Sunday, March 09, 2008

9th March 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) draws and paints animals and excels at pencil art. This week I'm featuring aspects of the three sides to Gayle Mason's art - dogs, cats and wildlife - and a field mouse called Harry.
  • Dogs: Gayle breeds and shows her family of prize-winning Rough Collies - hence the title of her blog "Fur in the Paint". She started her art career by drawing dogs and now displays a wide range of breeds on her website. I was supposed to be with her at Crufts yesterday (except I cried off) on the Working and Pastoral Group day. Instead she scampered round the ring while showing her youngest bitch Roxie in the Rough Collie class.
  • Cats: Gayle does simply wonderful cat drawings which are extremely popular and exhibits at the Society of Feline Artists (with me!). She's currently working on this year's submissions. However, last week she found time to create a wonderful new information site called How to draw and paint cats. I've added it into my Squidoo group Resources for Artists.
  • Wild Life: One of the little known facts about Gayle is that she has a zoology degree which helps her with her drawings of wildlife. Arising out of this week's debate about the rules for future UKCPS exhibitions (see and finally....or is it?), she's started a new series of posts on her blog designed to help all those artists who have to comply with new rules and/or tight constraints about allowable photographic references for wildlife art. Obtaining Wildlife Reference Photographs for Artists: Part 1 and Part 2. In the first post you can see some of the local wildlife in her garden - where Harry currently holds court.
  • All keen animals artists should be aware that Gayle is very generous in sharing techniques for how she approaches her work. She's also very keen on experimenting with new surfaces for her art. Two years ago, Gayle led the revival (in the UK and online) of the use of drafting film among coloured pencil artists. You can read about it here in
So what has everybody else been up to this week?

Please accept my apologies for not getting 'out' much this week to visit other blogs. I've been a little preoccupied this week plus I've had a horrendous head cold for most of the week which has had me groaning with the wearisome nature of the symptoms - something I've not done in years! I'm on the mend and in dire need of a chap stick!

Here's my pick of what I did see.

Art Business & marketing
“Your job is not to judge what you make. Your job is to make it, and get it out into the world. Others can judge it once it’s out there, but you can’t hold it back by judging it beforehand.”
Susan - quoted in Professional Jealousy part 2
I believe that in response to the expanding access that technology brings into our culture, there will be a response back toward small, community oriented, face-to-face human contact between the farmer and the cook, the artist and the home owner. Art will become personal again, a hands on, in the studio, smelling the wet oil paint while arguing with the artist kind of thing. It will be the total experience that people crave in response to the isolation of sitting for hours in front of computer screens. My job as the artist is to discover how best to facilitate this concept .
Sue Favinger Smith
“I don’t know if this is the beginning of something wonderful, or the end of something wonderful,” said Amy Cappellazzo, co-head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s. “But we’ve seen the use of JPEGs increase dramatically, exponentially, in the last few years. It’s all about the speed of the market. Without the use of digital images, this market would come to a grinding halt.”
New York Times JORI FINKEL
Published: February 4, 2007
Art Competitions and Exhibitions
  • CAUTION: I recommend that any US resident thinking of submitting an entry to Prismacolor's National Art Competition 'For Art's Sake' reads the official rules very carefully as they include a requirement (see below) which concerns me.
Entries become the property of Sanford, L.P. (“Sponsor”) and will not be acknowledged or returned...........By submitting an Entry into this Competition, entrant unconditionally assigns and transfers to Sponsor all rights, title, interest and claim to entrant’s Entry and Artwork, including, without limitation, all intellectual property rights therein. Sponsor shall have the right to use, publish, alter, assign, edit, sell, license or dispose of such Entry and Artwork however it sees fit without approval of, or compensation to, entrants...............Entrants shall not receive any compensation or credit for Sponsor’s use of Entry or Artwork, other than as disclosed in these rules or as determined by Sponsor in Sponsor’s sole discretion. Entries/Artwork may be featured on Sponsor’s website (, and may be used in packaging for sponsor’s product(s) with or without credit given to the entrant.
Prismacolor Official Rules
    • You can create an original piece of art using the materials identified in one of the following categories: Colored Pencil, Art Markers, Graphite/Charcoal, Pastels, Pen &, Ink or Mixed Media. Prizes of $5,000 are available and the deadline is 31st May
    • BUT make sure you read the official rules carefully before you submit any work. They are very detailed and VERY unusual. They state that if you enter you sign away all your intellectual property rights irrespective of whether or not you win a prize. This means if you submit you give them your artwork - and all uses they may find for it - completely for free with no 'comebacks'. Very odd - I've never ever seen rules like this before - I wonder if they are a mistake?
    • If you have any queries you need to direct them to Prismacolor - except I can't find a contact e-mail address for the competition but there is a form for comments and queries.
    • If you have a view please comment below. Many thanks to Judy (Kats in Klompen) for alerting me to this.
  • See the end of this post for a round-up of the comings and goings and bloggings in relation to the UKCPS exhibitions this week
Art Education - 'how to.....'
Art Materials and Supplies
Art Videos
Featured Artists
Websites and Blogging
and finally...... or is it?

Some of you will have been aware that the internet lines were humming this week in relation to the proposed new rules for exhibitions of coloured pencil art with the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society.

For those who missed it here are the bloggers' contributions to the debate PLUS links to the relevant posts but I'm starting with the pages which explain the outcome for exhibitions in 2008 and 2009 and concluding with a NEW blog post at the end which relates to CPSA.
I remember being really blown away by this drawing when I saw it at the Strathmore, but to be honest - I feel kinda cheated now......Sort of makes me wonder how many other drawings in that show were staggeringly well executed yet meaningless reproductions.
S G Chipman Deja Vu - read his post to find out why


Gayle Mason said...

Thank you for featuring me Katherine, I am extremely honoured.

Unknown said...

On the prismacolor rules, you might want to check the page again and see if there's anything worth mentioning once more.
If you look at the page info (right click > page info), the page was just modified today, and I am certain that sections 6, 7 and 8 were not included when I read them two days ago. So more information to note, I suppose.

Making A Mark said...

Jael - there was actually lots and lots I could comment on. To be honest I only picked out the key points which I felt people ought to be aware of.

They are the most peculiar set of competition rules I've ever seen - but I think I'll be looking at other competition rules more carefully in future!

Anonymous said...

Nice interview with Gayle Kathrine!

I was having ongoing conversation with Bob and others about the UKCPS rule changes. I wasn't completely thrilled with the changes, until they came up with a final version the other day. They're acceptable now, still a bit overstretching, but that's for another conversation.

Lots of good information throughout your blog! I'll have to come back and read some more.


Making A Mark said...

Notwithstanding I think Gayle has a huge amount to offer, I also owe her one - I've bottled on two Crufts on the trot due to illness!

Gayle is one amazing lady - she has a full time and very responsible job
+ she runs house and family
+ dog family,
+ shows her dogs,
+ does all her cats prints and commissions - and deals with all the clients and sales
+ is ALWAYS exploring new ways of doing things - and then showing people
+ is always out gathering source material.

I really don't know how she does it - other than that she knows what she wants to do and she just gets on with it and gets it done! It certainly seems to work! Plus I guess it just goes to show all the rest of us that if you want to fits things in it is in fact possible - so long as you get organised!

Marsha Robinett said...

Your Sunday "Who's made a mark" is always packed full of links to great's an honor to be included. Thank you.

PS...You include sooooo many links in your posts, I have to ask, have you developed a "quick" method or is it as labor intensive as it appears?

Making A Mark said...

Thanks Marsha. Posts always take quite a bit of time to put together. I have two approaches - one is very disciplined and one is Surfer's Paradise!

Draft: For both approaches, I always start the draft for the following week as I'm finalising each week. That way if I have too much good stuff, I can carry some over.

During the week as I find items that are suitable I copy the relevant link(s) and drop it/them into the draft. I usually don't do the 'proper write up' at this stage unless it's either very simple or very complicated.

Feature item and image: By Wednesday I'm thinking about what might be suitable for the feature item each week. As this also generates the image I need to give myself enough time to get written permission to use it.

OK the two approaches to items and how to find them.

Disciplined: I have a very, very long blogroll in Bloglines Beta. What you see in the blogroll on the blog is just the tip of the 'iceberg'. I try to get through most of that towards the back end of the previous week. That means anybody posting anything good at the end of the week may get missed.

Surfing: I start on one blog and keep surfing through links in their posts or links in their blogroll. That means I don't limit myself to blogs I've already found and which are already in my blogroll.

I like blogs which consistently produce good content which is informative. That means that somebody's blog might produce stunning paintings week after week but I can't keep having them as featured artist! So what I look for is content which is helpful to me and helpful to others.

By Sunday morning I hopefully only need to write words around the items and don't actually have to go out looking. It varies from week to week but that's the general aim.

Is that what you expected?

Anonymous said...

Good Grief! And this was a slow week for you? I also had that cold ickiness coupled with bronchitis. Fun! Hope you're feeling better. Thanks so much for the wonderful links filled with talent and insight. Looking forward to exploring them all.

Unknown said...

Re: Art Competitions
Hi Katherine,
I think it cannot be emphasized enough that artists should read ALL the bits and pieces very carefully not only once but twice and after sleeping over it a third time. Good that you brought this up again!
I have come across a lot of statements which sound not only "fishy" but drop dead painful as well. Same applies if people are looking for presentation in galleries.
What "worries" me most is that artists are often very naive to believe that venues don't watch out for getting their share of the cake. There is ALWAYS a "qui bono" to ask therefore in advance. The second trap, into which many artists fall, is the "vanity" trap. Although this is something I do not pity, as it is a character thing, it is still the instrument that works best for those who consider artists to be an easy prey due to the nature of their profession.
As always - there is a bit of work necessary to check out the rotten apples but the Internet can really help to sort this out using f.e. forums such as wetcanvas.
There is also a website who brandmarks the sinners in this round such as:
Unfortunately this website has not been updated since 2005 but gives an idea what's going on and helps to think about the right keywords to look for.
Another site I can recommend dearly to be kept in everybody's favourites is this one:
Also here I do not know how up-to-date this is.
I wished the rotten apples would be made more public. I only can recommend everybody really using the Internet for a check - the good thing here is that bad things spread fast - AND your common sense before agreeing to something you wished you had never done!

Greetings, Petra

Reflections From Life Art Blog said...

Hey Kathriine!

Thanks for all the links you provided in this article. I'm a new blogger and am looking for information oon blogging as well as other bloggers with similar interests. These links help me out a lot!!


Anonymous said...

If only I had the time to follow all the interesting links in this post, and this is on a week when you were ill and said you didn't come up with as much stuff as usual! I hope you're feeling better now.

I too find it shocking that someone would win a competition copying someone else's photo. I have time for a couple more links and then it's off to bed.

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for sharing your process. It's helpful for others to see your "plan of action". Was it as I expected? Pretty much. Adding links to a post is labor intensive any way you look at it. I was hoping you had a "magic method"!I appreciate your work and your dedication to other artists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I was about to submit my artwork but figured it'd be good to look over the rules. I'm not a lawyer, but I found a lot of it to be pretty shocking - most of which you pointed out in this entry.

I thought it'd be cool to enter this contest since I only use Prismacolor products and the $5,000 could really help fund my animation. Something just doesn't seem right about this, so I'll think about it a bit more.

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