Saturday, September 29, 2012

Threadneedle Prize 2012: The Making a Mark Select Six

For the last two years, I've created my own personal shortlist after announcing the shortlisted artists (see Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Shortlisted Artists) and reviewing the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition (see Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012).

This year I've also identified below who I think will win the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the £10,000 Visitors' Choice Prize.

Let me know by leaving a comment below:
  • what you think about my choice 
  • how you choose art that you like in an exhibition 
  • Do leave a comment and let me know what you would have chosen. 
Now for the selection and the images....

The Making A Mark Select Six 2012

Here's my criteria for selecting work.  I like works which are:
  • visually pleasing to me and which stimulate my brain cells 
  • catch my eye and draw me towards them and then continue to interest me as I get up close (ie the design works and the technique is good) 
  • PLUS - make me write down the name of the artist so that I can review their website when I get home.
In effect I'm playing the role of an interested buyer!

The links in the artists' names are to their websites, if they have one, where you can see more of their work. I've included below some more information about both the artist and their art.

This year, I've ordered the work in my personal order of preference.

Ben Hendy - Self Portrait (section)
Linocut, 97x227cm,
£1200
1.  Lino Man by Ben Hendy

This is a shortlisted work and I think this is the winner.

For a man to develop a nude self-portrait is very unusual - to develop a full life-size self-portrait is ambitious and brave.

To also do it as a lino-cut fine art print is just simply audacious.  I've never seen one before and I doubt I will ever again.

To then find that the technique used is very fine is a complete pleasure.

There's just the small issue of where my face was every time I looked at it!  I think I'd have dropped it about a foot or so.

Lino Man by Ben Hendy in the Threadneedle Space
Interestingly - the fact that this is a lino-cut print prompts the question of whether or not the competition is limited to painting and sculpture - and the organisers might want to ponder on that description.

2.  Dreaming 2 by David Firmstone

This is a shortlisted work.  I also think it has a very good chance of winning the top prize.

You can't ignore this piece.  It absolutely dominates the whole of the West Gallery.  It's absolutely huge - but it doesn't shout.  It's just there - in the same way as landscape is there.

The reason I really like it is because the scope of the view and the patterning within it really appeal to me (my first degree is in geography!) .  It's the way I see landscape - and when somebody paints the way I see things there is an inevitable connection.  (I have a portfolio devoted to what I call "Views and Vistas" - which is essentially about finding the patterning in the land")"

I also really like the fact that the light is low and the shadows are long and the colour within the piece is very controlled and very nearly monochromatic.

This piece also makes me think of the peace and quiet of the countryside.

David Firmstone - Dreaming 2,
Oil on Canvas, 240x180cm
£20,000
I explore high perspectives of fields, quarries, ravines and riverbeds. I'm keen to see the land from further and further away and to play with spatial relationships, which is why I enjoy working large scale, it offers an even bigger playground.
3.  String II by Tim Pomeroy

Tim Pomeroy - String II,
Carrara marble, 50x25cm,
£8000
I love this piece.  String II is the only piece I really wanted to take home with me - if for no other reason that the size presented less of a problem than most!  

I would however have a bit of a struggle on my hands in moving it as it's made of Carrara Marble plus it's also a tad on the pricey side and hence a bit beyond my budget.

Scottish artist and sculptor Tim Pomeroy made this piece and his website is full of equally simple/complex forms.

For me this pillar seemed to induce a contemplative mood every time I looked at it.  I could well imagine it in a place which was minimal and designed for meditation.

There's a rather better image on the website from a different angle.

4.  One of Every Species found in Hong Kong cage, by Fran Giffard

I got to see an of this work up close early on as Fran sent me an image of it after I published the list of selected artists

This work is in pencil and she works a lot in graphite.  However her technique is most unusual - short horizontal lines repeated over and over - and makes the work a lot more interesting as a result.

Hong Kong is just of her portfolios of drawings on her website.  She's drawn an absolutely huge number of birds which maybe accounts for her fine account of how they look.
Fran Giffard - One of Every Species found in Hong Kong cage
Graphite Pencil on Paper, 110x80cm
£1,500
Fran also had artwork selected this year for both 
  • BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year for the piece below - which is another image from her Hong Kong series; and
  • David Shepherd's Wildlife Artist of the Year - for Four Birds came to London
Artwork by Fran Gifford selected for BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year.

5.  The Observatory - David Piddick

It's entirely possible that I like this work because I've recently been drawing from a spot about 30 feet to the left of this painting (see Greenwich Park Panorama).

There again, this is another artist who I feel a connection with - because he chooses to look at and paint the same things I like to draw.  I find it very odd that when I visit his website I immediately recognise all the places in London that he's painted.  This has never happened before. Maybe this artist "sees" places that I draw in the same way I do - albeit his fantastical / 'magical realism' way of painting is his own?

The work itself is a lot bigger and you can see a much better version of The Observatory on his website.


David Piddock - The Observatory (section)
Oil on gesso board, 59x240cm, 
£19,000

What I liked about it was the fact that it's a figurative painting - with figures(!) - and yet is distinctly odd and slightly edgy.  To all intents and purposes the scene is one which is common during the day - and yet it seems to be in moonlight.  The perspective is handled masterfully - I suspect there may have been some help from a fish-eye lens at some point.



I also like it when artists paint in panoramic formats so that one gets a much better sense of place.  Not an easy painting to hang - but one which will reward the person who does.

6.  The final work:  There were several close contenders for the final spot.  I've decided to list those in the running rather than to make a final decision
  • Planar Resonance - Ilse Black, Graphite powder, pencil, charcoal on paper, 100cm x 78cm, £2500
  • Nudia 2 Elichi Fukuda, Sumi-ink,Acrylic,paper on Canvas, 76×51cm, £900
  • Winter Sunlight, Adelburgh - Peter Kelly, Oil on Canvas, 44x34 cms, £3000
  • Painting from LightLuis Kerch, Acrylic on Linen, 100x180cm, £4000
  • Mello Yello No.1- Yuichiro Kikuma, Acrylic on MDF, 15x17cm, £390

Visitor's Choice Award

There was one piece which attracted a lot of comment on the Preview night - and prior to the announcement was suggested by some to be a certainty as a shortlisted piece

Robert Truscott - Defeat, 
Mixed Media, Plaster, Epoxy Putty, Material on Armature, 367x167x49cm, 
£30,000
To my mind it would almost certainly have been shortlisted had it not been for the nature of the support.  I liked the work a lot and I hated the support. 

The diagonal brackets compete for attention and the work itself does not appear to be fixed in any way to the support. The contrast between the level of effort which had gone into the work itself and the support it sat on was far too great for my liking.   I go back to the commentary in the introduction to the Exhibition in the catalogue which I referenced yesterday in Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 - the quality of finish is important.

That said, Robert Truscott's achievement is significant.  The figures are amazing.  It reminds me somewhat of John Singer Sargent's painting 'Gassed' - of first world war soldiers who have been blinded when gassed.  By way of contrast these are prisoners of war leaving Stalingrad en route to the Soviet gulag
Robert Truscott graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1995 and from the Russian Academy of Arts in St Petersburg in 2000. He has exhibited in Winchester Cathedral with works representing the exodus of prisoners from the VI Army at Stalingrad.Beaulieu Fine Arts
You can see more of Robert's work when constructing this piece on his blog - and you can see a video of this piece on YouTube

More about the Threadneedle Prize

For more about the Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the Prize in earlier years - see my earlier posts (and images) below

2012 Threadneedle Prize
2011 Threadneedle Prize
Other information about art competitions in the UKArt Competitions in the UK - this includes links to earlier years of the Threadneedle Prize

Exhibition

Friday, September 28, 2012

How do you send large images of your artwork?

This post examines how people make large images available to me and how you make large images available to others.

As I review art competitions, open exhibitions and major exhibitions in national galleries I get access to a lot of very large high quality, high resolution images of artwork.  However these high resolution  images are only rarely sent to me via email.

Picselect website
Here's a summary of the ways that galleries make images available to me.
  • some galleries host their images on their own website in secure space.  I had to provide credentials and be approved before I could enter this space.
  • some galleries use a secure hosting website which is not the same as their own website.  The Press Association's PicSelect is one such site
This is the Press Association's premier publicity distribution service, supplying thousands of print-quality images, video and audio files into the hands of influential journalists and editors at the heart of the media industry.
YouSendIt website
  • some galleries use software and cloudbased computing to give you access to files which are too large to email - using software such as YouSendIt
  • I hardly ever get sent a CD with images.
With the exception of the latter, what they all have in common is that all I get is a link to the image.  

This can be either a hyperlink in a press release or on a website or in an email.

Interestingly, the only people who send me large images tend to be artists or small galleries who are not tech savvy.

Maybe it's time that artists and smaller galleries got rather more sophisticated about how they make high quality images available to potential buyers and reviewers?

Or maybe they have already?

How do you send your large high quality images?

Tell me what types of services and methods you currently use to send large very large high quality images to potential purchasers, clients or galleries.  

This might be in the context of:
  • digital entry to art competitions or open exhibitions, 
  • submissions to galleries, 
  • illustration work for clients or 
  • information for prospective purchasers.
Please answer the following queries and/or leave a comment below and I'll use the information to help share information with a wider circle of artists about current and best practices for sending images.
  • Do you send images compressed or uncompressed? (eg jpeg or Tif?)
  • Do you zip files?
  • Do you voluntarily limit the file size? (if so what sort of limit do you use?)
  • If no prescribed method is stipulated, do you use specific software or cloud services to transmit images?
  • Please indicate whether you are an artist or a gallery when responding.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012

The most important thing you need to know about this year's Exhibition for the Threadneedle Prize 2012 is that it's the biggest and the best in this art competition's five year history.

It feels like it's come of age,  It's also doing made a leap forward within the context of a very healthy new appetite for figuration in painting as this year's blockbuster shows by Hockney and Freud have clearly demonstrated.

The challenge now for this competition is that each year of competition should contribute towards the development of a vocabulary of and about figuration based essentially on observation of the real world.

Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Exhibition at the Mall Galleries
The West Gallery
The long term vision and direction of this Prize is to advance a modern case for figuration, not to haul it backwards or to restrict its development
Lewis McNaught
Unlike last year's exhibition, this really does feel like an exhibition of contemporary and figurative painting and sculpture.

Unlike last year I have no complaints.  That said I wouldn't have selected all the works and my shortlist would have been different (so no surprises there!) - however I do very much feel that this year we have an exhibition which is much more worthy of the biggest prize for a single art work in the UK.

I particularly like the stance taken by the Selectors this year - as explained by Lewis McNaught, the Mall Galleries Director, in his introduction to the Exhibition (which is also a "recommended read" by me)
Mindful of their responsibility to maintain and develop the competition's standards, the three selectors....adopted a rigorous approach to selection, scrutinising during the course of a long selection day the execution and finish of each work that had passed an online pre-selection process
He also notes that many of the works rejected from the open submission were ones where the final finish and the quality of the execution did not quite match the great originality and concept.  I'm thinking this may well find its way into guidance for artists next year

I'm guessing that some artists reading this will now be bouncing up and down and cheering given that the quality of the execution is being identified as an explicit and important factor in choosing works for the exhibition - alongside those relating to exploring notions of what figurative means and the idea behind the work and its aesthetic appeal.  I'm guessing there were rather a lot of comments about some of the works in last year's show which prompted the need to reassert the notion that quality of finish does really count for something.  However those who read this post and contemplate entering work next year also need to be mindful of the fact that technique alone will not get artwork into this show.

The Exhibition can be seen at the Mall Galleries until 13th October.  If you visit, you can vote for the Visitor's Choice Award (£10,000).  You can also view the works online.

The Winners of the Threadneedle Prize and the Visitor's Choice Prize - and the runners up will be announced at an Awards Dinner on 10th October - at which I'm going to try live blogging!

Tomorrow I'll be posting about my choice of the works that I'd have made my short list - and my predictions as to who will win the Prizes.

So - on with my review of the exhibition - and lots more images!

Entrance to the West Gallery on Preview Night when the Shortlisted Artists were announced.

OCAD / Pearson Art Textbook Update

This is an update on the story about the $180 set text for an Ontario College of Art and Design's new art history course - which had absolutely no pictures of the artwork it was referencing.  Instead there were just a lot of empty image frames. (See Art History - a set text book with no pictures!)

This empty frame normally contains a rather good still life by Cezanne
which hangs in the Musee d'Orsay
Photograph © Katherine Tyrrell (2009)
I've received a comment from OCAD which in turn has highlighted their official response and I'm reproducing both of them below.  Along with some references to Pearson Publishing's approach to creating learning materials - and my comments on the whole affair.

Let me say at the outset that I think there are some lessons for everybody - art schools, publishers, parents and students.

It's very apparent to me that the fact that a concerned parent went public and his network took the story viral around the world means there has been a fast response.  It's to their credit that the College and the Publisher have responded quickly to the concerns being expressed.  The College has listened to the concerns of the students and the publisher would now like to get the book out of circulation asap.  Plus there are some proposals as to how the matter might be resolved for this year.

However I'm still left with the impression that people are still looking at the wrong problem - of which more in my analysis and comments at the end.

First the update on the situation - and then my analysis.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Shortlisted Artists

The £30,000 Threadneedle Prize is the most valuable prize awarded for a single work of art in the UK.  Tonight, the shortlisted artists are announced.

The winners of both The Threadneedle Prize (£30,000) and Visitors’ Choice Prize (£10,000) will be announced at a special Awards Dinner on Wednesday 10 October 2012 - to which I'm invited. I might have to take the iPad for a spot of live blogging!

You can read more about the Selectors on my Call for Entries post.

Shortlisted Artists

The Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo is announcing the six works shortlisted for the 2012 Threadneedle Prize for Painting and Sculpture artists at the reception at the Mall Galleries right now (ie 7.30pm)! [Post subsequently updated with images taken at the exhibition preview]

An initial review indicates that we have:
  • four artists who are working more or less in monochrome and only one really colourful piece, 
  • three artists who got a degree this summer
  • one sculpture and five paintings 
  • and two artists called Ben.
To date (2008 - 2011), the four winners have all been women - this year there's a 50% chance that we might just see the first winner who isn't a woman!

1.  Hair Triptych by Elaine Brown

Hair Triptych by Elaine Brown
Oil paint on gesso board, 15 x 20 cm each panel
£1,800
Elaine Brown was born in London in 1961.  Her art studies involved an MA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art which she completed in 2012. Her artwork has been exhibited in
  • New Contemporaries in 1984 
  • alongside Tracey Emin in 1987 in an exhibition called Three Women Artists at Rochester Art Centre.  
  • on her Facebook Page - Elaine Brown Art 
The dimensions indicate that this is a small work.

Monday, September 24, 2012

24th September 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

Artists and Art Blogs

Drawing and Sketching

Two artists who are well known to me featured in items online this week which reveal more about them and their artistic practices - and their motivations about drawing and sketching.  The themes which link the two of them are their enthusiasm, their addiction to sketching and their work rates.

Recent NYC Sketches by Liz Steel
  • The first is an Interview with Liz Steel - that's the amazing Australian architect Liz Steel (Liz and Borromini) who has boundless energy and enthusiasm when it comes to sketching.  This is an on Art by Wiley - a two hander blog by Kim and Jodi Wiley.  Jodi did the interview and asked some excellent questions - which got some excellent responses.
Q. What tips would you give to someone just starting out in keeping a regular sketchbook?
A. My three standard phrases are • Just do it… • Practice practice practice • No such thing as talent - it is all desire and ‘hard work’

Even when I'm not painting I have to draw someone, every single day.  My motto is "sketch, sketch, sketch, draw, draw, draw"....I would say there's no short cut, it is hard work.
I'll now curtail the alliteration(!) and return to the rest of this post.

However, not before a quick explanation as to why this is late and what's happening next weekend. We've got the quinquennial visit by my sister and her family who live in Australia happening at the moment - hence why normal routines are not being observed.  We've also got a major family celebration next weekend so "who's made a mark this week" will either be late or deferred.

Now for the rest of "who's made a mark this week?"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Art History - a set text book with no pictures!

The Ontario College of Art and Design's set text for a course called Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800 is an art book costing $180 with no images of art in it.

I kid you not.

A sample copy of the text - complete with blank boxes which refer
reproduced here for the purpose of review and criticism

As you can see the book contains blank squares which should have images.  Apparently the tutors commissioned the book (now who'd already guessed this would be a home-grown innovation?) but the piblishers failed to clear the copyright for the images in time for publication.

This is the letter from OCAD to the students
Global Visual & Material Culture: Beginnings to 1800 is a custom textbook that basically combines threetextbooks into one:
1. Art History, 4th ed. by Stokstad and Cothren – excerpts from the full 1150-page text.Volume One would retail for $144.
2. Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide, 2nd ed. by Drucker/McVarish – excerpts.This volume would retail for $92.
3. A custom reader with all the additional material we have added (which includes printed images)and would cost approximately $65 – $75 (see page iii of text for list of items).
You have also been given access to electronic versions of the full Stokstad/Cothren and Drucker/McVarish texts with all the images.
The book is complete as printed and is not missing pictures because we didn’t get copyright clearance in time. If we had opted for print clearance of all the Stokstad and Drucker images, the text would have cost over $800.

The notion is that the students should spend $180 for an art book with no images and then find them online.  Furthermore this textbook is an amalgam of text from three books which have already been published - so is yet another publishing wheeze to extract the last cent from every book ever published?

So let's examine the issues from different perspectives

The student perspective

  • they are required to buy a new book (ie no second hand copies available) for $180 - which is very poor value for money in anybody's book!
  • the book is an amalgamation of three existing books - all of which will be available second-hand
  • they have to buy a book they can't resell because it has no images
Conclusion:  Nobody spent any time considering the price of the publication from the perspective of the student

The copyright perspective
  • the school's argument is that the book would have cost $800 if they'd managed to get the copyright licence to print the pictures
  • there are no works of art which were created prior to 1800 which are still in copyright
  • the only relevant copyright relates to that of the photographer
  • There is no need to clear copyright if the student accesses images available online
Conclusion:  We have an Art School and a publisher which have come up with a solution which pays absolutely no regard to a student's time financial or time budgets or the accessibility of images online for free.

The sustainable perspective
  • how many trees got cut down and how much money has it cost to print large black spaces with a line round and a reference to another book where the image can be found?
  • why aren't existing text books being recommended?  
    • What is the added value of this particular text and these particular images over other textbooks or other available online resources which are available for a great deal less money?  
    • Why is this book so much better than the book that was used last year for precisely the same course?
  • why is a text book being recommended at all - as opposed to an ebook or an online version of teacher's notes which reference readily available images online.
Conclusion:  OCAD needs to review its policy on sustainability with particular reference to commissioned textbooks

Another perspective

Very many museums and other organisations now make images available online.  I personally find that very many of these are superior to images printed in a book.  

Here, for example, are the COMPLETELY FREE links to the two images highlighted in the above page:
If OCAD and the publishers had got together to produce an art ebook which had html links embedded into the title of each referenced artwork, then the students could view the works more easily online.

This would also provide scope to considerably reduce the cost of the book given that the text, as I understand, it comes from books which have already been published.

and finally......

The links below are to references to this farce and the comments are particularly interesting. 
All I can say is that there would appear to be a compelling argument for determining course design and content with particular reference to the affordability and effectivness of course materials.

[UPDATE:  This incident is now making the television news - see CTV - Art book without pictures raises perennial issue of pricey textbooks ]

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last Weekend for Impressionists

The exhibition From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism - Paintings from The Clark finishes at the Royal Academy of Arts on Sunday.  I went to see it on Tuesday and it was crowded for an early weekday.  I can only imagine it will be worse this weekend - but it's still worth going to see.

Banks of the Seine at By (c. 1880-81) by Alfred Sisley
oil on canvas, 54.3 x 73.3 cm
© Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 
Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA, 1955.534
The exhibition is made up of paintings from the Collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (normally known as "the Clark") in Williamstown, Massachusetts which is currently undergoing building works.  As all good museums do, they lend out their works while they are unable to house them at home - which is how this exhibition came about.  

If you can't get to the Exhibition you can

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Landscape Painting: 2013 Jolomo Bank of Scotland Awards - Call for Entries

Artists who live and work in Scotland - and paint the Scottish landscape - have the opportunity to win the £25,000 First Prize in The Jolomo Bank of Scotland Awards 2013 for Scottish Landscape Painting.

The closing date for this prestigious landscape painting competition is 14th January 2013.  


The Jolomo Foundation website
The award in 2013 coincides with the Year of Natural Scotland.  This is the website About Natural Scotland

You can find out who can enter what and how to enter on their website.

As I usually do for all major art competitions, I've re-summarised the 'call for entries' information below and highlighted aspects which are less than clear with the information provided to date. All quotations are from the Jolomo Awards website

This year for the first time, you can also find the awards on Facebook - The Jolomo Awards - although I don't think they've quite got the hang of images on facebook yet.  The only ones I can see are blurry or too small.

Aim of the Awards

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mark Elsmore wins Sunday Times Watercolour 2012

On Tuesday I went to see the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2012 - the largest watercolour competition in the UK - at the Mall Galleries.  The exhibition includes 92 works by 72 artists working in watercolour, gouache, acrylic, and/or inks and it's as good an exhibition of what you can do with water-based paints as I've seen this year.


Sunday Times Watercolour 2012 at the Mall Galleries

What I particularly liked about it was the range of subjects, approaches and techniques used by the different artists.  It includes works where you just stand and stare and try and work out how on earth the work was created,

The exhibition opened on Monday and closes on Saturday so if you want to see it you need to get your skates on!

Prizewinners

This gives you an idea of the size of the paintings selected for exhibition
First Prize Winner is on extreme left | Seascape to the right of the woman is by Kurt Jackson
Interestingly this year's exhibition included two works by Kurt Jackson - but he didn't win!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

POLL: What's the best method of promoting art sales?

The Making A Mark Poll for September looks at the best way of promoting sales of your art.  It looks at the various ways in which you promote your art to get people to look at it - which then converts to a sale.  It also provides you with an opportunity to share what works for you.

So it is:
What this poll is about is OUTCOMES ie sales of your art.  It's trying to identify what method of communication actually generates sales (ie not what you do but it doesn't work). 

For example, having a blog which never leads to traffic to the site where you sell - and then converts to a sale - could mean either your art is not proving attractive to buyers or you're not blogging as effectively as you could do.  But this poll wants to know about is what does generate traffic which converts to sales.

In fact, in traditional marketing mix terms, it's about:
  • the promotion part of the Seven Ps
  • the communication part of the 4Cs
Communications can include advertising, public relations, personal selling, viral advertising, and any form of communication between the firm and the consumer.
Quote about advertising attributed to John Wanamaker
So, for example, if you're going to be selling art in an exhibition or an art fair, how do you tell people that there's an opportunity to see your art and how do you encourage them to go and look.

Or maybe you only sell your art online - how do you keep people interested in the new works you are producing and how do you get them to go to the place where they can buy your art?

I'm going to focus on the ways I know people promote their art and keep it fairly simple.

Here's a list of ways people communicate about their art with a view to promoting sales

  • word of mouth (family/friends)
  • word of mouth (collectors)
  • business cards
  • postcards
  • christmas cards
  • flyers / physical adverts
  • online adverts
  • email
  • newsletters
  • discount coupons
  • portfolio publication / catalogue
  • Twitter
  • Facebook personal account
  • Facebook Page
  • own blog
  • group blog
  • own website
  • art agent
The poll allows for multiple responses - so do please check all the ones that you use.

The poll can be found in the right hand column - under "Bloggers who Follow this Blog".  It closes at the end of 30th September 2012.  The results will be reported within a couple of days.

Please leave comments below indicating:

  • what you find are the methods which works well with past collectors
  • what does not work well.
  • what important method I forgot to include!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Exhibition now Online

All 153 works in the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012 are now available to view and purchase online.

This is the link to the online exhibition of artwork selected for the Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2012.

The actual exhibition opens at the Mall Galleries on 26 September and continues until 13 October 2012.

Selection from the Online Exhibition of
artwork selected for the Threadneedle Prize 2012


To access and view the artwork:

  • follow the link
  • click the image in the square to see a larger version with details of title and artist
  • close the 'pop-up' by clicking the X
  • repeat for every subsequent image
Information about dimensions or media is not available for all artwork. I'm guessing this will be remedied as it certainly exists for some and such data is enormously valuable in giving a sense of scale.  

Unfortunately there's also no slideshow which means viewing works is a somewhat tortuous process.
This year’s Threadneedle Prize exhibition includes a broader cross-section of figurative painting and sculpture than ever before!
The major difference in 2012 are that the number of works selected is much bigger than in every previous year of the Prize.  It looks an interesting selection and to me looks as if it provides a much better balance than last year's exhibition.  I'm seeing a lot of monochromatic work and a lot of charcoal.  I also like all the landscapes I looked at first!  

Also - for what it's worth - on initial review I find the paintings in this exhibition more interesting than those in the online exhibition of the John Moores Prize 2012.

All artwork is for sale - and assuming it's now online I guess that means you can also buy online before the exhibition open.  The Mall Galleries offers the Own Art free loans which make purchasing art a lot more affordable for many people.

More about the Threadneedle Prize

For more about the Threadneedle Prize 2012 - and the Prize in earlier years - see my earlier posts (and images) below

2012 Threadneedle Prize
2011 Threadneedle Prize
Other information about art competitions in the UK: Art Competitions in the UK - this includes links to earlier years of the Threadneedle Prize

LINKS:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

16th September 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

Winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2012
Stevie Smith and the Willow'
2011, oil, enamel and acrylic on aluminium panel, 198.3 x 229 cm

© Sarah Pickstone
Some of you commented on the choice of shortlisted artwork for the John Moores Painting Prize in my recent post about John Moores Painting Prize 2012 - Shortlisted Artists.

We now know who won what is billed as "Britain's most prestigious painting prize"

Sarah Pickstone has won the biennial John Moores Painting Prize with 'Stevie Smith and the Willow' which references Stevie Smith's best known poem

This is a link to an item in The Poetry Archive and Stevie Smith talking about poetry and the poem Not Waving But Drowning.

She also talks about creating drawings to accompany her poems.

This is the Liverpool Daily Post article Sarah Pickstone wins John Moores Painting Prize with Stevie Smith picture which includes an interview with the winner.

More about the Exhibition

You can:
Artists and Art Blogs

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do you have a problem leaving comments on Blogger blogs?

I'd like to know if anybody else is having difficulties leaving comments on their own blog or my blogs.

The reason for asking is that this week I suddenly could not post a comment to MY OWN BLOG courtesy of Blogger.  

I could moderate the comments of others and I could access the dashboard and publish posts - but I couldn't leave a comment.

The problem was resolved in part by stopping my comments page from being "embedded".  In other formats my Google account was recognised and I could leave comments.  When it was embedded the account was not recognised.

Embedded format
No recognition of Google account or Open ID with comments page in "embedded mode"
hence unable to leave comments

Full page format

Comment page in full page format
Google account is again recognised and I can leave a comment on my blog
More problems leaving comments!

Now I've begun to realise that embedded comment pages on other blogs are also inaccessible - and I can't leave comments on those blogs either!

I'm now wondering how many people have got a similar problem - or whether this is a one-off

So over to you - I have two questions:
  1. Do you have an embedded comments page for your Blogger blog?
  2. Have you had any problems leaving comments on your own blog?
[NOTE:  If you want to check out what setting you have:
  • go to Settings › Posts and comments
  • Under Comments check out the location of your comments function.  There are four options:
    • embedded (causes a problem for me and others using Apple)
    • full page
    • pop-up window
    • hide
This comments function is set to "full page"]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Karolina Glusiec wins £8,000 Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012

Still from Velocity, Karolina Glusiec
The £8,000 First Prize in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 has been won by a hand-drawn animation produced by Polish born Karolina Glusiec (Karolina Glusiec).  You can see a trailer for her animation below.

Karolina graduated with an MA Animation from the Royal College of Art ("the world’s most influential postgraduate art and design school") this summer and this animation was also included in the animation section of Show RCA 2012 in June.


Velocity (Trailer) from karolina glusiec on Vimeo.

Karolina comments
"For me drawing is the most sincere way of communication, and the most honest representation of one's thoughts and feelings."
This is the list of Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 prizewinners:
  • First Prize (£8,000): Karolina Gluseic
  • Second Prize (£5,000): Bada Song is Korean and lives and works in London
  • Student Prize (£2,000): Katie Aggett (graduated with an MA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art this summer - you can see her degree show by viewing her blog  - click link in her name)
  • Student Prize (£2,000): Min Kim (another MFA in Fine Art student at the Slade - this is her degree work)
  • Highly Commended: Jane Dixon.  She graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in printmaking in 1988 and has since won a number of awards and had a number of exhibitions.
You can see images of the other prizewinners below.  I've included the artist's own comments about their work where I could find this on their websites (click link in their name after quote to see their website)

Second Prize -  Ta - iL 28, Bada Song
My recent woks are based on traditional Korean roof tiles and use graphite - a material reminiscent of their dark, rough ceramic. Such tiles are disappearing from rapidly modernizing life and architecture. My drawings disrupt the familiarity of their forms, bringing into question what the viewer encounters as surface, depth and shape. These works allow a cultural enquiry to develop into a more formal investigation involving perception, perspective and illusion. The titles of the works refer to the English word ‘tile’ pronounced as it has been adopted in Korean.Bada Song
Student Prize - Waiting by Min Kim
Student Prize: N1C 4TB, W10 5UU by Katie Aggett
Highly Commended - Platform by Jane Dixon
"The drawings are a continuation of my interest in the relationship between the real and the artificial or invented. The idea of a model being a representation of something which either exists, an authentic representation of the real thing, or which is the 3D embodiment of an imagined object, is one which I find interesting in relation to the act of drawing and representation in two dimensions....... The drawings incorporate surface rubbings from the physical world and pure invention to make both a conceptual and visual play with the real and potential scale of the object depicted."Jane Dixon - about the Model Series
Exhibition

The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 Exhibition includes diverse interpretations of contemporary drawing.  Details are below:
  • AT: Jerwood Space, 171 Union St, SE1 0LN
  • BETWEEN: 12 September – 28 October 2012 (Mon-Fri10am–5pm, Sat&Sun 10am–3pm)
  • ADMISSION: Free 
  • NEAREST TUBE: Southwark, London Bridge or Borough 
  • WEBSITE: www.jerwoodvisualarts.org
  • TWITTER: @JerwoodJVA #JDP12 
The exhibition will then tour to venues across the UK including the new Jerwood Gallery, Hastings and mac, Birmingham.

Below you can find links to past Jerwood Drawing Exhibitions featured on this blog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review - Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde at Tate Britain

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde is the major new exhibition which opened today (12 September 2012 – 13 January 2013) at Tate Britain at Millbank in London.

Room 3 - Nature - works by Millais and Holman Hunt hang next to each other
(left to right) The Woodman's Daughter by Millais, The Hireling Shepherd by Holman Hunt, Ophelia by Millais
"Work" and "The Last of England" by Ford Madox Brown hang side by side in Room 4
Back in 1984 there was a major retrospective of the Pre-Raphaelites.  That exhibition was seen by and influenced the curators of this exhibition.  The catalogue for that exhibition became in effect the 'set text' for our understanding of the movement for very many years.

However things have moved on and there's now a different take on this particular aspect of British art.  This time it's suggested they are rather like the Impressionists in France - breaking the mold and creating a new way of painting.

Three Curators - left to right: 
Alison Smith, Curator (Head of British Art to 1900),
Tate Britain; Tim Barringer, Professor of History of Art at Yale University,
Jason Rosenfeld, Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College, New York.

Leaving the theory aside - if you just take a look at the exhibition and then begin to understand some of the paintings, it reminds one of  a good costume drama.  It's very reminiscent of a lengthy BBC Sunday evening series that dramatises the book of a good Victorian novelist. Lots about the way of the world and the characters within it - plus costumes and photography which are excellent as always!  The British public who love such things will surely love this exhibition - as will the Americans!

I recommend it because I enjoyed viewing, learned a few new things plus I think it has something for everybody who enjoys the visual arts.

What's different about this exhibition?  The facts

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Florum 2012

Susan Christopher Coulson won the first Elizabeth Smail Memorial Award at the Florum Botanical Art Exhibition 2012 in Sevenoaks.

The late Liz Smail's sister who presented the award said that Liz had always emphasised colour and composition when teaching her students.  She then confessed to knowing little about art - but made sure she used the two imperatives about colour and composition to guide her in choosing an artwork to receive the Award for the first time.  She did well!

The Elizabeth Smail Memorial Award
“Colour mutation - Rosa mutabilis” (£995) by Susan Christoper Coulson
Coloured Pencil
I saw the exhibition at the PV on Friday night - and this review has been slightly delayed by three things:

  • very good weather - we were out all weekend!
  • the Press preview for the big Autumn exhibition at Tate Britain yesterday
  • not forgetting - I mislaid the catalogue which had all my notes - including the vital ones which say "feature this artist as well as the listings of artists, titles and prices!  (I live in dread of doing this. I've never yet done it but have one or two close calls - and this was one of them!)

However I do want to emphasise that all botanical art lovers in the South East only have until Saturday 15th September to see the Florum Exhibition in Sevenoaks.  I gather sales have been brisk - however there are lots of very attractive high quality prints as well as originals.

Can I suggest you take a look at last year's review - see Exhibition Review: Florum 2011 - in Sevenoaks - for what I like about this exhibition, plus tips which other art societies might want to copy, as these are essentially unchanged.

View of part of the exhibition - there's lots to see
what you can see in this photo is only about a third of the exhibition!
More views of work in the exhibition below




Exhibiting Artists

Florum is unique amongst the botanical art exhibitions that I'm aware of in that it's an "invite only" exhibition - and that 'invite' is not limited to the strictly botanical illustrator.

The exhibition includes 333 pieces of artwork of various media - although the majority are paintings.  You can see examples of work from some of the more than 60 artists who are exhibiting in three galleries on the website: gallery onegallery two; and gallery three.

Many artists are also members of a variety of other groups including The Linnean Society, the Royal Watercolour Society, the Pastel Society, the Royal Society of Miniature Painters as well as the Society of Botanical Artists and/or the Society of Floral Painters (Society of Floral Painters blog).

Exhibiting artists use a variety of media and a variety of styles.  You can see some examples above and below.


Artwork by Karen Birchwood
Mixed media
typically priced £285
Artists whose work caught my eye

There are a number of new artists this year - but I'm not sure which these are.

Karen Birchwood's paintings of flowers and gardens are very decorative and appealing to the eye.  They also look very good when displayed with one another!  

Karin is a former textile designer who is now a full time painter who participates in a lot of exhibitions and obviously has a faithful following.  Her work is mainly in acrylic and mixed media, on canvas, board or paper. 

She has preferences for a palette of particular colours - which you can see on in the garden/flowers page on her website - which have the happy knack of looking good with one another.

I love Wendy Cranston FSBA's paintings in gouache.  The only thing that stops me from buying one is the fact I would have to buy two or three as I just love seeing them hung together!  Her control of her media, composition within a square and colour palette are three of the reasons I like her work. That and that fact it doesn't look like anybody else's.  I'd love to be able to show you her website - but I don't think she has one.

Gouache paintings of fruit and wisteria by Wendy Cranston FSBA
work is typically priced at £195
Penny Stenning is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists - who wins Certificates of Botanical Merit - a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, and also paints for the Eden Project.  Her work impressed me - she has a meticulous approach to drawing her subjects.  However the reason she's getting a mention is that she caught my eye with the composition and colour of two different works hung in different parts of the exhibition - her watercolour paintings of Sage and the weeds you can see below.

Some weeds of cultivation (£400) watercolour painting by Penny Stenning SBA
Again Penny is an artist with no website - the link is to her page on the SBA website.  If you're interested Penny teaches botanical illustration - details of how to find her curses are on the SBA members courses webpage.

Old Year, New Year (£330) - watercolour by Sue J Williams
Sue J Williams SBA is also a Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society and also caught my eye with a couple of pieces and Variations on a Theme.  The latter because its format was something I had in mind for a piece of botanical artwork about alliums and it was interesting to see another artist's interpretation of how best to use it.

There is lots to like if you like printmaking in this exhibition.  This year I was particularly struck by the simplicity and the complexity of Helen Hanson's Summer Fields.

Summer Fields (etching/aquatint £290) by Helen Hanson 

Links:



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