Sunday, April 27, 2008

27th April 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

James Lloyd and Iris
standing in front of Iris and me,

the portrait which won the RSPP's
Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture

It's not every day that your father paints your picture.

And it's not every day that you get taken along to a very big gallery space which is packed out with lots and lots (and lots!) of people because somebody wants to announce he's won a big important prize with your picture and to give him £10,000 and a gold medal.

This is my drawing tutor James Lloyd and his daughter Iris standing in front of his painting Iris and me, which won the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture this week at the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries. You can read more about Iris's big day in James Lloyd wins The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture.

I'm very sure Iris is going to remember having her photo taken at the big gallery with all those people when she grows up. If she's got any sense she'll engage her Mum as her agent right away to start negotiating with Dad for a new rate for her model fees!

Thanks to Jack at the Mall Galleries for the photo. My apologies to Leonard Rosoman (an artist I much admire) whose fine painting just behind James had some very insistent red which I've 'doctored' out.

The chef and his shadow
Ilaria Rosseli Del Turco

Expressing your views on your blog about other artists' work means that other artists always know that people are looking!

One of the really nice things about having this blog and writing about other artists whose work I see in exhibitions is that some of them then write to me. I had a lovely letter commenting on my blog from Ilaria Rosseli Del Turco whose portrait painting The Chef and his shadow in also in the RSPP exhibition.

Art Blogs

Thanks to Tracy Helgeson (Works by Tracy Helgeson) for some of the suggestions below. It's always great to see art bloggers recommending the blogs that they enjoy reading - and I'm always very pleased to pass on the ones that appeal to me when I take a look.
  • Randel Plowman in Northern Kentucky is making A Collage a Day. I'm always intrigued by how people start and how they know/choose what paper and other materials to use when making a collage. I wonder if it's the birds or his skill as a collage artist which means that these are a sell-out?
  • Kimberley Applegate describes her blog Joie de Vivre as being about trial size paintings posted often. It contains a wealth of repetition around the painting of chairs and paintings. Some are better than others but they all make you look! I loved the Thiebaud painting/George Nelson chair combination.
Other items on art blogs this week included:
When I was sketching last week, I noticed how confident I had become in making marks on the paper. I noticed that I was having an internal dialog with myself about composition, values, etc. It made me realize just how much I have benefited from my blog.
Rose Welty
Here's a few more in Vivien Blackburn's 'Drawing from Memory cartoon strip' project - as featured last week. I'm wondering about when I'm going to pull out the proverbial and have a go at this!
  • Jeanette again with A day in my life in Newfoundland
  • Maggie (Greywaren Art) sketched out her Thursday - complete with novel-writing, two small children, two dogs, a cat, a husband and cookie dough!
  • Anita (Anita Davies) - used a manikin for a neat twist for her cartoon in Monochrome
  • Following on from last week, even Dermott (living with Robyn Sinclair in Castiglion Fiorentino) rose to my challenge to respond on the question of whose bum looks biggest in a cartoon strip - see Dog with Opposable Thumb
Art Business and Marketing
  • In Clueless about art? the Guardian highlighted a new online lending library for contemporary art. This is the site they were referring to Art-Switch. I liked the synopsis (below). I can imagine a lot of people responding to that. For artists who are interested this is the Letter to Artists - which certainly seems to press a number of the right button - plus they have a nice section on Care for your Art.

Art-Switch is a library of original art where you can easily borrow or buy art at trustworthy prices you can understand. If you think finding original art is full of risks and hassle, Art-Switch is for you: it’s the only no-risk and hassle-free way to enjoy original art.

Art Competitions

You can download the prospectus for the 2008 Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society of America from the Exhibitions Page. The exhibition is to be held in the National arts lub between 5-20th September. Doug Dawson will be admitted to the Hall of Fame.

Art Exhibitions

I saw some statistics this week that suggested that more people went to museums last year than went to football matches. I wish I could find that reference - but here's a page that lists the top 10 free tourist attractions in 2007 - and it includes 7 museums of which 3 are art galleries. Tate Modern came second with 4.9 million visitors and the National Gallery came fourth with £4.5 million.

This is by way of introducing a rather longer exhibitions section than usual!

At a time when the notion of the book is challenged by the advent of the screen and computer, this exhibition aims to show the extraordinary ways in which the book has been treated by leading artists of today and the recent past. Blood on Paper will focus on new and contemporary work, and on books where the artist has been the driving force in conception and design. The past twenty years have seen outstanding work by some of the most influential and respected artists of our time.
V&A Museum
I've been a very busy this last week with botanical art and portraiture and visits to exhibitions and posts about exhibitions:
The Mall Galleries Ladies
4" x 8", pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Art materials and techniques
Artist's Studios
Book reviews
Blogging and websites
  • Here are the winners of the Webware 100. These are the 100 best Web 2.0 applications, chosen by Webware readers and Internet users across the globe.
    • Over 1.9 million votes were cast to select these Webware 100 winners, The categories include browsing, commerce and events, communication, productivity, publishing and photography and video.
    • You can see all the winners in one place, or page through the winners one-by-one in the Webware 100 Navigator. Rafe's analysis is worth reading.
    • DeviantArt made it into the top 10 sites under 'social' which is hardly surprising given it's the largest online art community in the world - with a big focus on manga/anime, cartoons and comic books and fan art.
  • Marsha Robinette (The Extraordinary Pencil) experienced one of the less nice aspects of blogging and Blogger this week - which she explains in The Extraordinary Pencil was held Hostage by Blogger!!
  • While I'm sympathetic to what Marsha went through, as one who has had content repeatedly stolen from this blog and inserted in spam blogs I do know how intensely annoying sploggers can be - and I am very much on Blogger's side in relation to them trying to do something about it. But Blogger really does need to get its act together on customer service as well. I really am very fed up from knowing that Google actually makes money from having spam in the system, from reading about how much money Google makes (see below) and then experiencing - as Marsha did this week - how very little of that moola they invest in the sort of customer support that Blogger needs to have. After all, the small technology companies can manage pretty fast response times - so why can't Google? Anybody else out there having problems with clumsy attempts to catch spam?
Google reported revenues of $5.19 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, an increase of 42% compared to the first quarter of 2007 and an increase of 7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.
and finally.........

If you've ever had your art or design ripped off there is now a site which fights back. Check out You thought we wouldn't notice.
Welcome to 'you thought we wouldn't notice' a site dedicated to pointing out those thing's that give you that feeling of 'haven't l seen that somewhere before?"
It posts images of 'copies' and copyright rip-offs which I guess the 'originators' thought would pass unnoticed. It's also an open blog, anyone can post their story. You need to read the About page before posting which includes the reasons why you shouldn't post work on the blog.


  1. Katherine, thanks for the nod(s) again towards my humble offerings on my blog.

    I love all of your posts, but the Sunday one is my favourite. I get a big mug of coffee and sit down with it reading and visiting links til I'm bug eyed. Its like my own version of the Sunday Times consisting of the arts section from front to back!

  2. :>) I've been sitting her waiting for your 'my day' post .....drums fingers

    It's been great fun seeing the answers to the 2 challenges so please add yours :>)

  3. thanks for the link to my site but you seem to have a bit of information wrong in about me. i am in fact a he and not a her.

    good luck with your blog!

    Randel Plowman

  4. Katherine,
    I appreciate your mentioning the way Blogger treats their customers. I understand that Spam Blogs are a problem...but as I addressed in my post, there has to be a better way of handling this situation.

  5. Jeanette - thanks for the comment. I always try to write what I'd also like to read!

    Vivien - the problem last week was that I had some mega posts and some mega exhibitions to go and see - we'll see what can be done this week. I'm priming Cosmo to deputise if I'm busy

    Marsha - believe me Blogger is just as bad when your content has been hijacked. In those circumstances I might still have access to my blog but getting Blogger to take action is virtually impossible. I ALWAYS end up going down the Google AdSense contract infringement route - because the splogs always have Google AdSense adverts on them!

    Google/Blogger really do have to get their act together by making their processes in relation to spam more accountable and more accessible.

  6. Randel - I do apologise - I've no idea why I didn't check! I'll amend the text now.

  7. I look forward to your Sunday posts too! The blog about rip offs is very interesting. I'm against this of course but I also think that there is bound to be similarities in design as there are so many designers and we are all influenced by more or less the same things the media feed us. I remember a big name quilter writing a rather nasty post about another quilter that she said had copied a friend's quilt but a short while after that I saw an illustration (somewhere obscure and I think it may have been a card) that was familiar and recognised it as the *accusers* 'prize winning quilt! The illustration was a couple of years older than her quilt and almost identical in design! Of course rip offs are big business but originality is pretty rare too.

  8. Many thanks for mentioning Dermott's cartoon, although I don't know that it's wise to encourage him. It is time Cosmo got his revenge!

    Like Marsha, I spent most of last week locked out of my new garden blog. I couldn't believe it, or what I'd done wrong.

  9. Katherine,
    So kind of you to mention my ramblings this week. I always love reading your blog.

  10. Thanks for the mention Katherine, and I've twittered the link to Rose Welty's great blog posts. :)


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