Sunday, April 18, 2010

18th April 2010 - Who's made a mark this week?

Julian Merrow Smith's new book about A Postcard from Provence is about to publish and orders are now being taken - mine went in straight away!  I was so pleased to see it includes some old favourites
148 selected paintings—evenly divided between still life and landscape—sourced from all five years' of the project and laid out in a notional year.
Postcard from Provence has featured in 'who's made a mark this week' a lot in the last four years or so.  For people who haven't read my posts before here's a small sample of my own personal back catalogue of individual posts about this now famous blog!
One of my very favourite blogs - and probably the reason why I started getting into blogging - is "Postcard from Provence", a diary in paintings.  Julian Merrow-Smith has lived in Provence for the last 8 years or so in a tiny village called Crillon le Brave. He describes his blog as
an ongoing project involving painting and posting a small oil painting, mostly daily, in which I try to reflect the changing seasons and light of my adoptive home in Provence.

Art Blogs

Botanical Art
There have been a lot of posts this week about botanical art - because the Society of Botanical artists are in town with their Silver Jubilee ExhibitionHere are mine.

Plus there will be more next week, there are more in Book Reviews and this is from UKCPS news
I had a good look around at the exhibition and there were some beautiful pieces of work in coloured pencil. We really are growing as more and more people realise that you can ‘paint’ with pencils and they have a wonderful quality and a depth of colour that can bring a piece of work to life. Out of the 700 paintings hung 59 of them were coloured pencil only and several others were a mixture of coloured pencil and another medium.

Drawing and sketching
Outside the Orangery
11" x 8", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
    Coloured Pencils and Pastels
    Lightfastness Workbook Vol 6 - Version 6 of our Lightfastness Workbook will be available for purchase as of May 1st. This book is available only to CPSA Members.
    • I smiled in sympathy with Jeanette Jobson and her recent post The finishing point - we've all been there!

    Illustrators seem to be good at creating a critical mass through like minded souls getting together is likely to benefit all involved.

    The Children's Book Illustrators Group, began in 1987 by a group of Brooklyn children's book illustrators to share publishing information and experiences. In it's current incarnation CBIG is a group of mainly NYC area illustrators and author/illustrators, neophytes to published pros, in children's publishing and related fields.

    We insist on the right to privacy and, simultaneously, snap anything and everyone we see and everything we do – in public and in private – on mobile phones and digital cameras.In one way, then, we are all street photographers now, but we are also the most-photographed and filmed global population ever. In Britain, our city centres and public buildings are monitored 24/7 by surveillance cameras, while security cameras track us in car parks, supermarkets, football stadiums, hotels and as we enter and leave our places of work

    Art Business and Marketing

    Art Competitions and Art Societies

    Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques

    • On Tuesday I reprised Egg Tempera in three steps - which references three very detailed posts I did back in 2007 as a result of a workshop I did at the Victoria & Albert Museum
    Tips and techniques

    Art fairs

    Art Forums

    • I was sent into a bit of a temporary tailspin this week by Ning's announcement that it's going to pull out of the provision of free sites.  Techcrunch was the most informative Ning’s Bubble Bursts: No More Free Networks, Cuts 40% Of Staff.  So I now need to find a new home for all my groups unless Ning decides that the departing hordes might not do its page rank any good (which is an absolute certainty!).  I have to say that I am totally disgusted by the way Ning has totally failed to contact any of its Ning Network Creators direct and only posted on the Creators Network blog (see Ning Update) which means that a lot of people who are not members and others who don't read the blog will not know what's happening.  I'll be writing more next week about the alternatives that've come up with. 
    As part of this change, we’ll be phasing out our free service.  On May 4, 2010, we will share with you all of the details of our new offering, including features and price points, through a series of blog posts, emails, and conference calls.
    Ning Update: Rolling Out Full Details May 4th
    • Easel Space is a new website/forum for artists with a groups facility.  It has potential but as with all such ventures is looking to build numbers if it's going to become a sustainable venture.

    Art Galleries, Museums and Exhibitions

    Major museums
    Artist Bloggers / Regional guides to art activities
    If you've got an Art Walk or Art trail or Open Studios coming up don't forget to drop me a line with information - see the side column for how to contact me.

    Book reviews

    Two reviews of new botanical art books this week - and one more to come
    • Book Review: Botany for the Artist Highly recommended and will be enjoyed by botanical artists, students and all those who've enjoyed Sarah Simblet's previous books about drawing 
    • Book Review: Botanical Sketchbook - a masterclass by a former student of the Diploma Course run by the Society of Botanical artists - highly recommended
    • Next week I'm reviewing Ann Swan's new book about creating botanical art using coloured pencils


    James Gurney (Gurney Journey) writes about lightfastness in a six part series.  Here's the posts so far:
    He also highlighted this
    The Gamut Mask is a great way to created harmonic color schemes. It simplifies your color choices and saves you lots of time and paint in achieving unified color palettes quickly and easily.

    Opinion Poll

    61 people have responded to the poll so far - and it's VERY interesting because it seems to be completely contradicting the contents of the publishers' portfolios.  Please do vote in the poll if you haven't already.

    Websites, webware and blogging

    The Internet
    Social networking

    and finally........

    The Modigliani Test: The Semantic Web's Tipping Point is very geeky - but interestingly they fixed on a datbase of paintings as the test of a particular aspect of web development.


    1. Thanks for featuring Julian's book. One of the best painters blogging. He is also the reason I started Postcards from Detroit, named after his blog. Although sometimes I wish I could paint Provence, but Detroit presents it's own challenges.
      I am looking forward to getting my book.

    2. Thanks a bunch for mentioning my Open Studio, Katherine! I really appreciate it !!

    3. Julian's book looks lovely Katherine!

    4. Thanks very much for linking through to the Museums at Night blog - much appreciated!

      Will you be going to any of the art-related events over Museums at Night weekend, May 14-16? Here's a link: to find out what's going on near you, simply type in your postcode underneath the Google map.

      If you do go along to something, would you consider writing us a guest blog post about your experience? Please, drop me an email at!


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