State of the Arts: Artists shaping the world is the Arts Council’s national conference for the UK's arts and culture sector. It took place last week at the Lowry in Manchester and included a live blog and live tweeting (check out #SOTA12).
I wasn't paying particular attention but kept noticing flurries of tweets which suggested maybe all was not well.
This is the Arts Council's 5 minute round-up video
I'm not sure that this is the same perspective as others who were at the conference.
Below are some reports on the conference. It rather looks like those hitting on the topics that matter were very much the practitioners (ie artists) rather than the bureaucrats. That suggests to me the latter need to get their heads out of the sand and start rethinking what they're doing and how they're going about it from the ground up (I'm allowed to say these things being an ex-bureaucrat!). Particularly in relation to accessibility issues.
- This is the Guardian's Culture Cuts live-blogging record of the event on Tuesday - recorded by Mark Brown and Nancy Groves
- The New Statesman - Cultural Capital blog's report State of the arts written by Dany Louise suggests that the Arts Council England's annual conference sold the creative industries short.
Organised by Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with the BBC, this disappointingly anodyne conference was an exercise in command, control and public relations.
- Mindee Hutchison of Arts Professional shared her thoughts After #sota12
- The Huffington Post weighed in with If This is The State of the Arts Then It's Not Access for All
- This was Gillian Nichol's report back for a-n The Artists Information Company
Whilst there is little doubt ACE genuinely wants to involve artists, it does so in a highly controlled and tightly curated manner that only serves to emphasise its inescapably hierarchical nature and the extent of its deeply engrained institutional paternalism.
- This is a post by SOTA blog co-curator Hannah Nicklin asking What is it for? Who is it with?. Looks like I might have come away with the right impression of what needs to happen next.
Robert Genn (Painters Keys) suggested there are Five skills worth learning
- Coral Guest (Coral Guest) doesn't post to her blog very often - but it's always good to see a new work from her Flowers in House
- Looks like Sigrid Frenson (Sigrid Frenson) is as obsessive about photographing Vegetables as I am. She ahas also done a step by step of drawing rose hips in coloured pencil
|Felicity House with her pastel artwork|
- Lynne Chapman (An Illustrator's Life For Me!) has been
- A really nice post Giants by Ilaria Rosselli del Turco (Ilaria Rosselli del Turco - News) - about seeing three exhibitions by Antonio Lopez Garcia, David Hockney and Lucian Freud and what she made of them
- I smiled when I read a Stapleton Kearns post on Facebook
There are three stages in a Stapleton Kearns painting. (1) I am almost done! (2) Gee, I hope I'm doing this right. and (3) This was going to be really good.Printmaking
- This week Lynne E Windsor (Lynne E Windsor Fine Art) tried tried introducing colour to my drypoints using 'simultaneous colour printing' or the viscosity printing method, largely developed by Stanley William Hayter.
- Another great step by step "this is what I did" illustrating what she does when she's printmaking from Sherrie York on Brush and Baren. Sherrie is also teaching on Hog Island in Maine in July
Insurance for Artists and Art
I've started to look at insurance for artists and artwork. Here's
- Insurance for Artists - can you help? is my blog post asking for help from those who know of effective solutions to artists' needs
- Artists Insurance - Resources for Artists is where I have got to so far in developing the website based on my research and your suggestions of what's worth sharing with other artists
- Brian Sherwin (Brian Sherwin - Art Critic) has a couple of relevant articles on Fine Art Views. He suggests the importance of
- thinking about the local context when blogging in an article - Art Blogging 101: Think locally / regionally when blogging about art
- the name you use when submitting a resume to art galleries What Art Dealers Expect From Your Artist Resume: Part 1 - your name
- A London Art Dealer (Zavier Ellis aka Charlie Smith) provides some advice for artists wanting to get into galleries A Month in the Life of a Dulwich Art Dealer: January 2012 - which is basically don't. Submit your work to major art competitions where the work is assessed instead - and get noticed that way.
- Meanwhile, Alyson Stanfield (artbizblog) is keen that artists should remain aware of the importance of galleries - Warning: Exhibiting Your Art is Good for You......
- ......and thinks it's no bad thing to preview art in upcoming exhibitions - Go Ahead and Spoil the Surprise
Stories about art collectors this week
- ArtInfo does A Look Back at the Top Auction Lots of 2011
- Surprise, surrpise at the Independent which treats us to the earth shattering news that Rich art collectors 'know the price of everything – and the value of nothing'. Bonhams' head of contemporary art tells Nick Clark that works are being treated simply as investments.
- The Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, a painting by Francis Bacon, sells at Christie's for £21.3 million, the second most valuable work of post-war contemporary art sold at the London auction house. (RTÉ)
Tips and Techniques
- Lisa Call (Lisa Call - Textile Paintings) posted about The Secret to Committing to a Series
- Vivien Blackburn (Paintings, Prints and Stuff) has been writing about Tonal values: Light and shade, a key element in making your paintings and drawings better
- The winners of the The 13th Annual Pastel 100 competition run by the Pastel Journal are now online - with the remainder in the magazone. I have to confess it's not one of my favourite years.
Major UK Art Galleries and Museums
- It's the last week of Grayson PerryThe Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman - which must have done absolute wonders for the membership of the British Museum (another way of saying all advanced tickets are sold out - and have been for some time)
- Some visitors to Picasso and Modern British Art at Tate Britain apparently think there are rather too few paintings by Picasso on show - although apparently half of the 150 paintings are by Picasso. Here are the 'official' reviews - and interestingly none of them give it a good star rating - or even any star rating at all! It's also being exhibited at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, August 4-November 4
Its weakness is predictable: most artists are feeble compared to Picasso
- Brian Sewell in the Evening Standard - Picasso and Modern British Art - review gives it 2.5 stars - which I take to mean Brian thinks it rather weak. Trust him to make the most obvious remark - which is about how stretched the term "modern art" is for the purposes of this exhibition. He spends half of his review giving us an education about the impact of Picasso on Britain - for which I am grateful!
- Laura Cuming of The Guardian in Picasso and Modern British Art – review indicates that the catalogue is better than the exhibition. She feels the British art is effectively downgraded when compared to Picasso.
this show is very precisely focused. It looks at three artists who paid sharp attention without being overwhelmed – Wyndham Lewis, Francis Bacon, David Hockney – and five more who swooned.
- Mondrian || Nicolson in Parallel opened at the Courtauld Gallery last week. It explores the largely untold relationship between Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson during the 1930's.
- Here is a Guardian slideshow of some of the paintings in Van Dyck in Sicily at the Dulwich Picture Gallery
- an interesting article by Bella Freud (Bella Freud's blog on Vogue UK) on My Father's exhibition.
- and this is the VIDEO: WSJ review of "Lucian Freud Portraits" + BBC2 programme. Did anybody else see the programme on Freud?
- "Lucian Freud Drawings" - a life in line is my review of a VERY major exhibition of Lucian Freud Drawings - but in a London art gallery (Blain|Southern Gallery) off Berkeley Square in Mayfair rather than a major museum. My review focuses on what he liked to paint other than people. It felt like a privilege to see this exhibition
- Another London gallery, the Chris Beetles Gallery in 8 & 10 Ryder Street in St James's, has a new sort of Spring Show which opened last week and continues until 28 April 2012.
- For the first time, Chris Beetles Gallery displays all aspects of its wide-ranging stock in a single exhibition, encompassing 300 years of the best of British art, from 18th century watercolours to new paintings, and also including illustrations, cartoons, etchings, photographs and sculpture.
- Meetings in Marrakech - The Paintings of Hassan El Glaoui and Winston Churchill (20 January - 31 March 2012) at Leighton House Museum (the former home and studio workspace of the Victorian artist Frederic Leighton 1830-1896).
- Some of the biggest names in art and fashion have been busy making eggs. On Tuesday 21st February 21, over 200 eggs are going to be placed around London - for The Big Egg Hunt. The public will then be given the task of hunting them down! This was the Eggs on Tour Bus last week
- The Royal College of Art is host to Ceramic Art London 2012 is the major selling fair for contemporary studio ceramics at the Royal College of Art on 24 February to 26 February 2012. RCA Ceramics students will be exhibiting new work along with 75 leading contemporary ceramic artists
- Double Take – The Art of Printmaking is a collaboration between the RCA and the University of Kent can be seen until 14 May 2012 Studio 3 Gallery, Jarman Building, University of Kent, School of Arts in Canterbury.
- Every time I see Charles Saatchi writing about how the current art museum framework works, I can't escape the feeling that this is a man who'd rather like to divest himself of the cost of running a huge museum ie the Saatchi Gallery which doesn't charge for entry. His latest Guardian article A legacy that Turner would have approved of sounds good until you think about where is the space that's going to show this new collection of contemporary British Masters. Might it be on the King's Road?
- Timothy Potts has been appointed as the new Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. He is currently the director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and prior to that appointment in 2008 he ran the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Here's the New York Times comment from its Arts Beat blog J. Paul Getty Museum Appoints New Director
- Which makes me wonder who will get the Fitzwilliam appointment....
|Pastel art by Sheila Goodman PS|
- The Pastel Society
- This is my review of their Annual Exhibition which opened last week Review: "Love Pastels" - The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2012
- The Society is hosting an Art Event Evening on Thursday 23rd 6pm to 8.30pm at the Mall Galleries - with live music, models and still life on offer and an invite to bring your pastels/pencils/charcoal and work alongside the Members ofDer The Pastel Society.
- This is The Pastel Society on Facebook.
|Pastel Artwork by Sophie Ploeg (bottom left) and Ann Wilkinson PS (suite of 5 works)|
- Which was your favourite brand of soft pastels in 2011? Soft Pastels: What's your favourite make? (2011 results) on Making A Mark Reviews provides the answer
- Derwent have brought out a new product - the Derwent Art Bar which is triangular water-soluble wax bar which was tested recently by my friend Vivien Blackburn. This is the YouTube video which shows you what they look like and how they work - Using Derwent Art Bars. It demonstrates what marks are possible and how they work. Their new scraper looks remarkably like a terrier! I'm intrigued by them. (Derwent Pencils on Facebook)
- If you didn't see my post on Wednesday Important - complete Copyright Survey by 5pm on Friday there's still an opportunity to respond to the current consultation on changes to the copyright law. You can also respond directly to the Intellectual Property Office's (ie Government's) consultation here: Consultation on proposals to change the UK's copyright system
- Apple: Look away everybody who is not an official Apple fan. Here are the reviews of Apple's Mountain Lion for iMacs - which basically suggest that the next version of the operating programme "Mountain Lion" will become even more like the ipad and even more integrated with other Apple products. The key message seems to be people love apps - and that convergence is the future. Plus intimations about a new iMac and discontinuation of support for older Macs.
- New York Times - Apple’s Mountain Lion Makes the Mac More Like the iPad
- Wall Street Journal - Apple's Mac Makeover - and this graphic provides a summary of the migration from iOS to OS X
- Google has been very very naughty according to this Wall Street Journal article. Google's iPhone Tracking details how the Google and other ad companies bypassed privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser on mobile devices and computers in order to track the online habits of people who created settings specifically to block that type of monitoring. Invasion of privacy anyone? (which is somewhat ironic since the WSJ is part of Murdoch's NI stable!) Apparently the code was instantly changed as soon as the breach was identified and published.
- Cloud computing: If you've been thinking of using a cloud as a back up archive and failsafe for an emergency you might want to take a look at this article
- Right now mobile apps are more customer-friendly than mobile optimised websites according to Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox however this is changing - Mobile Sites vs. Apps: The Coming Strategy Shift
Mobile apps currently have better usability than mobile sites, but forthcoming changes will eventually make a mobile site the superior strategy.and finally......
I'm shutting up shop after this until I've got my entry for the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists sorted out. I've been suffering from a bad bout of busybusybusy combined with procrastination and am a bit worried about meeting the deadline for submitting entries - which is 27th February (see Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition 2012: Call for Entries).
[UPDATE: I might post a bit of art between now and then!]