Sunday, November 01, 2009

1st November 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

Many congratulations to Urban Sketchers - which is celebrating its first birthday today - see Our 1st anniversary, and looking forward to many more
barcelona - casa batllo (Gaudi's House) by Lapin
Here's some of the vital statistics from the last year for Urban Sketchers
  • 100 correspondents.
  • More than 3,500 blog posts with drawings from 56 different countries.
  • More than 3,000 blog subscribers.
  • More than 2,000 members on sister flickr group
  • Nearly 20,000 drawings on flickr.
Also some major news
Looking ahead to the coming year, we're taking the steps to formalize Urban Sketchers as a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing. I know, that sounds serious. But I'm sure it's going to be an exciting new adventure for USk. As a nonprofit, we plan to raise money to give grants and scholarships to artists. We also aim to publish a book and organize an international meetup every one or two years — so start saving for that trip!
Our 1st anniversary, and looking forward to many more
Next some news for all those artists who enter art competitions hoping that something will come of it............

I'm also extending my congratulations to Sheila Wallis (age 37) who won this year’s £25,000 Threadneedle Prize, for her nude self-portrait. She's decided to give up her job working for the NHS in order to concentrate on painting. Sheila has been a support worker for adults with learning disabilities for nearly 12 years, but since winning the Prize she has decided to take her art more seriously. So the first she's getting a studio and moving to Guildford to rent one. In fact she's moving house and quitting her job on same day!!! She is about to have an exhibition in Basingstoke (New Contemporaries Saturday 21st November to Thursday 17th December 2009) and has spent October doing workshops for the Big Draw at Watts Gallery in Compton, where she is Artist in Residence.
“I don’t do things by halves. Winning The Threadneedle Prize has given me the financial opportunity to get a studio and a website. I’m excited for the future.”
Plus I've had an email from Kate Clarke who won first prize in the UKCPS Annual exhibition 2009. She's also been changing her set-up but this time online. She's used her prize money to have two new and separate websites created ( for portraiture - which is due to go live in November - and for all her illustration work). She also sent me a link to a stopframe animation of how she creates her work - which is well worth taking a look at.

It's all GO when you're a successful artist!

Art Blogs

More sketching from France (plus photos and videos of work by famous artists

This week, when I had time away from writing reams of stuff protesting about planning nonsense, I learned how to make movies! Which is why this week I've started posting links to videos for the first time (some would say it's taken me a long time - and they'd be right!). So here's this week's posts covering all the posts about Paris - except for a couple about the Louvre which will be posted next week. Then we're off to Giverny and Rouen!

from the Musée d'Orsay roof terrace

copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Joan was also sketching in Paris at about the same time - see Watercolors by Joan

Plus Laura (Laurelines) has posted Brittany sketches, part five!

Art competitions

Art education / art videos

Art Exhibitions and Art Galleries

The Ashmolean has always had one of the finest collections of any institution, an eclectic cabinet of curiosities of the very highest quality: Cromwell's death mask; Guy Fawkes's lantern; medieval Islamic tapestries; Michelangelo drawings; blue-and-white Iranian pottery; neolithic skulls. After a £61m building project, the world's first public museum is now also one of the most modern and accessible.
  • Bigger Trees near Warter has gone on display at Tate Britain in the David Hockney Room. I guess a sure sign that you've definitely made it is when you get a room in a national museum before you die! Here's Jonathan Jones on David Hockney: not just bigger, but better and David Hockney himself in an interview with the Guardian on David Hockney: portrait of the old master in connection with David Hockney, 1960-1968: A Marriage of Styles which opens at Nottingham Contemporary on 14 November
  • The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters opened this week at the Mall Galleries and is on until Sun 8 November 2009, 10am - 5pm (closes 1pm on final day). I'm hoping to get to see it next week.
  • 62 pieces of work by 25 members artists of the Botanical Artists of Canada, are to be displayed in BAC's biennial juried Exhibition November 4 to 15, 2009, The theme of the show this year is on the theme of Trees: From Root to Crown and the exhibition can be seen at the Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Art Centre Papermill Gallery, 67 Pottery Road in Toronto, Ontario. (Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday: 12 Noon to 4:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4:00 pm.). The show is for members of the society, is completely organized by volunteers, and paid for by BAC's members, without any outside sponsorship. I'm hoping to feature the prizewinners when the awards are announced. Two guest artists include Dick Rauh, President of the American Society of Botanical Artists, who is due to speak at the Opening Reception on November 7.

Making A Mark Opinion Poll

Websites and blogging

There's been lots of news recently on the computer, internet, websites and blogging front. Here's a summary
The speed at which your blog loads is critical to attracting more readers to your blog. If your blog takes a long time to load, many readers may leave your blog before they have the chance to read it. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help your blog load faster and attract more users.........
For optimal blog load speed, we recommend using Google/Blogger widgets, JavaScipt and links. However, if you need to use third party JavaScipt and links, your blog will load much faster if you put all JavaScript at the bottom of your blog. If you have third party JavaScript and links in your sidebar, put them in at the bottom of the sidebar.
How can I make my blog load faster?

and finally.......

I started making some twitter lists yesterday - and got a little carried away! However I'm finding that it's already making checking up on what I've missed and what people are up to sooooooooo MUCH easier. These are my lists - and I'm very happy to be listed!


  1. We have upgraded a desktop and a laptop this week - both successfully. No problems. There are some nice new features to Windows 7, but nothing earth shattering.


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