Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blogging Art in 2006 - The Making A Mark Awards (Part 2)

"The 2006 Making A Mark Awards" for excellence in blogging art and about art in 2006 continues with
  • The ‘Get off your Blogging Bottom and Sketch’ Brass Plate
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook Award
  • The Amusing Musings Trophy
  • The “Tales from the Frontline” Mention in Despatches - my favourite blog by somebody who lives with an artist
The ‘Get off your Blogging Bottom and Sketch’ Brass Plate

This is for the artist or illustrator who has used their blog to make me feel most like I ought to do more exercise! Julie Oakley has set the benchmark with her blog One Mile from Homei.e.

Walk a minimum of one mile from home. Record where you’ve been with a drawing, sculpture, photo or painting and then walk back. Every day for a year.

I started with good intentions but soon fell by the wayside, whereas Julie has continued and will reach Day 250 on December 31st. Alison (5kRadius) in Canberra got on her bike and deserves an honourable mention for also sticking with the challenge – albeit in metric.

Having qualified for the stickability bit of the painting a day/stickability award Julie had very stiff competition on the painting front so I decided she needed her very own award - which she can of course aim to retain in 2007! ;) The brass plate is, of course, in recognition of all that brass monkey weather she has endured. (For those unfamiliar with English idioms please consult wikipedia which has an explanation). I reckon if she decides to go for a solid three years then I’d probably need to award her a Gold Medal!


The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
This award is for excellence in plein air painting plus a strong commitment to sharing information

It is awarded to Ed Terpening for his plein air painter blog Life Plein Air. When I started blogging, Ed's was the only blog to come up when I plugged the 'plein air painting' tag into Technorati! He’s a professional blogger for a California bank and a part-time artist. Latterly he's had some very strong competition from other full-time artists, including William Wray and Linda Blondheim (who both deserve an honourable mention) but Ed has been blogging consistently since June 2005 and has edged ahead of everybody else due to his continued strong focus on sharing information on his blog as well as his commitment to plein air painting.

Ed provided me with a map and draft guide to plein air painting spots on and around Highway 1 - between San Francisco and Malibu which proved absolutely invaluable on my travels along the coastline of northern and central California in July 2006 – as recorded in my other blog “Travels with a Sketchbook in…….” I was delighted when he won a plein air painting competition in San Luis Obispo in October this year shortly after I was there myself. Ed’s blog has included insights into why artists should blog, how the wisdom of crowds applies to art and blogging (and the plein air competion) and a very good overview of his workshop with Ovanes Berberian. Read his June 5 post and posts on subsequent days and/or search on Ovanes Berbarian.


The Travels with a Sketchbook Award

This award goes to the most intrepid and/or industrious artist travelling with a sketchbook. The winner for 2006 is Laura Frankstone of Laurelines primarily for blogging her sketches of Paris in October while she was still there but also for the way she planned a whole year of themes for her artistic endeavours – much of which involved getting out and about with her sketchbook - or rather sketchbooks! Her blog is hugely popular and her sketches regularly delight all the very many people who read it on a daily basis. Do read her entry I had a plan dated 30th December - you'll get a flavour for what having a plan can do for your art.

An honourable mention must also go to Cindy Woods who also blogged about her travels and excursions as well as her daily life with exquisite line drawings in her sketchbook blog Learning Daily. Cindy has an unerring eye for a good composition and a remarkable facility for making the complicated seem simple - and her gadding about makes me quite dizzy at times!


>The Amusing Musings Trophy

This trophy is awarded for keeping me amused. It’s clear from a lot of research that many people enjoy humour when reading blogs. I’m torn as two blogs make me laugh out loud a lot. They are:

  • Hugh McLeod for Gaping Void – Hugh provides both humour and images for free alongside an expert insight into the business side of blogging and marketing product in a web2.0 world. He manages to capture all of this through drawing cartoons on the reverse of a business card. Although some of Hugh’s business-oriented blogging is on behalf of his clients, it’s also very clear that there is a substantial element of independent perspective filled with both expertise and humour going on – as there should be. I do hope the invective survives the move to London from the Lake District.
  • Maggie Stiefvater has had a meteoric rise this year in terms of the development of her art and art business - most of which has been very under-stated in her blog Greywaren Art. I’ve written about her a lot partly because she's a friend but mostly because she currently confounds a lot of the doom and gloom merchants and some of the conventional wisdom about art, what to sell and how to sell. However I’ve maybe not highlighted her writing on her blog enough. She mostly provides daily blog posts and almost without fail demonstrates that the fresh eye which she brings to portraiture also applies to her take on the world as well. She has a very unique voice – in both words and images.

………….and finally

The “Tales from the Frontline” Mention in Despatches - my favourite blog by somebody who lives with an artist.

Ruth Phillips is the wife of artist Julian Merrow Smith and the daughter of artist Tom Phillips RA so qualifies twice over. She has already won a mention in despatches from me when I applauded her blog meanwhile, here in France in the annals of the Guardian on-line newspaper for ex-pats a couple of months back writing as follows <

I started with Julian's blog "Postcard from Provence and then discovered his wife's blog which I've now been reading for several months. I love her writing - it's always a treat! She knows how to highlight the small and quirky incidentals and nuances as well as reflecting on the life they live in Provence, the changes in the seasons and the impact on their lives of the changes which have resulted from Julian's new found fame and good fortune. Best of all is when she is talking about her music. When is somebody going to give this woman a book contract or at the very least a newspaper column?

I have absolutely no doubt you will be finding Ruth's writings on a bookshop shelf near you in 2007 if publishers have any sense.

Ruth has been blogging for two years - and it shows. Read her archives - she's better than a good book. Plus you get to hear about what happens when everybody wants to buy anything your artist partner produces! Added bonuses are the insight into life as a musician travelling to play at concerts - and the scrummy yummy photos and descriptions of French food. If you're on a diet this January consume Ruth's blog instead!



I do hope you’ve enjoyed the Making A Mark Blog awards for 2006 – and I hope to see your blog featuring in them in 2007. By which time I might actually have constructed a widget or some such for the winners!

What do you think of my award winners and who would you give an award for blogging about art in 2006 and why?

Last of all, a huge thank you for all the comments I've already started to receive about the contributions my blog has made to your blog reading in 2006. It's been my pleasure - truly.


Technorati tags: art, art blogs, art business, art marketing, art websites, artist weblogs art marketing daily painter, daily painting, daily paintings, painting, plein air, sketching, sketchbook, travel sketchbook


  1. Katherine,
    I am truely honored to have been mentioned in your awards.
    Linda Blondheim

  2. many thanks for the mention Katherine, very kind of you to include me : ))

  3. Thank you Katherine, you need an award, you are my bookmark-this-blog-and-come-back-with-a-cup-of-tea award. You are always informitave and interesting, you have now given me so many great links that if I am not careful I shall be here all day. I totally agree about Ruths writing, definatly a book there.
    OK thanks again, and have a very happy and successful new year. Sarah xx

  4. Katherine, thank you so much for my award. I'm thrilled and delighted.

  5. You site is so rich and these last few posts in particular. I've enjoyed your art, ideas and your generous sharing of information. I have so many places to visit just form this post. I wish you health, happiness and many more wonderful art adventures this year. Thanks for sharing so much!

  6. Katherine, I always feel braced and ready to go out and tackle more upon reading your blog.

    All of those winners you cited are indeed brilliant -- but it's the miracle of community, the generosity and access to learning each (and you) provides to people like me that's the biggest gift.

    Thanks, and may this year provide many happy new adventures!

  7. Katherine, you are such a generous and thoughtful and witty and talented soul. Thank you for my Intrepid award!! I'm delighted to be one of your honorees.

  8. Wow, thanks, Katherine. I'm honored by your award. Sharing the best of what I know has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I've met so many wonderful people all over the world. I feel like I get to live good Karma every day. What a blessing!

    I have some good things coming up in 2007. I've been spending a great deal of time writing a new "Top 10 Observations" series of posts, the first I hope to launch in a couple of days. I'm off to Carmel tomorrow to paint a couple of days and should have time to do some writing at night.

    Thanks for the inspiration your regular blogging provides me!

  9. Thank you Katherine for your very generous mention!!!

    I am struggling to get something resembling a book out there so your comment lifted me into 2007 with a great deal of hope!

    Happy New Year!

  10. Yes, my Julie was thrilled with her award. The family was much amused as she spent several hours designing herself a visualisation of the award for her blog ( ). As a blogging bachelor, and I suspect her financial angel, I'm relieved this is a one year project, with teo thirds gone...


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