Sunday, March 02, 2008

2nd March 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Rosa #2 a coloured pencil drawing by Katherine TyrrellRosa #2
coloured pencils on Arches HP - 8" x 10"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Today is Mother's Day in the UK - which is always on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter. You did all remember didn't you? Congratulations to one of my readers whose son has already cooked her Eggs Benedict this morning! Can anybody top that?

I had a very late change of plan relating to the image for today - so what you have instead is the latest in what's turning out to be a series of macro perspective of roses which are getting a little abstracted and sculptural - you can see other examples here. I'm getting a bit addicted to creating these - you may see some more........

Art business and marketing
  • Author and artist Maggie "I've just finished the first draft of my third book" Stiefvater (Greywaren) has been having a series of blog posts about Marketing this week. She's responding to queries on her blog today (Sunday). Check out:
Sales and success come along because:
  • preparedness
  • consistent branding
  • honesty
  • a willingness to share your knowledge
  • a passion for your product
  • a desire to honestly please your client
  • networking
  • acting & passive marketing
  • a constant drive to improve
  • a willingness to listen
  • and absolutely last on the list, because I really believe it belongs here and not at the top -- talent
Maggie Stiefvater - Marketing Maggie Style II
Art Competitions
Art education and workshops
  • I came across Outdoor Painting this week - the goal of the site is to provide the best source of information for painting outdoors. The sites includes a great overview of past traditions of outdoor painting together with a long list of notable artists who have painted outdoors and a great range of articles - including a really good one about art ethics
  • Ed Terpening (Life Plein Air) has been blogging from a painting workshop in Hawaii with Camille Przwodek - a plein air colourist painter who was taught by Henry Hensche. (DO check out this website). Read Ed's blog to see what both he and she got up to each day last week. I guarantee those who have not seen this colourist approach before will be intrigued. Check the link to see her website and some of her paintings. It's interesting to see how her colourist approach and palette varies between Laguna Beach, the South West and Maryland. She describes her approach here.
  • Gayle Mason has a useful post for animal artists Reference Material and Acrylic Tiger. Apart from displaying her half finished tiger in acrylic on drafting film, she also comments on how she finds references for her wildlife art.
  • This week I updated my Advice on Sketching page on my website - this post Advice on Sketching - tips, techniques and toolkits describes the changes. Many thanks to all the people who have subscribed to the mailing list for this page.
  • Plus I did a round-up in relation to the temporary end of the Composition and design Project in Composition: a range of perspectives
Art Galleries, Art Museums and Exhibitions
Art materials
Art trends
  • Apparently The Thing (quarterly) is the Next Big Thing! Thanks to Art Info for the alert. To my mind there is no question that there are a set of people out there who like to collect. However, I don't remember seeing any bloggers doing subscription series per se on their blogs - do tell me if I'm wrong.
Art Videos - and now TV too!!!
  • Duane Keiser (always a key innovator - first 'painting a day' blog; first painting videos on a blog) did a major live TV broadcast this week - using This is the link to Duane's channel on There were 50 of us sat watching when I was looking in.
  • - the social networking site - has done a post about the competition around live TV for anybody thinking of getting into it. Apparently YouTube is going to start live videos soon - but take a look at the numbers and the comment in You Tube will Win Live Video?
  • a Guardian video of Banksy's graffiti art in the underground car park of the Swiss Embassy- it takes a little time to come up but then you can see Lenin with a Mohican!
websites and blogging
and nearly finally......

I'm having a little toot at the top of the post for this blog, which went through the 200,000 unique visitors in just under 2 years threshold this week. I started collecting my stats some time in January 2006 and, apart from the blip related to my two trips to the USA in summer 2006, it's been a steady climb.

Plus I found out yesterday, 'Making A Mark' is poised to break through into the top 1 million websites in the world - which for a non-commercial (ie no advertising) site is not too bad! Well that's if you believe Alexa stats! ;)

and finally......The Burrow!

What's "The Burrow"?

Well it's the home of the Weasleys in the Harry Potter books/films. But it's also the name of both an imaginary studio and the new studio of my friend and artist Nicole Caulfield (Nicole Caulfield's Art Journal).
I think I've mentioned I've decided to make myself a studio... we have this little grubby room in our house behind the stairs on the lower level. It has a small window, a space that could be a closet (but has no doors), a secret opening in the wall to access under the stairs (ok its a hole in the wall), and it is only about 9 feet x 10 feet. :-) Top that off with the bookcase my husband created out of 2 x 4's, without a level, and the room reminded me of the Weasley's house, the Burrow, in Harry Potter.
Nicole Caulfield - Something for me!
Nicole Caulfield holding her commissioned drawing of The Burrow by Paula Pertile copyright Katie Caulfield

Those of you who have been following Paula Pertile's blog Drawing a Fine Line will know that Nicole commissioned Paula was asked to do a commission - an imaginative drawing Nicole's new Studio. This week Nicole got her drawing - she looks rather pleased doesn't she!

On Tuesday 4th March I'm going to be telling the story of this commission. Having sat on the sidelines of a commissioning process I'm aware that this was a risky process which worked remarkedly well. My blog post will be highlighting a number of learning points for all those commissioning or doing commissions or considering them for the future.

....and tomorrow I'm kicking off my new project for March and April about the Japanese art and artists who influenced painters in the late nineteenth and early 20th century.


  1. Hi Katherine,
    thanks a lot for another plug.
    Your series about website optimization is very good researched and reminded me about my own to finally give it a re-vamp. I also wrote a short article about my experiences with creating an own website on my blog and entered some useful links and a link to your series which is much more detailed.
    In case you don't know this website for your own SEO: check out "SiteProNews" on
    They offer a free newsletter per subscription and a huge archive of very valuable articles about all sorts of tips and tricks. You can search these by keywords. There is a lot of stuff that you don't actually need but you can easily sort this out. But there is also a lot of very valuable info I learned a lot from and still do.

    Greetings, Petra

  2. Wow - great link Petra - THANK YOU!

  3. another interesting post :)

    re: Audubon and his endangered species - did you know that 100's were killed for him to paint? !

  4. Katherine,
    Thanks for the link, just great information. Maggie's three part marketing series is down to earth, factual and funny. And who could ever dismiss Jana's stand out article on "standing up".

    I look forward to your Sunday post and it's always an honor to be included.

  5. Hi Katherine, Thanks for the link to my blog. Yours is such a rich smorgasbord of valuable information. I can easily spend hours reading and following links. It reminds me of how I used to savor reading the Sunday New York Times from beginning to end (which used to take most of Sunday). Your information on art and technology is such a valuable resource. It's the first place I look when I need to learn something. Recently I've been looking for information about how to light still life setups to get good dimensional lighting and shadows. I'm having trouble finding anything. Any suggestions?

  6. Vivien - now you mention it - I think I do have vague recollections of it. How odd there's no mention of it on the website.

  7. Marsha - there's lots of good things to read on your blog too!

    It surely is a stand out article!

  8. Jana - I'm aware that these posts keep getting longer and longer - but there's such a lot of good stuff out there! ;)

    Have you tried my post about How to create a lightbox for macro photographs of still life

  9. I've been playing around with feedburner a bit, but I do second Mika's request - I'm a complete newbie to it.

    Great post, as always!

    I have two questions, though: Recently out of curiousity I've been trying to catch exactly when it is you post. I'm a college student so I'm always up very early - and you're in UK.. but every time I wake up and check here (which I do every morning), you've already posted! Curiosity killed the cat. lol. Do you post early morning when *I*m asleep then? :lol: <- yes, i know it doesnt work on blogger :(

    And do you draw every single day? there's always something pretty shown here!

  10. Isn't Maggie doing a sketch book give away for a certain numbered subscriber? That may be the start of a blogger trend related to subscription renumeration. But I guess the question is about a series. I wonder what that would look like? Good post, Katherine. I saw the Outdoor Painting site this week, too! Must be doing their SEO work, huh?

  11. Well Jael, it varies. I've nearly always got headings for future blog posts worked out and the weekly Sunday post gets built up during the course of the week. It's normally gets just a tidy up on Sunday morning

    I used to get up about 6am every day and aim to be posted by 9am!

    Then the shine wore off my halo and now I try to be up by 7am and have something posted by around 1pm which is about 8am on the East coast of the USA. That means people who read me via feedreaders get it more or less straight away.

    People who subscribe via Feedblitz won't get the post until the next day as that one's set to publish at midnight (because of the way Feedblitz works) Whereas I've got Feedburner set up so that it publishes somewhere between 3-5pm so people who have subscribed through Feedburner tend to get each post sooner (I think!)

    I'm intrigued by your question though. Maybe you're looking at the previous day's post???

    And yes - I draw virtually every single day - normally in the evenings. I also draw during the day if I go out or have a major project. (But I also draw very fast!!!)

    Then there's the reading to fit in....... ;)

  12. Katherine, Nope. I always am seeing that current day's post. Quite nice to always have something to read, haha!

    I'm subscribed through google reader, but I usually just type in the URL to here because it's faster than having to go through google (figures), and always find a new post by the time it's 8am central time :P

    I find that I'm really, really fast at sketching but if I have a project that I want to get *just* right, it takes me forever.

  13. Congratulations on the 200,000 mark and the top million... you do the art world proud ...and I can almost smell that sunlit rose!

  14. Thank you for the link, Katherine. Making A Mark is always a good read, and it's a very heady experience to see one's own blog mentioned here. Wow! I hope to be down off the ceiling sometime soon... I can't reach the sketchbook from here, and the dog keeps looking at me funny.


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