That said I still need to work on timing - this was supposed to be published last Sunday - but I ran out of steam near the finish! Which means it's about May and now the first few days of June as well!
- I can't start without noting that last month marked the passing of Robert Genn. He was an artist whose writings have made a very great deal of difference to an awful lot of artists. His dog Dorothy died on May 13th and Robert Genn died just two weeks later on May 27th. It seems like they'll always be together riding around in his open top car looking for good spots for paintings.
- Robin Lee-Hall has been elected as the President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Her portraits are painted using egg tempera.
|Portraits by Robin Lee-Hall PRP|
|Fiona Strickland Botanical Artist - Facebook Page|
- Fans of Fiona Strickland's botanical art will want to know she has joined Facebook. This is her Facebook Page.
- Congrats to Shevaun Doherty (Botanical Sketches and Other Stories) who won a Gold Medal at the second annual Botanical and Floral Art Exhibition at Dublin's Bloom in the Park 2014.
|Shevaun Doherty - Gold Medal Winner for her Iris foetidissima on vellum|
Drawing and Sketching
- Brilliant sketch by Jennifer Lawson who recently walked 500 miles across Spain in 35 days on the Camino de Santiago - one of the pilgrimage routes - and sketched en route and photographed and blogged via her iPhone. She started at Jean-Pied-de-Port France at the base of the Pyreness on April 24th and finished at Santiago de Compostela
- You can read all about her journey during April and May on her blog - Jennifer Lawson carrying all her belongings on her back. Start at El Camino di Santiago—500 miles in 35 days. En route admire the sketches she left en route - "art abandonment"
- Her wonderful drawing of the Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela is the one of the reasons why somebody invented accordion sketchbooks!
- I've made a video - at long last - which represents a very quick insight into what happens when you decide to use your iPad Mini on the spur of the moment and how I hold my pencil when sketching! See VIDEO: Sketching with coloured pencils #1 (for the extra pics and commentary) or Makingamark - Sketching with coloured pencils for just the video but bigger! Plus you get all the sounds of a garden in the country....
Painting & Plein Air
- Jacksons Art Blog has an interview with Haidee-Jo, Plein Air Painter of the Moment. That's Haidee-Jo Summers who's been at Patchings all week with bunting and fairy lights, meeting lots of people, booking lots of demos and enjoying the fact that her painting of a boat with a big red sail won THREE prizes - including The Artist Purchase Prize - chosen by Ken Howard! Read Oh My Goodness on her blog Haidee-Jo Summers
|Haidee Jo Summers with her painting 'Sails up in harbour'|
- I started to make some notes about Susan Abbott's plein air painting for this post - and they end up as a blog post on The Art of the Landscape instead - see Susan Abbott - sketching and painting plein air
- News from Matthew Inness at Underpaintings - of a change in site and operation - to a subscription service. I Don't Know Why You Say Good-Bye . . . I Say Hello! New Changes at Underpaintings Just stop and think for a minute about what would happen if everybody who has something interesting to say started to charge for it............ I'll be interested to see whether he gets the numbers to make it a worthwhile change. Speaking personally I support sites which share a large amount for free and only charge for very specific products. So I guess that means I won't be sending any more traffic to Underpaintings.
- James Gurney (Gurney Journey) wrote recently about Color temperature in the shadow out-of-doors - it's always nice to understand the science behind what you see.
- Who knew Eisenhower was a painter? Or that painting was his form of relaxation as he planned the D Day Landings? See Eisenhower painting done as he planned D-day landings to be sold
- Congrats to Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) for getting her ducks in to the Birds in Art competition exhibition - Birds in Art 2014! Love the title!
|"Shower With a Friend" © Sherrie York|
reduction linocut, 15" x 15"
- I started a set of posts about favourite art books (see Making a mark - Artists' Favourite Art Books in 2014 and Favourite art instruction books about subjects you draw and paint - but then the layouts for my book started arriving so I'm going to wait until my book is finished and gone to print!
Art Business and Marketing
- Many people dream but few people actually make the step of becoming a full time artist. Lisa Call, a textile artist left her job as a full time software engineer working in CRM (customer relationship management) for a gigantic software company three weeks ago. She is now a full time professional artist who creates art, does art fairs, teaches, blogs about the art business and selling art and makes sure she finds time to take care of herself. So how exactly does that all work..........?
- In Quitting and Money – the details we want to know but we’re too polite to ask Lisa explains her "build on the side" approach and her approach to money management.
- In Spending Time – what are you doing this week? Lisa has tried to identify the time blocks for doing things which actually generate income?
- Plus one of her workshops which she teaches is called Get Your Art Business running smoothly with Systems - this is where being a software engineer comes in handy! ;)
Art Fairs - the nitty gritty
- One of the other things Lisa does is share with us how to market yourself and what it can cost - see, for example ACC Baltimore – The Cost which relates to her trip and stand at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore in February.
- This is not a post specifically for artists - but it's very relevant to all artists who aim to use their email lists for marketing their art - Are You Damaging Your Email List with These 11 Rookie Mistakes?
A couple of reminders about basic facts re. copyright
- Plagiarism Today has a post about 5 copyright terms which people need to stop using incorrectly
- while the Copyright and Fair use page of Stanford Law Libraries has a post about Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors
- Both sparked by renewed online interest in my post last year about Lisa Congdon - Copyright for Artists - Lisa Congdon artwork. I don't quite know what's going on to trigger the interest - maybe a new case which is referencing it? (Gone are the days when we had stats which told us why a blog post generated interest!)
- VAT for non-UK artists and UK exhibition organisers - VAT for those who don't live in the UK or who organise exhibitions with international artists is now a bit a minefield following a recent change in regulations which now discriminates against the international artist.
The order of posts below are from deadline for entries to exhibitions for various major art competitions in the UK.
Call for Entries
- This is my annual post about The Threadneedle Prize 2014 - what's changed and how to enter
- Deadlines tis month for art competitions are as follows:
- The final shortlist for the John Ruskin Prize 2014 has been announced.
- You can attend the heats of The Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year- this is the list of where the heats are being held- and I'm kicking myself because the London heats were last week. Did anybody go?
Exhibitions relating to art competitions and juried entries to open exhibitions
- The exhibition for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Wildlife Artist of the Year 2014 Competition (DS WAY) was held at the Mall Galleries this week 3 June - Saturday 7 June. You can see:
- 2014 Wildlife Artist of the Year (185 items) - I'm noticing quite a few names which are to me and the absence of other names of artists who have often had work selected in the past. It also seems to me the mix of animals has changed.
- 2014 Wildlife Artist of the Year - Selected Not Hung (54 items)
Major Exhibitions in the UK
- Kenneth Clark - Looking for Civilisation is a new exhibition at Tate Britain: Exhibition 20 May – 10 August 2014. I've not seen it yet but am looking forward to it. You can see production shots and stills from the 1969 BBC TV series Civilisation here. Last week BBC2 had a very good programme Sir Kenneth Clark: Portrait of a Civilised Man - A Culture Show Special about Sir Kenneth Clark - the youngest ever Director of the National Gallery and the man who brought us "Civilisation" (I bet most of you are too young to have seen this!). This is a Telegraph article about Sir Kenneth Clark: the man who brought art to the masses. I think it's a great pity that the BBC programme was only on iPlayer for a week.
- On Tuesday, I went to the preview of Art and Life: Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, William Staite Murray, 1920 – 1931 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The exhibition opens on Wednesday to the public and continues until 21 September 2014. This is a preview video of some of the art on show. This is my review of the exhibition - Winifred Nicholson at Dulwich Picture Gallery - which reflects that Winifred Nicholson was the only artist whose work interested me. I wasn't alone in this view (see the end of my post). I'm also of the view that dreadfully long titles for exhibitions should be banned!
- On Wednesday I went to a preview of the 246th Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts and this is my review - Summer Exhibition 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow.
- This is a BBC Arts Video - Tracey Emin's view of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
- This is a BBC New video about Two artists on their Royal Academy experience
- Methinks there are some power plays going on within the BBC since the latter does not appear on the new BBC Arts webpage......
- Dream, Draw, Work: Architectural Drawings by Norman Shaw is at the Royal Academy, London W1, until 14 September. There's a review in The Guardian - Exquisite and extreme: Richard Norman Shaw's architectural drawings
- This is my review of The Arrival of Spring - David Hockney's latest exhibition at at Annely Juda Fine Art
- Making Colour opens at the National Gallery, London on the 18th June and runs until 17th September. I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.
Journey from lapis lazuli to cobalt blue, ancient vermilion to bright cadmium red, through yellow, orange, purple and verdigris to deep green viridian – in a series of colour-themed rooms. Finally, enter a dazzling central room devoted to gold and silver.
- The exhibitions for the BP Portrait Award 2014 and BP Travel Award 2013 opens to the public on 26th June. Regular readers of this blog will know that my friends Sophie Ploeg won the BP Travel Award 2013 and has been preparing all year for the exhibition
Art Societies in the UK
- The Society of Botanical Artists had its Annual Exhibition in May and as usual I wrote more than one post!
- Prizewinners at the Society of Botanical Artist's Annual Exhibition 2014
- Certificates of Botanical Merit at SBA Annual Exhibition 2014
- What every art society needs - an exhibition shop
- This is my post and Review - 123rd Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. The staff and students at Heatherley's were well represented in the exhibition - see Heatherleys at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters 2014
- The Annual Exhibition of the Society of Pastel Artists opens to the public on Tuesday at the Mall Galleries with the Official Opening and Prize Giving at 6pm Monday 9th June by Professor Ken Howard OBE RA. The exhibition closes on Saturday 21 June, 4pm.
Major Exhibitions in the USA
- I wish I was in Washington this summer so I could go and see the Degas/Cassatt Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art (until October 5, 2014). There's a really great sideshow on the website page. Plus here are some of the reviews - which also contain more images from the exhibition
The complex and dynamic artistic relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt is fully examined for the first time in this exhibition of some 70 works in a variety of media.
- Exhibit shows Degas' and Cassatt's painterly influence on each other Los Angeles Times
- A Most Exquisite Exhibit: Degas/Cassatt at the National Gallery Huffington Post
- Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt: drawn together - by Sebastian Smee for the Boston Globe
- Friendship Was Their Medium New York Times
- The National Gallery of Art uncovers the true relationship between impressionists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas (and it wasn’t romantic) - Washington Post
- A major event in May was the fire at the Mackintosh Building - designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh - at the Glasgow School of Art (The school has produced most of Scotland's leading contemporary artists including, since 2005). Below are my posts about this horrible event. Work has now begun on the restoration. Expert stonemasons from Historic Scotland have begun to remove part of the Western Gable of the Mackintosh Building
- Major fire at Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art - A review of the fire at the Glasgow School of Art
- Mackintosh Building Fire Fund - which covers how you can contribute to the Restoration of the iconic Libary and the Phoenix Bursaries for those final year students whose degree shows perished in the fire
- It's been announced that the 1897-99 part of the building and the GSA Archives has survived intact. This includes the Director’s Office and Studio, Mackintosh Museum, Mackintosh Room, Board Room and Furniture Gallery.
- You can follow updates to what is happening to the school via The Glasgow School of Art Media Centre
- I don't know how many of you have already seen this but this is a very useful video by the RA on how to photograph your artwork (for submission to a competition)
- Apparently, according to The Telegraph - Artists no longer need to be able to paint or draw to be great. This was an argument made by Julia Peyton-Jones, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery and discussed by others on a panel at the Hay Book festival. I'm with the observations made by William Packer the art critic
Packer told an audience he was increasingly seeing artists finish years of training only to find they did not know how to draw properly.and
"What I find so depressing at the moment is that when one looks at so many people coming out of art schools now – even those who are brave enough to put up a painting – is how technically impoverished some of it is.
"This is the great problem that faces us. If you're going to become a ballet dancer it's unthinkable that you don't have to learn the steps first. Can you imagine an earnest violinist who thought the scales are terribly inhibiting?"
- This is my post about Women and Art I've been enjoying a set of three episodes charting important Women in Art on BBC4 and pulled together a set of links relating to women artists in the first episode. I'll be trying to follow this up for those identified in the next two episodes - if they are still available on BBC iPlayer.
- Turner is now a film - see "Mr Turner" - a new film about JMW Turner, however it won't be releaed until later this year. Looks good though
- This month I wrote about the OASC arrangements for Metropolitan Museum of Art Images. This allows access to high resolution images for all those with genuine educational intent.
- In Eye Candy for today: Hassam’s peach blossoms Charley Parker neatly demonstrates the quality of image now available to view.
Art Materials and Supplies
- I was appalled to hear that the Moleskine Sketchbooks have changed - but now it looks as if it might just be the wrapper - see Moleskine sketchbooks have changed - or have they?
- If you like looking at the art materials and tool kits used by other sketchers and artists take a look at Art Materials and Gear on Parkablogs
Art on Television and Video
- The new BBC Arts Website - The BBC launched a new BBC Arts Category online in May. I think they could do better.
- My Facebook Page announced it was updating automatically to a new look as of 20 June - whether I liked it or not. So I thought I'd take a look - you too can find out here if it's not happened to you as yet - Facebook: A Streamlined Look for Pages. It has of course halved the space for posts - into one column - because we all know what Facebook would like us to look at instead.
- More importantly, I've found posts on my Facebook Page simply disappearing. What's the point of a timeline when somebody else gets to edit it?
- Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Making site moves easier - This is a really useful prompt for those planning to move website content.
- This is Google's perspective on
- the fundamentals of Responsive Web Design
- Directing smartphone users to the page they actually wanted - and how they will label your website in Search if you haven't got to grips with accessibility by mobile devices
There is a multitude of different screen sizes across phones, “phablets”, tablets, desktops, game consoles, TVs, even wearables. Screen sizes will always be changing, so it’s important that your site can adapt to any screen size, today or in the future.
Round about the middle of May - and despite the fact I've been neglecting this blog while writing the book and getting the images together, this blog managed to generate over 500,000 pageviews in 4 months.
I'd like to say a very big THANK YOU to all the visitors to my blog
- to the new people who've not yet got round to touring through the archives!
- Plus those who keep coming back and let me know how much they appreciate this blog.