Thursday, December 24, 2009

Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (still life)

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Still Life in 2009 aims to highlight and celebrate excellence in creating pictures which help us to reflect on how small can be beautiful

"Still Life with Apples"
by Jos van Riswick
(nominated by Maron Brown)

"White Milk Pitcher"
by Joan da Gradi
(nominated by Casey Klahn)

Joan's beautiful piece gives us a triumvirate of primaries: Pink, yellow and blue, with a large addition of translucent white as well. Add to this the mild and pleasing greens, and a marvelous transition of values from light to darks as we look into the picture. Beautiful, believable and brilliant!

by Shannon Ryan
(nominated by Nat Wildish)
I love the way the textures and light work together to create a calm yet vibrant atmosphere. Looking in the mirror, I almost expect to see Aunt Peggy appear there any moment. The beauty of the objects speaks of the owner's simplicity and gentle taste. Immersing myself in the painting, I feel enveloped in a safe haven.
"Nine Stones"
Don Grey
(nominated by David Page Coffin)

(these nine panels - each 23" x 23" - make up one artwork)
This is actually a post about a series of nine related images, so you can consider my nomination about the first in the series if that works better. Why I chose the piece, and the series, for this category is that it's expressly about "still life," i.e., the life force in still stones, as well as being an outdoor object portrayed for its own sake and not about the place it was found, so it stretched my idea of what a still life might be about in an interesting way. Why I like the piece is that apart from being a beautiful example of making the commonplace extraordinary with paint and vision, it also is the artist's effort to stretch his own style and his audience's expectations, so it's also an image of artist courage.

"Tangerine Segments"
by Abby Ryan
(nominated by Elizabeth Floyd)
I like the simple composition.

"Blocks No.5"
by Neil Hollingsworth
(nominated by Karin Jurick)

This outstanding still life pulled a 'Wow' right out of my mouth. The design, placement, composition demonstrates the time involved even before the paint hits the canvas. It is touchable, reachable, interesting and charming - much like everything Neil accomplishes.
by Sally Tharp
(nominated by Julie Broom)
For me this piece is much more than a representation of a group of objects, it conveys such a strong sense of place and mood. The composition works beautifully - the eye drifts effortlessly across the canvas before a sense of curiosity develops and the viewer tries to see through the objects. The objects themselves are brilliantly rendered.
Why not tell me which three you would pick?

You can also see

Note: The rules for works eligible for this award are:
  • This prize helps us to focus on aspects of our lives which are smaller than people or places. The Still Life can be a conventional still life - set inside or out - or it can be floral or botanical art.
  • In 2009, any artist can be nominated who has created a portrayal of a still life - real or imaginary - and posted their work to their art or illustrated blog in 2009.
  • 2D artwork is eligible - artwork can be a painting (in any media) or a drawing (in any media) or a fine art print (using any method)
  • Work is NOT eligible if it appears to be be one or more of the following:
    • was not completed in 2009
    • has not appeared on an art or illustrated blog in 2009
    • over-reliant on a photograph not taken by the artist
    • subjected to lots of digital manipulation/tweaks (over and above that needed to make it read 'true' on screen)
  • An artist can be nominated more than once - by different people - for different works
  • An artist can be nominated more than once - by different people - for the same work
  • To be shortlisted the nominated artist must agree to their work being displayed on this blog as part of the shortlist.
  • Anonymous nominations are not permitted. In order to nominate you too must have an art or illustrated blog and be capable of being identified by me. (This is to stop spammers!)
  • All nominations must be in English


  1. My three:

    "Blocks No.5" by Neil Hollingsworth
    "Sometimes I Feel Like You Look Right Through Me" by Sally Tharp
    "Aunt Peggy’s Sunroom" by Shannon Ryan

  2. You can now VOTE for one of three pictures chosen for the shortlist on Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2009


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