Sunday, May 03, 2009

3rd May 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

at 76 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR

I had a lovely time the afternoon of May Day.
These are a couple of photos that I took when visiting Falkiners. Art shoppers who, like me, have a bit of an obsession about good art shops and who can't wait for the review, can see the rest of the photos in my new Flickr set Shepherds Bookbinders / Falkiners Fine Art Papers and/or My Favourite Art Shops - Resources for Artists and /or the group I set up on Flickr about favourite art shops

Earlier in the week I met up with Felicity Grace (Felicity's Philosophies and Other Curiosities and Sketches by Fiz ) and we had a lovely time going round the Society of Botanical Artists exhibition (my third time!) and being shown work from portfolios by one of the diploma students and the exhibiting artist. Silly me forgot to take a photo of Felicity!

Art Blogs

Apologies first to Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist Diary), Doris Joa (Romantic roses in watercolour) and Denise Ryan who all had work in the Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition. I forgot to include a mention of this in this post last Sunday - until I remembered on Monday morning! Here's some images of their work.

Botanical artwork in the Society of Botanical Artists Annual exhibition
(left to right) Tracy Hall, Doris Joa, Denise Ryan

Next, on Thursday I posted the results of the MAM Poll for April - in Genres and the results of "What's your favourite subject matter?". 173 of you responded to the poll (in the sidebar) and told me what you like best - Portraits / Figures are the most popular subject for artwork. Around a quarter of you like drawing and painting people and figures best of all and 40% of you like to create art from living beings - whether people or animals.

On Monday I asked Who are the "best and the brightest" artists? - and quite a lot of you responded with comments.

Drawing and sketching
Coloured pencils and pastels
Art Group Blogs
To gather in one area of the world, virtually, once a month with other artists. To paint or draw a scene and composition of your choosing, within a predetermined area.

Art Business and Marketing

Art Competitions

Turner Prize 2009
The prize is awarded each year to 'a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding'.
The shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize artists were announced last week.
The Turner Prize jury is getting back on track at last. Last year’s shortlist for the U.K.’s top contemporary-art award showed something terminally bad was overtaking the visual arts in Britain. This year’s selection is completely different.
  • The shortlist was chosen by this year's judges who are: Mariella Frostrup, Charles Esche, Jonathan Jones and Andrea Schlieker. Read about Life as a Turner prize judge
A year ago, digging for the best in British art looked about as promising as a hunt for apple trees in the Sahara. In fact, it turned out to be more like searching for plants beneath a frozen tundra: on the surface, things did look pretty barren and empty; but when we cut through all the art fair bullshit, we quickly started to discover green shoots.
and then there's the rest
plus check out Art Studios below!

Art Education

  • There was a very interesting article in the Guardian - Art A-level isn't just for artists. Student Tim Davies suggests that schools focus too much on the creative side of the subject – but you don't have to be great at painting or sculpture to love art!
  • James Gurney (Gurney Journey) has an interesting post about The Grand Central Academy
  • Art on the Line; Draw Power; an adult studio day led by Artist Paul Brandford (Winner of the Jerwood drawing prize 2003), is being held on Saturday 4 July at Somerset House. It focuses on how to develop your own style and means of expression in your drawing, and experiment with a range of techniques and materials.
  • Robert Genn has had a couple of interesting 'letters' recently.
    • The private lives of keeners responded to a question about artists can maintain their energy levels, motivation, and passion to realize their dreams.
Artists need to be self-sustaining, private, "follow-your-bliss" islands unto themselves. Self-directed and independent, they make their own fizz. But artists need to realize that there are more than a few ways to become enthusiastic and motivated. One size does not fit all.
    • Hyper-perfectionism examines the psychology of those with a tendency ostensibly to be obsessive about creating the perfect picture - and offers some tips
Inefficiency is the perfectionist's game--but it's often just simple dawdling and completion avoidance. By not completing, one avoids judgment.

Art Exhibitions

Art History

  • I made a pencil copy of Sir Joshua Reynold's self-portrait (but haven't scanned it yet) in the An Intimate Portrait exhibition last week. It was fascinating to see self-portraits by people like Reynolds, Gainsborough and Girtin.

Art Supplies

On Friday I started the new MAM Opinion Poll for May which this motnh focuses on media. MAM Poll May: Which media do you like using for drawing or sketching?Websites and Blogs which look as they might become interesting in relation to details about art supplies include:
  • Infotox provides some details about the safety of art materials and their labelling
  • ArtInfoNet was created by the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) to encourage individuals to experiment and explore the world of art materials. It also intends to serve as a clearinghouse to consumers for information on the safe use of creative and fine art materials. It's not very well developed as yet (considering this is a trade site focused on consumers) however it might be promising/
  • NAMTA - The International Art Materials Trade Association (the blog) it's just a pity that it doesn't post more often

Art Studios

More about people's art studios
  • This is a video tour of Alease Michelle's studio - I love the annotations and some of her ideas about how to store 'stuff'!
  • Nita Leland has a page on her website which is devoted to her studio
  • Tina Mammoser (The Cycling Artist) showed us a Google Map of her journey to her new studio in A Journey to Art
  • Art Calendar has a Studio Makeover Contest! See Art Scuttlebut for more details. The Art Calendar Studio Makeover Contest is FREE to enter and runs from May 1, 2009 until July 31, 2009. You have to be over 18 and live in the USA. All winners will also be included in an editorial feature in the November 2009 issue of Art Calendar!

Book reviews

First a new book! James Gurney (Gurney Journey) has announced that he's got a new book coming out based on content front his blog - it's called Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.
This is the main project I’ve been working on during the last year. The material comes from my art school lectures and also from this blog. The reason I wrote the book—and this blog—is that there’s a lot of information that I think is crucial to imaginative picturemaking but I’ve never been able to find it in how-to art books.

Adapting material from a blog into a book turned out to be a much, much bigger job than I first imagined.
Now for the reviews and recommendations

and finally.......

There's no excuse for Brits not to get out with their sketchbooks or try plein air painting this summer because there's a warm, dry summer on the way, says Met Office.


  1. Corneillison's (probably spelt wrong) I used to love going there, like something out of Harry Potter.
    All dusty and old with big jars of strange things in lively hues, with the nibs guy in the back showing me his cartoons donated by everyone who's anyone in the history of cartooning in London...

  2. Paper shop. OMG. *droools* (and I don't even work on paper! LOL!)

  3. Hello Katherine, thank you very much for showing a photo of my painting in your post, that means a lot.
    It is great to see it framed.

  4. Hello Katherine,

    Many thanks for showing my drawing on your blogsite. Today's post a most interesting read as always... I'm very much looking forward to your interview with Margaret Stevens and also your review of "The Intimate Portrait".


  5. Thank you for crossposting Joanne's writing

  6. Thanks for the mention Katherine! So many interesting things to read this week, I'm still going through them!


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