Sunday, October 14, 2007

14th October: Who's made a mark this week?

Homage to Klimt (the Kiss 2007)
copyright John P Smolko CPSA
Grand Prizewinner, American Artist 70th anniversay competition
colored pencil on museum mat board, 40 x 40
Collection the Sargent-Laessig Museum of Fine Arts, Hinckley, Ohio.

Congratulations to...
  • John P. Smolko CPSA (website), who is the Grand Prize Winner of the 70th Anniversary Competition run by American Artist with Homage to Klimt (The Kiss (2007). I'm so pleased as this gives additional recognition to John's very unique way of working with coloured pencil. John featured on my blog in July and has already agreed to doing an interview for this blog and I think I need to make sure that happens soon!
  • Also to Ranjini Venkatachari (Ranjini V's Studio) who was awarded third place in the coloured pencil section of the same competition with Usual Suspects. You can see how Ranjini developed the work here.
  • Kate (Cathy Johnson - The Quicksilver Workaholic) - who got the advance copy of her new book on Monday
  • and Kate, Cindy Woods (Learning Daily), Amanda Kavanagh (Craftmonkeys), Roz Stendahl (Rozworks), Enrique Flores (Sketchbooks)and everybody else who have images in Danny Gregory's new book. You can get a preview of this here. (I'm very tempted to run off a photograph of Amanda's workspace as an incentive for me to be more tidy......)
......and me - for being asked to do something rather interesting. It maybe however be a long time before I can tell you what! ;)

Usual Suspects
copyright Ranjini Venkatachari
Third Prize, Colored Pencil section, American Artist 70th Anniversary competition

The Big Drawing Book Review

October is the month of my Big Drawing Book Review. The reviews done since last week plus their pencil rating follow. The first bit is reviewer and blog and the second bit is title of book, author and pencil rating. More next week - I've got a lot of people on a promise - you know who you are! Do please remind give me a nudge if you do a review.

Art Blogs
  • You can find a huge number (500+) blogs relating to children's publishing at Jacketflap.
    • JacketFlap is all about Children's books and the people and companies involved in making Children's books and they claim it is the world's largest and most comprehensive resource for information on the children's book industry.
    • According to the site writers, illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, and publishers visit JacketFlap every day.
    • It provides a blog reader which can categorise and sort different types of blog (eg agents and illustrators.
  • Casey Klahn (The Colorist) has had a bit of a rant at the Weblogs Awards organisers for making art invisible. By which he means they have failed to have category for art and illustrated blogs. I noticed this last year and I do think it's a big oversight - there's lots of blogs I'd like to nominate. Casey notes that representations can be made and it doesn't take very long to register. Meanwhile I shall be having my very own Making A Mark Awards at the end of the year. Maybe I ought to introduce a readers choice category?
  • check out Dave Terry (365 journal entries) - and his 'drawings from a red light stalker' as well as his preferences for sketchbooks!
Art education and workshops
  • Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art) did a nice piece - Planning painting - about her process for painting streetscapes in acrylic - with lots of pictures of different stages. While all the time reminding us, naturally, of how much we can speed up the processes used if we produce a new painting every day.
Art exhibitions and B&M galleries
Art Marketing - online art galleries/websites and forums

I don't often write about places to avoid - I much prefer to emphasise those which offer good products and services which are worth knowing about.
  • such as this Entrepreneur article about the success story which is Etsy - an online marketplace for all things handmade which I know gives a nice warm feeling to quite a few artists who sell their work online.
However from time to time it's necessary to wave a warning flag and recommend on
  • On Monday, Dan at Empty Easel wrote an article identifying spam activity by representatives of Fine Art America and advising artists to avoid Fine Art America. Over at Imagekind, this thread is indicative of the approaches artists registered on other sites have received from Fine Art America. I can also confirm that an anonymous spam comment was left for publication on this blog but I didn't approve it for publication as both content and placement made it appear spammy and that combined with anonymity was enough to make me suspicious. I checked with a few people (including Dan) and sites and found they'd similar experiences. I also looked at the site and it appears that the moderation is lax as there seem to be a fair number of plagiarised works for sale. On the face of it's not a site I'd recommend.
Art quotes
Art Supplies
  • I came across a number of art supplies firms this week while looking for one thing in particular - and I'll probably do a blog post about these. In the meantime I thought I'd highlight Scribblers - the calligraphy blog. Lots of wonderful advice about matters to do with pens and ink.
  • I do wish I could find the UK equivalent of Clearbags and an associated website site which does as well with the range on offer and its FAQs. I have a giant role of cellophane which does a wonderful job of protecting portfolio items but I do hanker after bags........
When you read this I'm probably going to be at the AGM of the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society - or on my way there or back again. I'll be seeing the exhibition and collecting my work on this it's last day. Comments will therefore not appear until I've got back.


  1. Thanks for mentioning my book review! A few corrections: J.D. Hillberry is the author of Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil (not Mike Sibley). Also, I gave the book 4 pencils, not 5 pencils.

  2. What a pleasant surprise to find a link to that page of quotes of mine! It's made what's so far been a dud Sunday afternoon, where I'm struggling with a piece I'm writing and spring has turned back to winter. I was distracting myself (aka work avoiding) by reading my blogroll and suddenly realised your made a mark list, which I've come to expect(!) and enjoy, ought to be up by now. Thanks Katherine!!

  3. Laural - I'm mortified for both you and J.D.Hillberry!!!

    That'll teach me to go off early in the morning for an event without doing my final 'click every link and make sure it goes where you think it goes' check"..... :(

    My error has now been corrected - and I've rememebered why I made it which is that I'd been talking to somebody else about the OTHER Mike Sibley book and that was still in my brain when your book review came through.

    I've given myself a good telling off too!

  4. At least I managed one nice surprise! I thought I'd let this one catch you unawares Marion! :)

  5. Re the Weblog Awards: Web award sites aren't the only ones who remain uncultured. It does seem that "art" is the poor stepchild of business.

    Not surprising when you understand that the arts are no longer supported by our educational system or our government in any real way.

    Oh, us poor misunderstood creative types, lol.

  6. I am little confused about your comment about imaginekind...are you saying it's not a site you would recommend? and why?

    i have thought about working with them for some notecards now hesitate.

  7. Carol - the comment is about Fine Art America not Imagekind

    BTW Did you notice it was 2 years old?


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