Thursday, January 21, 2021

Virtual tour – Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul

Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch - The Loneliness of the Soul was due to run 15 November 2020 — 28 February 2021 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
She’s been a major figure in contemporary art for over 25 years; he pioneered a radical new style known as Expressionism. In this landmark exhibition, Tracey Emin selects masterpieces by Edvard Munch to show alongside her most recent paintings.

Tracy Emin / Edvard Munch at the Royal Academy of Arts

It got caught by the second lockdown, then by the Tier 4 rules and then by the third lockdown. Bookings to see it have now been suspended given there is no obvious prospect of it opening before it is due to close.

It's also apparent that the RA is having to review its programme of exhibitions for 2021.
Following the announcement of a third lockdown, we have made the difficult decision to suspend ticket bookings for Tracey Emin: The Loneliness of the Soul. We are currently reviewing our programme of exhibitions for 2021 and will share more information as soon as we can.

I'm not sure but I think the Royal Academy of Arts may have changed its approach to Virtual Tours of its exhibitions. I've got a vague recollection of an online tour being available - but subject to a charge

Now you can see a video of the hung exhibition - for free - but you are invited to make a donation of £15 to the cost of the exhibition.

I like Munch and I know some people love Tracy Emin - but she's never been one of those artists I'd go out of my way to see. Nevertheless: 


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NEW £20,000 Portrait Prize + Last Call for Entries for Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2021

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters TODAY announced a BRAND NEW £20,000 PRIZE for Portraiture - BUT - and this is a big BUT - the deadline for entries is Monday 25th January 2021.

Portrait Artists Opportunities with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

NEW William Lock Portrait Prize

The NEW William Lock Portrait Prize awards £20,000 to the artist who submits 

the most timeless portrait with a real feeling for paint and its aesthetic potential
This pleases me enormously as it's rewarding people who can really PAINT - but is in no way prescriptive as to the type of paint to be used. I'm very sure it will be much appreciated by any number of other portrait painters.

This is a VERY new prize - it wasn't even listed in the prizes available by the Mall Galleries as of last Sunday!

In the absence of the BP Portrait Award it's also the best award available for a portrait selected from an exhibition in the UK in 2021.

As a result of the new prize the deadline for entries has been extended by a week to 25th January 2021.

The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries

Call for Entries - Annual Exhibition 2021 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters welcomes 

  • portrait paintings, drawings and original prints from artists over 18, 
  • from the UK and internationally 
  • to be shown alongside members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at their Annual Exhibition 
    • at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1Y 5BD 
    • 6 -15 May 2021 (COVID-allowing)
The DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES is 12 noon on Friday 25th January 2021.

Criteria for entries are summarised below:
    • Any artist over 18 may submit.
    • Note that artists accepted for exhibition will be invited to advertise portrait commissions through our Commissions department on which a commission will be payable.
  • MEDIUMS: All mediums aside from sculpture and photography are acceptable.
    • must have been completed in the last three years and 
    • not been exhibited in London previously.
    • Works must have a minimum sale price of £300. 
    • Works may be listed as not for sale – if your work is not for sale, please input the price as ‘NFS’ when prompted.
    • The price of works for sale must include 45% + VAT commission.
  • NUMBER: A maximum of three works can submitted for selected. It is possible for all three entries to be selected
  • SIZE: Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
  • ENTRY FEES: The submission fee is 
    • £20 per work for standard entries and 
    • £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under. 
    • This includes free admission to the exhibition (normally £4).
You can find out how to enter the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters on 
I was convinced I'd done the Call for Entries post for this year' annual exhibition - but apparently not! 
  • Maybe I was confused by the number of blog posts I did last September for the delayed annual exhibition!  
  • Then I thought maybe I didn't get a dedicated email about it and found that the only thing I received was a generic Mall Galleries update on 10th December......... 
  • so I'm now left wondering whether other painters are in the same boat??
In terms of my thoughts on the benefits of entering this open exhibition in the interests of a fast blog post I can only point you in the direction of LAST YEAR'S call for entries by me 

Awards by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

This open exhibition also offers other significant cash prizes 
  • The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture: £10,000 plus the Society’s Gold Medal awarded for the most distinguished portrait in the Society’s annual exhibition
  • The de Laszlo Foundation Award: £3,000 plus a Silver Medal for the most outstanding portrait by an artist aged 35 years or under
  • The Prince of Wales's Award for Portrait Drawing: £2,000 and framed certificate for a portrait in any recognised drawing medium
  • The RP Award: £2,000 will be awarded to the artist whose work best represents the year's chosen theme - which for 2021 is 'Childhood'. The judges will be looking for the most interesting and engaging interpretation of the idea of 'childhood' within the parameters of portraiture.
  • The RP Prize for the Best Small Portrait: A prize of £2,000 for the best small portrait in the exhibition, measuring not more than 38 x 30.5 cm (15 x 12 inches) unframed
  • The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award for Classically Inspired Portraiture: The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award, established by its founders William Bortrick and Mark Ayre in 2015, is presented for Classically Inspired Portraiture in the RP Annual Exhibition. It is presented each year with a certificate and a cheque for £2,000.
  • The Smallwood Architects Prize: £1,000 for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part

Monday, January 18, 2021

Young Artists Summer Show at the Royal Academy of Arts

Did you know that the Royal Academy of Arts has a Summer Show for young people?

No? Neither did I! 

Find out more about the show below and on the RA website

What's the purpose of the Young Artists' Summer Show?

Taking inspiration from the annual Summer Exhibition, the Young Artists’ Summer Show is an opportunity for young artists aged 5 - 19 years to exhibit their work online and on-site at the Royal Academy.

The project is generously supported by Robin Hambro, a passionate advocate for the importance of access to art, and the benefits of encouraging the arts, for children and young people.

Are there any prizes?

There are prizes each year (Take a look at the 2020 prize winning artworks)
  • for two inspiring artworks 
  • from each key stage
Award winners are chosen by the President of the Royal Academy.

The public can also vote for their favourite artwork in our annual People’s Choice Award. 

some of the artwork in the RA Young Artists Summer Show 2020

How to enter

Who can enter?

  • children and young people aged 5 - 19 studying in the UK and British schools overseas.
  • collaborative artwork entries are welcome - and and there is no limit to the number of students involved.

What can I enter?

  • Each student can submit up to three artworks of any type e.g. a painting, sculpture, photograph, installation or video piece. 
  • Your artwork can be made of any materials. 
  • There is no theme so artworks can be of any subject.

What does it cost to enter?

  • The competition is completely free.

How do I enter?

The entry process works as follows:

  • entry is online - you cannot submit artwork by post.
  • a teacher first needs to register your school
  • once that is done, artwork can be submitted 
    • by a teacher or parent/guardian if you are under 12
    • by the student if you are aged 13 or over

What do I need to submit?

You need to upload images of your artwork - with some text.

Images need to be 
  • files are 5MB or less
  • one of the following formats: JPG, PNG, GIF.
  • If you want to submit a file that is not a JPG, PNG or GIF, you can use a file converter website to change your file so it will upload.
You need to describe your artwork as follows:
  • title of the artwork
  • a description of what the work is about and why you made it

How selection works

Each artwork will be seen by a panel of judges - made up of panel of artists and art professionals. 
Everyone who submits artworks will hear from the RA by the end of May.

There are two sets of judges

  • one for artworks made by primary students and 
  • one for artworks made by secondary school students. 
When the judges make their selections, they choose where the artwork will be seen i.e.
  • which artworks will be shown online and 
  • which will be shown at the Royal Academy. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Review: Episode 1 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2021 at Chartwell

This is the first of my reviews of the new Landscape Artist of the Year programme in 2021.

Pods in front of the house at Chartwell
Pods in front of the house at Chartwell

Landscape Artist of the Year (Series 6 - filmed in 2020)

This is the sixth series of this programme which is produced for Sky Arts by Storyvault Films.

The "Artist of the Year" programmes are some of the most popular programmes produced by Sky Arts. The audience for the Landscape artist of the year programme seems to grow with every series.

LAOTY boasts the titles of “best-performing, non-scripted series of all time” and second-biggest series ever for Sky Arts, with viewing figures growing over the course of the series.

You can view it

  • on Wednesday evening at 8pm on Sky Arts (on Sky / Now TV / Freeview)
  • on demand on Sky TV and Now TV anytime you like 
    • you need the Sky TV or NOW TV app to watch on a mobile device or your own TV - if you have a relevant subscription (which is what I do - see my blog post about how to do this)

The Judges are the same as always - and - because filming took place outside - we also saw the return of Joan Bakewell which was excellent news.

We saw lots of suitably socially distanced discussions!

The Judges: Kate Bryan. Tai-Shan Schierenberg Kathleen Soriano - with Joan Bakewell

Episode 1 at Chartwell

The first episode was at Chartwell - and this is the link to Episode 1

The Location

Chartwell is the former home of Sir Winston Churchill and is now a National Trust property. The large course stands in manicured country gardens on top of a large grass slope leading down to a lake and several acres of woodland and farmland.

It's a garden I have visited often over the years and last summer we paid it a lot of visits once it was open again.

The view they had is actually very difficult because:

  • they are looking up - which is a situation most artists don't normally encounter when working plein air
  • it involves a lot of different levels
  • getting the size, shape and perspective of the house correct is a challenge on its own.  One I have tried and come a cropper on in the past - when drawing with a view from just to the left of there they were positioned.  (I'm going to see if I can remember where that artwork is)

The weather

As you might expect - given last year's weather - the weather was dry, sunny with a bit of cloud from time to time.

So no challenges there then - apart from how the sun was going to move across the subject

The Artists

This year 36 artists (12 less than usual) took part in six heats which were filmed last summer. This means that there are six artists (rather than eight) in each of the six heats

Artists in their Pods at the start

You can find out how to enter for the series being filmed this summer for next year at the end of this blog post.

Artists are listed by status and then alphabetically. You can see their profiles on the Sky website . Interestingly they all have surnames in the first half of the alphabet.

Professional Artists

There were two professional artists in this heat
  • Gail Davis (Facebook | Instagram) - artist based in Berkshire, mainly painting in oil on canvas. Studied at Berkshire College of Art and Design. Worked as an exhibition design manager. Has been a professional artist for 12 years. Selected for the 2020 Exhibitions of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal institute of Oil Painters. Appeared in Episode 8 of Portrait Artist of the Year in March 2020 
  • Paul Gadenne (Facebook | Instagram) - a Canterbury-based artist who has been a Chartered Designer and has a background in commercial Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design. He is an SAA Professional Art Teacher and currently teaches "Art for Everyone" - art lessons for adults of all abilities at venues in Dunkirk and Sandwich, Kent. He writes for 'the Artist' magazine and is the founder member of Urban Sketchers Canterbury. He has previously been filmed for this series in 2015 at Waddesdon Manor. His Facebook Page has some good photos of the day. 

Amateur Artists

There were four Amateur Artists - although I think I dispute 'amateur' status for one of them - on the basis that you need to know rather a lot about art in order to be employed teach it!

These were:
  • Julia Burley (Instagram) - no information online. 
  • Shelagh Casebourne (Instagram) - Following a London-based career in publishing, in 2010 she gained a Fine Art degree from The University of Reading and a PGCE in Secondary Art and Design. She has a studio in Berkshire. Her Instagram indicates she was painting along with Portrait Artist of the Week. She made a last minute application with the hope of getting a wildcard place.
  • Gabriella Fernandes - First class degree (2015) in History from Durham University - which involved History of Art. Recently worked as cabin crew with British Airways
  • Stuart Jarvis (Instagram) - He's an experienced teacher and currently Director of Art at Uppingham School (a boarding school). In recent years he has enjoyed commissions by Drax power station, North Yorkshire; Bradwell decommissioned power station, Essex; and Ketton Cement Works, Lincolnshire. 

Wildcard Artists

Wildcard artists at Chartwell
Wildcard artists at Chartwell

I hear that the number of Wildcard Artists are reduced from last year. They had 50 last year but I think it's just 25 artists in each heat this year.  

They set up on the grass which slopes down from the house to the lake in the valley bottom. It's actually a better view of the house - and I've certainly seen artists and art groups painting the house from this vantage point on my visits to Chartwell. 

(I'm not telling you what my favourite vantage point is - but I've done many sketches from there!)

Wildcard artists on the grass slope below the house at Chartwell
Wildcard artists on the grass slope below the house at Chartwell

I think maybe this lady missed the big sign near the entrance warning about the black swans and their "assertive" behaviour! (For which read "aggressive" - my other half howls about the time I was chased away by them when settling down to sketch!)

The infamous Chartwell Black Swans taking an interest

Themes and Learning Points

As with all my other blog 'Artist of the Year' posts, I tried to detect some learning points within this episode - read on for more of these.

Today, these are:
  • Artist profiles 
  • Composition and completion
  • Simplification and what to leave in and what to leave out
  • The importance of shadows
  • Highly Coloured Grounds

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Grayson Perry's Art Club (Series 2) back in February

Just what we need. Grayson to the rescue with more lockdown art! Series 2 of Grayson Perry's Art Club is back on Channel 4 in February 2021.
"Grayson Perry, one of Britain's leading artists, brings the nation together through art, making new works and hosting masterclasses set to unleash our collective creativity during lockdown" Channel 4

This time there's been a bit more planning! This post is about

  • the themes for Series 2 of Art Club
  • how to enter

These are my blog posts about his extremely successful and very popular first series which started at the end of April during the first lockdown in 2020. 

Grayson’s Art Club was the best performing series from Channel 4’s #StayAtHome Academy programming

Grayson/Claire and Philippa Perry - with exhibits in the Series 1 exhibition

Themes for Grayson Perry's Art Club - Series 2

“Art is good for you, whoever you are" 
Grayson Perry

Below is a video by Grayson and his co-star/wife, psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry telling you about the themes.
The themes - with deadlines for entries are as follows.
Note that when it says "end of (date)" it means 11.59pm or 23.59 on that date.
  • FAMILY submissions close end of 10th February 2021
  • NATURE submissions close end of 17th February 2021
  • FOOD submissions close end of 24th February 2021
  • DREAMS submissions close end of 3rd March 2021
  • WORK submissions close end of 10th March 2021
  • TRAVEL submissions close end of 17th March 2021

How to submit your artwork entry

Grayson Perry will send out messages via social media asking for members of the public to participate in the Series by uploading a 3-minute video message of themselves (the “Video”) filmed on their mobile phone together with three photos of their artwork (the “Artwork”). We will then select the Artworks and Videos he wants to consider for inclusion in the Series. If your Video or Artwork is selected one of the producers may then call you to discuss potentially appearing in the Series as a Contributor via video call on your device (the “Contributor”). If you are selected to be included they will send you a separate contract for your appearance.
Swan Films - the makers of the programme
The main difference with Series 2 is you're getting a LOT MORE NOTICE about the Themes of the six programmes in the series.

Who can enter

  • You must be a resident of the UK.
  • There's no limit on age BUT If you are under 18 you will need a parent/guardian to submit your artwork on your behalf, and hey must provide their phone number and email address.

What can you enter

We will accept any type of art including paintings, sculpture, drawings and collages, from amateurs and professionals alike.

How to enter

You can enter ONE artwork for EACH theme. Enter them one at a time (i.e. you can only choose the theme once per form)

You should submit 
  • up to three photos of the artwork you are submitting for the theme (don't forget to choose the theme!)
  • a video (max. 3 minutes long) of yourself talking about your art.
It's not clear if you must make a video or can just write up to 600 words about your art on the form.

Make sure that 
  • your photos and video are in landscape format and NOT PORTRAIT FORMAT
  • you label ALL your photos and video with your name and name of the artwork. (e.g. Philippa Perry sculpture of a cat #1 (and #2 and #3 and video)
Here's a little memory jogger re. landscape and portrait formats. It's not about whether it's a landscape or portrait - it about whether the picture is biased towards horizontal or vertical.

An image from my book Sketching 365 - about landscape and portrait formats
(and placement of horizons and crops)

What's the competition going to be like?

You need to be realistic. Millions watched the first series and c.10,000 people submitted their artwork - which means not a lot of time to view your entry. However Grayson's an expert in reviewing artwork given he chaired the Panel of Selectors for the 250th Summer Exhibition by the Royal Academy of Arts and had to sit through thousands and thousands of entries over quite a few days!