Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Making A Mark Awards: Nominations for the best artwork on a blog in 2008

Now for the nice bit of the end of year review! As part of the Making A Mark Awards (MAMA!) this year I asked you all to nominate the best drawing or painting developed in 2008 by a blogger and posted on an art or illustrated blog in 2008.

Below you will find all of the final nominations - together with thumbnail images and explanations for the nomination. They're listed in the order in which nominations were received. See this post for further details of how the nomination process worked.

There'll be another post following this one later today with the finalists and voting details. Please make sure you check back to see the finalists and vote for your favourite of the five finalists.

The November 2008 Archive of drawings/posts to Learning Daily
by Cindy Woods (Learning Daily)
nominated by Julie Oakley (Julie’s Pictures
I have to say that the greatest art of 2008 for me has to be all of the November postings by Cindy Wood – I'm finding it very difficult to choose a particular drawing.

A celebration of the four year anniversary of her blog on November the first. A drawing of the inimitable be-hatted Annie on November 2nd, Halloween pictures, a celebration of the Obama victory, sketches of her friends, sketches of making music and drawings of her final days in hospital. The whole month is a microcosm of all of Cindy's art which shone out with talent, truth and love. I can't choose one drawing, but maybe another reader could pick the one.

Coastal Ice Plant (Oil on Linen, 11×14)
by Ed Terpening (Life Plein Air May 23, 2008)
nominated by Benoit Philippe (My French Easel)

Ed excels at painting the coastal landscape of California and this painting shows how he can make colours sing and make the most of his powerful brush work. With his vibrant colours, he goes beyond realism, although you can feel the sun and the wind coming from the sea just by looking at this painting.

South Connector (Oil on Wood, 24x32)
By William Wray (Urban Painter William Wray May 20, 2008) nominated by Benoit Philippe (My French Easel)
This painting of the 605 heading South combines a very strong design (an asymetrical composition with the curves of the freeway and the shooting palm trees) with a striking use of lights and shadows. William Wray is a modern master of the grey and muted tones. With a limited palette, he brings out the strengh of the american urban landscape and puts ordinary liofe in the spotlight. You can feel the dust and the density of the air.

Series of drawings of her grandson (birth is so savage)
by Laura Frankstone (Laurelines)
nominated by Felicity Grace)
Is there a limit to how many we can nominate? Like Julie, I was moved by a series of sketches - Laura Frankstone's drawings of the birth of her grandson. It's rare to see an artist record something of such importance, a real momentus event in one's life and Laura - naturally! - did it so beautifully. Very, very moving.

A Walk in the Ocean
by Margaret Dyer (Small Pastels and an Occasional Oil 17th April 2008)
nominated by Casey Klahn (The Colorist)
Margaret Dyer's figure drawings are superb. Her blog makes it hard to choose just one, but nevertheless I nominate A Walk in the Ocean

Palm Grove (20x24 inches, oil on Birch Panel)
by Linda Blondheim (Landscapes of the South)
nominated by Miki Willa (Pastel and More).
This year, I discovered Linda Blondheim and would like to nominate one of her more recent paintings for best artwork. Linda has several blogs, but this painting is on Landscapes of the South. The painting is called Palm Grove and is on the December 6 post....... I really enjoy the way Linda uses color, value, and temperature to convey emotion and energy in her work. I especially like this painting because of the subject matter and composition. It has a certain energy that really speaks to me about where it is painted. I can really feel and smell the location through her colors and strokes.

by Ester Wilson (Daily Drawings Blog 30th October 2008)
nominated by E. Floyd (Elizabeth Floyd Studio)
For the Drawing Nomination, I nominate Ester Wilson of the Daily Drawings Blog. The Thursday, October 30th entry "Searching"

Arch & Ruin, Bonnieux
by Susan Abbott (A Painter's Year 9th July 2008)
nominated by E. Floyd (Elizabeth Floyd Studio)
For the Painting Nomination, I nominate Susan Abbott of the A Painter's Year. The July, 9, 2008 entry "Arch & Ruin, Bonnieux"

Orange in Green Light
by Qiang Huang (qiang-huang, a daily painter 14th November 2008)
nominated by Sue Smith (
Sue Smith's Studio
This was really tough, but my first nomination is Orange in Green Light painted by Qiang Huang, and posted to his blog November 14, 2008. I admire the simplicity and the clear reflected color that he achieved - vividly memorable.

August Sun
by Bonnie Luria (St Croix-nicity)
nominated by Sue Smith (
Sue Smith's Studio)
And for my second nomination, August Sun, by Bonnie Luria, posted on her blog Sept 1, 2008. Bonnie has a great talent at capturing not only the movement of the figure, but her color choices communicate the energy and humanity.

Whew...and I'm sorry I couldn't mention all those other artists who have inspired and impressed me - but you all deserve an award. You know who you are!

Photographers (Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 ins)
by Harry Bell (Boogie Street)
- nominated by Casey Klahn (The Colorist)
for best painting. Balance, idea, skill and delight.

Bergamo Apartment 16 x 20 watercolour & pastel
by Belinda Del Pesco (Belinda Del Pesco Fine Art)
nominated by Robyn Sinclair (
Have Dogs Will Travel)

I'd like to nominate Bergamo Apartment posted on her blog June 26, 2008

I'd like to nominate Felicity Grace's coloured pencil portrait of Paul posted here on her blog January 29, 2008

Dried Rice Noodles
by Duane Keiser (A Painting A Day)
nominated by Adam Cope (Dordogne Painting Days)
Still surprising, still interesting, still innovative, still standing out from mediocity. Still painting little gems such as 'Dried Rice Noodles'

His sketches of people on the London Underground are fascinating. Sketch-blogging at it's best as they unroll & continue to unroll...I start somewhere to get the feeling that there's just no end to this 'exposition', this presentation of an endless subject. Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Particularly like the accompanying text for this page: "More people............ I saw so many interesting faces today, sometimes they leave just before I could finish..............Life goes on! "

The Maiden by Marie Fox
(Marie Fox Studio December 21, 2008)
nominated by Robert Young
There are so many things that must work together to bring the “life” into a still-life. Luckily I saw this big painting just posted today by Marie Fox, whose painting blog I have been following. Previously most of her work has been smaller. I am excited she has grown the size of her paintings! In Marie’s The Maiden the realistic trompe l’oeil aspect of the work is made more forceful by the underlying design. The arc of the decorated fabric ribbon and its shadow curves the eye upward and along the edge of the pinned cloth. The viewer’s attention, like water in a fountain, is constantly recirculated into the image. The artist is not afraid of the space surrounding the cloth, ribbon, and card. The warm colored background seems to cradle these elements like a hand, concentrating attention inward. In addition subtle elements: the colored push pins, the scotch tape, the subtle shadows of the red and blue embroidered elements of the ribbon cast on the background give a taste to this painting like good spices do to a fine meal. In concert these elements makes this painting a favorite and my nominee for best artwork posted on an art blog in 2008.
[Update - I forgot this one which was a nomination by email!]

Great Gray Hunter
by Dee Dee Murray (Dee Dee Murry Art Studio February 21, 2008)
nominated by Sheona Hamilton Grant (Black on Grey on White)

I loved this piece before it won the 2008 Artist's Magazine annual competition. (Wildlife Division).


Congratulations to Felicity Grace and Duane Keiser - both have been nominated two years running.

The shortlist for the award of best artwork on a blog in 2008 will be posted later today. Why don't you see if you choose the same five pieces as me?

You'll then have a chance to vote on which you think should win. The deadline for all votes to be registered is midnight (GMT) on Monday 29th December.

I'll also be posting the list of nominations for Best Portrait by a female artist on a blog in 2008 and the shortlist for that vote later today as well.


  1. Oh what a task you have to choose from these which are all stunning.

  2. You can say that again!

    I never choose until I've got them all up. I look at them all individually as I'm posting them and then again when they are all posted together. I find it's very odd how I sometimes change my mind about a work when I see it in the company of others. Then of course I worry about whether that should influence me.........

    I want to get all the portrait nominations online first and then I'm going to sit down and have another good old ponder!

    I'll try and let people know what influenced my choice!

  3. Do feel free to say which five you would choose.

    As we all know, selections are always very individual and it's unlikely that two people would choose the same five artworks!

  4. What an honor to be nominated. Thank you!


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