Sunday, September 07, 2008

7th September 2008 - Who's made a mark this week?

Lots of people to congratulate today and this week! There are some more listed in the sections below. Congratulations to:
  • Doug Dawson, who was elected a PSA Master Pastelist in 1985, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) at their 36th Awards Dinner next weekend associated with the PSA's 36th Annual "Pastels Only" Juried Exhibition which opened last Friday [More details about the exhibition in art competitions and exhibitions below. Find out more about the way Doug works in the art education and workshop section below.]
Pastel Society of America - 36th Annual Exhibition Featured artwork by Doug Dawson
  • France Belleville over at Wagonized - who has just quietly slipped in to her latest post that she's just got married to Tom! Many congratulations from me. As somebody said the only clue was the drawing of "Our Birks".
  • Google celebrates its 10th birthday today - Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated it on 7th September 1999 and ten years later they are billionaires! I was expecting a super razzle dazzle logo for the Google browser page but nothing as yet....... The BBC commented about Google at 10 and CNET had this overview - At 10 years old, whither Google? [More comments about new Google products in websites and blogging.]
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google mission statement
Art Blogs and Artists Art Business and Marketing
The Lemon Tree House - fine art print
available here

Art Collectors I'm trying to develop a bit of a theme about art collectors, art collections and collecting this month.
  • On Tuesday, I started a new poll about collecting art and wrote a post asking Do you collect art? Are you an 'art collector'? It's had a great response to date - but if you've not voted yet please do so. The results to date indicate, guess what? Exactly as I suspected, most artists also collect art! The only limitation appears to be financial rather than interest. The post has had lots of really great and detailed comments about how people collect and why people collect (or don't collect) for which many thanks - and if you've not read them I do suggest taking another look at this post. I'm hoping that a little prompt every Sunday will generate enough votes and comments for some really interesting analysis - along the lines of what I did for my first poll. I'll post an interim chart next week.
  • I like the way some people use Flickr to really demonstrate the power of collections of similar subjects and/or subject matter done in one media. For example check out France Belleville's wonderful sets on Flickr and, in particular, her drawings with a pen, with a pencil and her 'ladies'.
  • Rhiannon Connelly (Starry Blue Sky) based in Edinburgh also showed us one of the ways people have of showing off how items can look good together in a collection in Etsy Treasuries - a secret addiction. She even got hers on to the front page of Etsy!
  • I like Duane Keiser's description of the connections between artist and collector in On Collecting in his blog On Painting
When a painting finds its way into the home of a collector it becomes part of a story. It is the story of paths crossing, of a painting having a serindipitous encounter with someone who was ready, at a specific moment in their life, to feel some connection to what the artist, at a specific moment in his life, felt the need to paint.
Duane Keier - On Collecting
Art competitions and exhibitions
Aristocrat - in stages
coloured pencil and Neocolour II on Ampersand Pastelbord

copyright Gayle Mason
Art education and workshops

PSA's Hall of Fame inductee - Doug Dawson
photo courtesy of Michael Chesley Johnson
We made sure to work hard on our value designs first. "I never used to do them," Doug said, "until I started teaching them. Then I found that they really do improve your compositional skill dramatically."
Doug Dawson Workshop - Days 4 & 5
Rob usually prepares his paper using an wash of ochre watercolor and then covers this with a diluted shellac. The shellac allows him to get the most out of the prismacolor pencils that he uses and seems to help prevent a waxy buildup.
Robert Liberace Workshop, Mashfield, MA
Art Supplies Art Videos
  • Duane Keiser (A Painting A Day)has produced another video - this time it's all about how to make a PB&J
Colour Tips and techniques
  • Marion Boddy Evans over at has been writing about Top 5 Ways to Ruin a Painting
  • have you Downloaded a free PDF of the special report, “73 Best Websites for Artists,” from the October 2008 issue of Watercolor Artist? It's a really nice idea in principle but has a couple of problems.
    • First any article which declares something to be the 'best' always makes me want to ask "Who says?" because unless there's been a vote then it's only ever an opinion not a fact!
    • Second, rather a lot of the sites listed are good but really quite generalist in nature and, if that approach is to be adopted, there are some really glaring omissions - plus why stop at 73?.
    • Personally speaking I'd have much preferred to have seen a listing which was dedicated to the very best in every aspect of watercolour art. Mind you, it's given me an idea .........;)
  • Luann Udell made ma laugh with CLEANING YOUR ATTIC Tip #3: Curb It!
Blogging and Website matters

A couple of techie posts from yesterday: In the ever expanding world of Google (and Blogger and Picasa) there are a lot of things going on. I refuse to use the Google toolbar and I have a policy of trying to find applications which are not owned by Google. I've recently started to use search engines which are not Google (more about this in next week's Techie post) plus my photos are archived on Flickr etc. - however I'm not averse to sharing what's going on! :)
Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
  • Google has launched a new internet browser Chrome which can work with or Windows Vista/XP SP2 - I've yet to see the video which simply won't start for me!
If you're not careful with your privacy settings, Google has the right to log every keystroke you type into the browser's address/search bar.
Google's Omnibox could be Pandora's box
  • If you're a Blogger blogger, have you noticed how the Blogger dashboard page has changed?
    • There's the Reading List- which I have partially implemented - it seems to be linked to Follower. The partial is because it only lists the feeds in Google Reader and I stopped using that and now use Bloglines beta.
    • Blogger also seems to have the Follower function up and running and I'm trialling it -but found I only had one follower! I'm hoping this is because it's very new! I guess I'm also more than a bit concerned that it's going to further increase the load time - and of course it's only ever going to show Blogger Bloggers. I'm going to be trying to do a post about the pros and cons of it at some point in this next week.
and finally......

Test your colour IQ
with this test from x-rite. Vivien told me about it - and then told me she got a big fat zero - which means she's totally perfect! I got 12 which means I'm very nearly perfect - and I'm going to have another go after I've not been staring at a computer screen for several hours!

Do have a go at the test - it's Munsell oriented and a really good way of seeing how good you are assessing gradations of colour. Your result will also tell you which ranges of colour are giving you problems in assessing relationships.


  1. If I read nothing else on the web each week this is my one must read (along with following the links). Just wanted to say thank you.

  2. Thanks Jana - it takes a bit of time to put together but getting comments like that makes it always feel worthwhile! :)

  3. Wonderful post as always Katherine.

    I couldn't resist the colour hue test. I got 75.

  4. I got a score of zero (perfect colour vision) on the second attempt - after a cup of tea. Tea rejuvenates...... ;)

  5. I would add that I worked out that there is a trick to doing it - which I was a bit more methodical about applying second time around.

    See if you can work it out........

  6. Katherine,
    Thank you for the kind mention of my blog and my twin sister's blog as well (she's the older twin btw).

    Now off for the test!

  7. Holy smokes a zero n my first attempt (after a nice misha's coffee though).

  8. Have Tou thoughaboit changing where you blog?
    I am useing Wordpress now and finding it very good, it may not have millions of bloggers but at least support is there to help you if there is a problem, and they do reply!
    One of the reasons why I changed was that Blogger is getting a bit too powerfull
    One last thing the uploading of photos is much quiker and more reliable.

  9. Chris - uploading photos is not a problem. My experience of Blogger to date is that every time they change something they have a little period where things don't work quite so well, then they fix it and then it works for a bit and then it starts all over again. I guess it's pretty similar elsewhere.

    There's also the little matter of getting c.900 people to change their subscriptions

    If I was ever going to change then I'd go for a website which was mine.

  10. Thanks to Michael Chesley Johnson for pointing out to me that Doug Dawson was made a Master Pastelist in 1885. That's what you're eligible for when a pastel artists has won a PSA prize in three different years.

  11. Shucks - sorry for the typo - 1985 not 1885!!!

  12. Katherine, a big long-overdue THANK YOU for all the terrific information you provide. The depth and breadth and quality is astounding...when do you sleep?!?

  13. Thanks so much for the kind mention Katherine - I'm truly humbled to be included in one of your posts (especially considering the quality of the other artists you mention)! I'm a loyal reader, and I'm always thankful for all of the information you pull together here - you do a great job keeping us all up to date, so thanks also for all of your hard work!

  14. Just a note to thank you once again for this blog. I read this today and just feel overwhelmed by all the things I learn and the artists you expose to us-You are part of what develops me as an artist- I AM GRATEFUL!

  15. Katherine, the color test brought back memories for me. I once interviewed with an ink company and had to take a test like this, but it wasn't on the computer and I think there were at least six trays (or strips) of colors. I did very well but wasn't interested in the job. This was all before I started painting. I couldn't resist taking this test. I got an 11 the first time and a zero the second.


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