Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Kathryn Maple wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014

Winner of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014Fatboys Diner by Kathryn Maple88cm x 64cm (dimensions from her website)
Kathryn Maple, age 25, has won the £10,000 first prize in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014

The best view you can get of Kathryn Maple's winning entry - "Fatboys Diner" - is if you click on the image on the STWC Facebook Page - because then you get a really big image which shows you all the calligraphy and mark-making in this painting

This is what Louise Wise, Critic & Writer at The Sunday Times and one of the judges. had to say about the winner
"Maple’s astonishing work looks as if it was conceived in the Deep South, but Fat Boy’s is, in fact, a cafe right by where she works, in Trinity Buoy Wharf, far out in east London. She even has lunch there sometimes. Maple, from Maidstone, Kent, is fond of the “odd and out of place in life”, and this slice of Americana in E14 fits the bill. The work is large enough (116cm x 86cm), but small by her standards; she builds each painting up by layering over time and, as this picture shows, is happy to use watercolours in a variety of ways."
I have to say this varied use of watercolour in different ways is one of the things which I identified when producing the list of selected artists - and their associated websites (see Selected Artists - Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2014).

Her particular way of painting reminds me of two prominent and well regarded artists - both of which I like.
I think - but can't tell yet - that there's a certain amount of printing with watercolour in the painting.  The reverse of frottage but I can't remember the term.

To me, it also looks very like a sketchbook painting which has been removed from the sketchbook - because there's something a crease down the middle.  There again it might be two pieces of watercolour paper joined together.  However the same image on her website certainly suggests the former. If true, I think that's splendid, because it very much legitimises the watercolour artist who observes from life and paints plein air and then submits their work for assessment via an art competition such as this one.

The runner up and winner of the £6,000 second prize was Danny Markey

Monday, September 01, 2014

Wildlife Artist of the Year - Call for Entries

Click to see a larger version of this competition flyer
The Wildlife Artist of the Year 2015 art competition has issued its call for entries. This is its 8th year and the competition is now accepting submissions until February 13th 2015 for its annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

This is a well known and reputable art competition run by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Its purpose is to raise funds for save endangered wildlife. It is a competition which attracts entries from both well-known professional wildlife artists and newcomers and amateurs. Emerging artists aged between 17 and 25 years old get a category all to themselves!

The competition culminates in a very popular week long exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London between 29th June - 4th July 2015. All profits are donated to support wildlife conservation.
Every year the competition gets better and better and the amount we raise to save endangered wildlife increases. It is such a thrill for me to know that so many share my passion for art and for wildlife.
David Shepherd CBE

Categories for entries

Below are the formal categories for entries. Note in particular that, apart from the wildlife portrait categories all artwork can include can include landscapes, flora & fauna.

There's also a special plea from the website to remember not to forget British Wildlife.  It doesn't all have to be wildlife on dusty plains in Africa!
  • Endangered Wildlife – threatened on endangered (as determined by the current IUCN Red List see http://www.iucnredlist.org/)
  • Wildlife in 3D – sculpture in any medium
  • Wildlife in Monochrome – in tones of any one colour
  • Wildlife Portraits – where any wild animal(s) features as the main focus
  • Wild World – any scene or landscape showing the natural environment
  • Original Prints – drawn from one or several plates, conceived and executed entirely by hand by the same artist*  Check the website for the very precise definition of a print.
  • Contemporary Wildlife – challenging traditional boundaries
  • Young & Wild – open to 17-25 year olds covering all the above categories
  • Silver Artist – open to over 60 year olds covering all the above categories
You can view the artwork selected for exhibition in 2014


The Winner gets a very significant cash prize
  • Overall Winner £10,000 cash prize and title 'Wildlife Artist of the Year 2015'
  • Overall Runner-Up £1,000 cash prize.
  • Remaining Category Winners £500 each.

These were the prizewinners in 2014. Click the link in the title to see the artwork. Click the link in the name to see more artwork by this wildlife artist
You can see all the winning artworks in this article by The Guradian

Deadlines for entries

The closing date is 13th February 2015

Who can submit?

This is an international open competition. It regularly attracts entries from overseas. Entry is open to eligible submissions from:
  • both amateur and professional artists. No distinction is made in the judging for the relative status of the artist.
  • artists aged 17 years or over (ie 17 years of age by the closing date – 13th February 2015).

What can you submit?

These are the terms and conditions for entries

You can submit:
  • work completed within the last five years by the entrant
  • original work 
  • multiple entries
  • any medium except photography and film
NOTE that artists using exact reference from another professional artist or photographer MUST have prior written permission from the copyright owner. Source material and proof of permission to use MUST be made available on request by the judges.

You CANNOT submit: work completed before 13th February 2010 is ineligible for entry and cannot be submitted
  • Work which is not original to the artist
  • work which has been sold - either before entry or before the exhibition. The whole purpose of the exhibition is to raise fund to help protect endangered wildlife
  • photographs, video or electronic images - they will all be disqualified

How do you submit

Entry is online or via the post.  Your artwork should be submitted as a JPEG digital image via the digital entry form or should be burned to a CD. They recommend
  • a minimum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels
  • a file size not exceeding 6MB.
  • all files must have an easily identifiable name eg your surname followed by title of art artwork

What does it cost to enter

There are three price levels for entries
  • Entry for DSWF members is £10 
  • Entry for all others £25 per entry except the young and old (see next line)
  • Entry for the Young & Wild ((17 – 25 year olds) and Silver Artist (over 60s) categories is also £10 

More about Wildlife Artist of the Year in previous years

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Florum Exhibition 2014

Below is a list of the artists who have been invited to show their artwork at the Florum exhibition which opens on Saturday after a private view next Friday night. I'm one of them!

Florum website - my drawing is top right

The aims of the exhibition are:

Florum invites some of the UK's most celebrated botanical artists, as well as artists working in freestyle, mixed media, printmaking and jewellery.

List of Invited Artists

Each artist's name contains a link to their website or a site related to the artist

Saturday, August 30, 2014

BBC Four Goes Abstract in September

This autumn there's going to be a series of programmes about abstract art on BBC4.  The programmes are:

The Rules Of Abstraction with Matthew Collings, BBC Four 

(90 minutes) Mon 8 Sep 2014 22:00 BBC Four
The programme examines the development and rise of abstract art and how it became prominent in the art world. The primary argument put forward by Collings is that abstraction is the key artistic story of the 20th century.
Matthew Collings is a painter and critic. 
Documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years, whilst trying to answer a set of basic questions that many people have about this often-baffling art form. How do we respond to abstract art when we see it? Is it supposed to be hard or easy? When abstract artists chuck paint about with abandon, what does it mean? Does abstract art stand for something or is it supposed to be understood as just itself?
Matthew Collings

The Russian Revolutionary: Zaha Hadid on Kazimir Malevich, BBC Four

Zaha Hadid - a leading architect of global renown - first became interested in the works of Russian abstract artist Kazimir Malevich in the 1970s and has subsequently identified him as an inspiration. The film looks at how his art has influenced her architecture.

Zaha Hadid RA on the influence of Malevich in her work, Plane sailing By Zaha Hadid Published 22 July 2014 (Royal Academy of Arts Magazine

Malevich is at the Tate Modern, London until 26 October 2014.

Abstract Artists In Their Own Words, BBC Four

The focus is on artists speaking about their art - complemented by contributions from both experts and admirers of abstract art. This is a film which includes archive footage of:
  • a landmark 1961 BBC film profiling Barbara Hepworth
  • an episode of Arena in which the painter John Hoyland works on an entire painting over the course of six days.
  • a Nationwide film in which Anthony Caro discusses his work with a group of students who have been mistakenly using a sculpture as a bike rack.
  • Plus new interviews with leading contemporary abstract painters - Howard Hodgkin, Gillian Ayres and Fiona Rae.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My frames have arrived - I'm waxing tonight!

Sitting on my floor, in masses of bubble wrap and cling film, are seven bespoke tulip wood frames and mounts for the drawing for my upcoming exhibition. Yesterday they left Picture Frames of Shaftesbury and this morning they arrived, via ParcelForce, at my home at 11.30am.  Thanks to both companies for getting the delivery to me quickly!

Which means I'll be having a quiet wax this evening as the wood is unfinished and I like to wax my own frames. I was going to put a wash on them but I really like the tulip wood colour so I think I'll leave them "as is"

Two of the seven tulip wood bespoke frames with hayseed mounts by Pictureframes.co.uk

I went for the tulip wood because it was the most neutral colour and also because that then makes it most receptive to a thin paint finish if that's what I decided to go for. I'm quite partial to a thin paint being rubbed into wood to provide a hint of colour. I'm also very partial to very neutral tones of paint with names like "bone" and "corset"!

I chose to use the Hayseed mount which again is a very neutral colour - neither stark white nor cream, more along the lines of an understated ivory with laid finish (like Ingres paper).

Renaissance wax tubI'll be writing more about the frames once they're unpacked, the images have been inserted and the D rings attached!

You can find out more about the wax I'll be using on the wood frames this evening on Making A Mark Reviews - see Product Review - Renaissance micro-crystalline wax polish.
Summary: A refined wax polish designed and formulated by the British Museum for the long term conservation and protection of museum exhibits. This product is now a universally respected standard conservation material because of its high quality and wide scope for use.

Other posts about frames and framing

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