Every year I really look forward to finding out who has won the most prestigious portrait prize in the world. This year the BP Portrait Award 2010 attracted 2,177 registered entries - an increase of 276 compared to last year. 681 (30%) of these were international entries and 2 of the five prizewinners artists who come from the USA. Of these 58 portraits were selected for the exhibition which is now running at the National Portrait Gallery until September.
I visited on Tuesday evening and Wednesday prior to its opening to the publicand these are my posts this week as a result - more talk about approach and art materials this year.
- Daphne Todd wins BP Portrait Award 2010
- Video - BP Portrait Exhibition 2010 opens today - which includes a new venture for me - a video of the entire exhibition in under 8 minutes!
- BP Portrait Award: Michael Gaskell's unparalled record
- Two American Artists win BP Portrait Prizes
At the moment, BP is danger of going bust having had £67 billion wiped off its share values. If it does then there will be a lot of very major art institutions which will lose massive sums by way of patronage/sponsorship as well as very many pensions funds both here and in the USA and all those people, animals and environment affected by the oil spill disaster. I don't quite see how anybody benefits by that.
This is the link to enter next year's award. If it's still being sponsored by BP, I'd venture to suggest portraits of those who have dedicated their lives to wildlife might be very acceptable.
Drawing and Sketching
- HURRAH! Andrea Joseph (andrea joseph's sketchblog) is back online! Go say Hello and welcome her back
So, this feels very weird. I feel like this is the first time I've ever blogged. In my whole life. What do I do? What should I say? Firstly, big thanks for all the messages, orders and concerns for my computer.
- Urban Sketchers have national offshoots and this is Urban Sketchers in Spain and USk Indonesia plus Indonesia's sketchers on the radio
- Lola Dupré ~ works is one of the very few collage blogs that I've come across
- The series of 100 is complete means that Bonnie Zahn Griffith's (Pastel and Paper Artist) project to repeat the same composition 100 times in totally different ways is finished.
- Loriann Signori (loriann signori's painting-a-day)commented on working subtractively
- Mario (Pastel News) highlights the fact that French Magazine “Pratique des Arts” has a Special Pastel Edition
- Pauline Longley has a report about a Coloured Pencil Experience Day in Somerset on UKCPS News
- Last week I told you about my Art of the Landscape blog makeover and this week I "tweaked" it again!
- Earlier this week I revisited Georgia O'Keeffe - partly because my library book had to go back! This is:
- For Georgia O'Keeffe fans - a restropsective look at previous blog posts I've created in For Georgia O'Keeffe fans
- Georgia O'Keeffe's landscapes of northern New Mexico
- After Sketching Antibes in the Courtauld I investigated the paintings Monet painted in Antibes in the South of Franc and then wrote......
- 40 Antibes landscapes in 4 months by Claude Monet on The Art of the Landscape. I had not idea it was that many. That's a full size painting every 3 days for 4 months!
- Deborah Secor continues with her Landscape Painting in Pastels book blog. I'm including it under the landscape heading today as her comments are generic rather than pastel specific. Recent posts include the end of her section on Landscape Subjects....and the start of the section about Colour.
- Chapter 17 Gardens - a very detailed list of things to think about when painting gardens
- Chapter 18 - Snow - a very interesting discussion about issues which arise with snowy landscapes such as value shifts and colour to use
- Chapter 19 Color Theory - I like her argument that colour should be used spontaneously
- Chapter 29 Temperature - a nice demo of the impact of different combinations of hot, warm and cool colours
- René PleinAir (René PleinAir) has posted a video of him painting the bridge at Nijmegen which I think I'm correct in saying was A Bridge Too Far in Operation Market Garden during WW2.
- Sarah Wimperis is, in my opinion, on a roll with her garden watercolours- see Shade House on her sketchbook blog Muddy Red Sketchbook
- Small Works is a blog about small scale paintings and prints by Scott Bennett
- This is a slideshow by Sadie Valeri (Sadie J. Valeri) of the development of a portrait of a woman
- If you've not seen it before this is the Women Painting Women blog - lots of diverse and good quality constributions.
- The sand sculptors are out on force. This is Sea, sand and sculpture at the East Neuk festival.
- Artists and Ripple have raised over $5,500 to help clean the animals and birds caught by the oil spill
Art Business and Marketing
- Tracy Helgeson (Works by Tracy Helgeson) outlines her policy on donating paintings to charity - and has a few tips for what to watch out for for those who've not done so before. (I also like the idea of copying a painting by a master in your own style)
- The Independent commented on how art can help the regeneration of the economies of seaside communities in New wave art: Britain's coast revitalised (Can't you just see the smile on the face of whoever came up with that headline?)
- The Huffington Post reminds us that Artists Are Not Above the Law
Art Competitions and Art Societies
Threadneedle Prize: The numbers of the artwork selected for the Threadneedle Prize exhibition are now public on the website. I'm trying to find out the names of the artists
Art Exhibitions, Galleries and Museums
- Permanent collections vs blockbuster exhibitions - which should be the main focus of museums? The Independent commented on The decline of Britain’s public museums. We queue for blockbuster exhibitions while museums and galleries neglect their core collections. It's a cultural catastrophe, argues Adrian Hamilton
- Tate Britain: Rude Britannia: British Comic Art (9 June – 5 September 2010) This is the Bloomberg review of Gin Slobs, Rotting Blair Enliven London Exhibition of Comic Art
- Art Bloggers: This is a bit late but you may still be able to find Tracy Helgeson's work at the summer exhibition of the Cooperstown Art Association (June 11-July 9). Each panel is 6"x9" and are priced at $225.
Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniquesworkshops - going greener
One option for my Going Greener Gong this year is an environmentally conscious workshop for artists
- Ben Curtis (Notes from Spain) wrote to tell me about his podcast Los Gazquez – Notes from Spain Podcast 77 about a very unusual place got art retreats and courses at the Cortijada Los Gazquez, an incredible restored country house in a wild Natural Park in Almeria in Spain. It's home to an ongoing artists residency and the owners have an incredible commitment to the environment - their house is almost entirely carbon-neutral. This is a post on his blog re his drawing Scaling ‘The Tree of Ben’ / Successfully Scaled (or at least well into the lower boughs). It sounds great for those who love Spain, an ecological approach to development and fancy an art break with Engish-speaking hosts. This is the Los Gazquez blog and this is Ben's art blog Tree of Ben in which he is learning how to draw.
- I started to look around for more workshops for artists which have an emphasis on protecting the environment and carbon neutrality and found some evidence of workshops using environmentally conscious buildings (eg Saltburn Artists Project) - however I'm sure there must be more out there. Do let me know.
- I shouldn't really be telling you this - on the other hand it's interesting to see how photoshop can mimic artwork. So here's Photo to Pencil Sketch
- Some tips for those planning to attend an art festival in Art Zoos and other Tips by Patricia Scarborough (P Scarborough Arts)
Please do not allow your jaw to drop or your eyeballs to bug out when you inquire about prices. Spitting out your lemonade is also unnecessary. Simply take a slow, deep breath and back away from the booth without bumping into anything with a price tag on it.
- I was fascinated to find out about the various art materials used by the prizewinning artists this week. One result was Oil painting on Sintra PVC Board on Making A Mark reviews.... I've never heard of it before but it produces a very good looking painting in the right hands!
- This month's opinion poll about art magazines (see right hand column) closes very early on 30th June and results will be posted later the same day. There will be a new poll on Thursday 1st July 2010
Websites, webware and blogging
- Techcrunch suggests that Multiply 4.0: Social Network Photo Sharing Done Right. If you want to take a look this is the website Multiply
- Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox this week focused on Website Response Times. It's making me think about reviewing some of the page widgets (or blogs using them) on this blog
Slow page rendering today is typically caused by server delays or overly fancy page widgets, not by big images. Users still hate slow sites and don't hesitate telling us.
- Comparing FeedBurner and FeedBlitz features and benefits written by Feedblitz so not without a tad of bias! Personally speaking I am always totally confused every time I visit the Feedblitz site. There has to be a better way of allowing people to access their accounts/feeds.
- Morgan Stanley’s 2010 Internet Trends Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker’s presentation from the Conversational Marketing Summit is densely packed with information that can’t help but educate, and in some instances, amaze. For example, the purchase of smartphones (more than just phones) is escalating and predicted to overtake PCs in 2012
and finally........The Times and Sunday Times are now behind a pay wall. It's £1 for a day or £2 for a week's access - so there will be no more references to those newspapers on this blog.
There's a lot of people commenting - for example:
Google searches will no longer turn up Times stories, and links posted on social networks will only take you to the papers' sign-in page. News International has opted for the most extreme form of paywall - others let search engines crawl their sites, or offer non-paying visitors a few free articles to entice them in..........This is more than just an experiment in whether people will pay for news, it's a strike against the prevailing philosophy of online journalism, which says that the most important thing is to make your material shareable to the widest possible audience.
- The Guardian: Rupert Murdoch's pathetic paywall
According to his biographer Michael Wolff, Murdoch has not used the internet, let alone Google (he only recently discovered email) and so he cannot possibly understand the dynamics, demands and opportunities of our post-industrial, now-digital media economy.Speaking personally, I've never understood what the point is of having paywalls for news. It's not as if you have an exclusive good or service - unless your output is way better than everybody else's (eg Wall Street Journal and financial news) - so why would people pay?
As you might be able to guess from the tenor of this post, I'm all for promoting sites which are happy to participate in the global community and share online for free.
While it may not have a significant impact on the conglomerate which is the Murdoch empire, I suspect this development might have the potential to decimate Times Newspapers Ltd. especially as the two newspapers last year made a loss of £87million. Others will be watching with interest.
In the meantime, never a slouch, the Huffington Post announced its Welcome to the New Huffington Post Arts Page. which is at It's not actually new so much as revamped - and, of course, it might well be trying to fill a new gap in the market!