-to place for artists to purchase high-quality art materials from a wide-range of top brands.

Looking ahead to the future

We are thrilled to continue this legacy of helping artists of all abilities to develop their passion for art with our online community, guidance and inspirational content. Join us on this exciting journey and make sure you never miss out on the latest updates from us by signing up to receive our emails.

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