Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Making A Mark Awards 2009 (Part 2)

iFollowing on from The Making A Mark Awards 2009 (Part 1), welcome to Day 2 and Part 2 of the Making A Mark Awards for blogging art on the Internet.

Yesterday in Part 1 I covered:
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
  • The Going Greener Gong
  • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
  • The Make Me Think Gong
  • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
Today in Part 2, it's my pleasure to award the following:
  • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
  • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
  • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
  • The “Tales from the Frontline” Amusing Musings Trophy
  • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
  • The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog
  • The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog
  • The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog
  • ...and finally - Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog.
This page on my website also references every award, everybody who has been nominated, all the nomination posts and all past winners.


The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
Art can be quite a lonely activity and it's noticeable that people often like to have some sort of involvement in groups and projects related to art! This award is For EITHER a major and reputable new project which adds value and involves a large number of bloggers OR or a project which has grown over the course of the year in question or otherwise had some significant impact during the course of the year
The nominations were:
Both are worthy candidates and both received multiple nominations. I added another couple to the mix
  • Sketching in Nature (yesterday's winner of The Going Greener Gong)
  • First Annual Autumn Arts Painting Challenge 2009 - which also has a group on Facebook with 1,400 members. I was on holiday when it started and came to this project very late in the day and consequently don't really feel in a position to judge it for this year. However if it continues next year it looks like it must be a very serious contender. It would also be great to see more priojects like this. It would also be nice to see this have a more extensive blog.
Sandy Askey-Adams, Jean Levert Hood, and Nancy Medina launched the first Art Challenge on October 1, 2009. The group attracted over over 1000 members who have submitted over 900 pieces of original artwork during the 30-day contest period.
The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup is this year awarded to Gabi Campanario and Urban Sketchers

On the whole, of the four sites, Urban Sketchers is by far the most mature candidate. The blog was set up by Gani Campanario in November 2008 and since then it has developed and become a landmark art blog during the last 12 months.
The gist of the network is to show the world one drawing at a time. This is the manifesto urban sketchers follow:
  1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
  2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
  3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
  4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
  5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
  6. We support each other and draw together.
  7. We share our drawings online.
  8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
Here are some of the features of Urban Sketchers in late 2009:
  • it has 3,896 readers
  • hundreds of contributors from six continents
  • thousands visit daily for inspiration or to travel vicariously
  • it has been featured in magazines (MyMidwest, Anima(ls) and The Artist's Magazine) and newspapers (P├║blico in Portugal, La Repubblica in Italy and The Bangkok Post in Thailand) across the world
  • it has an active Flickr group
  • 1,543 followers on Twitter
  • and 2,954 fans on its Facebook fan page
The Urban Sketchers nonprofit organization has recently been set up and aims to serve this global community better by organizing educational workshops and raising funds for grants, scholarships and publications to foster the art of on-location drawing.

The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
The Painting a Day Stickability Shield is awarded to daily painters who maintain a consistently high output of onsistently good quality paintings over the course of the year and set a good example to others
The nominations were:
  • Painting a Dog a Day - nominated by Kimberley Santini produced about 250 posts each year and averages around 20 posts each month on her blog which is dedicated to painting dogs. She's painted some 800 "furry faces" since 2006. That's pretty consistent and is obviously paying off in terms of the forward booking on commissions.
  • Cotswold Sketchbook - self-nominated by Nigel Fletcher. This nomination is ineligible and I'd like to explain why. Nigel's website does not have a blog format, nor does it operate like a blog (eg it's impossible to access past posts). This award is limited to art bloggers and art blogs and hence the nomination is ineligible.
  • Loriann Signori's painting-a-day - nominated by Doug Daniels. Loriann posts virtually every day. What's more she shares her tips and her mistakes with her readers.
  • Karin Jurick's A Painting Today - nominated by Lisa Daria. This is indeed an excellent painting blog, however Karin's success with this blog has directly led to her commitments to painting for her gallery exhibitions - which means we've not seen as much art or posts on her blog this year.
The winner of The Painting A Day Stickability Shield for 2009 is Loriann Signori (Loriann Signori's painting-a-day).
Christine had an idea. Why don't we use the wheelbarrow to cart our stuff for the 2 miles?
my turn at the wheelbarrow on the return trip
Plaudits for Loriann's work were cited yesterday when she was the joint winner of the The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize.

This award is for stickability - Loriann's complete dedication to getting out and about whatever the weather and wherever she is. As a result she created 344 posts in 2009. Given the fact she's no stranger to exercise, I think I need to send her an invite Sketchercise!
I paint landscapes, most which are created en plein air, in all kinds of weather. I view them as my vitamins.


“The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
Named after the first winner of this award. This award is for particularly noteworthy artwork about an animals or animals (wild or domestic) posted to an art or illustrated blog in 2009
The nominations I received are:
However this award isn't necessarily about a particular painting - although it can be. In trying to arrive at a decision, I find I'm always influenced by the dedication of the artists to the portrayal of the animal of the choice. All the previous awardwinners had created a significant amount of animal art and in 2009 I'm going to continue to lean towards an artist whose genre is animal art. The context and content of a blog also yields useful information when I'm trying to arrive at a decision.

Which is why in 2009 the winner of the "The Moose" is Kimberley Santini for her blog Painting a Dog a Day.

This is to reflect Kimberley's total commitment to painting dogs and blogging her art - since she started the project in 2006. She posts consistently and to a high standard. In 2007, Kimberley's work was work recognised when she won the Fifth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Commemorative Art Poster Competition - and a limited edition of 500 copies of the poster with fund raised going to charity. A year ago she also produced a book of the first year of her paintings - Painting a Dog a Day - the First Year. In addition Kimberley and her patrons have, through sales of her paintings, raised over $5500 to benefit animal welfare.

The “Tales from the Frontline” Amusing Musings Trophy
Originally two awards but combined into one for the last two years.
  • The Amusing Musings Trophy is for keeping me amused.
  • The “Tales from the Frontline” Mention in Despatches - my favourite blog by somebody who lives with an artist.
No nominations this year!

If I want to smile, I just head on over to my chum Maggie Stiefvater's blog Words on Words. Now an author who's been on the New York Times best seller list for 20+ weeks rather than the artist she was when she first won this award in 2007 (and "The Moose" in 2006) , she keeps me amused - a lot. She's also getting a mention because this is a new blog.

She definitely merits The Amusing Musings Trophy for her words and I'm just wondering whether all the graphic art she posted on this blog in 2009 count for the purposes of an art blog? Given that these awards are about art blogs...........

Readers might want to ponder on the fact that Maggie has generated a huge following twice now - and I think the humour has helped! :)

Similarly, Walt Taylor aka 'Wally Torta' and Crackskull Bob has been making me chuckle for a few years now - mind you he can make me grimace too at times!

I love his sketches of people in Starbucks and keep wondering whether various Virginians have yet recognised the immortality they have achieved on this blog. It's the extracts of conversations which crack me up. I'm a great one for writing down the very silly things I hear people say on my sketches - but Wally published them! I also like the amusing digs at political topics. He's also one of the few digital artists that I actually like.

I'm guessing Wally yearns to be Madonna at heart - that or Picasso - given the number of reinventions of his identity in terms of title and author that we have seen over the years. He's not yet developed conical breasts though - however it can only be a matter of time.

The Amusing Musings Trophy for 2009 is awarded to Ruben Fletcher and The Locust on the Goat

---with an honourable mention for Maggie Stiefvater and an accompying injunction to get on with her graphic novel! (I've also decided this year that nobody can win the same award twice in five years!)

NEW!!! The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
For the most impressive and/or improved studio of the year
I simply love looking at other people's studios and what you do with them. I'm always really pleased whenever I see a studio which makes me want to tidy up my space and spruce it up! I try to keep my own personal greeneyed monster at bay as I read all the details about how it's constructed and put together and the creativity people use in managing to get all their "stuff" organised and stored.

In fact I so love looking at other people's studios that I decided that I needed to have a prize for this and consequently this is a NEW PRIZE this year.

Put simply - all you have to do is simply make me drool with envy!

The nominations were:
Teresa's studio in Ontario is light and spacious and tidy! It has all the elements in place for immersing yourself in art. She uses it for teaching classes and opens it to studio tours.
nominated by Jeanette Jobson
The studio is gorgeous because of the art not the physical space itself. I call it her cave of color and light. It takes your breath away to walk in and you are immediately transported to a world of pure color and joy.
nominated by Rebecca
The artist with The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year is Lisa Call (Lisa Call - Contemporary Taxtile Art).

For me there was no contest - although I did wonder if there was any other artist out there who endeavoured to do what Lisa had done and photographed and documented it as well using photo archives and blog.

The 10 foot studio walls going up in the new rear extension!

Lisa has:
  • done a major makeover on moving to a new house.
  • AND she also recorded the whole long journey meticulously from the 'before' photos and uprooting trees in the back yard through all the contrsuction work, the lighting, the flooring, the storage, the painting - you name it she covered it! Most of her blog posts for the first part of the year were all about the makeover. You can also see the New Home Studio Construction galleries on smugmug.
It's all been incredibly well thought out as well. The whole project is a real inspiration for anybody planning a studio makeover and it really gives some pause for thought in terms of the work involved for those of us who haven't even got that far as yet!
For proud owners of studios or those planning a studio makeover: the nominations for this category don't have to be about a makeover. However should you be planning one for 2010, please note that I love work in progress photos and posts which include insights into your deliberations about what to do and what goes where.

Please also never ever hesitate to nominate your own studio if you're proud of it. You now have a whole year to lick it into shape!!!


The results here were determined by your vote which has been taking place over the last five days (see Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2009). Thank you to everyone who voted and to all those people who came up with nominations.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) is "Palm Sunday" by Karin Jurick (A Painting Today) (nominated by James Neil Hollingsworth)
The simplicity of this piece in both composition and palette terms belies the sophistication of the modelling of both form and values. Karin achieved all this while also varying the degree of impasto across the overall picture. I found that I kept looking at his face and marvelled at the degree of character and sense of 'real life' that I found within this painting.

Other shortlisted works were "A woman sketching" by Gary Nemkosky and "In your own darkroom, wishes..." by Pierre Raby. You can see all the nominations in Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (portrait/figures)

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Place) is Lazy River by Casey Klahn(The Colorist).
I'm pleased about this as I do feel that Casey's series of pastel paintings of rivers this year were the best work I've ever seen him do. I'm guessing I'm not alone in thinking that!

Other shortlisted works were "Helford Regatta"
by Sarah Wimperis and "The Temple of the Four Winds"
by Michael Hampton. You can see all the nominations in Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (place).

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) is Sometimes I feel you look right through me by Sally Tharp (Sally is painting today....
I can't help but feel "the title with added insight" attracted some extra votes! It certainly helped to make me look twice the first time I saw this work. I am so envious of people who can produce a great title which includes social commentary!

You can see more of Sally's really stunning glass paintingsSally is painting today... on her website and follow her still life paintings on her blog This category was by the most keenly contested and any one of the three works might have won.

Other shortlisted works were "Nine Stones" by Don Grey (Daily Art West) and "Blocks No.5" by Neil Hollingsworth (Paintings in Oil). You can see all the nominations in Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (still life)

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog
This is awarded to the picture which got most votes in the poll.
The winner of this award was in the lead right from the off and has never ever looked like coming second.

The number of votes given to this picture also well exceeded any given to any of the previous Making A Mark prizewinners for best picture.
The winner of The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog is Karin Jurick.
Karin in fact polled a third more votes than the runner up which was Casey Klahn. In fact the voting was so strong and so conclusive that this award was the first part of the MAMA posts which I drafted because I was so confident Karin was going to win! Overall, the number of people voting was also comparable with the number voting last year.

Personally, apart from it being an excellent painting, I think the vote might also be an indication of the very high regard that people have for all Karin's figurative work and her paintings of museum patrons, people on the beach, people reading and people around and about and in the street. I know that her very considerable efforts to help improve people's painting with her project Different Strokes for Different Folks - which won the best art project of the year award last year - is also very much appreciated by a wide spectrum of participants and viewers.

If you're interested in Karin's work, you can find the answers to the questions Karin frequently gets asked on her website.

and finally......the 5th Annual Making A Mark Awards 2010

Can I invite you all to make notes of those who impress you during the course of the year - because I'll be back again inviting nominations in December 2010 when I will be launching the 5th Making A Mark Awards 2010!


Meanwhile I'm back tomorrow with my own personal review of the year followed by my plan for 2010 on New Year's day - which I think is going to include a couple of projects you might be interested in.

Links: The Making A Mark Awards 2010 for blogging about art
nomination threads