Sunday, October 12, 2008

12th October 2008 - Who's made a mark this week?

Vermeer in China by David Paskett VPRWS
53cms x 43cm, watercolour
Copyright David Paskett. Courtesy of the Bankside Gallery/RWS.

After all the controversy there's been about watercolour paintings recently, I'm really looking forward to getting out to see some really good watercolour paintings at the Autumn Exhibition of the Royal Watercolour Society - hopefully this afternoon! The above painting by leading watercolourist David Paskett, the Vice President of the RWS, is on the Private View invitation (which always clashes with my drawing class!) - and it's an excellent example of realistic and representational art where you can see that it is has been painted! (Enough said?)

I'll be doing a review this week but you can have a sneak on the exhibition page of the RWS website. Scroll down to see a sample of paintings in water-based media being exhibited by the members of the RWS. I'm afraid they won't enlarge if you click them but I'm sure they'll provide an incentive to people to visit the exhibition before it closes in the 8th November.

Art Blogs

I am really beginning to enjoy the new followers function on Blogger. I'm finding new blogs which found me before I found them!
Two people who I've followed in the past have started blogging again after lengthy breaks.
One of the great things about this 'follower' technology is that it's easy to spot a familiar face you haven't seen in a long time......
  • Susan Borgas (Art And Stuff) is back posting again and has finally finished that painting
  • Anita Murphy (am-art ) announced in Sour Grapes that she has moved from the sand dunes to Pakistan and is now able to contemplate plein air work
Artist sketchbooks and online collections
The remarkable story of Smithie, who drew and fought in northern France in the first world war, is being told for the first time after his diary, complete with hundreds of vivid illustrations, was published yesterday.
The drawings in this virtual exhibition were created by children of the Osoyoos Indian Band who attended the Inkameep Day School, near Oliver, British Columbia, on the Nk'Mip Reserve. Between 1932 and 1942 these students and their teacher Anthony Walsh worked together to create drawings, paintings, stories and plays that honoured traditional Okanagan language and culture. The arts became a way for the students, aged six to sixteen, to depict their everyday realities and their evolving sense of identity, growing up in mid-twentieth-century British Columbia.
  • Plus I enjoyed looking at the wonderful colours of the landscapes in Nathan Fowkes old sketchbooks.
Art business and marketing

Delete the outliers--the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way, and we're left with everyone else. And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success. Not all the time, but as much as you would expect. Smarter, harder working, better informed and better liked people do better than other people, most of the time.
Seth Godin - Is effort a myth?
Warning: This week I came across a blog which I'm not going to link to or name here for reasons which will become apparent. The blog 'snags' images of art it finds sold on various online sites (I spotted ebay and yessy) and blogs. It then makes sarcastic comments about it or questions its right to label itself as art while failing to identify the art, the maker or where it is for sale. Comments are of very much along the lines of "my six year old could have done better" type. It is of course also plastered with Google Ads and other means of deriving income from blogs. It looks like the spammers have found a new way to create spam blogs AND make fun of hobby artists at the same time all under the guise of "humour". I checked some of the images and it looks like they have all had their original file names removed - and replaced with the sort of keywords which generate a lot of ad income.

Art Economy

I don't know about anybody else but I think all this 'Black Monday/ Black Friday' stuff has had an impact on my drawing - I've been doing rather more pen and ink.

(left) Study of Tate Trees #1, 210mm x 297mm,
(Right) Drawing a Head 09.10.08. 16" x 11.5" pen and ink on Canson Bristol Board
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Art Exhibitions
  • On Monday I was in overdrive blogging about the UKCPS Annual International Open Exhibition 2008. Many congratulations to Peter Höhsl (Austria) who won the Best in Show with "Facing the Enemy", Carol Bramley who won First Prize with "Black Watch" and my friend Nicole Caulfield who came third with Night's Agents. For those who've ever have ever had a piece not selected for exhibition and wondered why check out the tale of Nicole Caulfield's red shoes at the end of my post.
  • If you've not done so already check out my review of the 45th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists plus follow through some of those links to see the websites and art of lots of wildlife artists. I highlighted three who work from life.
Exhibitions which have just opened include:
  • The major exhibition, ‘Picasso et les Maîtres’ runs in Paris from 6 October 2008 - 2 February 2009. It brings together works from each period of his varied career with paintings by the Masters on loan from the Louvre, the Orsay and Paris' Picasso Museum. The exhibition explores the influence that great masters such as Manet, Delacroix, Renoir, Velasquez, Titian and van Gogh had on the work of Picasso. Picasso and the Masters is an exhibition in four locations within Paris. There are various reviews online. If anybody can find a working website for the Grand Palais or this exhibition can you let me know.....and before people start making Eurostar bookings the exhibition is coming to the Nation Gallery in 2009

Almost 200 of his works will be on show from October, many on loan from some of the world's most prestigious collections. In an attempt to explore Picasso's status as "heir" to the greats, all three venues will display his works alongside masterpieces from which he is thought to have drawn inspiration.

The majority will be shown in the Grand Palais, where an exhibition of 120 Picasso canvasses will hang alongside works by painters including Velásquez, Goya, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Louvre will play host to his variations on Delacroix's Women of Algiers, while the Musée d'Orsay will juxtapose Manet's original Déjeuner sur l'herbe with Picasso's later reworking. There's a detailed presentation.

Guardian - Paris match: Museums unite for Picasso season (my links)

Art Forums

The new owners of the American Artist magazine set-up (ie titles "American Artist," "Drawing," "Watercolor," and "Workshop") has created a new website as an online community for artists. I had an invite to join it earlier in the week and wrote about this yesterday here The New "American Artist" Online Community. I see from my growing list of 'friends' on the site that a number of you have also now found it! :)

I've got an important additional point to make. As stated I hadn't properly explored the galleries and video set up. However I've now discovered that there is a download button next to every image. While this may be OK for videos that American Artist is allowing access to, IMO it is very definitely not OK in relation to artwork. Especially as there are no copyright notices linked to individual images - for example as you get with the individual image pages on Flickr.

For that reason while people should feel free to explore opportunities offered by the site and tp join as a member I recommend that you do not upload any images until the issue of the download button and the lack of copyright notices has been sorted - unless the implied invitation to 'copy' your artwork by downloading it does not bother you. See this thread which I've started in the feedback part of the forum - Copyright Notices needed. Feel free to add your own feedback from your perspective.

[UPDATE: It looks like the people maintaining the website (1) recognise and want to respond to the issues I identified and (2) have managed to identify a potential solution. Hopefully a solution will be in place pretty soon]

Art Galleries
  • The new Saatchi Gallery opened on 9th October. It's located in the The Duke of York's HQ building on Kings Road in Chelsea. The building makes for a good environment to view contemporary art. It's got very large well-proportioned rooms with high ceilings and a total of about 70,000 sq ft which effectively makes it one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world. The good news - entrances to all exhibitions will be free. You can have a virtual tour.
  • Contemporary artists may well enjoy checking out the 'official' blogs on the website of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Click the link to find out more about the ICA. These are the Guidelines for Artists' Submissions and Exhibition Proposals. It's also worth noting that from September 1, entry to the ICA galleries and Bar Café before 11pm is now free to the public.
Art Supplies
Tips and Techniques
St James Park - Tree Study #3 (8th October, 6pm)
8.5" x 11", coloured pencils in Daler Rowney sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
websites and blogging
  • I'm enjoying the new facility with Blogger to pick up the image as well as the title and when the blog was last updated. I've got it switched on now for a trial run - my main concern is what it will do to load times for those of who have quite a few blogs in the blogroll
  • A good place to start if you've ever wondered how to find out what Google is up to is the Google Blog Directory. which lists all the official and authorised Google Blogs. They're also worth skimming through from time to time. You find things like............
in June 2008, only 59.1% percent of Internet users worldwide use the latest major version of their preferred web browser. Firefox users are the most attentive.
.......Only 52.5% of Microsoft Internet Explorer users have updated to version 7, which is the most secure according to multiple publicly-cited Microsoft experts (among them Sandi Hardmeier). The study revealed that 637 million Internet users worldwide who use web browsers are either not running the latest version of their preferred browser or have not installed the latest patches. These users are vulnerable to exploitation due to their web browser's "built-in" vulnerabilities and the lack of more recent security mechanisms such as improved phishing protection.
Google Online Security Blog
  • DUH! Apparently all those tags in Squidoo actually have no effect at all - read this the squidutils blog post.
  • Spotted this yesterday - Apture.
and finally.......

Karin Jurick (Different Strokes from Different Folks) kept a sense of focus this week when picking her image for her challenge for the next two weeks - see Week 6-7 Challenge - New York Stock Exchange. I'll be very interested to see what people make of that - especially anybody given to flights of fancy!


  1. Regarding the American Artist site, Katherine I see that 'Eric' has been very responsive to your concerns and posted a good copyright notice with a request not to 'download' other peoples' artwork. This will be confusing for some because the 'Download' button is still beside all images.

    Because I have an aversion to people downloading my images (okay there isn't a rush! ;)) I hadn't tried the button. Now I have and I see that all it does is open the large version of the image in my browser. As you suggest it would be better to have a 'View Large Size' button instead - I trust they will fix it soon - I'm impressed with how far Eric has gone on a Sunday :)

  2. I sooooooo enjoy your blog. You take so much time to educate and encourage and inform. Thanks so much!

  3. Thanks for the Saatchi reminder - I knew it was reopening this autumn but didn't know when. A day out is in order. :)


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