a GIANT waffle cone with a scoop of ice creamArtists continually surprise me. This week it was Darren Maurer, one of the members of the Daily Paintworks group who deliver an update on their work to my inbox each morning. Last week I sat and looked at Darren's work in my e-mail and thought - "That's a giant ice cream cone!" I clicked the link to the Daily Paintworks site - and there was a bigger picture. So I clicked through to this blog - and this post More than just a Painter. What I saw was
copyright Darren Maurer and friends
copyright Darren Maurer and friends
a three dimensional waffle cone with a scoop of ice cream on top. The entire ice cream cone measures about eleven feet high and is close to five feet in diameter at it's widest pointIt turns out that Darren - whose blog's title is Miniature Masterpieces - is in fact more than just a painter,and more than just a miniaturist. He's also a bit of a sculptor and a structural engineer on the side. Along with family and friends he enjoys building giant objects and has a penchant for solving problems like how do you get a giant ice cream cone to stand up straight on top of a float when it's windy. He's been building large three dimensional objects for the last 10 years and has a secret hankering to somehow make this part of his art business. Maybe Darren is really a sculptor at heart. Sculptors often make very large pieces. I wonder if Iowa is ready for another Anthony Gormley and a 20 metre high Angel of Iowa?
For the record the ice cream chosen for the top of the cone is Darren's daughters' favourite ice cream - called Bunny Tracks. Those on a diet should NOT click the link to view what's in a Bunny Tracks Giant Ice Cream cone. (How come we don't have interesting cones like this in the UK!)
Following on from last week and this I'll be on the look-out for more images to continue my summer seasonal theme next week! Do let me know if you see any...........
Art - portraiture and portrait prizes
This week had a bit of an emphasis on portraiture and portrait painting - so here are links to three of my posts last week plus a few more to other websites. I discovered a side-story about which i'd previously been unaware.
- Making A Mark
- Portraiture - Resources for Artists - this now includes a lot more posts since I posted it last Monday. I've almost completed a new module which provides a complete listing of all the BP Portrait Award winners - then and now. This section of the website lists: 1) the image which won the first prize in the BP Portrait Awards and 2) the artist's current website (if available). I don't think there is any other website which provides this! I've still to see if I can dig out the pre 1990 John Player era of sponsorship for this prize.
- Craig Wylie wins BP Portrait Award 2008 - the photos are from the Awards ceremony which I attended on Monday evening. I then found out that one of this year's prizewinners and one of last year's prizewinners both read this blog (see the text of both post and comments)!
- BP Travel Award: Gareth Reid and the Finnish winter bathers - I can highly recommend this painter's fascinating paintings - and the story behind the latest series.
- By way of balance - Brian Sewell, art critic of the Evening Standard is renowned for being waspish generally and acerbic about the Tate Modern and conceptual art. He was a judge of the Portrait Prize in 2005 - but has been less than complimentary about it ever since. These are his very barbed comments on:
- BP Portrait Award 2008 Portrait Award is a Mug's Game - Personally I'd prefer to read rather more analysis and rather less mud-slinging! His points are often sound but for me are spoilt by the rhetoric - I'm often left with the impact of the rhetoric rather than memory of the points being made.
- BP Portrait Award in 2007 How ugly can the faces get? - I do think he has a very sound point about the risks associated with a sponsor having a representative on the the judging panel. This should be a portrait competition - not a marketing exercise. However, I'm in two minds. He says the the sponsor expresses concerns during the judging process about how pictures chosen reflect on the sponsor - and, to my mind, this really should not be a consideration - sponsorship of the arts should be freely given without fear nor favour. However in relation to how representative the pictures are, then my concern more generally would be about how the shortlists and awards have reflected gender over the years. These have been very male dominated short lists in a competition sponsored by a very male dominated industry! Maybe the NPG and BP could redress the balance and dig deeper for a prize to encourage female portrait artists?
- Maybe what stirred Sewell's ire is the quote from him used after he served as a judge on the BP website in Picture Perfect - an item about the impact of the prize on past winners (full article here as pdf file) - as follows
“Of all annual prizes for the visual arts, this is intellectually the most valuable,” argued the eminent critic Brian Sewell recently. “Year after year at the Portrait Award, it has seemed to me that there is a flicker of new life in the old genre and that it is to painters included in this annual exhibition that every adventurous patron seeking a portrait should first refer.”
BP Picture Perfect - quoting Brian Sewell
- While putting the list of BP winners together I came across the blog of Andrew Tift - Portrait of a blog. Andrew is a photorealist painter who won the BP Portrait Award in 2006 with a triptych painting of Lucien Freud's first wife Kitty and is featured in the BP article.
- The Smithsonian Institution has just purchased two of his paintings - of Cormac McCarthy (writer of 'No Country for Old Men') and Murray Gellman.
- Andrew has also been engaged to teach in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA in December 2008 where he's focusing on Super-realist self portraiture and taking people through exactly how he works to achieve an objective likeness. More details on the blog.
- These are his portrait paintings and drawings.
- National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.
- The NPG is currently has an exhibition called Herblock's Presidents "Punctuating pomposity"
- The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian invites artists all over America to investigate the contemporary art of the portrait for the second Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, to be held in 2009. The competition and resulting exhibition are intended to celebrate excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today. It's great to see that this particular competition is oriented towards all media and welcomes single figures, groups, or self-portraits-from classical drawing and painting or hyperrealistic sculpture to large-scale photography to prints and new media.
- The competition is named for Virginia Outwin Boochever (1920-2005), a former Portrait Gallery volunteer who endowed this new prize through a generous gift.
The competition is open to all artists, 18 years of age and older (as of January 1, 2008), who are legal residents of the United States, with an address in the United States at the time of the competition.
Rules on Entry
Always interested in people, Mrs. Boochever saw the endowment of a portrait competition at the National Portrait Gallery as a way to benefit artists directly. Her knowledge of the portrait museums of England, Scotland, and Australia allowed her to understand the role their competitions play in encouraging portraiture, and she saw the endowment as a unique opportunity to fill a void in the American art world.
National Portrait Gallery - Virginia Outwin Boochever
- I think Mrs Boochever was spot on in relation to the role played by competitions. But I wonder if the USA also has a Brian Sewell - or maybe the Evening Standard will stump up for transatlantic airfare?
- I think I've previously mentioned Face to Face which is the blog for the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. It looks like it's going to provide a periodic update on the new competition - see Second Portrait Competition Launches.
I've not done any posts on colour this week but my project continues next week. In the meantime, here are some interesting links I came across during the week.
- David Rourke (All the Strange Hours) - in Massachusetts has a very useful summary article about Color and Color Mixing. I've not got to the end of it yet but thought it would be a useful place to start as we move onto colour wheels!
- Thanks to Casey Klahn for highlighting this interview on The Brooklyn Rail - Wolf Kahn with David Kapp and Robert Berlind by Robert Berlind and David Kapp in which Kahn explains how he became involved with colour again. I particularly liked this quote from Kahn
Kahn: I’m always drawing outside. One has to compensate with real experience for the synthetic process that happens in the studio. Real experience, to me, is being in a place where something happens to you that gives you a vague feeling and it could be made into a picture. In the studio you have the sense that you already know how to do a whole lot of stuff and your going on the basis of your own history. Outside in nature you feel it doesn’t allow you that.
Wolf Kahn with David Kapp and Robert Berlind by Robert Berlind and David Kapp.
- Joanne Mattera (Joanne Mattera Art Blog) - has a long post about an exhibition of on-objectives paintings Awash in Color: "No Chromophobia"
- Nancy Reyner (Nancy Reyner - Painting Blog) - has a useful post about Color Control with Acrylic
- Laraine Armenti (Laraine Armenti Art) has a a couple of nice posts about colour which are definitely worth reading - Color Exercises and Color Charts
- I had a lovely day out with Robyn from Have Dogs Will Travel, who is an Australian living in Tuscany. You can read and see our day on my Travels with a Sketchbook blog A day out in Piccadilly which shows sketches from our lunch in Fortnum and Masons. (Some of you may have not seen sketches from previous years also Fortnum and Masons where we had lunch which I've now transferred to that blog - see Lunch at Fortnum and Masons and Tea at Fortnum and Masons after the Summer Exhibition)
- Tomorrow Laraine Armenti (Laraine Armenti Art) celebrates the first anniversary of her blog! She started one year ago and her first posts covered a lovely series of pen and ink sketches in her moleskine of a garden and flowers.
- Cindy Haase (Color On) has a blog post which demonstrates how she does her Still Life Setup for a Photo Shoot.
- I've always wondered about encaustic painting - and now Serena Fenton (Layers of Meaning) has written a useful introduction to it in Encaustic painting (or layering with wax!). Serena posts infrequently - but her 'commentary of design and textile art' are always interesting posts.
- Nancy Reyner (Nancy Reyner - Painting Blog) - an abstract acrylic artist in Santa Fe - believes in keeping positive and having fun when making art and doing all the other activities that come with being an artist. She's also managed to come up with one of the most unusual projects I've ever come across - as summarised below and in her blog post Key Word - FUN
My “Broadcast Puppet Theater” will present “Art Attack” a short 30 minute puppet play on July 4th weekend at my studio here in Santa Fe, along with comic performer/artist friend Barbara Mayfield. It was very empowering making a gallery director puppet, famous artist, collectors, etc. and acting out several of these scenes. Above is a photo of the cast.Art and Business Marketing
Nancy Reyner - Key Word - FUN
- Tracey Helgeson (Works by Tracy Helgeson) had a thoughtful blog post this week about a topic which is concerning many artists - The Economy of Art - and what to do next.
- I asked a question about Which is the best e-mail newsletter software? - and I then had some very constructive suggestions from readers as to other software which can be considered. I'm hoping for a few more contributions and then I'm going to round it all up and create an information site which will then provide a base for any more information I come across in future. So if you've used newsletter software or want to why not take a peek at the post and tell me what you think.
- See the reference to the second Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition above
- Anybody who has registered work for the brand new £25,000 Threadneedle Figurative Prize needs to note there is a major change to delivery arrangements - see Threadneedle Figurative Prize Receiving Days - an important change
- The American Academy in Rome invites applications for the Rome Prize competition. The Rome Prize is a prestigious American award made annually, through a national competition, to 15 emerging artists (working in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design, Historic Preservation and Conservation, Literature, Musical Composition, or Visual Arts) and to 15 scholars (working in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and early Modern, or Modern Italian Studies). Rome Prize winners go to the American Academy in Rome! Each Rome Prize winner is provided with a stipend, meals, a bedroom with private bath, and a study or studio. The deadline for applications is 1st November.
- 9th July is deadline for receipt of applications to submit work to the annual exhibition of UKCPS. The exhibition is being held this year at The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol from Friday 3rd to Tuesday 28th October 2008
- Le Bassin Aux Nympheas is a painting by Claude Monet which has been rarely seen in the last 80 years. It's now on display in London in advance of a sale at Christies on Tuesday 24 June. The BBC has a video about it- Rarely-seen Monet goes on display. Oliver Camu explains the painting - both compostion and brushwork - and it's a MUST SEE! The painting is about 1 metre by 2 metres and is expected to sell for about £18 million.
- By way of contrast, I'm completely stumped as to why anybody would think a self-portrait by Rembrandt would be unique! See another BBC article Rembrandt painting 'is authentic'
- Views from the Uffizi has opened at the Taft Museum in downtown Cincinnati - now that's an exhibition I'd like to see!
A selection of 40 landscape paintings from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, surveys the evolution of landscape painting in Italy over three centuries, from the Renaissance through the 18th century. Included are works by such great painters as Botticelli, Guercino, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, and Canaletto.
- Art in Action opens in just under a month.
- It started in 1977 with the simple premise that people like to see how people create things. The event is now a showcase for a wide range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, drawing, ceramics and textiles.
- This part of their website tells you what you can expect from Art in Action in 2008. more than 400 artists, designer-makers, craftsmen and women, musicians, performers, teachers and lecturers will be coming together over four days to stage the most exciting arts event of its kind in Europe. In addition over 20 leading art suppliers are represented.
- It takes place at Waterperry House, Waterperry, Near. Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ and this is how you get Art in Action
- It's open 10.30am - 5.30pm each day, Thursday 17 July to Sunday 20 July 2008, inclusive. This is the daily programme and ticket prices. You can buy tickets online.
- Thanks to Laura for highlighting that Anna T (See. Be. Draw.) is back and posting again. She has a great post Comparing watercolor paper to art panels and canvas. Her previous posts about drawing practice are, like many things Anna writes about, worth a read.
- Deborah Secor (Deborah Secor - Art and Faith) has been doing Experiments with R-tis-tx boards using her pastels. (Do also take a look at the various cloud studies she has on her blog).
- David Rourke (All the Strange Hours) comments on what is 73% more convenient than regular oil paint!
I use three different stats sites - growth having come from wanting more and better data (I appear unable to leave the 'analyst' behind!).
- The original was Tracksy. Tracksy now seems to have expired. If you try logging in you just get "Session timed out. Please log back in." I liked the simplicity of Tracksy so I started looking at alternative trackers/web counters and came across....
- The Free Tracker Test which tests and compares all available free visitor trackers for webpages that comply with three rules:
- they do not rely on server scripting (as your homepage provider may not support scripting),
- the tracker comes with visitor statistics (it is more than a simple number counter).
- And, of course, the tracker must be free of charge: it should cost you nothing.
- This part of the site shows you the results. It's got Statcounter (my other stats webware) rated higher than Google Analytics - which may be debateable - but I think is fair comment.
I've seen this highlighted on a number of websites - and but I think Deborah Secor (Deborah Secor - Art and Faith) in New Mexico found it first. Try testing The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator. You just need to plug in some random numbers. I tried 12345 and got......
With regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the spatial relationships brings within the realm of discourse the distinctive formal juxtapositions.'nuff said?