Sunday, June 08, 2008

8th June 2008: Who's made a mark this week?

The Pimms Bar at the Summer Exhibition 2008,
Gallery III, Royal Academy of Arts
8" x10", pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I enjoyed my Private View of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on Friday. It was packed as usual and, as usual, I did my annual sketch of the Pimms Bar! This time I did the sketch from some new seating - which was AWFUL. Can I just repeat that - TRULY AWFUL - just in case anybody from the RA is reading. Bar type stools which are inherently unstable are a health and safety risk - and I had to sit very still while sketching this because although the view was very good and I had a table to sit at and put my Pimms on, any sudden movement saw me lurching towards the ground very quickly!

I later discovered that the alternative new benches placed in every room were equally badly designed. They made horrendous creaking noises as people sat on them - and I soon discovered this was because they are supporting the weight of 6-8 people with an inadequate design and no support in the middle. I made sure to sit towards the ends and I recommend anybody visiting to do likewise.

I did begun to wonder whether the chairs and benches were somebody's idea a performance art installation! Certainly the antics of people responding to the disconcerting nature of the seating were interesting to watch although I could have done without the experiences of 'sitting'.

The Summer Exhibition - minus the Pimms Bar - opens to the public tomorrow and continues in the Main Galleries until 17th August. The RA website has:
You can watch The Summer Exhibition: A Culture Show Special on BBC at 7pm on Thursday 12 June. The Sunday Times today has an article about the Summer exhibition and how it is changing Tracey Emin at the Royal Academy summer show (Tracy Emin has curated a room this year). I'll be doing a blog post about my visit on my Travels with a Sketchbook blog either later today or tomorrow.

Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro
in the Courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts, London

copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Art Blogs
  • Last week The Guardian had a rare interview with renowned US artist Cy Twombly. He talked to Tate Director Nicholas Serota about his work. Serota has been working with Nicholas Cullinan of the Courtauld Institute of Art on Tate Modern's Cy Twombly exhibition, called Cycles and Seasons. This will be This is his first solo retrospective in fifteen years, provides an overview of his work from the 1950s to now and is the most important exhibition of Twombly's work anywhere in the world for 15 years. It opens at Tate Modern on 19th June.
  • I used to have a boyfriend who was a DeadHead, which for anybody who wasn't around in the 60s and 70s means he was a dedicated fan of the Grateful Dead. I wasn't. However I did find their album covers fascinating. Alton Kelley, the artist behind the album covers of Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish and others died this week - from complications from osteoporosis.
  • Sheona Hamilton-Grey (Black on grey on White) highlihted Rien Poortvliet - the man who drew the Gnomes - as her contribution to Maggie Stiefvater's Artists in May blog project.
Art Business and Marketing
  • I came across Landscape Artists International this week - which includes some familiar names as charter members and members. Career stage, strength of reputation, and apparent financial success are not to be considered in jurying applications for membership. Commitment to the furthering of art appreciation and sharing knowledge with others may be considered as a factor. This page provides the criteria applied for jurying applications
  • Greg Perkins, Contributing Editor of Art Business News has an article about The Fine Art of Framing which discusses high end framing trends and custom framing for galleries and artists. It includes some useful comments - one of which I include below.
Of the categories of color, style and scale, I believe scale is usually the most misunderstood and abused. In order for your frame designs to be perfect, you have to pay attention to all three of these areas. The most important consideration is for the frame design to balance with the art. A common problem is the use of mat borders and frame mouldings that are narrower than they should be. A narrow mat border can degrade the perceived value of the art because the visual weight of the frame tends to crowd the piece when it isn’t set back with a more generous mat border.
Greg Perkins
Art exhibitions

Christus und Maria,
by Lucas Cranach the Elder

It's the last day of the Cranach exhibition at the Royal Academy today - which I visited on Friday. It contained one painting which I found amazing and arresting given the bold nature of its composition and subject. It's Jesus and Mary (but they weren't sure which - Virgin or Magadelene!). If it were to be done as a contemporary portrait it would still seem bold. Anyway - and I did a sketch and then found this article Lucas Cranach: A master of irony and ambiguity in the International Herald Tribune this morning which was equally astounded by it - but it has a proper photo of the painting! If you're interested there are more resources in the RA link and on Wikipedia in Lucas Cranach the Elder
Art galleries and museums
Art materials and supplies
  • news from Artifolk that they are getting the Caran d'Ache Luminance Pencils in their individual colours. These were being demonstrated at the Patchings Art Craft and Design Festival (last day today) - but the general consensus seems to be they are horrendously expensive. Looks to me like Caran d'Ache might need to review how they amortize their R&D costs!
  • This week I commented on the way in which Saunders Waterford HP responds to coloured pencil in Saunders Waterford Hot Press - pros and cons for coloured pencils. The image is one I completed in class on Thursday night - it took me about 90 minutes.
Drawing a Head 5th June 2008
pencil and coloured pencils
on Saunders Waterford Hot Press
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I started my colour project this week - and it seems to have aroused a fair amount of interest. It runs during June and July and these are the links to the first few posts:
I'm dipping in and out of the Handprint site with regularity and found a particular link which I commented on in Buyer beware on Thursday. This attracted a fair few comments and even turned into a bit of a fan page for Handprint!

Resources for artists

I 'officially' published three new information sites this week - including one today! They are
As always I'm very happy to receive any comments and suggestions on my sites either on the lens or the relevant blog post.

Coming soon: I've got 7 more new information sites queuing up to be announced on this blog - plus yet more that I'm still working on! If you'd like to check out the latest ones, check out Making A Mark on Squidoo. - which always has a complete inventory of all sites whenever they are published. See if you can spot all seven new ones which have as yet not been announced!

Websites and blogging
  • Do you know which are the top 25 blogs about blogging? Check out this link to find out. I've had some excellent tips from some of them but certainly have not explored all of them or even heard of some of them!
  • Have you come across the Art Law Blog before?
and finally.....

My blogging was very nearly brought to a halt this week by an absolutely massive unexploded bomb from WWII which was found during ongoing work to the 2012 Olympic site near where I live. It was the biggest one found in the last 30 years.

We've had absolutely terrific disruption of tube and rail traffic. Apparently at one point they were thinking about evacuating c.40,000 people which might have included me! This video link shows you the controlled explosion AFTER they removed the explosives - and it's the biggest controlled explosion I've EVER seen. Goodness only know what would have happened if it went off as they were dismantling it the other night and it started ticking and oozing explosive - yikes!!!


Madelaine said...

Just wanted to pass on a thanks for the colour posts that you have been putting together... been helpful :)

Glad to hear that you didn't have to be evacuated due to the WWII bomb... yikes! That is something you don't come across every day.

Tina Mammoser said...

Wow! What a bomb!

Thanks for the Cy Twombly interview link. I'm sooooo looking forward to the exhibition but missed the interview during the week.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Another information feast! So much to look at today and read. The Cy Twombly exhibition just might be the excuse I need for a trip to London!

Thank you, Katherine for all the FlyingPictures links. It's a wonderful boost. I've noted the potential for posts to be confusing and will see if we can do something about it. There'll be close to 100 pages of art posted by the time we finish!

Unknown said...

Hi Katherine,
thank you for the lovely plug on my blossoms blog.
Hm - I am not sure about the gardens though - LOL.
All - and I mean really all - the photos are from Munich city area.
I suspect people (the gardeners) know me in the neighbourhood in the meanwhile as the crazy one who has apparently nothing to do but cycling around and taking photos...

Btw - great articles about colour!

Greetings, Petra

Jeanette Jobson said...

Cy Twombly - I really should live in London...

That bomb is something else. Lucky they did find it!

And you are SO productive in terms of research and writing! I feel like a sloth in comparison.

Anonymous said...

As someone who does a lot of work in black & white and who doesn't use colour "expressively" I've been peeking at your colour posts with great interest.

And wow! a bomb from WWII!? People who work in emergency services (police, fire, paramedics, bomb disposal etc) are an amazing group. I'm glad to hear it ended well.

Post a Comment

COMMENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AGAIN due to very silly ignorant people who leave spam comments without realising they have no benefit for them.

Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there (but please note anonymous comments are not published and I block and report spammers to Google and on Facebook)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.