Sunday, October 07, 2007

7th October: Who's made a mark this week?

Botanical Artists of Canada
A Botanical Exhibition
(click on image of flyer for details)

Congratulations to....

The Botanical Artists of Canada for opening their second major society exhibition this week.
Botanical Artists of Canada 2007 Exhibition: Native Plants at Toronto's Todmorden Mills – October 4–28, 2007.
  • The 'Best in Show' award went to Sherry Mitchell SFCA for Arbutus (a tree native to British Columbia) and
  • the 'Best Composition' award was won by Myra Sourkes for Jack in the Pulpit.
  • Members getting Honourable Mentions included Donna Greenstein, Margit Sampogna, Irene Hunchak, Tasira Strimban-Barishev and Gerry Jenkison.
  • Jurors were botanical artist Sheila Siegerman; Natalie Iwanycki, Field Botanist and Herbarium Curator at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton; and Brenda Rix, Assistant Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Thanks to my very good friend Raquel Baranyai - the Membership and Communications Co-ordinator for the information. It's always a pleasure to support a Society which is making headway in getting formal and juried exhibitions off the ground. As I'm sure anyone who has ever been involved with an Art Society will be aware, there's an awful lot of preparation and logistics involved. There's a page of photos of some of the preparation activities for this exhibition here.

The Big Drawing Book Review

October is the month of The Big Drawing Book Review. Below is a list of reviews done so far - with more to come. The list is in date order and includes name of blogger (name of their blog + link), title of book + link to blog post reviewing it and name of author - plus the 'pencils' rating given by the reviewer. More next week!
Art blogs - new to me

Some art blogs which are new to me and which I came across for the first time this week
  • Mattias Inks will be well known to all those involved in the EDM SuperBlog - but I'm now hooked as well! Mattias Adolfsson is a freelance illustrator and lives in Göteborg in Sweden.
  • Postcards from Detroit is an interesting spin on the better known one which emanates from Provence and is a relatively new blog which started in August. Stephen Magsig is based in Michigan has been doing daily artwork since 1987 - and it shows.
  • Tania Nault (the Scratch Board) made a very interesting comment about how she has blogs which are opposites on her blogroll. Go read her post and then review your blogroll and see whether she's right. Her next post about an art experiment called 'Real Space' and how it mimics online social networking was also very interesting. Tania's obviously a very thoughtful artist/blogger - and she writes long posts too so I feel right at home! ;)
Art blogs - and some interesting posts
Bad reporting along these generic lines distorts understanding and can destroy our pleasure in great art.
  • Jonathan Jones (The Guardian Art Blog) asked Is lazy reporting harming the visual arts? Basically he was complaining about how, in his opinion, journalists tend to write the same six stories about art all the time. Take a peek and see if you recognise them.
Art exhibitions

After my Cycling Artist post on Friday, I decided to try and see if I could find Tina Mammoser - (The Cycling Artist) at the Art Prelude Event in Spitalfields (a historic site right next to the City of London) yesterday afternoon - she had a very impressive stand! She's there again today and it looks like it might be very busy.....

What follows is a mix of other art exhibitions and events, from Canada to California and from Glasgow to Washington.
  • Scotiabank nuit blanche in Toronto last weekend looks amazing. Not least because it started at 7pm and went through until sunrise.
For one sleepless night, experience Toronto transformed by artists. Discover art in galleries, museums and unexpected places. From alleyways and demolition sites to churches and squash courts, explore more than 195 destinations. One night only. All night long.
Art forums
  • I discovered a neat trick this week. Go to and then insert 'artist forum' into the search box and it produces a list of forums for artists. It comes out as an alphabetical listing AND it provides you with information about them in terms of ranking, people counts in relation to traffic and any other information collected about them from the internet.
Artist magazines - Australia

Artist Profile is a fresh new quarterly magazine that takes you into the studios of artists working today, watching their processes and listening to them discuss ideas, inspiration and the technical and mental challenges they face in realising their visions.

We aim to present you with the best of what is happening locally and beyond, cutting across methods and media, and reflecting the fluid international environment that now shapes what we see and how we see it. Our feature articles will cover current events, historical research and a range of critical opinion.
Editor, Artist Profile

  • Early last month there was a bit of a buzz in Australia as the first editition of a new quarterly art magazine was published. I gather that Artist Profile is the first serious art magazine in Australia which is dedicated to the artists' perspective rather than that of the art collector. The Editor's aspirations are set out here and you can read a couple of reviews of the first edition by Jim Thalassoudis (The Painted Sky) and Dianne Gall (This Painting Life). The consensus so far is favourable.
  • The Artist Profile website also provides an excellent set of links to key organisations in the Australian Art world.
Selling art on-line
  • Just in case any of you missed it, yesterday's blog post was about how artists selling their work on-line can avoid potential fraud and scams. The message about how to avoid these sort of scam artists can't be repeated too much. The news about how police in four countries have bust a £1 billion (repeat BILLION) internet fraud ring is extremely welcome news. I rather suspect there are more out there though.......
Websites and Blogging

My orginal plan for the content here has metamorphosed into next week's "Techie Saturday"'s blog post. So here's some interesting posts I stumbled across while researching it.
  • 'What is a blog?' The unedited voice of just one person according to Dave Winer of Scripting News in January 2007. He's been described as 'a protoblogger and technology maven' by the New York Times. I think they mean he was around when it got started. Unfortunately the link to his definition of what makes a weblog a weblog seems to have been buried by Harvard University - however here is his summary version.
I concluded it wasn't so much the form, although most blogs seem to follow a similar form, nor was it the content, rather it was the voice. If it was one voice, unedited, not determined by group-think -- then it was a blog, no matter what form it took. If it was the result of group-think, with lots of ass-covering and offense avoiding, then it's not. Things like spelling and grammatic errors were okay, in fact they helped convince one that it was unedited.
Dave Winer - Scripting News - The unedited voice of just one person
  • 'What is web 2.0?' on the other hand is a question which has been answered - and visualised - at length by Tim O'Reilly in this piece in March 2005. In a week when some have hyped the notion of web 3.0 as part of a self-marketing exercise it's maybe important to note that some of us have still to get to grips with all the ins and outs of web 2.0!
Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn't have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.
Tim O'Reilly - What is web 2.0? - design patterns and business models for the next generation of software
I was messing about with my parental control categories this week and discovered that apparently what this blog is REALLY all about is 'glamour and lifestyle'! I wish!!!

Postscript for my Travels with my Sketchbook fans

I gather I'm not the only person wondering at the moment what's going on with my Feedburner subscriber numbers which have been all over the place in the last week. I'm also been having problems with Google Reader picking up my Travels with a Sketchbook feed. It's not picked up any blog posts in the last month - although it's working fine in e-mail.


  1. I've rejected the first comment on this post which came from an anonymous person who obviously had not read my comments policy nor realised that all comments are moderated.

    People who describe themselves as "anonymous" are likely to be looked at very cafefully - as this one was.

    Please don't waste your time or mine by writing comments which contain remarks which seek to 'flame' - as they won't be published.

  2. Thanks for the double link love, Katherine. And for thinking my pastel sticks are yummy. They are, indeed. I am eating some right now for breakfast.
    Just kidding. The danger of ingesting pastels is probably worse than inhaling them, but there's probably not a study on that...yet!
    This post is also food for thought, and I'll be digesting all of the great data over time. I also want to thank you for the new perspective on Tina's web sites. She may become one of my new gurus for "how to" progress with one's art career.

  3. Thanks for the mention Katherine, and the photo looks fab. Proof that I do exist, haha! :)

    And I'm worried that I might be a guru. Oh no! Well, if my advise helps others that's really great. I just have to remember to follow my own advice sometimes...

  4. My pleasure Tina - and of course you're a guru!

    And proof that you do exist would be if I had published that photo I took of you in front of your paintings - but I forgot to ask! Drat! ;)

  5. Katherine,
    How kind of you to include my blog this week. Thank very much.
    Linda Blondheim

  6. Thank you Katherine for linking my blog. The paint swatches are great when I need to see a color that I may have forgotten I own. Many more test will need to be done, but this is a start. Again thank you for linking my blog.

  7. Thanks, Katherine, for the "shout out" for my blog! You're my blogging hero, so I'm completely flattered. Sorry it's taken me so long to find this - switched hosts and am having, shall we say, technical difficulties!


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