Monday, April 29, 2013

29th April 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

Zea Mays © Sharon Fox
The images in the exhibition this week are from the recent Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists.  There were so many blog posts with that and the RHS show at the same time that I decided in the end to leave my usual 'these are the ones which caught my eye' post until later - and am instead incorporating them into this post (and have more to post!)

Interestingly I subsequently learned that one of these was by Sharon Fox, a student of Fiona Strickland GM SBA AMBA.  Then I found out that Fiona had eight students last year and six had work accepted into the show.  So if you're an aspiring botanical artist living in Scotland you might want to find out about Fiona's classes!

This coming week I'm in hospital having a permanent lens replacement in my left eye which should begin to resolve the current problems with my eyes.  I'm in and out the same day (Thursday 2nd May) despite having a general rather than local anaesthetic.   However I'm not too sure what my vision will be like in the immediate aftermath and how that will affect computer work.

I've then got the next one on the 23rd May and then hopefully I'll have the prescriptions for my new glasses for close work by the beginning of July.

I'm very much looking forward to getting new eyes!

However I'm not looking forward to the eye drops!  I've been shown how to do it but am still fighting my huge eye phobia.  Tips for getting drops into my eyes post-op are very welcome.  So far I've managed to get as far as taking the top off my practice bottle of stuff for dry eyes and actually looking at what I need to do.......

Artists and Art Blogs

Artists on television

  • "Rain, Steam and Speed" by JMW Turner - was featured last night at the end of a really good programme on BBC4 which looked at how Turner recorded the technology and activities of the Industrial revolution in the UK. This is the link to it on iPLayer - The Genius of Turner - Painting the Industrial Revolution (available until 9:59PM Fri, 3 May 2013)

Artists at the Theatre

  • Jonathan Jones (the Guardian) asks and answers his own question Is Ai Weiwei still an artist? - given the fact he's now a book, a play and a film as well.

Botanical & Natural History Art

Drawing and Sketching

My last sketch without glasses and with dodgy eyes - you can read more about my recent visit to Sissinghurst - and see a photo of me sketching in Sissinghurst - from 3rd hottest to 2nd coldest! and The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst - late Spring

The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden (22 April 2013)
11" x 16", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Painting

I recently read Lori McNee's post about When My Serious Painting Became A Joke On Facebook.  I liked the quote
“To succeed in life you needthree things. A wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”
Reba McEntire

Plein Air



Portraiture

Who painted this?

Art Education


  • Stapleton Kearns provides an education about closed corner frames in A visit to the frame makers.  This is PS Art Frames of Rhode Island who feature in his post and who produce custom art frames for fine art.

Art Competitions

  • Turner Prize 2013: Tate Britain announced the Turner Prize 2013 shortlist. The four artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2013 were announced by Tate Britain this week. David Shrigley was a bit of a surprise. In recent years the exhibition has been travelling and for 2013, the prize exhibition will be on show in Derry-Londonderry starting on 23 October 2013

Self Portrait with Lace Collar
© Sophie Ploeg

  • BP Portrait Award: Here's my post about the BP Portrait Award 2013 - The Shortlist.  Congratulations to Sophie Ploeg on having her self portrait with lace collar  selected for the exhibition.  It was also very interesting for me because I had discussions with Sophie earlier this year about possible options for her entry to the competition.  The exhibition runs from 20 June - 15 September 2013, in the Wolfson Gallery (Admission Free)



Art Exhibitions

Major Art Galleries & Museums - Future Exhibitions

Art Societies

A corner I liked in the SBA Annual Exhibition
I've been having a bit of a botanical art bonanza of late.  Here's my catch-up for anybody who missed it.
Slipper Orchid by Lynne Proudfoot

Here's the rest of the news about art society exhibitions
Drawn aims to raise the profile of drawing, presenting it as both an autonomous discipline and an interdisciplinary tool.
  • The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters opens at the Mall galleries on Thursday 9th May and closes on the 24th May at 1pm.  Announcements about prizewinners will be made on the 8th and it will be interesting to see who has won the new £20,000 Self Portrait Prize
  • I'm pleased to see I shall be seeing  Astrid Volquardsen's pastel work at the Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in June 

Art Business & Marketing

The Artist Statement (and writing online)
  • I came across an Infographic which I thought seemed very helpful to those developing or revisiting their artist statements. Is my artist statement done? has a pathway approach to  working out whether or not your Artist Statement is both completed and accessible.
  • I'd like to suggest that Alyson Stanfield's post Finish Your Writing on Art Biz Blog is also very pertinent to those finalising any sort of statement about their artwork or art career.
  • At the same time Artpromotivate articulates the various ways in which, in its opinion,  artists can write online and succeed in creating the sort of situation which can see their art career go down the tubes.  Make sure you read  How Artists Can Ruin their Reputation Online and then read the comments.
Commissions
Communication & Marketing
Getting Funding for your Art / a Gallery / an Exhibition 

Artquest provides five audio guides to artists paying their bills and getting their artwork together
Displaying your Art

Art Economy 

Art Materials

Techies

  • Try putting https://www.facebook.com/messages/other/ in your URL line and see what comes up. You may find a lot of messages you didn't know you'd received! Why do some messages end up in this "other" folder? I've no idea! Thanks to Cathy Johnson for the tip.

and finally.......

I came across a post which highlighted this chap - who has been drawing pictures on his kids sandwiches for years and years - and of course photographing them all! Now  he's got  1,111 photos, 1 video and 524,793 views

Plus a feature on the Flickr blog - Dad illustrates kids sandwich bags with imaginative drawings
and a feature on the Sharpie blog - David Laferriere

So there you go - fame starts with a Sharpie marker and a plastic bag...................

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Is my artist statement done?

I like this Infographic Is my artist statement done? about working out whether or not your Artist Statement is both completed and accessible.

I've added this resource for artists into What should an Artist's Statement contain? on my website Art Business Info for Artists
Is my artist statement done?
Is my Artist Statement done?
Designed by Dana Jeri Maier
Browse more infographics.

[NOTE: Who's made a mark this week will be tomorrow]


Friday, April 26, 2013

Who painted this? #26

Six months completed of this challenge and it continues to bring new people on board each week!

Who is this handsome chap and which artist drew him?

Who painted this? #26

How to participate in "Who painted this? #26"


PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know

Who Painted This #25 - The Answer

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013: Call for Entries

The UK's Largest & Longest Running Drawing Competition


On Monday this week, the 'Call for Entries' for The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013 was published.
the Jerwood Drawing Prize has established a reputation for its commitment to championing excellence and exploring the boundaries of contemporary drawing practice within the UK.
It focuses on:
  • UK based artists - both emerging and more established artists
  • recognising the range and diversity in contemporary drawing practice
  • celebrating excellence in drawing as demonstrated by contemporary artists
It was established in 1994 to promote excellence in drawing practice in the UK and is now in its 19th year and is the largest and longest running OPEN Drawing Competition - and exhibition - in the UK.

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 Second Prize - Ta - iL 28, Bada Song
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012
Second Prize - Ta - iL 28, Bada Song
Some people might be surprised by what the Competition counts as drawing. In 2010 I wrote a post about Contemporary Drawing Practice in response to some comments on this blog.
Exploring the boundaries of contemporary drawing practice in the UK
Details of the 'Call for Entries' are below - along with all the links to the relevant information you need if you would like to think about and/or enter one or more of your drawings in the competition.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BP Portrait Award 2013 - The Shortlist

This year, in a change from previous years, only two artists have been shortlisted for the £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2013 and both have painted portraits of sons and daughters.

Notably both paintings show full figures and not just heads or heads and upper torso alone and it's blatantly obvious that the artist knows the sitter(s).  I'm speculating that we may be calling this the year of the return to the truly observational painting - from life.  Those aspiring to enter next year's competition should take note!  These key points about the nature of the portrait required for this competition are ones I highlighted in my Call for Entries post back in December (see BP Portrait Award 2013: Call for Entries)

Artists shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award

In previous years we have had four artists shortlisted for the first three prizes plus the Young Artists Award.

However this year the prize money has been redistributed so that the first prize money has been increased and the Third Prize has been eliminated.  This means the prizes for the BP Portrait Award are now as follows:
  • BP Portrait Award Winner -  £30,000 cash prize a commission worth £5,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
  • BP Portrait Award Runner up - £10,000 
  • Young Artist Award - £7,000
  • BP Travel Award 2013 - £6,000
Those in the running for the Young Artist Award (for the work of a selected artist aged between 18 and 30) and the BP Travel Award will find out at the Awards Evening on 18 June who the winner is.  This makes sense to me as in recent years as it's usually been possible to tell who is the winner of the Young Artist Award in advance purely on the basis of age!

As always the panel of judges saw all the original paintings entered. The jury for the awards were:
  • Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair)
  • David Dawson, Painter and Photographer
  • Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery
  • Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary
  • Ali Smith, Author
  • Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts & Culture, BP
Both the artists shortlisted for the 2013 BP Portrait Award 2013 have painted their children. They are:
  • John Devane for The Uncertain Time and 
  • Susanne du Toit for Pieter.

John Devane - The Uncertain Time

'The Uncertain Time
1720 x 2490mm, oil on canvas
© John Devane

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2013 - Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for the 26th year of The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition - the top open watercolour competition in the UK - has been published.
the competition celebrates all works produced in water-based mediums, whether abstract or figurative, contemporary or traditional.
This prestigious competition is one of the top art competitions in the UK and is open to both amateur and professional artists who are invited to compete for prizes worth a total of £18,000.

Viewing the 2012 Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 
at the Mall Galleries, September 2012
This post tells you about:
  • who can enter
  • what you can enter
  • the time table
  • the exhibition
The deadline for submissions 5pm on the 10 June 2013.

Read on to find out more about:
  • how to enter the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
  • where you can see the Exhibition in London and around the UK .
I've listed my blog posts about this competition in the last FIVE years at the end of this post.  Click the exhibition reviews to see the calibre of entries selected for previous exhibitions.

Entry for the 2013 competition is ONLINE.

Artists are invited to submit up to four works.

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Prizes

The prestige value of The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is in part due to value of the top prize prize available.  £10,000 goes to the person who wins first prize.

Prizes in 2013 include:
  • 1st Prize (£10,000),
  • 2nd Prize (£6,000),
  • the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize (£1,500), and
  • the Vintage Classics Prize for Cover Art (£500 and a commission to create the cover art for a Vintage Classic).

Who can submit entries

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Art Exhibitions in London: April - June 2013

This is my second monthly blog post about Art Exhibitions in London - ones on now and ones coming up.  This post broadly covers a three month period from April - June 2013.

The exhibitions highlighted are:
  • major exhibitions in major art galleries and museums in LONDON. (Plus other places if I have the time).
  • major art competition exhibitions - typically those which are listed in my page on Major UK Art Competitions in 2013
  • major art society exhibitions 

The Guitar Player (c. 1670-1672) by Johannes Vermeer
Oil on canvas, Height: 53 cm (20.9 in). Width: 46.3 cm (18.2 in)
Collection: Kenwood House
This painting is moving to the National Gallery
for the Vermeer and music exhibition.
Major Art Galleries and Museums in the UK

Courtauld Gallery

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN


Dulwich Picture Gallery

Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD
A major exhibition to watch out for later in the year is Whistler in London

Friday, April 19, 2013

Who painted this? #25

Who painted this? #25
You probably need to try and work out where this is and what time of year it is.  There's a few clues so take a good look!

How to participate in "Who painted this? #25"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know

Who Painted This #24 - The Answer

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interviews with RHS Botanical Art Gold Medal Winners

Every year I go to the RHS Botanical Art Show and every year I try to interview all the Botanical Artists who won Gold Medals.


Key themes


The key themes for me this year were very evident very quickly
  • The first is the perennial one - which is that Gold Medal Winning botanical artwork ALWAYS stands out.  For those aspiring to win Gold it's worth reflecting on what it takes for your artwork to be "stand out".  Often it's a clear and consistent theme which looks good on the display panels and doesn't look like anybody else's work.
  • First time exhibitors do win Gold Medals.  In this instance 50% went to first timers.  I suggested in my last post that feedback from the RHS suggested that aming for a Gold Medal Standard for your first entry is absolutely essential if you want to exhibit more than once!
  • Painting flowers nicely isn't enough. There's a clear and strong botanical science theme running through the stories of many of the new Gold Medal Winners.  Dissection and the portrayal of the complete plant and life cycle should be high on the agenda of any aspiring Gold Medal winner
  • Personal connections with plants they were portraying came through strongly with a number of the gold medal winners.  You've got to at the very least love the plant you paint!
  • a number of artists made a point of highlighting how much they owe to their teacher.  It's certainly worthwhile making sure you get top instruction if you are able to.
  • you don't have to be good at everything but you generally need to be good at something in addition besides painting!  That might be plant collection - or finding a good grower, great presentation or great dissection. Keep adding to your repertoire and you strengthen your case to win a Gold.
  • I think Fabriano should be sponsoring a prize at this show given the number of times their paper gets a mention!

The other thing to note is how many of the gold Medallists are first timers.  They're listed below by order of surname.

Gülnar Ekşi


Plants from the forests and woods of Chile 
GOLD MEDAL 2013 awarded to Gülnar Ekşi GM
ccopyright: images - Gülnar Ekşi; photo - Katherine Tyrrell
Gülnar Eksi GM is from Turkey and is currently completing her PhD in Botany at Ankara University.

All her paintings have been sold to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh - and they are to be published in a book about Plants from the Woods and Forests of Chile 

She commented that the feedback she had from the judges suggested they particularly liked the colour she had achieved and the three dimensional quality of her paintings.

I asked Gülnar what materials she used.
Her paper is Fabriano 5.  For her absolutely stunning pinks she uses Winsor & Newton Colours and in particular Permanent Rose, Opera Rose, Permanent Magenta and Alizarin Crimson.

She showed me an area of leaf shine and said she never ever lifts paint out. She never paints the area and then just uses water to blur the edges

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Other prizewinners at the SBA Annual Exhibition 2013

Every year the Society of Botanical Artists awards Certificates of Botanical Merit to those whose work is judged outstanding in terms of strict botanical illustration.  Other artists are highly commended for their artwork with respect to the Joyce Cuming Award

Certificate of Botanical Merit


The eight artists who this year were awarded Certificates of Botanical Merit are listed below.  There are links in the names of artists who have websites or a page about them on the SBA website.  If the artwork is on their website I have also linked to that as well

Name
Title
No.
Karen L Bailey AssocSBA
Agapanthus umbellatus ‘Albus’ Seed head
24
Gill Cann AssocSBA
Chinese Lanterns
102
Veltheimia bracteata Forest Lily
197
Rheum
253
Asako Kuwajima SBA
Prunus x yedoensis
377
Robert McNeill Assoc SBA
Abies koreana ‘Carron’
445
Sally Pond DipEGS(Dist)
Brambles
514
Acanthus
570


You can see photographs of some of the award-winning work below.  However, I cannot emphasise enough that photographing the work in no way does it justice!  I'm not sure why (very bright lighting?) but for some reason I'm having a lot of problems processing my photographs this year so that the colour is even back to the colours seen in the exhibition.

The only way to appreciate botanical artwork properly is to visit the Annual Exhibition - which is at Central Hall Westminster until Sunday 21st April. (Admission free)

Agapanthus umbellatus ‘Albus’ Seed head
watercolour (£225)
© Karen L Bailey
Rheum
watercolour and graphite (£1,375)
© Norma Gregory
Norma Gregory is a Fellow of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society. She also won
Norma is a natural history artist who only started doing botanical art in 2006. She won her very first Gold Medal the same year which is some feat! Norma's display was all about roots and root vegetables. I'm always very drawn to those who display the less showy parts of plants and Norma had a really great series of paintings about roots - I absolutely loved the rhubarb (see above)!
Brambles Watercolour © Sally Pond
Brambles
Watercolour (£500)
© Sally Pond
Sally says this about her painting on her website
This painting illustrates the abstract qualities of a bare, winter, bramble hedge. It shows the fierce strength of the thorns and the subtle colour and arc of the canes, finding a stark beauty in the leafless hegderow.
Abies koreana 'Carron' 
watercolour (£5,500)
© Robert McNeill Assoc SBA

Robert McNeill won a Certificate of Merit for his Abies Koreana 'Carron' in addition to the Suzanne Lucas Memorial Award.

This is his third botanical painting in watercolour.  Apparently the tree - which is a a fir native to the higher mountains of South Korea - grows in his garden in Scotland.  It's a composite of angles which does not look like a composite, however each angle demonstrates the twisted growth pattern of the leaves along each shoot.


Highly Commended for the Joyce Cuming Award

The other Award which attracts name recognition is the Highly Commended status in relation to the Joyce Cuming Award

Name
Title
No.
Julia Blower
Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’
66
Ripening Date
173
Ornamental Corn
178
Shoo-Fly Plant
403
Greater Reedmace
470
Akiko Sato
Pokeweed
560
Honeysuckle with male ruby-throated Hummingbird
672


Here are images of some of the works which were highly commended

Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’ by Julia Blower
Chrysanthemum ‘Tom Pearce’
Watercolour (£800)
©  Julia Blower

Phoenix dactylifera - Ripening Dates
watercolour (£450)
©  Shevaun Docherty DipSBA (Dist.), Assoc SBA
The dates back to when Shevaun was living in Egypt - which is when I first got to hear from her two years ago - see Botanical Art under fire (about botanical art while a revolution is going on outside the window).  Since then she has moved back to Ireland, gained her Diploma in Botanical Illustration with Distinction in 2012 and this year has been busy with other botanical artists in Ireland starting the Irish Society of Botanical Artists.

Pokeweed
watercolour (£700)
©  Akiko Sato 


Julie Whelan with President Vickie Marsh standing next to her Highly Commended Work
Honeysuckle with male ruby-throated Hummingbird

watercolour (£330)
©  Julie Whelan

Julie has a wonderful take on the Language of Flowers - and the role birds play in pollination which she explains on her blog.

One more blog post will complete this year's review of the Annual Exhibition which continues until Sunday at Westminster Central Hall - opposite Westminster Abbey - until Sunday, 21 April 2013. It's free to enter and is open every day between 11am to 5pm including Sundays.

2013 Exhibition Links:

Makingamark's Botanical Art Resources

Monday, April 15, 2013

15th April 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

For any of you who missed this post in the first week of April - Making A Mark notches up 2 million visits !  This blog has also had well over 3 million page views.

Thank you all for reading my blog! :)

[Note: this was supposed to be yesterday's blog post and then I heard the awful news about the bombs in Boston and couldn't settle to finishing this - so there will be two posts today!]

On to the feature item this week..........

Those who enjoy Maggie Smith in her roles over the years - and latterly in Downton Abbey - might like to know that she has now been painted for the nation by one of my ex-tutors James Lloyd.  You can now see a contemporary portrait of her in everyday dress - out of character - in Room 35 in the Ground floor Lerner Contemporary Galleries at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Admission free.
Dame Margaret Natalie ('Maggie') Smith by James Lloyd
© National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6955)
Oil on canvas, 1902 x 1202mm (74 7/8 x 47 3/8 inches)
commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery
with the support of J.P. Morgan
through the Fund for New Commissions, 2012
It is a large canvas but I don’t think it’s flashy. I was after a certain understated grandeur. The background is quite stark, and apart from the patterned floor there is little colour bar the neutral greys and browns. This directs the concentration on to the warm flesh tones of the face. And with a face and character like Dame Maggie Smith’s that’s definitely more than enough
I learnt that Dame Maggie had been reluctant to have her portrait painted in the past, and at my first meeting with her, her opening words were, “Poor you”. This was quite the opposite from my own feelings, and everyone to whom I mentioned the commission was extremely envious (I lost count of the number of people who offered to make tea during the sittings!)’.

James Lloyd

Artists and Art Blogs


Art on Television

Here in the UK we've recently had insights into two diverse artists - and I can't quite believe I'm writing about the two of them in the same sentence!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ten Top Tips for winning an RHS Gold Medal for Botanical Art

Would you like to win a Gold Medal for your Botanical Art?
  • Have you ever wondered whether your artwork is good enough to submit to the RHS Botanical Art Exhibition
  • Have you got the stage where you've started to wonder about the logistics of what's involved in submitting an entry?
If the answer to any of these is 'Yes" read ON - and you'll learn a thing or two - or ten!

I paid two visits on Friday and Saturday to the RHS Botanical Art Exhibition at the RHS Lindley Hall on Friday and Saturday.

I met eight ladies who had all won RHS Gold Medals - you can see images of some of them and their work below.  In this and my next post I'm going to be sharing what I learned - starting with...

10 Top Tips for Winning an RHS Gold Medal for Botanical Art


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Prizewinners at Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition 2013

I attended the Private View of the 28th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists on Thursday and since then it's been back to back botanical art - because just down the road we've also had the RHS Botanical Art Exhibition - with eight Gold Medal Winners!

I'm just about to start writing up the exhibitions visited and artists I've spoken to in the last three days - but given the fact I'm still suffering from the 3rd attack of the dreaded lurgy this might be a bit slow.
  • I'm starting with this post which will focus on the prizewinners and those demonstrating over the next week.
  • There will be a follow up post about the exhibition generally and highlighting those who got Certificates of Botanical Merit and were Highly Commended
  • I'm also probably doing a couple of posts on the RHS Show simply because the art was fabulous and the tips about how to get a gold medal were just as good!

Society of Botanical Art - 2013 Awards

Vickie Marsh led the Awards ceremony.  This is her last year as President of the SBA.

The theme of this year's exhibition is "The Language of Flowers" is being held at its normal venue - Westminster Central Hall - opposite Westminster Abbey - until Sunday, 21 April 2013. It's free to enter and is open every day between 11am to 5pm including Sundays.

SBA President Vickie Marsh at the Awards Ceremony
Below are the people who won major awards in this year's exhibition.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Who painted this? #24

I'm immersed in botanical art exhibitions right now so it seemed appropriate to make this week's image a specimen of botanical art.  Especially since I listed intently to a lovely lady from South Africa tell me this afternoon how difficult it is to paint the stems of this type of plant!

I think you might need to work out what this is before you start looking!

Who painted this? #24

How to participate in "Who painted this? #24"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer
  • search using words only on a database of images
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer
  • if wrong it will be published
  • do not leave the answer on Facebook!
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know

Who Painted This #23 - The Answer

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour - Annual Exhibition

The Mall Galleries were packed with people this afternoon when I arrived to review the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.  This exhibition has always been very popular with the provincial art societies whose members arrive in droves - on coaches!  I gather the exhibition has been busy all week.

I very much recommend a visit to anybody interested in watercolour painting. The exhibition continues until next Thursday 18 April 2013 ( 10am to 5pm) and this upcoming Saturday promises to be very busy with artists in the gallery and a brushmaker demonstrating his craft!

Below is a photograph of John Yardley RI who was a very popular demonstrator today.  John has been painting full time as a professional artist since 1986 and was elected to the RI in 1990.  You can see his work in quite a few galleries besides the Mall Galleries - but you can also some of his work below.

John Yardley RI with his demonstration painting
Works by John Yardley
The exhibition is large and full of paintings of great quality.  I always associate the RI with being the society which does "proper watercolour" ever since the RWS started showing rather more works in acrylic.  However this year the RWS Spring Exhibition surprised me by a very clear emphasis on watercolour - and the RI surprised me yesterday with more works in acrylic than I'm used to seeing.  Apparently I wasn't the only person who made this comment.

For me, acrylic is fine in a watercolour exhibition - so long as all the work is on paper and the acrylic is used as per watercolour and gouache ie no impasto elements.  Some were very impressive. While I thought a few which I thought were getting a bit close to the edge on that definition.

That said I saw much more evidence of all the different ways you can work with watercolour in this exhibition than I did at the RWS (Leslie Worth excepted).

Below you can find some more pictures of the exhibition, followed by a list of the prizewinners and details of further events.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

POLL: What is the most difficult subject to paint?

We all have our favourite subject when it comes to making art - but which subjects do you find most difficult to paint?

There are views expressed from time to time about:
There are also cultures and countries where certain subject matter is very much favoured and/or where other subject matter is forbidden.

However we don't often hear about what people find difficult to paint and/or why they avoid certain subjects when creating art

Then there's the whole question of whether all artwork is a challenge and therefore difficult to paint!  Plus there's a whole raft of specifics such as painting 'atmosphere' or 'reflections' which some artists find difficult or too much of a challenge which I'm going to leave for another day.

One of my reasons for asking is I have a theory relating to subject matter - which I can't tell you about until we get to the results stage.  You can try guessing what it is if you like!

What is the most difficult subject to paint?


Your options for subject matter are:
  • anything and everything
  • abstract (no recognisable subject)
  • metaphorical / symbolic
  • narrative - story is main focus
  • landscape / cityscape 
  • still life
  • botanical / floral
  • animals / wildlife
  • people - portraits
  • people - groups of figures
The poll ignores media, size and stylistic approach.

The Making A Mark Poll for April is in the right hand column.  It runs until the early morning of the last day of April and will hopefully be reported the same day.

Do please comment on:
  • the reasons why you avoid painting certain subjects.
  • your views about why subject matter has changed over the years and what some of the reasons for this might be.
Here's what I would dearly love to be able to draw - but due to problems with what my eyes can cope with/see I'm totally unable to do so at the moment - until my eyes are fixed.  Roll on June!

a favourite subject - which is too difficult to contemplate
until I have new eyes!

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