Sunday, November 18, 2007

18th November: Who's made a mark this week?

Shred (and Gayle) '"stops the traffic" at the NEC
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Congratulations to......

Gayle Mason
(Fur in the Paint) who had a very successful day yesterday with her new stand at the 31st Supreme Show ("Crufts" for cats) of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (the feline equivalent of the Kennel Club) at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

I also went to help out and kept being reminded of a phrase I heard on a TV programme about Ella Fitzgerald the night before. She used to say "stopped the traffic" to refer to anything which was or looked extra specially good. Well, Gayle's latest cat "Shred" (a red Norwegian Forest cat - coloured pencil on pastelbord) kept stopping the traffic at the show. I lost count of the number of times people gaped and announced that he was just like their cat. The rest of her cats also impressed and we came away with a very clear idea about which images people liked the most and which breeds people are most interested in seeing developed for her portfolio. Plus I got to see a good chum from college days who was there as a judge and who made some very helpful suggestions as to people to meet and cats to see. Overall, a very satisfactory day and I think we're going to do more shows together in future. We've certainly got a lot of ideas about what to do next!

Avid readers who draw animals may remember Gayle's tip for getting Shred's fur colours correct which I highlighted here "Useful tip: a simple way to evaluate colour accurately" in May.

Art Blogs
  • Do you have enough time for your art? Anna at has another great post about How to find the time to draw and has the most gorgeous watercolour of an autumnal leaf to go with it. I really like the simple but effective ways she uses to make sure she makes time.
  • Robert Genn's The Painters's Keys clickbacks aren't quite a blog - but since he's been writing his twice-weekly letters for a lot longer than blogs have been around I don't think I'll split hairs! The Flying Artist is an especially valuable clickback for all those who have flown intending to paint in oils when they arrive. Lots of information and good advice from both Robert and artistscommenting on the original letter. (For those of you not familiar - can I recommend signing up for the twice-weekly letter - it never fails to deliver in more ways than one)
  • Nicole Caulfield (Nicole Caulfield Art Journal) has been writing this week about positive and negative experiences in sealing coloured pencil. On Wednesday she wrote about her Sealing Experiments. She first explained how she currently seals her coloured pencil drawings on Pastelbord so they can be framed without glass and then described her current experiments with water-based varnishes. (now included in the support section of my Squidoo lens Coloured Pencils - Resources for Artists.) Then later in the week she experimented with some new brush-on varnish by Lascaux and met Disaster! (I then came across Robert Genn again when looking for more information about the offending varnish. He had some interesting comments (and links) last year about varnish on acrylics and oils in The Logic of Final Varnish as did many of his readers in the responses which follow.) Based on the various stories I've now heard it seems doing a test first is the only way to proceed before using varnish on CP artwork. I have a notion that different brands of CP respond in different ways to different brands of varnish!
  • Jana Bouc (Jana's Journal and Sketchblog) shares lots of useful information about painting plein air in oils in What we did in painting class today.
  • Helene Keough is using her blog Helene's Art to tell a children's story about Rags the cat which she is also illustrating with a a series of 3.5" x 2.5" watercolor illustrations. I've not seen blogs used like this before but it looks like a good idea to me.
Artist Communities and artists communing

This week I suggested/started a new project for highlighting artists and art resources in particular local communities. Given responses to date I'll be doing a 'how to set up a squidoo lens' post for this project in the next week or so to enable more people to create a Lens about all the links to and for artists in their specific locality. I'll also highlight new additions here while the project gets off the ground.

I also like to try and periodically feature get togethers by artists who got to know one another over the internet in this weekly round-up post. So if you've got one coming up and would like people to share please let me know - particularly if blog entries show people drawing and painting in places around the world.
  • I love seeing and sharing blogs from countries which are not so familiar - such as René (René PleinAir) who's very busy painting the Dutch countryside plein air in November! You can find links to other Dutch plein air painters working in Holland and other countries on his website's links page. I know both Rob Ijbema (Painting Wales Diary) and Bart Westgeest's plein air work in Wales and Denmark respectively. Check out a recent joint painting trip by Rob and René:
    • Amsterdam - and Rob's plein air painting sat on the ground on station platform and inbetween the tram lines (see above)
    • Here I Stand - by René
  • A community of travellers - including Laura Frankstone (Laurelines) and Enrique Flores - have been in Clermont-Ferrand this weekend at la Biennale du Carnets de Voyage. Yesterday Laura and Enrique were on the same panel of speakers. The event is a sort of convention for artists who produce travel books - including illustrated sketchbooks of travels. It's organised by Association Il Faut Aller Voir who place an emphasis on the discovery of other cultures through independent travel. You can see the invited artists here.
Art Business and Marketing
Art Exhibitions
  • Three new exhibitions in London:
    • The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2007 opened at the Mall Galleries on 15th November and runs until next Sunday. This show is made up of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: Two artist, two collectors and two critics - from open submissions.
    • The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition 2007 - which celebrates fine art representational painting - opens next Wednesday, 21 November and runs to 1st December at Painters’ Hall, 9 Little Trinity Lane, London EC4V 2AD from 21 November to 1 December 2007 (10 am – 4 pm Monday to Saturday, admission free)
  • Bob Dylan has apparently been painting for years - but his first exhibition is in a tiny gallery in east germany - visit Guardian online to see his paintings here, read about the exhibition here and listen to the podcast here. Why is he exhibiting in East Germany? Because it looks as if the gallery owner was the first person to ask him to exhibit his work. As they say "If you don't ask....."
Art Journals
  • If you'd like to see your artwork on the cover of American Artist American Artist, Watercolor, or Drawing magazines in 2008 and included on the website ( ) take a look at the details of how to enter here - but note the $50 submission fee which is a lot more than fees for art competitions here in the UK. The entry deadline is 1 December 2007 .
Art as Illustration
  • Lisa Kelsey has developed a really interesting Squidoo lens which acts as a portal to A Resource of Illustrator's websites - lots and lots and lots of sites - all categorised and summarised. Nice one Lisa! If you also agree it's an excellent site can I suggest you rate it up near the top where the stars are.
Art Supplies
  • A very helpful chap called Albert told me about a useful site which needed to be added into my squidoo lens about Egg Tempera. When I looked at it, I could not believe I'd never ever come across before. There is masses of useful advice from Tony Johansen about paints and how to make them - check out the site map to see it's vast scope - covering oils, acrylics, chalks, gouache, watercolours, egg tempera, fresco, tools, safety issues - and the history of paint!
Websites, blogging...and widgets
  • Well done - you can all read at Undergrad level! Which is apparently the reading level for this blog according to this new widget - The Blog Readability Test. Thanks to my genius blogging friend Casey Klahn for introducing me to this one. Like Casey, I too have checked some of your URLs and I think some of you are maybe in for a surprise! ;)
And finally.......

One that I missed posting about at the end of October was the new sixteen million pixel image of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, brought to us by Haltadefinizione. You can read interesting blog posts about it by Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) here Da Vinci's Last Supper in high resolution servings and by Tony Johansen (Diary of an Artist in a New World) here Last supper makes history again.

Practically speaking, you can switch the music off if you hit the loudspeak icon bottom right - and you can also zoom into the most amazing level of detail - which is then explained here.


  1. Hi Katherine,
    some people think that Dylan cannot sing (already difficult to argue about that..), looking at his drawings I am not enthusiastic. Obviously there are attempts to create a hype for this merchandise which main "value" is the fact that it´s made by a super pop star. The tiny gallery is selling nothing but poorly illustrated autographs. No doubt that they will find buyers.
    It seems that your blog is "college level" whereas mine is "genius level" does this support my point about Dylan ? :).

  2. I have added a link to your blog under blogs I like. I hope you don't mind. There is so much information here. Thank you, ns

  3. Thanks for the heads up on the Bob Dylan show. You might remember that early on at my own blog I did a series on the artistic courage of the iconic sixties musician.

    Now, back to some genius work...where did I put that post-it note?

  4. my blog was undergrad level too :) which is fine as it's informal and personal.

    I'm going to follow up your links when my brain feels less like cottonwool!


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