Friday, March 07, 2008

UKCPS have changed the exhibition rules....again

Umbrian Umbrella Pines
coloured pencils on Fabriano, 11" x 14"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

We have a solution! I'd like to thank the Executive of the UKCPS for reviewing the various comments which have been made in the last 48 hours and coming up with a solution to the matters which were causing concern. See
This is it - as announced in the UKCPS Yahoo Group last night by Pat Heffer, the UKCPS Exhibition Director.
Dear All,
I am writing in my role as the UKCPS Exhibition Director. The past 48 hours have been fraught to say the least, but I feel that a lot of good has come out of the many discussions.

We have decided to amend the rules as follows:-
    The Society wishes to see work submitted that is essentially the original work of the submitting artist from concept through design to completion. The exhibition should show the compositional and drawing skills of the artists, as well as their ability to use colour from a pencil source. For this reason, submitted work must meet a number of conditions:

    1. The concept design and execution of the artwork should be that of the artist, who will be asked to assert this. The artist must have taken any photograph used in its entirety for the whole work, but reference materials which contribute to the final composition can be obtained from any source, copyright laws permitting. Work cannot be submitted which has been executed in any teaching situation. No parts of work may be copied from copyrighted or published materials, without permission from the copyright holder and no images may be submitted which have been produced by drawing over a digital reproduction. Any reference material can be sourced to build up a composition, but producing an identical copy of someone else's composition regardless of whether the artist has permission or not, is not acceptable.
These rules will not come into effect until 2009, giving all of our members a chance to comply.

We have considered all of your comments and feel that this is the way forward. I do hope you agree.

Tomorrow Bob and I will start writing to all of our members explaining our decisions and including a revised entry form for Bristol. Entries for Keswick can be made on the new form sending in anything you would have sent in last year, the deadline being too close for us to be able to send out new entry forms. Emails will be sent whenever possible to save on postage. Please bear with us as this is going to take a bit of time to do!

The last thing we want to do is to upset our members, after all the society exists for all of you. Please do not think that the exec has become remote and out of touch. We all work very hard to promote and encourage cp work and personally my greatest reward comes from contact with members.

I look forward to hearing your comments,

Thanking you all for your input,
Pat Heffer

UKCPS - announcement in UKCPS Yahoo Group (members only) - reproduced by kind permission of Pat Heffer
My personal opinion is that I think this is an excellent compromise in relation to the various concerns.

From my perspective this means that:
  • All members and those wishing to submit to the Annual International Open Exhibition have more than a year to get used to the new rules, so all work being prepared for the 2008 exhibition under the old rules will continue to be eligible.
  • Artists will be recognised as autonomous individuals who make their own choices in relation to the comments of their peers. (The concerns about posting WIPs and getting peer comments and suggestions in online forums are effectively eliminated)
  • Teachers, on or off line, won't find work produced as a direct result of their teaching turning up in the UKCPS exhibitions. However, I still think teachers in any teaching situation, outside their own workshops, will need to be careful to get permission before supplying very detailed advice and instruction (eg online in forums) to avoid compromising the eligibility of any work for exhibition.
  • work which is a direct copy of a photograph by somebody else is clearly NOT acceptable. I'm interpreting the above to mean that the notion of copyrightable derivative works applies ie that any new work derived from a copyright source must be sufficiently different so that it can exist in its own right as a copyrightable work. This will mean two works using any photo from copyright free sources must NOT look the same as the photo or each other.
  • Some coloured pencil artists are going to need to develop their skills around design and sourcing reference material.
    • I know this is a particular concern of those who enjoy drawing animals and wildlife. I'm pleased to announce that Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) - who has a degree in zoology and exhibits at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art - is now planning a series of blog posts about how to get good reference resources for wild animals which comply with the new rules - and posted the first one today Obtaining Wildlife Reference Photographs for Artists: Part 1
    • I'd expect Talking Point - the UKCPS newsletter - and the UKCPS blog - to be used to highlight resources for any members wanting educational support around the concept and design areas of artwork as well as more technical matters pertaining to the use of coloured pencils.
  • Everybody can relax - except for Pat and Bob! Good luck with the communications - isn't e-mail wonderful?!
I'm hoping that we can see a whole new approach from UKCPS to supporting its members in relation to 'professional practices'. It's great in one respect that the membership is open to all but it can cause problems which the revised rules are trying to address.

I think the Society now needs to recognise that it must accept a duty to educate and place more emphasis on supporting members who lack knowledge or experience in standards expected in relation to submitting work for exhibitions. I'm quite sure that the 'mistakes' which have been made in the past have been made through ignorance rather than any attempt to deceive.

I'm more than happy to support any initiative in this respect and will continue to place an emphasis on this blog and my website and my other information sites on sharing information so that we can all continue to learn.

Finally, it's a brave and honourable Executive which is prepared to acknowledge when it has got it wrong, seek views and then revise what it has decided. I'm very proud that - although we had a few civilised tussles along the way - everything has been resolved in a satisfactory manner.

I'd particularly like to thank the UKCPS Chair - Peter Weatherill, Founder and Webmaster - Bob Ebdon and the Exhibitions Director - Pat Heffer for all the work they done over the last 48 hours - and all the work they now need to do to get revised instructions out to the huge number of members that the Society now has.

For any UKCPS members reading this, can I commend to you the UKCPS Yahoo Group as a way of staying in touch and asking questions of the Executive. It has been invaluable in the last 48 hours.

[Update: This is the post on the UKCPS News blog -Revisions to Rules for UKCPS Exhibitions. This summarises how forms and communications will work in the remainder of 2008.]

[Update 8th March 2008: The application form - which contains the rules and conditions now applicable for 2008 - and which must be used for the Annual Open International Exhibition 2008 is now available on the UKCPS website]

Umbrian Umbrella Pines - the coloured pencil drawing at the top - is a work I developed at home after sketching this view one hot September afternoon in Tuscany - just across the border from Umbria. The photographs were a huge disappointment and, while providing sound information about placement, proportion and perspective, they totally lacked the correct colours - I was really glad I had my colour study sketches to work from in developing this piece - in which I pushed the colours still further!


  1. A perfect outcome. Well done, Katherine, for publicizing this and bringing about the changes you wanted. The new rules make a lot more sense. It speaks well of the organization that they responded so quickly and gracefully to the concerns of their members.

  2. A bravo to them and you for your efforts! (and I'm not even a CP artist) It was very nice to read the revised statement, I'm so glad you have a society that is concerned about supporting their members and other interested in the medium. :)

  3. Congratulations on your Rules campaign, Katherine. You and your Fineline friends are a cyber force to be reckoned with!

    Lovely warm colour and composition in your Umbrella pines. They are my favourite trees. Time you got back here to do some more.

  4. Congratulations on your Rules campaign, Katherine. You and your Fineline friends are a cyber force to be reckoned with!

    Terrific composition and beautiful warm colours in your Umbrella Pines. It is my favourite tree. Time you got back here to do some more.


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