Sunday, December 06, 2009

6th December 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

This week I visited the National Gallery Bookshop and came out with three new interesting books - all bought with no hesitation and all very unusual.

I've only just started to dip into them as yet and I'll be writing book reviews about them very soon - but in the meantime I though the various art ophiles out there might be interested to hear about them.
  1. The Artist's Eyes - which is about Vision and the History of Art - something which I guess we all begin to think about more as we get older and our eyesight begins to fail. It cuts across the science, compositional issues and matters relating to how vision affected individual artists in the past. Fascinating!
  2. The Chronicle of Impressionism: An Intimate Diary of the Lives and World of the Great Artists - which really helps you to see what was happening when and in what context. It also helps to see how the relationships between the different painters played out.
  3. Seeing Through Paintings - which is a prize-winning book providing a comprehensive discussion about materials, techniques and condition issues in Western easel paintings from medieval times to the Present.

Art Blogs

Blogs of Note is compiled by the Blogger Team and last week it featured Gurney Journey. I can imagine that brought James Gurney a fair few extra visitors!

Drawing and sketching
Coloured pencils and pastels
  • Postcard from Provence has been getting in the Christmas mood with clementines last week - who else is changing their subject matter for the season?
Art Society/Group Blogs

Art Business and Marketing

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require Consignees to give Consignors a 1099-MISC, so there’s no reason to give your art gallery, consignment shop, museum or retailer your Social Security number (SSN).

Art and the economy

  • I wholeheartedly agree with Jonathan Jones - Let's celebrate works, not artists. Plus IMO one good work does not make somebody a great artist. I prefer to see consistent good output over over time!
The history of art in the late 1980s and early 90s was not the story of amazing people, but of a tank of oil, a shark in a vitrine, a concrete house.

The images hold you; the ongoing lives of the artists rarely do. And yet, the entire system of art today is geared towards the idea of the individual creative genius. Never has the myth of the artist been more powerful.

Art Collectors

Art Competitions

  • Northern Art Prize 2009 - the finalists have been announced. An exhibition of their work takes place at Leeds Art Gallery from 27 November 2009 - 21 February 2010. The winning artist will be announced on 21 January 2010, scooping the £16,500 prize money whilst each of the runners up will receive £1500.
  • Calling all portrait artists around the world - here's my post which provides a digest of the BP Portrait Award 2010 - Call For Entries - plus links to my posts about previous competitions. The runner-up the year before last only entered after reading my blog post about the competition. Could it be you next year? :)
  • Great article by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian - Art v books: a critical double standard.
Critics and the public are prepared to say infinitely more dismissive things about new art than ever gets said about new literary fiction
Three Boys by Pamela Ellis
copyright the artist

Art Exhibitions & Art Fairs

Art Museums

The galleries present more than 1800 objects from the medieval and Renaissance collections together for the first time, to tell the story of European art and culture from AD 300–1600; from the decline of the Roman Empire to the end of the Renaissance period.
This exhibition features drawings by 15 of Rembrandt's pupils in close comparison to drawings by the master himself.
  • Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera - “Behind the Camera” is the final major exhibition of Norman Rockwell Museum’s 40th anniversary year. It complements the summer’s homecoming of “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell,” the Museum’s traveling retrospective of Rockwell’s career, and “A Day in the Life: Norman Rockwell’s Stockbridge Studio,” a precise recreation of the artist’s studio at a pivotal moment in Rockwell’s life, to complete a cycle of exhibitions that offer fresh insights into Rockwell’s artistic process and evolution. On view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 31, 2010, Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera will travel to The Brooklyn Museum in February of 2011.
  • You can see Fantasies, Follies and Disasters: The Prints of Francisco de Goya at the Manchester Art Gallery until 31st January. (If interested in Goya you mught also like Goya - Resources for Art Lovers)
  • The National Gallery in Scotland is to be the host to the ONLY UK showing next summer of Impressionist Gardens, featuring work by Monet and van Gogh. The exhibition will be from 31 July to 17 October 2010 - read more here
This major international exhibition of around 90 works will include spectacular loans from collections around the world, and will be the first ever to be devoted to this fascinating subject. The famous names of Impressionism will be well represented, with fine examples by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Manet and Sisley. In addition, the exhibition will examine the continued significance of the Impressionist garden to the generation of artists working immediately after the Impressionists, such as Cézanne and Pierre Bonnard.
Art Fairs
Art Societies
Art exhibitions by art bloggers

Art History

Art Museums and Galleries

A native Ithacan and the nation's most notable ornithological painter since Audubon.
  • ...and the collection of images associated with the Herbert f Johnson Museum of Art
  • New Curator is a blog aimed at those interested in museums and art galleries. It focuses on topics, issues and news surrounding museums and politics, technology, internationalism, individualism, expansionism, presentism and architecture. He has an intersting post about Museums and Google
  • I still can't quite work out why it took me so long to go and see The Wallace Collection. However, hopefully, this review makes up for this - Review: The Wallace Collection
  • The annual Museums at Night 2010 will run from Friday 14th May to Sunday 16th May and will link up with the European wide campaign of the same name (La Nuit de Musées), which takes place on Saturday 16th May 2009. The annual ‘Museums at Night’ funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and organised by Culture 24 is part of a national campaign for late night opening across the UK, it seeks to attract people into museums who don’t usually visit, simply by staying open late or by creating special events. In the UK, you can keep up todate with what's planned on the Culture 24/Museums at Night page

Art Supplies

Book reviews


Copyright is normally used to control subsequent use of written material, but this material was in the public domain and therefore not under copyright restrictions. Scanning alone is not creative enough to warrant its own copyright, and so we have no copyright in scans of material in the public domain.

Opinion Polls

Tips and techniques

Websites, webware and blogging

and finally........

James Gurney (Gurney Journey) is taking over this blog this week! I couldn't resist showing you James Gurney's marketing videos for his book - these are absolutely inspired!
  • First there's the Gallery Flambeau - and at last I now understand the story behind those funny goggles. Watch what James does with artwork which doesn't make the cut in this Youtube video Gallery Flambeau
  • Next we have the Parakeet Artist and how the book changed the life of Mr Kooks!
PS There is no "who's made a mark this week" next week as I'm going to be away - but there will be a post instead to mark this blog's 4th birthday"!


  1. Hi Katherine,

    Concerning the subject: "photography - an artist's tool or travesty".
    Of course that painting from life permits us to absorb factors that photography cannot transmit, namely a wider gamut of values and chromas.
    However not always the artist will have the time to paint a lion in the safari, or ask him to stay still.
    I see the camera as a complement and not as a substitute.
    Much as been said about Vermeer and the camera obscura.
    Ok, lets supppose that he really used it (I don't know if a conclusion has already been made).
    But I don't want you to use one, I want you to use one state of the art camera, or you can even use a tracer, whatever.
    Now paint like he did :-)

    Have a nice time,


  2. Personally I think there's a great deal of difference between using a tool to find the correct outline of and/or perspective on a subject (ie getting the size and shape 'right') and actually using that same tool to paint a picture.

    Interestingly, in "The Artists Eyes" (see top of post) page 73, the author uses a Vermeer painting (Lady writing a letter with her maid) as a prime example of how the gradations of lighting help to portrays realism much more effectively when compared to another painting by Pieter de Hooch.

    The Vermeer painting "depicts nearly the full range of conse sensivity (a hundredfold spread of brightness) between the sunlit windows and the shadowed corners. There are marvelous details....(which) convery the effects of real-world lighting and enliven the painting"

    IMO although one can use a tool (including a camera) to depict accuracy of shape, you need to use your eyes to observe and practice seeing the full range of values - and how these tranlsate into colour - to create and persuade as to 'real-life' effects.

    It's very difficult, if not impossible, to find a camera which works as well as the human eye - which in my opinion is the best tool of all.

  3. Oh wow I NEED that "Artist's Eye" book! A couple good friends and I are always discussing our horizons, precisely because we know we do not draw them straight due to our strong prescription glasses. One reason I now often use a yardstick to draw in a horizon first as a guide.


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.