Sunday, June 07, 2009

7th June 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

What my East End looks like this week
photos copyright Katherine Tyrrell

My general view is that I'm not going to do anything new on the Internet unless it's really simple, very fast and adds value! Anything that makes my life any more complicated than it is doesn't get a look in. However this week I finally succumbed to Twitter - makingamark2 is me - plus there's a new module in the right hand column where you can see me twittering away even more than usual.

I think like a lot of people I was afraid that it could be another huge time waster. I was converted when I realised that you could maybe get this post in the "drip drip version" and it also meant that I didn't lose a good link because I forgot to transfer it to my weekly draft. (You do know I don't write this all on Sunday don't you?)

On the whole I'm finding that if you're think carefully about who you follow (content still rules supreme for me!) then the stream of tweets can actually be very useful in terms of hearing about stuff and finding things out. I really am not trying to create a big list of people I follow - rather I want to see good content coming through on a regular basis - interspersed with odd bits about life. Menus are good! ;) I expect it might all look very different in a month's time! I'm also not at all keen on a lot of the moneygrubbers who wanted to follow me and they are being ruthlessly banned from my feed!

I've discovered that the Guardian has a whole module devoted to Twitter and also that Paul Carr had an article which I'll be paying attention to until I get the hang of this (you have to scroll through a long story about something that went viral before you get to the 10 commandments for Twitter followers!)

Do feel free to suggest all your best tips for Twittering!

Art Blogs

Plein air

There's a little bit of a plein air theme this week - which I'll be following up this week when I introduce Sketchercise. In the meantime here are some sites and post which may interest you:
I have been painting on location for over 40 years, but I am new at making a website. I want to make this the online meeting place. A real down to earth kind of site to publicize events, exchange ideas, express yourself, and of course, make new friends.There is no fee, no jury and world-wide. It is open to everyone who paints outdoors on location. So beginners can learn and be inspired by the masters. There is also a good market here to advertise your workshops.
Donald Maier
You don't have the luxury to put away the brush and come back to it later.
The changing light doesn't leave you any options either.
And knowing you've gone through all this effort to walk down here(it is hard work to do plein air painting!) adds to the adrenaline of getting the job done.
Ronell van Wyk
  • I came across two blogs which seem to be linked to the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Artists - but they are badly set up, lack content and don't appear to have any community orientation - hence I'm not highlighting the links here!
  • Plein Air Magazine is considering making a return - and would like you to complete a survey. Just click the link to find out what it wants to know.
Drawing and sketching
Bert takes personal grooming very seriously
pencil in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Coloured pencils and pastels
Gayle Mason with Hot Spot
8" x 20", coloured pencils with acrylic glazes on Arches HP

PaintersArt Group Blogs

Art Business and Marketing

    1. Minimum negative space.
    2. Shiny objects.
    3. Detail.
    4. Happy subjects.
    5. Leave peripheral areas incomplete.
    6. Listen to comments from viewers.
    7. Maintain logical, consistent pricing that collectors can understand.
    8. Keep people engaged in your career.

Art and the economy

  • The context for degree shows this year is very different - this article explains why Art Sales: degree shows
  • Another bonus culture bomb coupled with art fraud this time? Back in April, the BBC (and others) reportedthat a head teacher and other senior staff at the Copland School has been awarding themselves huge annual bonuses (£50k+). They were subsequently suspended pending an investigation. The Guardian has now published a rather a disturbing article which suggests that various works by Mary Fedden RA which had been given to the school had been sold at Sotheby's. Apparently Fedden donated the work with the intention that it would be seen by the children - not used to pay senior staff huge bonuses. I wonder what the School Governors have to say?
Art Education / Tips and techniques

I've found an awful lot of tips and demos and useful information in the art education department this week

Finally some dates for your diary if you live in the UK:

Art Exhibitions

The country is awash with graduation shows and open studios at the moment - as well as a number of exhibitions which opened this week or next. I'm never quite sure why dates are chosen which would appear to compete for collectors' time. Or maybe the notion is that collectors will all come to London at the same time and get round to all the shows?

Websites and Blogging

and finally........

For those of you wondered what happened to Maggie Stiefvater (Words on Words) after she stopped being a successful professional artist and started producing best selling novels instead and became a full time author - this is what happened when she took the trip to New York for Book Expo America (click the link to see it all) and this is what the BEA is!

Making a Mark reviews......


  1. Katherine, thanks for the links to more travel journals--I always love seeing other places through the eyes of those who have visited there. (Our Sketching in Nature group blog has turned out the have overtones of that, as well, what with Enrique Flores', Gay Kraeger, and Lin Frye's recent travels. Like taking a trip to exotic places...)

  2. Katherine - Thanks for linking one of my posts - and thanks for all the other links as well - I always look forward to your Sunday post and try to peruse quite a few of the links!

  3. Katherine, I don't know how you manage to have so many blogs,and groups and still have time to put together these excellent posts! I love today's and I could use what ever is in the water over there.

    I had no idea EDM was in such a state. I think that it's just gotten too big and Ning might be a good thing for Danny to think about. It's really organized in a nice way. (Especially when there's a great administrator;>)

  4. Now I guess I'm going to have to come to grips with Twitter ;) Maybe after lunch...

  5. That's what's so odd about the EDM tempest. Really, it's huge, it's busy, and the "adult" thing is just a Yahoogroups glitch, it's nothing personal. It doesn't need a group panic, just a bit of patience.

    Thanks for the additional info about Twitter...I've resisted it so far, but maybe I should check it out! I have NO idea what Ning is, though...dinosaur!

    And I agree, Katherine, even after interviewing you for my art tip, I STILL don't know how you do it all! ;-)

  6. Ning is well worth checking out

    I think it would also resolve a number of the issues for EDM as well. Yahoo Groups to my mind are well past their sell date.

  7. Thanks, Katherine, I'll take a look! It's been my experience so far that Google/Blogger is no easier to get a response from a real human being than Yahoo. How's Ning on that?

  8. The joy of Ning to date is I've set up a number of different communities and have never yet had to ask a real human being for anything!

    The help pages are good and well thought out and deal with most queries and beyond that there is an expert group and a fourm for queries.

    Let's put it another way. The issues which arise in Yahoo groups aren't such an issue on Ning.

    The only problem for most people is you have to treat it as a site rather than trying to do everything via email.

  9. Thanks, Katherine...I just called up the "about Ning" page, and wish it told more or had more examples. I guess I need to jump in and THEN explore.<;-) It is nice not to need an answer from a real person! (Thank goodness one of my students works for Google and has been infinitely helpful finding real answers for me--everyone's not that lucky!)

    And yes, I know a lot of people--me included--prefer the convenience of emails in the inbox.

    I've signed up for gmail, and finally figured out how to forward to my inbox there--going to the site was a pain! (Especially since I created sub-lists/folders for artists, etc., there and they disappeared. Erk...)

  10. Yet again a timely post by you for me personally. Like some of the other artists mentioned in your post, I too have been addressing this issue of goals and how I use my time (what's important vs. what's a time waster, etc.) I guess it's in the air (perhaps because we're at the 6 month mark of goals we set at the beginning of the year?)

    Regarding the whole Web 2.0 thing,argh. I think I'm still a little lost. Aside from blogging Twitter seems to be the most promising to me right now, but I haven't yet taken the time to learn it much, or figure out how to make it sync up with my blog, facebook, and ning. If there was a way to manage all of that stuff with ease (and without having to sign into each site in order to interact)it sure would be a lot easier to handle, and a lot more fun. Or then, gauging from your comment about Twitter, maybe there is and I havent yet learned about that either!

  11. Jennifer (and others!)

    I'm finding that the easiest way to deal with twitter is to treat it a bit like email. I leave it sitting in a tab right next to my email tab and when I check my email, I check twitter at the same time. Tweets are like very fast email messages.

    The big trick seems to be avoiding getting drawn too much into interesting tweets from other people. Before I knew it I was looking at why Kevin Spacey was writing and being professional and friendly this afternoon - I blame that Stephen Fry!

  12. That's the main reason I've avoided Twitter! Facebook is a HUGE time sink/temptation, and of course there are the Yahoogroups I'm on too, and private emails and my blogs and others'...

    And of course the time needed to deal with the learning curve on any new thing.

    I need time to work!

  13. Cathy - How about if I said to you that one of the ning communities I belong to comprises people who can't get on with Yahoo Groups because they find them so very clumsy and archaic compared to what is now possible using alternative webware?

    Personally I avoid Facebook - but that came after the two aborted attempts by the owner to sell personal info to advertisers!

  14. Well, then I'd say I will DEFINITELY check it out! *G*

    I hear you, about Facebook! It is very, very iffy--if you say "invite your friends" it goes to your whole address book, or it did! I like to stay in touch with my godchildren and some artist friends, and I have it set up so Flickr and my blog post there automatically as notes so I don't have to think about it, but other than that, it's a bit of a pain...


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